Interview with Alice Little

Interview with Alice Little – Blogger, Sex Educator, and Legal Sex Worker at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch

You have dedicated a great deal of work to BDSM and have been internationally recognized for it.

How did the specialization in BDSM come about?

When I was a teenager, after I had left home I stayed with friends. On my 18th birthday they invited me into their basement into the dungeon. I’ve been hooked ever since!

What have you learnt from BDSM and how important can it be for the development of fantasies and pleasure?

BDSM is amazing for developing and focusing on communication. You learn to use your words and talk frankly about what you do and don’t want. I think these are important skills not just in relationships, but in life! Being able to own what you truly want is the first step to properly expressing yourself sexually.

How have the experiences as sex worker, sex educator and with massages such as nuru been important for the knowledge of your own body?

Getting to be with a variety of different partners has taught me a lot about what I like and how I like to be touched, as well as sparking an academic interest in human sexuality.

On this web site, https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/americas-highestearning-sex-worker-reveals-what-life-is-like-inside-nevadas-moonlite-bunny-ranch/news-story/a93c270461b80ed7f702ee325a6ada30, it is mentioned that on your free time you have dedicated yourself to psychology, sociology and human sexuality, attending seminars and the viewing of several videos.

How does all this research process teach you and help you evolve while sex educator and sex worker?

I frequently watch free college lectures on AcademicEarth.org and I think that continuing your psychological, sociological, and sexual education is something that everyone should invest in, especially when those resources are free!

You said to have enroled with the Alexander Institute in order to learn more about sex toys, to be able to talk more about it with clients and to have better quality sex (in: http://uk.businessinsider.com/legal-sex-worker-nevada-whats-it-like-2018-4).

You have also referred to «sex work as a “public service” and to intimacy as a “crucial element of health and wellness”».

How essential is it, in your perspective, to learn and use sex toys?

Sex toys give us a safe way to express ourselves sexually and explore our bodies, they can also help us be more effective at pleasuring one another.

How can it improve and complement each person’s sexual life?

I would say learning how your body works and how best you like to be pleased is crucially important for healthy sexuality.

You state that your work is “public service”. Could you tell us more about this statement?

How can a society so conservative and biased such as ours start thinking that way too?

And still, how should intimacy be worked on and preserved?

In my career I get to help people with mental and physical disabilities know intimacy, fix problems in relationships, help widows and widowers start over, or help people deal with crippling anxiety around the opposite sex! It’s absolutely a public service. I think religious morality has a lot to do with modern stigma of sex work, it’s easy to forget that once upon a time the Catholic Church ran its own brothel!

In this same interview you also say you intend to take sexual education to all USA – complete sexual education and not abstinence alone.

What is USA lacking on sexual education knowledge, intimacy, eroticism, and that could very well serve the Portuguese population as well?

What can and should we know about sex workers rights and sexual health and how can this last be improved?

The problem with sex education is that it only focuses on anatomy, physiology, abstinence, and protection. There’s no substance. It would be like teaching a person how an internal combustion engine works, how to fill and pressurize tires, how to read the gauges on the instrument panel, and how to fill the gas tank and clip the seatbelt, then using those qualifications to give someone a driver’s license. We have become so intensely neurotic about avoiding talking about sex as a pleasurable act for fear that it will encourage the young to engage in intercourse that we have entire generations of adults who don’t understand how their bodies work, or even how to masturbate without causing permanent damage to their nerve endings and skin. Would it be so terrible to teach proper consent and negotiation in a sex education class? Would it be so awful to talk about what makes sex feel good and not feel good for some people so that we can all be more considerate partners? I feel like we have a long way to go.

As far as sex worker’s rights go, a legally endorsed system is the way to go. Regulate and tax the industry, use the revenue from taxation to help ameliorate any social problems you truly believe the behavior causes, and let’s all move on to other pressing issues! It shouldn’t be a big deal to sell something that’s free to give away. That’s just insanity. The US Government should have learned their lesson from the prohibition of alcohol. All making it illegal did was endanger lives and create crime.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

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Interview with Catherine Hale

As a sexual shamanic healer your job is to support the connection of each client with their own body, so they may feel the sensations and emotions through which their bodies constantly communicate to them. How important is it for you to work on this connection and on the development of mind and body towards a better sexual life?

“I support your sexual and relational life; I fill the gaps in your sexual and relational education
I support you to release the fear guilt and shame you hold around sexuality
I direct you to become a more powerful being who lives in abundance
I deal with sex without any shame, blame, negative judgements or beliefs so that you can talk about what challenges you
I support you moving towards greater pleasure and fulfilment in your life.”

(in: http://www.tantricawakening.)

Having these thoughts as starting point, how fundamental do you think this sexual teaching task is, just as the providing of tools to prevent shame, guilt, negative judgments and to achieve a positive sexuality?

I’m not 100% sure what you are asking here but this is my response:

Sexuality is way more than just having sex, its about our relationship to life. It’s about the degree of vulnerability we can allow ourselves to be with, its about being able to feel all the emotions, all the sensations in our body.

When we engage in sexuality, either by ourselves or with another/s we will meet our conditoning around sexuality, this usually shows up as guilt, fear and shame, but can also show up as trauma in the body. Many people get stuck at this place and find strategies not to feel these emotions as they are often labelled as ‘wrong’. Or ‘dark’ or in some way not ok. This limits our sexual expression, the experiences we can have and can show up as sexual symptoms such as inability to gain an erection, pain during penetration, and an inability to orgasm.

You also work on the bod orgasm and energy orgasm. How important is it to work on these orgasms, and may it bring improvement to the way in which the body can be free and feel pleasure?

Orgasm is a release of energy, so we can use orgasmic energy to release old energies that may have become stagnant in the body which block our capacity to feel. I don’t like the idea of ‘working’ on orgasm, too much of our sexual culture is about pushing and forcing and trying to get somewhere. My work is much more organic, I take the goal out of sex, then that creates a space for whatever is there to arise, whether that’s pleasure or sadness, joy or frustration. I see sexuality as a healing tool, it supports us to feel our bodies and to heal whatever we may be holding onto within them.

You coach men and women to end their problems and sexuality dysfunctions, as size related issues, porn addiction, not being able to get sexually involved in a natural and connected way, not achieving orgasms and unsatisfying relationships.

You offer, still, support to women suffering from postpartum sexuality challenges.

How essential is it to develop these sort of supports and offer space for these men and women to talk about their sexual issues and find ways to solve it with the help of sexual coaches?

If we are to become free, buy that I mean spiritually liberated, or just more content with our lives, then in my opinion we need to be able to feel all sensations and all emotions as they show up in the body. We can’t select the ‘good’ feelings and avoid the ‘bad’ ones, it doesn’t work like that! When we suppress one emotion, we suppress them all. So sexuality can be seen as a doorway into a deeper relationship with ourselves. You see many people have issues around their sexuality because of the sex negative culture most of us have been raised in, shrouded in shame, we don’t ask questions, and many of us don’t have people who we can ask about sex when we are first experimenting in it. So we find our way fumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of this thing that’s meant to be great, but for many its a disappointment, a let down, a mine field of emotional turmoil. But with support and determination we can begin to know ourselves more deeply by working through the  emotional content of sexuality so we can integrate the parts of ourselves that have been cut off by shame for example. This isn’t an easy path, its confronting, but if we persevere we can find a more peaceful, whole version of ourselves and through this more pleasure reveals itself to us.

