"Sacralizing Sex and the Body: Female Sexuality as a Source of Power and Wellness"
Rarely within feminists spaces is female sexuality addressed from a perspective of intrigue, power, and wellness. Feminism often focuses on eliminating problems (e.g. rape, body objectification, sexual exploitation, etc.) in effort to claim justice and hold society accountable for beliefs that perpetuate these injustices. Female sexuality is often buried within conversations about reproductive rights. Feminism demands equality of the sexes - socially, economically, and politically. Nigerian author/feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi said, “We teach girls they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are”. Her statement is radical, summoning the perspective that women are sexual beings. We should be fine with this truth. Traditionally, sexually expressive women are perceived as promiscuous, loose, non-virtuous, and even deviant. While feminism seeks to reposition female sexuality, it makes the effort to house it neatly in respectful spaces, i.e. hyper sexuality is bad. The movement is slow to embrace sexually liberated women as empowered and strong. When Beyonce released her album in 2013 she was attacked by a respected voice in feminism, activist and intellectualist, Bell Hooks. Hooks called Beyonce, ‘anti-feminist’ and a ‘terrorist’ for her choice of sexual imagery in media. As a sacred sex educator and sexual wellness consultant whose work is centered in Tantric, Kemetic, and Taoist traditions, which celebrate sex and the role of the feminine as one that is life giving and life affirming, I propose we begin examining ways of integrating sexuality as a source of power and wellness. It is critical to the expansion of feminism.
Shayla holds an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling and is currently a PhD Candidate in Counseling Psychology in the throes of her dissertation process which focuses on Black Women’s sexuality & media.Having spent over 14 years of her life studying human behavior and working with individuals experiencing a variety of life & relational challenges Shayla’s goal is to create a positive, accepting, supportive atmosphere wherever she goes in which people can authentically BE without any pressure.
As a Sexuality Empowerment Mentor and an Emotional-Social Wellness Consultant Shayla supports her clients in developing a healthy balanced relationship with themselves and with others. Her mentorship, coaching, and educational style are integrative, holistic, and sex-positive. She works with clients to better understand how sexuality is integral to our humanity and how to achieve unique healthy relationships with their personal sexuality. Her mission supports Black Women reconnecting with their personal power through bliss and pleasure. She is dedicated to positive sexuality, advocacy, humanitarianism, and re-alignment. Understanding the different levels of Human Connection & Intimacy she is also the co-founder of A Southern Touch Company LLC: A Cuddling & Companionship Company, which specializes in healing platonic touch services based in Atlanta, GA.
In her free time you can usually find her: reading, traveling, laughing, watching movies, or spending time with loved ones. She loves to have fun, relax, try new activities, and do anything that allows her to be blissful. Shayla lives such a magical and joy-filled life. She works daily to remain positive and experience the beauty in living; and she desires nothing more than share a little bit of her magic with you.