Photo: Andres Latorre / Model: Talmesha K
After repeated sexual violations in a previous relationship, and as I was coming into a new, healthy relationship, sex felt unsafe for me.
My bodily autonomy was taken away from me, my sexual power was taken away from me, and the only reference point I had to sex and sexuality at the time was through the lens of my rape and trauma—through anxiety, disempowerment, fear, and numbness.
I couldn’t even fathom what it looked like to enjoy sex, to want it from a place of genuine desire, because of the trauma I experienced in the past.
And this is a sentiment I’ve heard from other survivors.
It is possible to find peace within your sexuality. It’s possible to be sexually whole. Pleasure and desire and sensuality can be safe to anchor into again.
I’m living proof of this. And so is Sheena.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of healing survivors of sexual violence go through in order to have healthy, pleasureful relationships with sex again, and I’ve been wanting to continue this conversation of survivorship in a way that both honors the pain we’ve been through and also the glory and pleasure that can sometimes be found after sexual healing.
So I gave Sheena a call and she told me everything about her journey—the lows, the highs, and every little step she took to get to erotic joy after sexual violation.
In this episode of the Sexually Liberated Woman podcast, Sheena and I chat about. . .
/ How Sheena went from deep, heartbreaking sexual trauma and depression to profound, radical sexual agency and liberation.
/ How she used erotic dance as a method to heal and reclaim her sexual body outside of the bedroom.
/ Consent and the kinds of conversations Sheena had with her partners to help her feel comfortable in sex again (you should try this tonight, actually).
/ How Sheena was able to change her beliefs about sex and sexuality into something powerful and positive—and how you can too.
/ And who Sheena is as a sexually liberated woman.
“What I know to be true is that there is power in [sex], a power that can transform my life and I don’t have to be scared of it. I am going to own it.”
Revisiting this conversation after I’ve spent the last week trying to heal from being triggered was medicinal for me, and I hope it is for you.
*Content warning: In this episode, we’re going to be touching on topics of rape, sexual violation, and suicidal thoughts. We won’t be going into graphic detail about it, but if you feel like hearing about a survivor’s story might be too triggering for you right now, definitely take care of yourself and save this episode for another time.
Some things mentioned in this episode:
- Sheena dancing (get a fan ready, it’s HOT!)
- Her article, Bringing Your Vixen to the Boardroom
- Books: The Return to Desire, Who Cooked the Last Supper?, and Scandalous Women
- The song that gets her in the mood
ABOUT SHEENA: Sheena LaShay is an intellectual sensual shaman, wild magical woman, and a cultural provocateur who functions as a project manager by day and a Wolf by night. She’s passionate about cultivating experiences that touch on her highest life values—freedom, empowerment, and expression. Her digital home is where vulnerability, eroticism, and power intersect. Follow her on Instagram: @sheenalashay.