People need a space where they can receive a positive sex education, much of my work is about offering this, you’d be surprised how limited most people’s knowledge is about sexuality! Ideally we would have all received a sex positive education when we were young, but as that didn’t happen for most of us, we are needing to get this information as adults. I see having this information supports empowerment and deep healing.

How fundamental is it for you to create the space for women to learn about their sexuality, help them work through their sexual problems and pregnancy?

So to be clear I don’t help women through their pregnancies! I do work with women postpartum, but my womb healing work is around clearing old patterns of relating, opening to creativity, and supporting energies to flow through the  scared container of the womb.

I see many women have deeply suffered as a consequence of a lack of positive sex education, so creating a space where woman can share offers the safety for them to truly share their stories, many women feel threatened to share this in the company of men, especially in cases where sexual assault, sexual violence has taken place.

And can the touch be a critical factor to the improvement of the relationship, conscious, affectivity, and union between people?

Touch supports to regulate the nervous system so when two people share touch they can co-regulate their nervous systems, touch also release oxytocin the cuddle hormone which brings us closer together. In a relationship its really beneficial to learn about the dynamics of touch so that the energy exchange can flow from over person to another with ease. It’s often an area where communication is hard in relationship and boundaries get crossed causing friction and conflict.

How may tantra be enriching to every person’s sexuality? What have you learnt from tantra?

I don’t really like to isolate the word Tantra in the context of sexuality as its so much bigger than that word denotes!!! I like to consider all the realms of sacred sexuality or conscious sexuality as the path to sexual healing, as this includes for example coaching, which I wouldn’t describe as tantric!!

My life has radically changed and continues to do so through all the practices, wisdom, and knowledge that I’ve gained through my training and personal development. It’s one of greater empowerment, more authenticity and a deeper level of embodiment. The journey doesn’t end here as in my experience embodiment just keeps going deeper and deeper.

 

Blessings and love

Catherine

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

 

O Corpo

Já aqui escrevi sobre ele, e sobre as inúmeras censuras que acontecem nas televisões através de séries sobre medicina. Não sendo eu perito, mas como entrevistador de sexualidade e corpo humano, e que todo o corpo é natural, partes como a parte mamária, peniana, do anús, fazem parte do corpo, são portanto partes normais do ser humano. O facto de haver séries de medicina que excluem estas partes do corpo como se fosse algo terrorífico, é algo fora de normal, é cultural, pertencente a forma explícita de censurar estas partes do corpo e fazê-las como se fora de normal, formas estranhas do corpo se tratassem.

A sexualidade é muito importante e deve ser transmitida desde cedo, desde a pré-primária, para que desde sempre se ensine às crianças e aos pais que não tenham tido acesso a uma educação sexual que a sexualidade faz parte da vida humana, que é importante, que é saudável e cria uma melhor saúde, que não devemos ter problema com o nosso corpo. Quando existem séries de medicina que nos retiram essa possibilidade, quando as televisões, fazem esse caminho que vulva, mamas, pénis, anús são partes do corpo e palavras que não podem ser mencionadas. Nunca a sexualidade pode evoluir de forma positiva e geral.

Isto é forma de censura, de cortar raízes, de impossibilitar que haja uma melhor sexualidade humana, que o corpo seja livre, mas não é a única forma. Embora haja uma imensidão de novos terapeutas sexuais, psicólogos com especialização em sexologia, toda uma enormidade de gente com especialidade em sexualidade, enquanto a maioria dos países impedir que se ensine sexualidade nas escolas, que as religiões se sobreponham a uma cultura de normalidade do corpo, da sexualidade, é extremamente difícil que todos os profissionais possam vingar e erradicar todos os medos, mentiras, preconceitos e todas as imposições de fora do normal. Quando juntamos a isto e a enorme falta cultura, de iliteracia… em países ditos democráticos como eua, Portugal, inglaterra, Espanha… já é de si bastante preocupante, até pela falta de vontade dos governos em implementarem uma educação sexual condigna, e na maioria deles apostarem em séries como dr. grey como dizia em cima que impingem uma medicina contra órgãos genitais, não refiro sexuais porque o corpo é sexual em si, da cabeça aos pés. Mas tendo estes países fazendo já esta opressão são muitos os do sub-mundo como os países africanos em que tem falta de conhecimento cientifico, pouco acesso à educação e saúde e as religiões são ainda mais poderosas e que levam a que hoje em pleno século XXI hajam mais de seis mil casos de mutilação genital feminina. Tem de haver todo um longo caminho de ensino sobre igualdade de género, sobre a importância do reconhecimento do corpo, da sexualidade. da importância da educação sexual, e ainda mais como no continente africano. O tempo urge, e há toda uma panóplia de problemas que já deviam ter sido superados há imenso tempo. E em pleno século XXI uma mutilação genital é muito, e séries, programas, que imponham uma censura clara a mamas, anús e pénis deviam ser severamente protestados.

Ass: Pedro Marques

 

Entrevista a Carolina do Amaral e Silva

Entrevista a Carolina do Amaral e Silva – Mestre em Sexologia e Especialista em Sexualidade Humana

Uma das áreas de actuação como estão descritas no seu sítio: http://carolinadoamaralesilva.com.br/atuacao/ são as disfunções sexuais femininas e masculinas, os conflitos relacionados com a sexualidade. Para si, como é importante e fundamental trabalhar os conflitos relativos à sexualidade e principalmente as suas disfunções? De que forma se deve olhar para estas disfunções, e como se deverão abordar estes temas? Como dar o passo decisivo para a discussão sobre este tipo de problemas e procurar ajuda?

A sexualidade faz parte da natureza humana, afinal somos seres sexuados. Não é possível deixar de viver a sexualidade, pois ela é inerente a nossa identidade. Infelizmente, nos dias atuais, a sexualidade ainda é um tabu, o que dificulta a visão de que ela seja essencial a vida humana. O bem-estar e saúde englobam a saúde sexual. Então, trabalhar os conflitos e as disfunções sexuais acabam sendo fundamentais para a melhor qualidade de vida do paciente. Quando há uma disfunção sexual, acarreta-se danos ao bem-estar e prejuízos em outros aspectos da vida das pessoas. Portanto, é importante que o profissional faça uma análise que vá além da queixa e seus sintomas, pois como a sexualidade é multifatorial, faz-se necessário avaliar as suas várias dimensões, e explorar aspectos psicológicos e socioculturais para uma melhor compreensão dessa pessoa que chega ao consultório.

E para dar um passo decisivo na busca por ajuda profissional é preciso haver uma dificuldade, um problema ou um conflito em relação a sexualidade, e que se perceba a impossibilidade de lidar com tal sozinho. Vejo meus pacientes como pessoas muitas corajosas, por estarem a minha frente, abrindo sua intimidade, afinal de contas sou uma estranha para eles. E acaba sendo uma experiência diferente de chegar a um serviço de saúde, com uma queixa que não seja de ordem sexual. Mesmo a sexualidade sendo tão natural como qualquer outro aspecto da vida cotidiana. O profissional precisa estar preparado com conhecimento, uma escuta livre de preconceitos e pronto a acolher sem discriminações.

Silva, C. M. A. 2013. “The Hetero sexism Vision in Sexual Dysfunctions in Homosexuals”: A Review of Literature. “The Journal of Sexual Medicine”, v.10(5), p. 414. Fez igualmente este estudo. O que aprendeu, e como pode esta visão ser negativa e aterradora tendo em conta os preconceitos relativos à disfunção sexual?

