21. OWNING YOUR SEXUAL WELLNESS
WE ALL KNOW WELLNESS IS IMPORTANT, BUT WHAT ABOUT SEXUAL WELLNESS?
Sara and co-host Ben are recording from London this episode, and they talk to Billie Quinlan and Anna Hushlak, the creators of Ferly (https://weareferly.com, formerly called Leika at time of recording), an app that guides women through various areas of sexual wellness, aiming to transform their relationship to sex.
Billie and Anna introduce the concept of sexual wellness, which is not merely the freedom from sexual dysfunction, but also the ability to experience sexual pleasure. We discuss why people sometimes don’t equate sex with wellness and as such, tend to overlook it.
Billie and Anna deliver an empowering message – equating sexual wellness with self-respect and self-love, and defining the impact that it has on one’s entire life, not just the bedroom.
MORE JUICY BITS ON THE SHOW
9:03 – 16:38 Why is sexual wellbeing so important and why do people overlook it
22:22 – 25:20 Thinking about consent and why we go through the motions rather than being fully present
26:23—30:39 The importance of discovering your body and how it informs your sexual pleasure
31:35 – 35:21 Defining sexual pleasure in things other than orgasm
35:21 – 42:28 How the app enables a guided exploration of your sexuality
42:28 – 43:55 Exploring our sexual fantasies without shame
43:55 – 47:25 Example of the app’s content programme around body positivity
52:25 - 61:32 Practical tips to improve sexual wellness – masturbation, journaling and not apologising about sexuality
WORDS OF WISDOM
“We’re talking about sexual wellness and it’s not even about sex. It’s about learning to love yourself, feel comfortable in your skin and then once you have that level of comfort in your skin it’s about how you speak up in the boardroom, how you decide on co-parenting. It’s the respect you have for yourself and that plays out in every area of your life.”
“By knowing your body and knowing how it works, and what it wants or doesn't want, and when it wants and doesn’t want those things. You’ll be able to then communicate that. But we focus so much on other people giving us orgasms.”
“Penetrative sex is quite intense sometimes, especially for a woman. You are literally being entered. And actually you might be feeling sexy but just want a massage. Just want touch. Just want someone to hold you. And that can be as orgasmic and as powerful.”
“Fantasies are a way of exploring boundaries. And also just a way of accessing different parts of your mind that remove you from your day to day. And there’s no shame in that. There’s no shame in having those more extreme fantasies. That society would call more extreme. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not normal or that you want to experience those things in real life. It’s just about exploring the complexities of our minds.”
“The majority of women tend to masturbate the same way for most of their lives. And I think while toys are phenomenal, in some ways they’ve also created a sort of dependency. I know quite a few friends who are basically breaking up with their vibrators.”
OTHER GREAT REFERENCES YOU'LL LOVE
Savage Love – Dan Savage’s podcast about sex and relationships, mentioned on the episode
The Guilty Feminist – Episode 125 “Feminists don’t wear pink and other lies”. An award-winning podcast and live show hosted by Deborah Frances-White
Just Not Sorry – A Gmail plug-in to remove apologies from your email that can be used by women who want to stop saying sorry when there’s no real need to be
Libresse Viva La Vulva Ad – Empowering advertising campaign that celebrates the female vulva
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
How do you make sexual wellness a part of your life? Leave us a comment below - we'd love to know!