Hello & Happy Holidays, My Beauties!
Have you heard of #fetchat? No? Allow me to introduce you to a delightful human, Vanessa Page. Ms. Page (@EroticaVPage on Twitter) is an erotica author and advocate for open discussions about sexual expression. Recently she began #fetchat, a live Twitter chat that focuses on issues of sexual expression in the kink and fetish communities.
#Fetchat is Wednesdays at 5pm in the Twitter-sphere. Just search #fetchat on Twitter (or follow that handy link) at 5pm. This week yours truly will be the panelist and the topic is Defining Sexual Wellness. Don’t miss it. You can watch or you can participate. It’s open to all.
So far she’s covered the topics of Misconceptions About Fetishes and Trying New Things. I’ve participated in both chats and have loved the experience. It’s powerful to be able to talk freely about subjects that usually receive huge helpings of judgment.
A Snippet About Anne Stagg: You know I write erotica and erotic fantasy, but did you know that in my mild-mannered, day-to-day life I’m also a Licensed Independent Social Worker and have worked as a therapist? I advocate for the freedom to express gender-identity, sexuality, and sexual expression without shame or oppression under both my given name Jennifer K. Kowalski and Anne Stagg. Why the two names? Think of it as a brand of ice cream with different flavors. Anne Stagg is dark chocolate with a hint of cayanne and Jennifer K. Kowalski is salted caramel.
Since this week’s #fetchat is on sexual wellness, I thought it might be helpful to offer a definition. I think of sexual wellness like a recipe.
The ingredients that go into that wonderful cookie are gender identity, sexuality, and sexual expression. Gender identity is how you identify your gender both internally and externally, regardless of what biological sex you were assigned at birth. Sexuality involves your experience of sexual attraction and to whom you are sexually attracted. Finally, sexual expression is the ways you choose to experience sexual pleasure.
Each component includes a physical, emotional, psychological, and (if you ascribe to a spiritual belief system) spiritual dimension. There are a lot of moving parts to sexual wellness (or sexual health, the terms can be used interchangeably). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual health as “…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”
That sums it up. And by sums it up, I mean that it’s a lot to process. Remember, it’s important to your overall health and well-being to connect with your gender identity, sexuality, and sexual expression in affirming ways.
Finding affirmation can be hard. There are a lot of voices in this ongoing discussion and some of the loudest are focused on creating shame. Below are some links to affirming spaces that will help you keep your sexual health and wellness game on point. (Please remember that these are links for information and advice, not therapy).
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of gender, sexuality, or sexual expression your sexual wellness is important and something to be celebrated. You’re a marvel, outside and in, my beauties, and you deserve to feel safe and free in your own skin.
Be well and Be wonderful.
Bellesa.co: I may be biased, that’s true, but I love Bellesa.co’s focus on sexual wellness for women. This site offers ethically sourced videos. The erotica & erotic fiction section offers a treasure trove of stories from authors who (if you haven’t read my Mound of Gaia erotic fantasy series, now’s the time to get started). Their Collective section offers a wealth of information about sexual health & wellness from a feminist perspective. And the Boutique offers sex toys, merchandise with a social conscience, and erotica to-go.
LoveHoney.com’s Youtube Channels: LoveHoney has videos that offer how-to’s and advice with a focus on reducing shame, promoting open communication, and creating safe exploration. Want to try out spanking but have no idea how to do that safely? Surf over to Bondage Gone Wilde with Jess Wilde. Want to know what the big to-do about butt plugs is all about? Check out their channel Sex Toys Ahoy. What about tips for edging as a way to combat premature ejaculation? Try watching Better Sex 101.
Fetlife.com: Think of Fetlife.com as Facebook for folks in the kink and fetish community and without all that Russian interference (See what I did there? I’m a flaming liberal, if you haven’t figured that out yet, I’m sorry). Sure there’s a lot of NSFW pics and opportunities to hook up, but there are also incredible Groups that focus on building community, offering support, and promoting healthy, safe kink and fetish practices.
Kinkly.com: The tagline is “Straight up sex talk with a twist.” Need I say more? Yes. I will. This site offers everything from sex toy reviews to advice and how to’s. You can find links to sex blogs and articles about sexual health. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips here.