Tive muita dificuldade em encontrar estudos sobre as disfunções sexuais em casais homossexuais, e as intervenções terapêuticas utilizadas nesta população. O foco ainda está em casais heterossexuais, e as disfunções sexuais ainda são pensadas em casais heterossexuais, assim como a terapêutica. Alguns autores consideram que as disfunções sexuais em homossexuais são as mesmas que em heterossexuais, outros não. E realmente, não o são. O centro da perspectiva heterossexual nas disfunções sexuais acaba por ser o coito vaginal, o que não faz parte da prática homossexual. Os próprios padrões de relacionamentos acabam por ser distintos dos padrões heterossexuais.

É necessário que o profissional compreenda que o comportamento sexual em homossexuais é influenciado por uma variedade de fatores de diferentes domínios, tais como, o impacto do estigma social e a homofobia internalizada.

Mesmo nos dias atuais, apesar de tantos avanços, a visão heterossexista acaba por fazer parte do cotidiano científico e clínico, o que de certa forma reforça a heteronormatividade. Ao meu ver, isso prende a uma padronização, e deixa de lado a diversidade sexual.

Silva, C. M. A., Torres, R. H., Campos, M. H. 2016. “Educação para Sexualidade e Encarceramento Feminino”. In, Ires Aparecida Falcade. (Org.). “Mulheres Invisíveis” – por entre muros e grades. 1 Ed. Curitiba: JM Editora, p. 119-139.

Silva, C. M. A., Torres, R. H., Zippin Filho, D. 2015. “Educação Sexual no Sistema Prisional”. In: III “Conferência Internacional Online de Educação Sexual”. “Anais da III Conferência Internacional Online de Educação Sexual”.

Silva, C. M. A., Zippin Filho, D. 2013. “Direitos sexuais das pessoas privadas de liberdade”: acesso à justiça e segurança cidadã. “Revista Digital do Instituto dos Advogados Brasileiros”, n.17, p. 29-44. Fez estes trabalhos, o que a motivou a estudar e a investigar dois temas ainda tão tabu? De que forma é que considera fulcral a educação sexual no sistema prisional e a necessidade de abordar os direitos sexuais?

Certa vez o Professor Nuno Monteiro, um dos meus grandes mestres na Sexologia, disse-me que a coragem e a loucura caminham juntas. Levei isso para a vida, pois não posso negar que sempre fui movida a desafios. Aos 18 anos fiz minha escolha pela Sexologia, antes de ingressar na Psicologia motivada a quebrar os paradigmas de que ‘uma mulher não pode gostar de sexo’, e é claro, muito mais que isso a quebra do enorme tabu que é nossa sexualidade. E desde que me formei em Psicologia atuo nesta área, e mais do que ajudar mulheres a quebrar crenças, meu trabalho clínico acaba sendo bastante focado no público masculino, quando percebo o quanto nossa cultura patriarcal traz prejuízos e sofrimentos também para os homens.

Ao contrário, o Sistema Prisional acabou me escolhendo. E isso aconteceu recentemente, em 2013.

A verdade é que a sexualidade faz parte da constituição do ser humano, e mesmo a pessoa que está privada de sua liberdade, não deixa de ser um ser sexual. Então, nem preciso dizer que os conflitos neste ambiente são enormes. A sexualidade constitui-se como um aspecto fundamental na qualidade de vida de qualquer pessoa, esteja em liberdade ou encarcerada, é um componente intrínseco da humanidade. Implementar Educação para Sexualidade dentro de penitenciárias destaca-se como uma estratégia de redução de conflitos. No momento em que houver uma redefinição de estratégias na gestão prisional, que convalide a sexualidade das pessoas privadas de liberdade como algo inerente, concreto e factível, muitos avanços sociais, afetivos e educacionais serão alavancados, que poderão se refletir em melhores relações intramuros e extramuros, e na própria diminuição de conflitos.

Na sua trajetória clínica esteve focada na urologia e sexualidade. De que forma tem sido determinante este trabalho num melhor tratamento nos seguintes pontos: impotência, prótese, ejaculação precoce, próstata, fimose, vasectomia, reversão, terapia sexual, disfunção feminina, plástica de pénis? Através do longo trabalho que tem vindo a realizar como se poderão quebrar mitos, estigmas e estereótipos sociais?

Fazer um trabalho, em consultório, isolado de outros profissionais dificulta muito o processo de tratamento. Os profissionais precisam estar inter-conectados e serem uma rede de apoio ao paciente. Meu mestrado em Portugal foi determinante para essa construção na prática clínica. Percebo que, no Brasil, os urologistas tem maior abertura a trabalhar em conjunto com psicólogos, do que ginecologistas. Não sei por quê isso acontece. Contudo, também percebo que os homens chegam mais a consultórios psicológicos com queixas sexuais, do que as mulheres. E neste ponto, acredito que venha a questão da importância da sexualidade na vida do homem, em contrapartida ‘a não importância’ da sexualidade na vida da mulher, tomando o papel ativo (que é esperado) do homem e o papel passivo (que é esperado) da mulher. Além do mais, não posso deixar de pensar na questão financeira, pois os homens tem maior poder aquisitivo para a busca de tratamento. Durante todos os anos de prática clínica, não foram poucas as vezes que escutei as pacientes dizerem que só poderiam fazer o tratamento se o marido aceitasse pagar, e dificilmente elas voltavam.

O trabalho do psicólogo junto ao urologista ou andrologista é importante, e não digo isso por ser psicóloga. Até para fazer uma cirurgia simples de fimose ou uma vasectomia, os homens trazem inúmeros mitos e estigmas relacionados a sexualidade masculina, que acabam carregando como grandes fantasmas. Da mesma forma, é importante o trabalho conjunto entre ginecologista e psicólogo nos cuidados com a sexualidade da mulher. A função sexual depende da integridade e interação de 3 dimensões – biológica, psicológica e sociocultural -, assim qualquer problema sexual, por mais biológico que seja, terá consequências a nível psicológico.

Atualmente, com o fácil acesso a informação, temos um grande dilema. Isso pode ser ótimo quando o indivíduo tem acesso a uma boa informação, mas é péssimo quando esse acesso acontece a uma informação ruim, errada e que, em muitos casos, reforça os mitos, os estigmas e os estereótipos sociais, extremamente enraizados em nossa cultura. O trabalho da Terapia Cognitivo Comportamental, especialmente com a psicoeducação, é essencial na quebra desses mitos, estigmas e estereótipos sociais.

É especialista em Sexualidade Humana; Mestre em Sexologia; Membro da Sociedade Portuguesa de Sexologia Clínica, e está sempre envolvida em projectos de educação para sexualidade nos mais diversos ambientes, neste longo percurso de estudo, investigação e trabalho terapêutico na área da sexualidade, de que forma têm sido fulcrais para o seu processo pessoal de aprendizagem ao promover uma melhor sexualidade humana?

Ao longo destes anos todos, tenho percebido quão difícil é para as pessoas compreenderem a sexualidade como algo inerente a si e importante para o bem-estar e, consequentemente para uma melhor qualidade de vida. Aprendi que a desconstrução dos nossos modelos negativos sobre a sexualidade, para uma posterior reconstrução de um modelo positivo sobre a sexualidade é fundamental. E essa reconstrução perpassa ainda pelo autoconhecimento a nível cognitivo, emocional e corporal.

