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I came across an article on Sex, Love, Liberation entitled, “Why I’m Tired of Spiritual Sex.” It started with its founder and sex doula, Ev’Yan Whitney, boldly stating, “I’m over the flowery euphemisms, over the soft language and woo woo words, over relying on analogies that place importance on the sacred.”

I was taken aback at the fact that there was someone else in this world who believed women are capable of being sexual savages with remarkably high sex drives and remain in control. Completely identifying with her stance on the way female sexuality is coddled and sheltered, I caught up with her for a chat on her career as a sexuality doula and movement to redefine sexuality.

What Is A Sexuality Doula?

A good friend of mine actually came up with the term because I was lamenting to her about how I didn’t want to call myself a “sex coach” at the time. A lot of people are familiar with what a birthing doula is—someone who provides physical, emotional and spiritual support before, during and after birth. And a sexuality doula encompasses the work that I do, which is supporting and facilitating women emotionally, spiritually and physically toward sexual liberation and into their erotic power.

Why It’s Not The Same As A Sex Therapist

One simple difference is training. Therapists go through extensive amounts of education. I am self-taught and pull from my own experiences of 6+ years of doing and studying this work. My work is very intuitive, very body-based. I like to go with the flow of my clients and fine tune my work with them because everyone is so different. I don’t have a lesson plan necessarily. I believe in divine improv. My work feels really spiritual much of the time.

With my work, I’m not trying to fix anyone. I’m trying to be a beacon of light for your sexual healing. I ask the hard questions to get you to deeply explore the innermost places of who you are. I hold space. I partake in rituals. I give support and resources. And I never claim to be an expert.

Her Sexual Awakening

I had always been inching slowly toward sexual liberation. But when I started Sex, Love, Liberation, I was at a place where I was really committed to expressing and blossoming into the erotic woman I wanted to be. So Sex, Love, Liberation was the first serious step I took toward lasting erotic empowerment.

How Her Journey Began 

So many things! I was tired of living in a sexless marriage. I was tired of feeling like a closed-off, sexually frigid woman. And I was reading a lot of books and articles at the time to kind of “diagnose” my problem, which was having an unexplainably low libido. I had lived underneath the dark, heavy energy of shame around sex for so long and one day I decided I had had enough.

I began to get curious about female sexuality. But what really interested me was the idea that I could create my own definitions of what a healthy sex life and expression of sexuality looked like, that I didn’t need to keep living in a cycle of shame, that I could find sexual liberation on my own. And so I began to explore what that looked like for me while chronicling my journey.

You Have To Know Thyself Before You Can Help Anyone Else

At the time, it was vital that I did this inner work on myself. My relationship was becoming more and more strained as a result of my indifference to sex, and I was beginning to hate myself for not being able to do what seemed to be a natural, non-dramatic thing.

These days, it’s even more vital, but for different reasons. I’ve moved past a lot of my sexual shame, and my sex life is very healthy and beautiful. But now, I’m being called to help other women in the same way I helped myself, and I am being asked to step up as a facilitator in that way. So, it’s vital to the sexual awakenings of others that I continue on this path. And through helping them, I learn more about myself.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Being A Sex Doula

Well, doing this work has certainly affected my life more so in a positive way than negative. I’m having more sex, not because I’ve taken a magic pill, but because I’ve finally found freedom to express myself as a sexual woman. I’m not weighed down by shame, and I’m free to explore my sexuality in the safety of boundaries I’ve constructed. Another positive thing: I’ve managed to make this a “thing”; this is what I do for a living, it’s what puts bread on the table and pays my bills. I never thought I could actually do something that I loved while also getting paid nicely for it. It’s amazing and such a blessing.

I’d say the only negative thing that’s come from my work is some of the backlash I’ve received from my family. They’re not 100% in agreement with what I do or what I write about. I think they feel that I’m airing my own dirty laundry or being perverse. So, it’s definitely caused a rift between us. It’s unfortunate, but I’ve learned to tune out the naysayers, even if they come from blood. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, and I was chosen to do this work for a reason.

