Sandra Talks self love, intimacy and pleasure

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Scarlet Ladies Talks to … #ITalkSex edition interview series is where we follow up with #ITalkSex ambassadors. We talk life, work and sex in our ultra-personal blog series: the most sex-positive women out there invite us beyond the bedroom door to share the stories of what shaped their journeys to discover and embrace their sexuality.

 

“I was born and raised near San Francisco, California. I used to live in London and New York where I worked in the corporate, charity and wellness sectors. I’m currently training to become a sex and intimacy coach.

My sexual journey started when I got engaged at 29 years old, and felt something was missing. This took me on a path of talk therapy, meeting sex positive individuals, learning more about sexuality in safe spaces.

Like many women, I’ve had a challenging relationship with masturbation and pleasure.

I really started to learn about my sexuality when I moved to London and joined Scarlet Ladies. It was the first space that allowed me to learn about sexuality in a supportive, shame-free environment. I was exposed to amazing, diverse women from SL panels and events. I was drawn towards learning from conscious sex communities that focus on consent, boundaries and connection. I went to tantra/BDSM/conscious sexuality workshops, festivals, classes, socials and events in London and Europe where I felt safe to explore.

Like many women, I’ve had a challenging relationship with masturbation and pleasure. I’ve felt shame around my own body and sexuality for most of the time I’ve been sexually active. It’s challenging to be present and feel pleasure if there’s shame and disconnection from the body.

I have been learning new ways to love, pleasure and enjoy myself through masturbation. I can’t expect someone else to pleasure me if I can’t pleasure myself! I use my trusted vibrator and crystal dildo, which are great for different sensations. More recently have not been using toys so that I can be more present with my senses and create larger body orgasms.

I recognise the trauma that exists within generations and us. There is a significant amount of healing and connection needed, and we can cultivate that for ourselves with self-love and compassion.

Normalising the conversation around human sexuality and eliminating shame has had the most profound impact on my sexuality. I always felt something was wrong and broken with my sexuality and pleasure – I have since realised the opposite is true and [people] actually have powerful sexuality and potential. It’s covered under shame and trauma, but we can bring awareness and compassion to those areas and heal from it.

I was at a Scarlet Ladies event when the #ITalkSex campaign was announced. It was a way to share my story and experience about sexual shame in a space that didn’t exist before. I felt a mixture of nervousness and excitement about participating in the campaign because it was the first time speaking about my sexuality publicly. It’s exciting to be a part of this generation’s sexual revolution with other empowered women.

I still feel strongly about my campaign statement (‘I talk sex because I’ve learned to love and value myself’). I recognise the trauma that exists within generations and us. There is a significant amount of healing and connection needed, and we can cultivate that for ourselves with self-love and compassion.

My viewpoints of sex and sexuality changed drastically from the very first Scarlet Ladies event I attended. This campaign helped bring different stories and perspectives to light. I was motivated by another campaigner to speak to my mom about sexuality and our relationship to it. I never thought I would discuss sexuality with my mom! It was healing to ask and learn about her experiences as a girl/teenager/woman/mother.

The campaign has given me a platform and the courage to have conversations with friends, family members and even strangers about my journey. I’m engaging in meaningful conversations with others about connection, intimacy and pleasure.

I would teach my teenage self about self-love, consent and boundaries. I would emphasise pleasure and honoring the vagina and female body. I would want my teenage self to understand her own pleasure and the potential of her womb to have better relationships with ourselves and others.

It’s important for women and men to talk about human sexuality. Many of us were not told or shown models of open love, healthy sexuality or female pleasure growing up as a girl and young woman. This is our opportunity to open our minds, heal and continue these changes with our mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and friends.

[I see my future sexual self]…connected, attuned, in pleasure, bliss, love!”

Photos by Faby and Carlo for #ITalkSex

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