As dificuldades sexuais acontecem por diversas razões, contudo, os aspectos relacionados a fatores socioculturais acabam tendo um peso durante o tratamento, pois estão extremamente enraizados em nossos modelos. Por conta dos julgamentos sociais, crenças e estigmas as mulheres não aceitam que podem gostar de sexo e viver plenamente sua sexualidade. Em contrapartida, os homens tem para si o papel de “macho alpha“, ou seja, internalizam uma enorme cobrança por desempenho sexual. A realidade é que diante disso tudo, homens e mulheres desconhecem seu prazer. E quando falo em prazer, vou muito além do prazer sexual. Quando pergunto a pacientes (independente de sexo) o que fazem no dia-a-dia que lhe dá prazer, a grande maioria responde “não sei”. Não foram poucas as vezes em que ouvi “não tem uma pergunta mais fácil?” ou “não complica, por favor!” Ao contrário do que aprendemos por longos anos, a sexualidade masculina e feminina é muito mais similar do que diferentes entre si.

Desconhecemos nosso próprio prazer, primeiro porque a sociedade não percebe bem o prazer, somos reprimidos a senti-lo. E aí, a partir dessa repressão desconhecemos nossos sentidos e até como nosso próprio corpo reage ao prazer. Claro, soma-se a isso o fato de vivermos, atualmente, demasiadamente a nível mental diante de tanta tecnologia e imediatismo. Tive uma ótima surpresa, certa vez, em uma capacitação sobre o desenvolvimento afetivo e psicossexual, para um grupo de professoras municipais de ciclos iniciais. Perguntei como elas trabalhavam a corporalidade com as crianças, e uma professora levantou o braço e disse “eu uso o relaxamento”, outra se encorajou e disse “eu trabalho através da dança”. Fiquei feliz, pois práticas como estas devem tomar conta das salas de aula, afinal não temos um corpo, mas somos um corpo.

O trabalho em Sexologia é assim, uma caixinha de surpresas. É uma constante, talvez eterna aprendizagem, mas com muita alegrias ao perceber os ganhos e transformações nas pessoas e em sua sexualidade. E isso acontece de maneira discreta, mas extremamente gratificante. É um trabalho em prol de liberdade e diversidade humana.

Obrigado pelo seu tempo, votos de bom trabalho.

Projecto Vamos Falar de Sexualidade

Entrevista: Pedro Marques

Correcção: Carla Carniça

04 de Junho de 2018

Interview with Allena Gabosch

Interview with Allena Gabosch – Sex Activist, Relationship Coach and Educator

Allena Gabosch, Executive Director of both the Center For Sex Positive Culture and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture from their creation until retiring January 1, 2015” (in: https://www.strangertickets.com/events/24765102/allena-gabosch-and-nekole-shapiro-on-sex-relationship-and-intimacy).

How important was it for you to have been the executive director of the center and foundation for positive sexuality?

Being part of creating the Center and the Foundation and being the executive director for 16 years transformed my life. I was blessed by being part of one of the largest organizations of its kind. I met some incredible people (including several partners) and had the opportunity to truly make a difference in the world of sex positivity.

In your writing, “My Sex Positive Beginnings”, you go through different times of your sexuality, first as an adventurer and after as enjoying a more positive sexuality. How were these two different phases important for you and your sexuality?

I’ve never thought about this. My early sexual adventures, while much of the time were fun and exciting were also filled with my insecurities and fears about sex. I am a child of the hippie generation so there was this expectation that free love meant saying yes all the time. Most of the time that worked, however there were times, when I look back, that I wish I would have said “no”. The best part of my early years, were that I discovered my bisexuality and my polyamorous self. While I didn’t know the word polyamory, the concept of loving more than one person openly and ethically resonated with me.

I would also ask you how were you introduced to BDSM, how did you first learn about it and how do you continue to learn more about it?

Well, back in the 70’s it wasn’t called BDSM. There were a lot of euphemisms for it (D/s, S/M, Kink, English, Bondage etc). I’ve always been attracted to the edgier side of sex so when I read about bondage I thought it sounded like fun. So, in 1974, at the age of 21 when I was working in an office in Portland Oregon, I saw an ad in a swingers magazine (which was a way lots of people met kinky and sex partners those days) from a guy who wanted to tie women up. It sounded awesome so I wrote him a letter and we arranged a date. There was no community nor did I have any concept of safety when I arranged to meet him at my office, on a Saturday when no one else was in the building. He was probably in his late 40’s. I don’t remember much about the initial conversation, however I was soon tied up very firmly and that’s when I realized that I was completely helpless. I started to cry because all of a sudden I thought that I could die here and no one would find me until Monday. To his credit he stopped immediately, asked me what was wrong and when I told him, he untied me and left. Because of that, I didn’t explore any type of BDSM until the late 80’s when I met Jake.

Jake and I were lovers and one day we shared fantasies. It turned out that we both had fantasies involving kinky things. And we started enacting those fantasies a lot. We both were kinkd of switchy so we’d take turns doing things to each other. In hindsight, we were lucky we didn’t hurt each other badly because we didn’t have any idea of safety, just that what we did was sexy and hot.

It wasn’t until 1990, when I met Steve (who I eventually married) that I found out there was a community of people who did kinky stuff AND did it for the most part safely and consciously. What a great discovery. I’ve never looked back. I’ve been part of the BDSM community ever since. I’ve been teaching BDSM since 1992 in colleges and at conferences. I still play and learn at conferences and workshops and parties. In fact, I just got home this week from a conference in Rome where I presented. I talk and interact with people from all over the world, and we teach each other how to be conscious, safe and happy kinky people.

You are a former Producer of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and still an erotic coach. How has it been, the experience with eroticism first as a producer and now as an erotic trainer? What have you learnt from it all and how important as it been for you?

These are two very separate things. The Seattle Erotic Art Festival is about celebrating all forms of erotic art. We are one of the most successful Erotic Art Festivals in the world, selling a higher percentage of art that any other art festival that specializes in erotic art. Being part of this has made me much more aware of the various types of erotic art out there. I’ve got to meet some of the most amazing artists from around the world. I’m in awe of the bravery of artists from countries that do not support sex positive work.

What is the erotic trainer work about? And how can eroticism open the doors to an improved sexuality?

My coaching is about teaching people about how to be in good relationships. How to stay connected both physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s important that healthy relationships and healthy sexuality contain all three, the physical, the mental and the emotional. Erotic connections can make that possible.

She is a past board member of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and a former commissioner with the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities.” (in: https://www.strangertickets.com/events/24765102/allena-gabosch-and-nekole-shapiro-on-sex-relationship-and-intimacy). How fundamental was it for you to have been commissary for the sexual minorities?

I loved being a commissioner because it gave me a chance to advocate for the LGBT communities and to have frank and open conversations about sex with people who normally do not discuss sexuality.

Nowadays you deliver conferences and speaks in universities on BDSM, polyamory and relations. How enriching was your work while comissary for your present work as a speaker?

I started teaching and speaking about sexuality years before I became a commissioner. I love speaking at universities and at conferences.

Aging and BDSM; Sex Week: “Sex, Intimacy, & Relationships” Workshop with Allena Gabosch, Solo Poly, Beyond Polyamory, The Good The Bad and The Poly. How can one learn about improving relations and sexuality from these poliamor, BDSM, sexuality and relationship workshops?

