#ITalkSex Because...

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THE #ITALKSEX CAMPAIGN
Last week the Scarlet Ladies launched their #ITalkSex campaign, and this is a campaign I am passionate about and one I believe is extremely important for women all over!

It aims to get a conversation going about
female sexuality - so, I'm here to invite you ladies to join the conversation. As, in the words of the Scarlet Ladies, “Female sexuality is not a dirty secret. It’s a part of who we are.”

The Scarlet Ladies HQ summarise the campaign perfectly, here:


WHY I TALK SEX
I was born and brought up in Brazil, where women are hyper-sexualised. We now live in a society that is aware that women everywhere fall victim to sexual harassment, sexual abuse and rape. But unfortunately, the Brazilian culture is one of those that encourages the normalisation of this sort of behaviour.

At the age of 6, boys at school would call me sexy. I hated it, and I  would punch any boy that said I  was “pretty” or “sexy”. In the end  though, I was always the one that  got into trouble with the  headteachers; “they’re just complimenting you, is all. It’s a nice thing. You can’t punch people for complimenting you. The  headteachers would say to me –  yes, “headteacherS” plural, as this  happened in more than one school.


Ok, yes, physical violence wasn’t  the best way for me to deal with this unwanted attention but telling a little girl that she should ignore her feelings and feel lucky to be called “pretty” or “sexy” by her peers, is not right; it is dangerous and harmful. Eventually, I came to believe that if I fought against those comments, then I was wrong and I'd get in trouble for it.

At the age of 10, for a period of 5 months, I was sexually abused by an uncle. Then, in my teens, I moved from Brazil to London, and I experienced more sexual abuse; I was groped and felt up by some of the boys at school. I quickly learned that people’s assumptions are that Brazilian women have lots of sex and love any physical contact.

I am disgusted by unwanted male attention - it is UNWANTED - and I was vocal about it at school, which resulted in my peers calling me “frigid”.

This label left me feeling very confused; it was clear that it was a negative thing. I simply couldn’t work out how to behave, and eventually I lost me and lost track of what I wanted; I knew I wasn’t sure about sex, but I also felt the need to fit into society and thus, I decided to live up to the expectation that as a Brazilian woman, I should be sexy and enjoy lots of sex – so, I started dating and having lots of sex. It is what society wanted after all, right?



But, when one relationship ended and soon after I met someone else, I was then called a “slut”. Around that time, I also realised I was attracted to girls, and I explored those desires. And, again, I was called a slut for doing so. Because HOW DARE I, A WOMAN, MOVE ON AND HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH ANOTHER MAN?! AND HOW DARE I, STILL A WOMAN, TURN DOWN A MAN FOR ANOTHER WOMAN?! GASP!!!!

In my teens, I tried to talk sex, and some people seemed shocked that as a victim of sexual abuse, I enjoy sex and am so open, honest and willing to talk about it. It’s assumed that because I've been sexually abused, then I should be anti-sex, when in fact I LOVE to talk sex.


Trying to live up to the above assumptions and expectations of me, left me feeling confused and overwhelmed. I eventually stopped talking about the sexual abuse I survived, or about the abortion I had or about how I fantasised about women, and I never talked about how I didn’t want to have sex with my boyfriend most of the time but I forced myself to.

I stopped talking. Full stop.

Society made me feel like I couldn’t talk about any of it and that I didn’t have a choice over how I explored my body. For a long time, I believed that I was here to please male partners. Society’s views on sex has become very much about women pleasing men, and that’s wrong and damaging. We still live in times where if a woman doesn’t have sex, then she’s “frigid”, yet if she does have sex, especially with multiple partners, then she’s a “slut”. I’ve been called both – as mentioned above - which is special kind of confusing! There is a huge misconception about women and sex – and it’s about time we changed that.

Last year I discovered the Scarlet Ladies, who have given me a safe and judgement free environment to talk about my sexual experiences and feelings on this subject. Now, I know that women have a right to explore their sexuality, when they want, however they want it and as often as they like, without judgement. My body is mine and I decide when, with whom and how my sexual experiences happen! I can have lots of sex or no sex at all, this is my choice and it’s nobody else’s business.

Now, I talk sex because I didn’t talk about it for a long time and that silence caused me a lot of harm. I talk sex because I believe that sharing our stories, experiences and doubts is important, it spreads knowledge and knowledge is power. I also genuinely believe that had other women around me talked sex, then I would've had healthier sexual experiences.

I talk sex to not only help me in my healing, but to also hopefully let other women know that they are not alone, and that talking sex is important, and healthy, and it can be life changing in an extremely positive and powerful way. The thought of other women being silent about their sexuality, the same way I was, really upsets and worries me. Talking sex has helped me claim my experiences and sexuality as my own; it’s mine and nobody has the right to take that away from me.


Photography by the fabulous Faby and Carlo 

Thanks to talking sex, I’ve now walked away from abusive relationships – including one particularly harmful one where I became a personal porn-star for over ten years. I’m finally getting to know who I really am and who I want to be, for me. And I’m slowly working out that:
  • I am someone who enjoys sex, with another person or on my own;
  • but now I respect my wishes and my body, and I respect that I am a woman who can only be intimate with someone I love, respect, and feel extremely comfortable with. (Which apparently goes against my Brazilian roots; as I’m not having sex all the time …);
  • I identity as pansexual;
  • I no longer have sex to please others, I do it for me;
  • there is nothing wrong with having sex or not having sex, IT’s UP TO US! It’s a gift that we choose how to fit into our lives.



A loved one recently told me that:

And this has really helped me realise that sex is more than about physically sleeping with someone else; so much more. For me, now, I am exploring my body on my own – and that’s how I want it for a while; I need some alone time with my body - and it’s been the most healing and liberating experience. It's been incredibly empowering to be with myself and learn about myself without the influence or pressure from someone who thinks of women as sex objects.

I’ve noticed that some people are uncomfortable when others talk openly about sex and sexual abuse. But this is a conversation that I believe we should be having. I hope to one day live in a world where ignorant and narrow-minded views about sexuality no longer exist. And I am more than happy & willing to be part of this revolution.

Talking sex has empowered me, and I hope that we can inspire others to do the same.


JOIN #ITALKSEX

I am super proud to be part of this powerful and, in my opinion, much needed campaign. And if you wanna join the #ITalkSex movement, you can! Head over to the Scarlet Ladies Website and find out how you can get involved. You can also find more words (and more beautiful photography) from me and the other lovely ladies taking part in the #ITalkSex campaign by clicking HERE.

On Tuesday 12thSeptember 2017, we’re all getting together to celebrate and officially launch the #ITalkSex campaign, and you’re invited to join us – for more info, check out the Scarlet Ladies Events Page.

And if you can’t be there in person, well you can always join the #ITalkSex Twitter Party with Girl On The Net - 12th September 2017 @ 8.30PM - Follow @ScarletLadies on Twitter for updates.

Because, damn it, why shouldn’t we talk sex?!







PS: I’m going to be posting a Behind the Scenes of the #ITalkSex photoshoot soon, featuring more gorgeous photography and everything - watch this space. Spoiler – it was sexy. I am also going to be sharing more about the campaign and why I Talk Sex all over my Instagram and Twitter - find me on there so you don't miss me being "emotionally slutty".

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