But I'm learning there is power in prioritizing good sex. “We often ask black folks, ‘If you don’t have agency over your own body, how do you plan to have political, social, and economic agency? ’” say Rafaella Fiallo and Dalychia Saah, founders of Afrosexology. “Reclaiming your body is an act of resistance. ” Slowly, I’m learning to let go of the shame hangover I’ve grown to expect after a night of dirty talk or showing off my cleavage.
My brain buzzes on alert with everyday frustrations and painful past memories even when I sleep. “Living in a country that is so heavily steeped in systemic racism impacts our mental health in a number of ways,” says Joy Harden Bradford, Ph. D. , founder of Therapy for Black Girls. “The stress that we experience as a result of the often daily micro- and macro-aggressions can lead to increased anxiety, depression, anger, difficulty sleeping, and isolation.
With few social barriers to protect us, black women’s trauma is everywhere: A 2018 study conducted by the National Women’s Law Center found black women file sexual harassment charges at three times the rate of white women.
We can't wash away these systemic issues in a great wave of black women’s pleasure. But it is a start. “Sex encourages self-love and patience when dealing with oppression by teaching us that we don't have to put our pleasure, of any kind, in the hands of others,” says Tiffany Lashai Curtis, a sex writer in Philadelphia.
Prioritizing good sex isn’t exactly easy—it means doing the emotional work, shedding centuries of stereotypes and oppression, and most important, rediscovering my voice as a black woman. It’s a challenge. But it’s worth it.
"I'm reclaiming my body one orgasm at a time." https://t.co/CiArnjTIPs— Glamour (@glamourmag) January 31, 2020