All my classes involve teaching about healthy sexuality and also imparting knowledge that not everyone does it the same way. We get to be the sexual beings we chose. I give people tips on how to have a good relationship based on many things I’ve learned over the years.

How fundamental is it for you to be able to approach these topics, open minds and arrange opportunities so that other people may experience a more positive sexuality?

I have a personal mission statement. That is to bring joy to sexuality and to make a difference in the world. I do this by teaching my workshops, coaching and speaking at universities.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

Corpo e Censura

Na televisão aparecem filmes, séries, de bombeiros entre outros de medicina onde podem aparecer pessoas a esvair-se em sangue baleadas, e vítimas de coisas horrendas. Resultado de tiroteios, acidentes ou algo assim. Imagens que passam sem qualquer problema, muitas vezes nos canais públicos, em horário nobre. Imagens de séries de bombeiros ainda vá. Mas de facto não existir problema em exibir-se estas imagens mas depois séries e filmes que se focam em medicina e no corpo censurarem por completo  partes do corpo como as mamas, a vulva, o pénis. É totalmente descabido e um sinal de que ainda há muito para combater no que ao preconceito em relação ao corpo diz respeito. Deve-se realçar este problema que este tipo de censura existe para que continue a haver preconceitos e complexos em relação ao corpo e continue a haver dificuldade em olhar-se para a vagina, vulva, pénis com falta de naturalidade, ainda que o pénis pertença ao corpo masculino que é mais valorizado, ainda assim, não passa nestes programas. Parecendo que seja algo sobrenatural algo errado. Não se perce e sendo estes filmes e séries relacionados com a medicina, com o corpo, com a saúde é bastante curioso que em documentários sobre sexualidade, e séries sobre medicina a censura está sempre presente. Eu considero que isto devia ser discutido, debatido, e esta censura totalmente combatida.

Texto: Pedro Marques

Interview with Dr. SerenaGaia, aka Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

Q 1: You wrote the book Ecosexuality with Lindsay Hagamen. What took you to write side by side with Lindsay Hagamen and 30 other specialists and explore the themes of sex, ecology and social change?

A 1: In my view, ecology, sex, and love are interrelated. When we take care of our inner alchemy, we practice love for our own personal ecosystem, our bodymind. This care creates abundance of love in our lives, that we can then share with others, including humans, nature, animals. This creates a healthy ecology around us, that reverberates in our inner being and radiates outside. This radiation is conducive of a sense of connectedness with others, we can practice intimacy, sensuality, communication, trust. This can lead to happy and fulfilled personal lives that also include the forms of sexual and amorous expression that we prefer and are open to consensually practice with others or with ourselves.

Q 2: How can this book and Ecosexuality be the turning point in sexuality, ecology and society?

What have you learnt while exploring these three themes just as with the gathering of the 30 specialists testimonies?

A 2: The book Ecosexuality was a very significant learning experience for me. I learned to put out the word of my intention to co-create the collection and trust that the perfect co-editor would appear. That’s how Lindsay Hagamen and I connected. Then I learned to value her contributions, perspectives, and stamina, and to really allow the process of co-creation and collaborative writing to unfold until we both felt completely satisfied. I also learned to appreciate contributions from others, to communicate with the group in an inclusive, encouraging manner, to keep the flame of hope alive, and to help along those who had a bit of trouble staying apace an in tune with the project. It was a great experience in really practicing #EcosexualLove. It involved the social skill of collaboration, the ecological skill of appreciating all elements in a system, and the sexual skill of perceiving the vital energy and imaginativeness that traversed all of us as we were re-inventing and expanding the concept of sex in a more ecological manner.

I do believe the ecosexual movement is very important. I practice #EcosexualLove and invite everyone to do so. I believe it’s important also to interconnect these three aspects of cultural discourse. Ecosexuality is one way to do it that coexists with many others. It’s important to think of love as an art that we can learn and practice in infinite ways with respect and consideration for others, including sexual ones. We can learn from nature, for example, from plants, who are very proud of their beautiful and perfumed genitals, flowers, and put them on display for everyone. And I hope we all evolve toward a world and humanity that is more amorous, and inclusive, and imaginative in the practices of love.

Q 3: You have worked plenty the subject of Ecosexuality. How is this way of living sexuality any different and how can it be fundamental and enhancing, to broaden horizons and deliver sexuality in a different and most positive perspective?

A 3: Ecosexuality helps people become more aware of the connection between the metabolism of our species, humans, and the metabolism of the Earth. Our species has become too disconnected from the metabolism of the Earth. Many of us live extremely artificial lives. But as beings who are alive we source our energy from the planet that we live on. We need to activate this connection more. This brings us closer to the metabolism of our own bodies, our personal ecosystems. It brings us closer to experiencing the pleasures that our bodies can be blessed with when we behave naturally and we lose the fear of being too sexual or too amorous or too intimate or too connected with others who are also consensual and aligned with this desire for abundance in the arts of love.

Q 4: You have penned a polyamory book and spoken twice on that subject, in 2007 and again in 2010. How did this research on non-monogamous and polyamory relations came about?

A 4: Understanding the nature of amorous inclusiveness helps to spread and expand the energy of love. This practice of moderating possessiveness and jealousy is also known as compersion, or the ability to find joy in our lovers’ pleasure even when we are not the source of it. On a global level, the practice of compersion helps people meet others as “metamours,” namely beings with whom we already always share a partner we love: The Earth. On a personal level, the practice of compersion is very valuable in the arts of love, because it makes the energy of love more abundant, and this abundance eventually benefits everyone.

Q 5: In which way has all your research work been important to the deepening, knowledge and respect of polyamory relations? How did it allow you to see and make others see relations in another way?

A 5: Compersion is the spirit of polyamory. Amorous inclusiveness and open relationships cannot function without the practice of compersion. Compersion helps the energy of love to expand. Love is the ecology of life. I felt it was important for me to study and research and teach this subject.

Q 6: You have equally written about Women and Bisexuality, BiTopia, and Bisexuality and Queer Theory. What led you to dedicate yourself to these studies? Taking in consideration Bisexuality as still embraced with prejudice and rejection, how should it be studied, discussed, mainly when related to subjects you have researched?

A 6: The practice of sexual fluidity, or bisexuality, enables people to make friends with desires and fantasies that are often hidden and buried in shame and fear. As they do this, people also get to know themselves much more completely and profoundly. People really get to love and embrace their whole person, their whole being, including masculine and feminine aspects that exist with everyone of us. When this happens fully, then it is possible to love a person regardless of their gender. This is a fully human and mature form of love that allows for, in the words of as avatar of bisexuality Fritz Klein, a much desirable “one hundred percent intimacy.”

Q 7: You have been and continue to be studying about Love. You are now working on Conversations with Gaia: The Alchemy of Ecosexual Love, as Ecosexuality still gets attention as a pioneering collection. How does Love inspire you, what can we learn and how can we evolve through love?

A 7: Love is the ecology of life. A planet where it is safe to love is a planet where it is safe to live. We have to be very careful in creating cultures where love is excessively restricted and even criminalized. The energy of love has power. When it is not loved, when it is not welcome, it flees. When it flees, the empty space attracts fear. Fear is bad for everyone because it produces hatred, violence, mistrust. We instead need to cultivate the energy of love. When love feels welcome, it becomes more abundant. Then everything becomes beautiful, inspiring, generous and exciting. Humanity is going thru very challenging times. Our relationship with our planet has been strained for a while. We have taken undue advantage of this valuable partner. This is a time when the energy of love is absolutely necessary to heal this relationship and turn it into a more sustainable and responsible one.

