By Corima Couture
I've outlined ten ways to salute your sexuality, rooted in my experiences and perspective. As the Founder of the Chicago-based series The Sex Kiki, I curate conversations about holistic wellness, sex, and sexuality. The title speaks for itself, so let's dive right in, shall we?
1. Listen to Your Desires.
Okay, so I know many people who say mindfulness is the key to understanding oneself. Well, I’ve come to find it actually works! I’ve been exploring my desires more as of late and I’ve been feeling great about myself and what I’m capable of. Our desires give us information into what we like and especially whom we like to engage with. The key here is to utilize desires as a tool to tap into what might tickle our curiosity. They change with experience, perspective, even trial and error. I’ve learned not to run from my desires, but to investigate them and be prepared to learn or unlearn something. The things that entice our senses are a catalyst for aspiration, eroticism, and the key to our enlightenment.
2. Let Go of What "Should" Be.
The truth is that there are norms because not everyone has the courage to live their truth out loud; it takes courage to engage with new truths, to live against the grain, and to be unapologetic. Remember, we aren’t less of ourselves because something or someone else doesn’t agree with it. I find that constantly policing ourselves based on the status quo of heteronormativity and perceived happiness often makes us stagnant and self–conscious. Sexuality is fluid; sexuality should be fluid because our humanity is complex and manifests in a multitude of ways, demanding us to vibrate higher as we plant seeds of compassion in our lives and those of others. I challenge you to try that new sex position, have that honest dialogue with partner(s) and lover(s), and proceed with care using the wisdom that is your life!
3. Activate Awareness.
Be critical of what you allow in your space: your mind, your energy, and your sexual space. Make reading, the acquisition of knowledge, and learning more intentional. It’s empowering to have a language to identify with and recognize new truths with. Explore different lifestyle choices, speak to people in those communities, challenge your perceptions of gender and sexuality, and expand your empathy. Learning is supposed to be challenging! Treat people how they want to be treated by addressing them with language that is in tune with how they identify and how they express their humanity. Show compassion for yourself on this journey of self-discovery and embrace a new learning curve.
4. Sex is Not Sexuality.
Sex is a component of sexuality but it isn’t the determining factor of sexuality. Investigate your understanding of attraction. We are attracted to our friends, to our lovers, to our passions, to our favorite foods. Consider developing an understanding of sexuality where sex can be a part of but not classified by it. Consider that we aren’t doomed to any classification because we have an experience. Hold space for other areas in your life that arouse you.
5. Love on Yourself.
I’m an advocate for masturbation, for adorning thyself and for being sexual and sensual on your own terms by appreciating your body—this time as a solo act. Utilize twerking, care for your skin, and buy your first sex toy. Get acquainted with your body and appreciate it. I remember the first time I touched myself and felt proud of the skin I was in, I ran to the guy who was my Romantic Friend (a person who you are friends with and share romantic connection and experiences with) at the time, with pure excitement. I was excited simply because in my mind it was a rite of passage to my self-acceptance, no one gave that to me and no one could take it. It came from a deep appreciation for my life. So get sexy for yourself and feel your curves, feel every mark, every imperfection and know that those grooves are what makes you perfect. It’s important for us to embrace the knowledge we gain from self-exploration and it’s important for us to love on ourselves without shame. It’s important for us to drink water for proper yoni care so we can feel lubricated and rejuvenated!
6. Embrace Fear: Freedom is on the Other Side.
On the other side of fear is hope, victory, and freedom. Freedom doesn’t come if we don’t challenge feelings of defeat. Fear means there is an opportunity to really tackle underlying emotions. Maybe you feel societal pressures and feel fear overcoming them. Maybe you fear being labeled or treated unfairly. Maybe you fear losing the illusion. Whatever it is, free yourself by addressing it. Free yourself by not judging yourself for feeling.
7. Your Experiences Are for You.
What your friend, your neighbor, or your cousin don’t know won’t hurt them! Sometimes we shame ourselves for wanting to have experiences based on what other people are doing or not doing. Your experiences are for YOU to cultivate a holistic life sculpted to fit your tastes and interests. Not everyone will appreciate the fact that you did something outside the norm, outside of your comfort zone. Since normal looks different from person-to-person, get acquainted with your experiences—they are meant to guide you.
The good thing about transparency is it helps us process where we are especially if we are interacting with others. Transparency gives us the opportunity to express what we are feeling in the moment while allowing space to transition into other feelings in another moment. Transparency, of course, starts with the self. The more we understand where we are, the better we become at being equipped to express what’s necessary to others. This can take many forms and can look like: acknowledging that reading something was difficult, that we were disturbed by how we felt about something, feeling uncomfortable about navigating our sexuality or just simply forming words to communicate. One can be transparent by expressing feeling like: “I like you but I’m not sure what that means to me in this moment “, “I desire to be close to you but I am also attracted to other people and don’t want to make any decisions right now”, “I’m not in a space to share my feelings right now”, or “I’ll get back to you when I am able to communicate more effectively.” Being transparent isn’t easy, it takes being a scientist of one’s mind and not being a judge. This may elicit a response from others that you may not necessarily want, but it’s the reality and art of communication ultimately.
9. Don’t Worry about Crossing the Line: Address It.
So many of us worry about adhering to conventional lines that we forget to address them, to embrace the fact that not all guidelines apply to all of our relationships. In my world, true monogamy means seeing the beauty in each individual relationship and not in comparison to another. And while this is connected to transparency, it’s more about paying attention to the intent and the impact of our actions and triggers. This means being introspective and makin gan effort to understand what may be triggering, what may make us feel vulnerable, and how these feelings can impact those who we are intimate with. This practice of transparency challenges us to exist from an enlightened place and consider the outcomes we’ve yielded.
10. Trust the Ebb and Flow of Connection.
We are all in progress and working on renewal; we don’t need to win a prize for our longest relationships, we don’t need to be fixated on the hurt, and we don’t have to pretend. The real truth is that sometimes things have their own way of ending when it needs to and not when we want it to. Sometimes, we have strong connections with people who we don’t see as often as others. The point is, we have to trust the flow and trust our own vibration. Love never leaves the spirit, it's the flesh that is fleeting.
Coriama Couture is a Chicago based artist, activator, and aesthetician whose work is all about the ABCS (art, beauty, culture, & sexuality) Her focus recently is activating radical spaces of dialogue with community popup forum Sex KiKi. You can find out more about her on her website.