June 9, 2020
Sexuality Superheroes: Elle Chase
If you don’t know who Elle Chase is, get to know her a little better in this Sexuality Superhero feature. Elle is a certified sexuality educator, a pleasure advocate coach, sex consultant, author, speaker and so much more!
How did you find yourself working in sexuality?
I had a “sexual awakening” when I left my marriage. I started a curated porn site, LadyCheeky.com, that focused on body positivity, passion, sexual exploration and desire. People seemed to flock to it and started sending me questions about sex. The more I researched answers, the more I fell in love with (and saw a need for) pleasure inclusive sex education. I started reading every sex ed book I could get my hands on. I eventually attended the San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) Sex Educator Training Program and began creating classes including my “Big, Beautiful Sex: Sex and Body Image” class and speaking on using porn as a vehicle for sexual exploration. Those two subjects became the tentpoles of my sex ed philosophy.
What is the best part of your job?
Honestly, what can be better than helping people let go of shame and experience pleasure? When someone shares with me that they learned something from me that positively impacted their view of sex – it’s the best feeling ever.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
For me, it’s that as sex educators, the importance of pleasure inclusive sex ed is often regarded as unnecessary, auxiliary, or frivolous information instead of considered part of a comprehensive anatomy and sexual health education. The barriers this creates spans from a widespread ignorance about how and why our bodies work like they do, to exclusion in textbooks as well as censorship across all forms of media.
How has sex ed changed since you were a kid?
People are much more open and accepting of LGBTQIA folks, thank goodness. Back in the 80’s being queer was something that had to be hidden or denied. There was a great deal of shame attached to being queer. It’s still a challenge for many people to come out, but I think it’s MUCH better than it used to be.
How do you hope it changes for future generations?
I think getting rid of shame and fortifying mandatory early, evidence-based sexuality education for everyone. Being able to freely speak and communicate about sex, i.e.; sexuality, consent, gender, alternative relationships and lifestyles, porn, etc. is the only way to create a healthy integration of sexuality in our lives, and an understanding of how sex not something to be ashamed of, but enjoyed.
What big ideas do you want to contribute to the field of human sexuality?
I would like people to feel like they can emancipate and fully express their sexual selves – not just without shame, but with excitement, pride and joy. I hope to give people the external permission to discover what that looks like for them and help them achieve personal, shame-free, expressive and educated sexual freedom.
Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?
I know I should really pick a sexuality professional, but David Bowie embodies so much of what I strive to be personally and professionally. He was driven to express and explore his sexuality, identity, art, passion, philosophy, and personal journey in such a raw, organic, innovative and genuine way – I so admire this unfettered drive that compelled him to create. This inspires me in everything I do.