Q 8: How did your studies about love, your predisposition and openness to love, to ecology, to sexuality, to free and respectful relations, opened your heart and mind and gave you more knowledge and life as a researcher and woman?

A 8: They gave me the experience to speak more widely. They helped me to be part of the teams that spread and expand the energy of love. They gave me access to very vast and deep knowledge of the human heart and mind and spirit.

Q 9: You study different forms of sexuality, polyamory and queer relations. How have all the books you’ve written before Ecosexuality, the seminars, talks, conventions, and studies contributed to your learning and moved you toward becoming interested in Ecosexuality?

A 9: For me the first step was leaving monosexuality behind and embrace my own sexual fluidity and practice it with an open heart. The next step was to feel compersion for the pleasures that my lovers experienced when I was not willing or not around. It was a practice of inviting my lovers’ lovers to be included in my own constellation of expanded love. Ecosexuality was a natural step to follow, because the practice of #EcosexualLove is an invitation to include the whole planet in one’s amorous life, as the lover we all share.

Q 10: How should people approach these works and learn about sexuality in an open way?

A 10: People bring their own way to approach a reading project. Once a book is published, it has a life of its own, as it were. It travels in the world and in the minds of people who will seek in it responses to questions that are on their hearts. Many will interpret these books in way much more inspiring and exciting than I had in mind.

References: A Bibliography of Dr. Serena Anderlini’s Books

Conversations with Gaia: The Alchemy of Ecosexual Love. In progress. A course and a book on the practice and theory of Ecosexual Love and how that can heal the relationship we humans have with each other and the partner we all share: The Earth.

Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love. 2015. Co-edited with Lindsay Hagamen. The first collection of writings about ecosexual practices of love. Puerto Rico: 3WayKiss.

BiTopia: Selected Proceedings from BiReCon 2010. 2011. A collection of multidisciplinary research studies on bisexuality and bisexual cultures. Journal of Bisexuality: 11: 2-3. New York: Routledge. Guest Editor.

Bisexuality and Queer Theory: Intersections, Connections, and Challenges. 2010. A volume about what David Halperin calls “a crisis in sexual definition.” Edited with Jonathan Alexander. New York: Routledge.

Gaia and the New Politics of Love. 2009. A founding text in ecosexual theory, claiming love as the ecology of life and proposing a cultural interpretation of love as the art of embracing all of life as an equal partner. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. (Second edition by 3WayKiss: 2016.)

Eros:  A Journey of Multiple Loves. 2006. A life-writing narrative, finalist at the 2007 Lambda Awards. New York: Routledge.

A Lake for the Heart/Il lago del cuore. 2005. A collection of lyrical poems by Luigi Anderlini, bilingual edition. Stony Brook, N.Y.: Gradiva. Translation and Introduction. Preface by Alberto Asor Rosa. Presented at the Italian Embassy, Washington, DC, on October 25.

Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living. 2005. New York: Routledge. Also as The Journal of Bisexuality: 4: 4 (February). Guest Editor.

Women and Bisexuality: A Global Perspective. 2003. New York: Routledge. Also as The Journal of Bisexuality: 3: 1 (June). Guest Editor.

The ‘Weak’ Subject: On Modernity, Eros and Women’s Playwriting. 1998. New York: Associated University Presses, 1998. 352p.

Translated into Italian by Federica Zampini as Due in una: soggettività ed erotismo nel teatro femminile del novecento. Rome: ManifestoLibri, 2004.

Adriana Cavarero. In Spite of Plato: A Feminist Rereading of Ancient Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Translated from Nonostante Platone. Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1990. 135p. In collaboration with Áine O’Healy.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

Interview with Koe Creation Works in Sex Positive is Sexual Educator, Activist LBTQ

Already has 20 years of experience in the work of non-violent communication and positive sex parenting. What which has acquired in experience? Through daily work is what results has managed to get the sense that the relationships are non-violent and sex-positive?

My experience with sex-positivity has been present my entire life. I grew up in a polyamorous, sex-positive family and greater polyamorous community of Seattle, Washington, USA. Polyamory and sex-positivity have shaped my thought processes, communication style and familial identity from the time I was a babe-in-arms. My parents wove non-violent communication into every interaction we had together, even when I would test their boundaries, as any child does.The ensured that I would be able to come to them with anything that I wanted to share. I have an amazingly open and strong relationship with them because of it and understanding how unique that connection is, gave the interest in helping other families and individuals develop their communication tools to create more safety and acceptance within their intimate relationships. My childhood gave me the foundation, but I work everyday to further my training and understanding of relationships, communication and desire.

What has been the biggest problem your clients have encountered and how you can solve the problems of couples and get them to have better sex?

An issue that I find prevalent for people I work with is that people aren’t truly comfortable with expressing what they want, to others or even themselves. Self awareness about your desires is necessary to be able to communicate them to your partner(s). Even when you are unaware of your desires and want to explore with someone, try new things and see how they make you feel; self awareness about how you react when you get triggered or overwhelmed is super valuable. Do you go non-verbal when something is really good? Do you need touch after being intimate? How much foreplay do you need before feeling open to sex? Knowing these things will help you be able to let your partner know exactly how to pleasure you and in turn, they can tell you what they want, need and desire!

You work also in the profession of Relationship Advocate & Performance Artist. How profession aid in the discovery of creating a better relationship?

When it comes to Relationship Advocacy; growing up in a polyamorous family naturally has made me an advocate for people curious about non-monogamy; polyamory is familial to me, first an my personal relationship structure, second. As a performance artist, I am naturally inclined to seek an audience and enjoy speaking in front of others. This has lead naturally to me leading workshops and publicly presenting as a part of my career.

You are LGBT activist. For you what are the most urgent struggles? Worldwide there are advances and retreats on LGBTQ rights, you see this process? As a sex educator, advocated by positive sex, what does it mean for you to get involved in the fight for the rights of LGBTQ persons? Give them other living conditions and struggle for acceptance and end of prejudices?

LGBTQ Activism has been as the core of my work since I was a teenager. When I came out at thirteen, I began looking for community and fortunately was in Seattle, Washington, USA, a city where there were a myriad of resources available to me. I began working multiple organization doing peer to peer education and started building what would eventually become my career path all before truly understanding what I wanted to do was sex education and how intrinsic my LGBTQ would be in such.

I think that the primary struggle for the LGBTQ community right now in the fight for equality is recognizing those that have been silenced and disempowered to make the image of LGBTQ people palatable to the heterosexual majority. The face of “Gay People” are white, affluent, monogamous people with able-bodies who are predominantly cisgendered. Transgender women of color are still at the highest risk of murder across the world and with a recorded death rate of 25 transgender people in the US in 2017, we all need to begin to look more closely at what is being propagated by both the media and interpersonally about LGBTQ people. We are here to be the cute, stereotypical gay comic relief in your romantic comedy for you to make money off of while people are being murdered with no media coverage or recourse for their murderers.

The BDSM already has had more space and greater acceptance, it is still a taboo subject. How can treat the BDSM and show that it is a perfectly acceptable and positive practice? What BDSM, Polyamory, his activism and all your work in offspring of positive gender, sexuality and education has been positive for your life and the lives of others?

