Welcome back to the Black Woman Be Whole takeover on BeREAL! On the penultimate episode of this takeover, Ednesha, Kim, and Marquia are joined by Marla Renee Stewart to discuss sexuality, kink, and sexual confidence in Black women. Good thing Diana isn’t here this week (there’s a lot of “applesauce” talk)!
Marla Renee Stewart, MA is a sexologist, coach, and author who runs her own sexuality education company, Velvet Lips, and is also a Co-Founder of the Sex Down South Conference. She has studied human sexuality for more than 20 years and has given over 500 workshops all over the world. She also has been featured on a variety of media outlets, including Netflix’s Trigger Warning with Killer Mike and Love & HipHop Atlanta. She co-wrote her first book, The Ultimate Guide to Seduction & Foreplay with Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, which debuted in April 2020.
Marla begins the episode by talking about her background and how she got into the sexology field. She recounts her coming out when she was 16 and how she would talk to her female friends and learned that they were not having orgasms. Ednesha relates this to the fact that a lot of sex dialogue around women is about pregnancy and STD prevention, and rarely about pleasure and sexuality.
The women move into the topic of sexual communication. Marla addresses when it is beneficial to be direct versus sensitive when talking to your partner about your sexual needs and concerns. They touch on the idea that often women will say something and others will take the statement to be something they must analyze for underlying context. It can create strain on a relationship when someone expects their partner to know things they won’t vocalize. Because of this, a simple change in communication can create a big change in a relationship. To make this change, it is important to learn if your partner is a visual, auditory, or tactile communicator.
After a short break, the women return to discuss Marla’s Sex Down South Conference. Marla outlines the goals of the conference, and how the coordinators works to uplift black, queer, disabled, and sex worker voices. Kim chimes in to tell about her experience at the conference two years in a row (pre-COVID of course). She tells that past the titillating fun of the sex dungeon and kink demonstrations, Kim sat in on some very informative panels about consent, sexual trauma, and sexual shame.
Lastly, the women talk about how to prioritize joy as a woman of color. Often, sexuality and kink for women of color are overlooked or stigmatized. However, that is what Marla is seeking to change through her workshops and conferences to inspire sexual confidence in black women.
Thank you for tuning into the Black Woman Be Whole takeover of the BeREAL Podcast this week! Be sure to catch the final takeover next Tuesday. In the meantime, make sure you checked out last week’s takeover with Anzala Alozie about domestic violence against women of color.
For more information on Marla or Velvet Lips Sex Ed, check out the links below:
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