On Being Sexually Free, But Legally Bound

I think a lot of us feel that when you get married, all the fun is over and you don’t have to grow anymore; that you can just kind of coast along and not worry too much about rocking the boat. This is what I thought. I thought that marriage was all about stability, predictability. But I didn’t want any of that. I mean, yes, security and predictability has its place, but I also wanted space to grow, to explore, to come into myself.

I got married really young, had just turned 20, so the idea of settling down and into a particular mode of thinking couldn’t have worked for me. I was still coming into myself—we both were. We wanted the ability to grow together, to support each other’s self-discoveries. My sexual-liberation journey prompted that. It’s hard to stay stagnant when you’re trying to liberate yourself. My marriage has, surprisingly, been an incredible facet of my sexual liberation because I picked a great guy who wants to see me flourish and be the best woman I can be. And through my inner explorations, I’ve always given him permission to seek too and find himself—not just sexually, either.

How She Has Helped Other Women 

I get the sense that I’ve helped women better understand their anatomy. I’ve helped women heal from sexual traumas. I’ve helped women create new ways of seeing and expressing themselves as erotic women. Mainly, I help women find solace in their own desires and curiosities when it comes to sex. I do this through writing about my own personal experiences, and I try my best not to be preachy or to put myself in a place of being an expert. I want people to come to their own conclusions. I want people to discover themselves on their own terms, and I often feel like my writings help get them through that door.

I’ve been offered a few opportunities to work with men, but honestly, I feel I’d do them a disservice. I only know how to teach and facilitate from my perspective, from a woman’s perspective. And while I know men need sexual liberation just as much as women, I choose not to go beyond my scope.

But there’s another side to that, because I truly believe that when you liberate a woman, you liberate a man. So, I suppose you could say that indirectly I work with men just through the women who are seeking sexual liberation from me.

On The Positive Feedback And Also Confusion About What She Does

Hands down, the response about what I do is generally positive. Mostly, people hear what I do and they say, “Oh, thank God. We need this work so badly.” I also get a lot of giggles when I hand out my business cards. People are still really shy about sex, they can’t even see the word without blushing. I forget that a lot of the time, because I’m so entrenched in this work that the topic of sex has become pretty normalized for me.

Advice For Those Feeling Sexually Repressed 

I would tell them to begin to peel back the layers of what it is that makes them struggle. What’s underneath there? What needs to be brought to light? What beautiful things could come from sexual self-discovery? Go in the direction of your curiosity and desires. You’ll find lost pieces of yourself there.

How To Create A Positive Representation Of Female Sexuality In Our Community

One way would be to stand in our sexual power as women, to not cower away from our desires and impulses–men sure as hell don’t. We need to teach our daughters that their sexualities are sacred, not to be shamed. We need to teach our daughters that their bodies are beautiful, and they do amazing things. We need to find peace in our own sexualities by healing sexual shame. Men can do their own work by expanding their minds to what a sexually liberated woman is and what she looks like. Our minds immediately go to promiscuity, and the perverse and sometimes sexual liberation can be those things. But mostly, being a sexually liberated woman means having sexual sovereignty and a sense of self-awareness and acceptance of ourselves. This is a lofty topic, and I could go on and on, but I think that’s a start.

Her Advice For Other Women

I know for me, when I was in the throes of self-loathing about not being horny enough, I was practicing a lot of really mean and destructive self-talk. I was very harshly judging myself and my progress, and looking at others’ sexuality as the “right” way. What I should’ve done was be more accepting and forgiving of myself, because acceptance and forgiveness prompt healing. So, that’s a good place to start—going easy on yourself.

Check out Ev’Yan Whitney’s site, Sex, Love, Liberation and follow her on Twitter @ev_yan.

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