The primary thing I make sure to teach in regards to BDSM is the consensual nature of it. BDSM is not abuse, nor is it something that makes you a deviant. BDSM is an avenue for self discovery, deep connection with other people and a greater understanding of how to quantify what do and do not want out of sensual and sexual experiences. Everything that people do to and with one another in the context of BDSM is well thought out, negotiated and is something both parties are extremely excited about!

In most dominant parts of society, there are narratives which tell us there is a correct way to do things. This kind of ideology creates a pyramid, everyone is trying to attain an ideal which is actually only sustainable and joyous for a small subsection of the population. In my work, I invite people to think instead about a rich and bountiful field; there are all different kinds of flora and fauna which are providing a balance of give and take to the environment. No one thing is dominating any other instead the strength and richness of the ecosystem is due to the variety of its components.

Think what would the world be like if we each were able to lean into the kinds of relationships which truly worked for each of us? It takes work; self knowledge and compassionate communication are a must; I also advise folks to not have attachments to static outcomes but instead hold a curiosity about what you can learn from each connection you have in your life and what it means to create and share love. How many different ways do you know to create love? I know hundreds, and  I am working on sharing each one of them with the world, through my family, my relationships and my work.

Thank you so much for your time!

Project For The Pleasure Genesis
Interview: Pedro Marques
Translation and Correction: Mário Martins

 

 

Interview With Paulita Pappel

Interview With Paulita Pappel. Pornographer. Performer. Filmmaker. Film curator @pffberlin. Feminist. Founder of lustery.com.

You recently participated in a movie by Erika Lust about feminine ejaculation. How important is it for you to work with feminine ejaculation in alternative/feminine pornography? As a porno that breaks the pornographic “chauvinism”, what can we learn from this film on feminine ejaculation?

I decided to direct a film celebrating female ejaculation with the intention of exploring the so-called porn clichés and turn them around on the axis of gender. It is a standard in normative heterosexual scripts that the climax of the sexual action is set on the cumshot of a penis, I took a similar narrative but placed the climax on the ejaculation of a vulva. I think we can use film to create new scripts that can be inspiring and can expand our horizons and possibilities when having sex. Female Ejaculation is also an example of the sexism in the medical discourse, as it is still discussed what it really is. I wanted to honour it as a symbol of female* pleasure.

You speak about post-pornography and you are a curator. You have a feminist connection from the get-go. What can we learn about post-pornography and your work as a curator? How can they make pornography more positive?

I believe diversity is crucial in all formats of artistic expression. This is especially urgent in pornography in a sex-negative society, where there is a lack of sexual education. Post-pornography explores different gender and sexual representation, and so it offers a more inclusive perspective. As a curator, I know that there exist many different genres of porn, the problem is the accessibility of diverse porn to a wider audience.

You said in an article that you used to see pornography and prostitution as tools for the patriarchy to oppress women. As a worker in post-pornography, and as a porno actress, how do you see porn? How has your opinion changed, having worked on German porn and on Erika Lust’s feminist porn?

My views on porn were influenced by a sexist and sex-negative society, that does not see sex and sexuality as the free and self-determined choice of individuals. The cliché that all pornography is denigrating to women is rooted in the sexist assumption that the sexuality of women is passive and that women are always the victims of sex. This is just not true. Furthermore, sexist and racist standards in the porn industry are the symptom of a sexist and racist society, not the cause. Working in as a sex worker and as a curator has widened my perspective and I know now that porn is manifold, and can be a tool of sexual liberation. I see porn as a political act.

You’re a sexually curious woman and pornography has allowed you to be more in sync with your sexuality. In which way was this step crucial for you and what you did you learn from it? You said once you thought it was wrong to be connected with pornography. How did you break that barrier and came to work in pornography?

It was a very long process that is still ongoing to deconstruct my own internalized prejudices and liberate myself of fear and shame. The work in porn has taught me better communication skills and has brought me closer to my own needs and desires. I started working in porn in a queer feminist, DIY context, which was a great way in and I’m thankful for having had that privilege. Respecting and listening to sex workers is key to understand and break down barriers, everyone should inform and educate themselves before judging on the topic.

Lustery is a page you created and it is where you promote a more real pornography, where you steer clear from the fake pornography that is degrading to women. What importance does it have to women that follow it and for those who still don’t know your work?

I would not say that Lustery is a more real pornography. All pornography is real, there are different genres just like in film. Lustery is a documentary pornography, meaning it documents a sexual dialogue between real people instead of staging a performance with fictive characters. All of these genres are legit pornography, there’s no bad and good, just different. The documentary character of Lustery does not reproduce sexist imagery as it does not follow imposed normative sexual scripts. There are no rules in what should happen sexually, so there are for example no fake orgasms and we encourage always the women to take control of the recording, thus promoting a female perspective.

Is having an alternative space to make and receive realist porn movies important to you and to those who work with you?

Pornography is stigmatized, marginalized and discriminated in society. So are most of the people that work in the industry, especially women* identified people. I think it is very important to act in solidarity with all sex workers and create safe and ethical working spaces. This is very important to me and I learn every day more about how to achieve it. Small porn producers have more difficulties in distributing their work, so I also believe it is very important to support each other in creating visibility for all different genres of pornography.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Borges Correia

Entrevista a Sónia Araújo, Psicóloga, Sexóloga, Terapeuta Sexual, Formadora

É técnica – Psicóloga numa Equipa Multidisciplinar Especializada de Assistência a Vitimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos da Região Centro desde Dezembro de 2012. De que modo foi importante e essencial ter trabalhado com a equipa neste projecto de assistência a seres humanos vítimas de tráfico? Como psicóloga, de que maneira foi importante ter dado assistência a seres humanos que vivem situações indignas e de terror?

R: A minha experiência enquanto psicóloga na EME Centro (Equipa Multidisciplinar Especializada de Assistência a Vítimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos da Região Centro) tem sido muito enriquecedora a vários níveis. Por um lado, permite-me contactar directamente com pessoas que foram vítimas de um crime que atenta contra os direitos humanos fundamentais, pelo que toda a assistência que prestamos, mesmo a mais básica (alimentação, alojamento, vestuário, entre outras) representa uma mais valia com um impacto gigantesco na vida destas vítimas. É portanto muito gratificante poder trabalhar numa equipa cujos resultados em termos de melhoria das vítimas são extremamente visíveis e impactantes, quer a curto, quer a longo prazo. Por outro lado, as histórias de vida destas vítimas relatam situações de extrema vulnerabilidade, a variados e múltiplos níveis, quer em termos sociais, familiares, financeiros, psicológicos, pelo que há muito a fazer em termos de apoio a prestar. Assim, este trabalho é muitíssimo gratificante.

Por outro lado, a nossa equipa aposta muito ao nível da prevenção, pelo que temos sensibilizado e informado milhares de pessoas na região centro acerca do fenómeno do Tráfico de Seres Humanos, quer através do desenvolvimento de ações para diversos públicos-alvo (desde técnicos, a órgãos de polícia criminal, profissionais de saúde, docentes, jovens, populações vulneráveis como jovens institucionalizados ou doentes psiquiátricos, desempregados ou sem-abrigo), quer através de inúmeras campanhas de sensibilização realizadas.

Há ainda a sublinhar que esta equipa é responsável pela criação e manutenção da Rede Regional do Centro de Apoio e Protecção a Vítimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos, que conta já com 40 entidades da Região Centro, que trabalham em equipa no sentido de prestar um apoio eficaz e eficiente às vítimas de tráfico que nos são sinalizadas.

Foi co-autora do guia “Conceber: guia para profissionais e pessoas com problemas de fertilidade”; como foi a sua experiência de co-autoria deste guia sobre um assunto tão pertinente e delicado? O que é ainda necessário ensinar-se, discutir-se e debater-se? De que forma veio este livro mudar a situação de conhecimento dos profissionais e como veio colmatar as dúvidas, preconceitos e falta de informação correcta?

R: Este guia foi um importante marco no assumir e debate do problema da infertilidade em Portugal. Creio que o seu impacto foi importante, quer para as pessoas que vivem esta situação, quer para os próprios profissionais de saúde, pois foi um trabalho exaustivo de actualização de conteúdos correctos do ponto de vista científico, mas também institucional, providenciando informação muito útil em termos de tratamentos e locais especializados para os obter. Por outro lado, os conteúdos do Guia permitem também desmistificar o assunto e encará-lo de forma a poder procurar soluções práticas, ao invés da paralisação que atinge as pessoas que internalizam o problema com questões de culpa e ineficácia.

Como técnica-psicóloga trabalhou no proecto Sex Trivial, um jogo pedagógico em formato digital cuja finalidade é testar e enriquecer os conhecimentos, bem como trabalhar os sentimentos, atitudes e competências individuais face à sexualidade. De que forma foi enriquecedor ter co-desenvolvido este guia, e de que forma tem este jogo sido positivo e capaz de melhorar as competências, sentimentos e atitudes face à sexualidade?

R: Este jogo foi desenvolvido no sentido de permitir trabalhar os conteúdos da Educação Sexual com jovens adolescentes, em grupo e de forma pedagógica. Tivémos sempre como preocupação trabalhar não apenas conteúdos, mas sobretudo desenvolver sentimentos e atitudes positivas e favoráveis face à sexualidade, bem como comportamentos assertivos, que se traduzam numa vivência saudável e responsável da sexualidade. Foi portanto um desafio muito enriquecedor, na medida em que nos obrigou a ser criativas na criação de situações de jogo que permitissem aos jovens adquirir conhecimentos e treinar situações quotidianas que muitas vezes representam comportamentos de risco a nível sexual, já que as atitudes a ter não costumam ser abordadas num contexto formal de ensino.

É autora do Programa de Educação Sexual para o Ensino Profissional do Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP), ao abrigo do Programa Melhores Escolhas, Melhor Saúde (MEMS) da APF. Qual a importância, para si, de ensinar educação sexual e de preparar estes profissionais para uma área, tão importante e essencial na vida de cada um, como a sexualidade?

R: É sabido que grande parte da população que frequenta o ensino profissional em Portugal (desde jovens até adultos de meia idade) é sexualmente activa, pelo que apostar na sua educação sexual é fundamental, para prevenir comportamentos de risco que aumentam as infecções sexualmente transmissíveis e o número de gravidezes indesejadas e/ou de interrupções voluntárias da gravidez. Desta forma, construir um Programa tão abrangente e diversificado foi um enorme desafio que abracei com muito entusiasmo, pois acredito que pode ser uma ferramenta fundamental para os formadores que não tiveram outro tipo de formação no âmbito da sexualidade poderem colocar em prática em contexto de sala. O programa está estruturado inclusivamente tendo em conta que existem até contextos em que os formandos possam não saber ler ou escrever, pelo que as actividades que o programa contempla são, para além de muito práticas e activas, muito pedagógicas, no sentido em que foram desenhadas com o propósito de atingir determinados objectivos específicos, o que passa pela abordagem de conteúdos determinantes. Ao estar estruturado dessa forma, acredito que possa de facto ser uma ferramenta prática que os formadores podem ter como aliado para a inclusão (fundamental e urgente) da educação sexual no contexto do ensino profissional. O programa contém cerca de 60 horas de actividades, divididas em vários temas fundamentais ao nível da sexualidade e saúde sexual e reprodutiva, cuja aplicação é flexível, cabendo aos formadores a decisão do que abordar e quando o fazer.

É igualmente autora do Manual de Sugestões de Actividades Digitais ON_Sex, ao abrigo do Programa Projecto Direitos Sexuais e Jovens Vulneráveis (APF/Gulbenkian), cujo objectivo consiste na promoção, num ambiente digital, da cidadania activa e da defesa dos direitos sexuais dos jovens. De que forma pode este projecto sobre os direitos sexuais de jovens vulneráveis representar um ponto-chave na vida destes jovens? Qual a importância do público-alvo deste projecto serem jovens vulneráveis?

R: A elaboração deste Manual foi também um projecto que me deu imenso prazer elaborar, pois acredito que o ambiente digital possa ter inúmeras vantagens do ponto de vista pedagógico, quando utilizado de forma consciente e responsável. A necessidade de elaborar este material prende-se com o facto do ambiente digital ser cada vez mais utilizado por crianças e jovens, sendo que os riscos que esta utilização comporta – sobretudo em matérias de sexualidade – são inquestionáveis, mas não incontornáveis. Como tal, esta ferramenta aproveita o que há de melhor em termos de ambiente digital para a promoção de uma sexualidade consciente e responsável, direccionando os jovens para conteúdos pedagógicos, mas também lúdicos, que permitam abordar estas questões. Cada actividade está construída com objectivos específicos a atingir e contém um conjunto de considerações/orientações para os formadores que a irão desenvolver, no sentido de instrumentalizar a sua utilização.

Trabalhou durante 16 anos na APF/Centro, como psicóloga, terapeuta sexual e formadora; considera que este seu percurso foi enriquecedor? Considera ter sido preponderante a sua prestação de serviço na Associação para o Planeamento da Família?

R: O meu percurso profissional começou na APF, em 2001. Na altura, eu era licenciada em Ciências da Educação e, como tinha feito estágio curricular no ministério da educação, ao nível da promoção da educação sexual em meio escolar, a APF recebeu-me como formadora e, mais tarde, como coordenadora do projecto de educação sexual nas escolas da região centro. Foi para mim uma grande aprendizagem, pois tive oportunidade de apoiar o desenvolvimento de programas de educação sexual para diversos públicos da comunidade educativa: alunos, pais e encarregados de educação, assistentes operacionais e docentes. Entretanto, licenciei-me em psicologia clínica, pelo que comecei também a trabalhar no aconselhamento a jovens em saúde sexual e reprodutiva. Este contacto permitiu-me ter uma visão mais abrangente e também mais incisiva acerca dos comportamentos e atitudes dos jovens face à sexualidade, o que, por outro lado, me permitiu ter bagagem para investir na elaboração de jogos e programas pedagógicos neste âmbito.

Finalmente, a formação que fiz em sexologia clínica certificou-me enquanto terapeuta sexual, pelo que, aliado ao facto de ser psicóloga clínica, comecei a fazer consultas de psicologia e sexologia clínica, também na APF.

Considero portanto que a APF tem sido desde sempre o contexto que me permitiu desenvolver os meus interesses e competências, possibilitando que o meu percurso profissional enquanto formadora, autora de materiais pedagógicos e terapeuta pudesse desenvolver-se.
Obrigado pelo seu tempo, votos de bom trabalho.

Eu é que agradeço, foi um gosto!

Projecto Vamos Falar de Sexualidade

Entrevista: Pedro Marques

Correcção: António Chagas Dias
31 de Outubro de 2017