September 29, 2020
Sexuality Superheroes: Dalychia & Rafaella of Afrosexology
Meet Dalychia and Rafaella of Afrosexology, our newest Sexuality Superheroes. They’re on a sexual liberation journey, continuing to create awareness and spread educative sex-positive messaging to all. Read their feature below and get to know them a little better!
1. Why is sexual health education/therapy so important to you both?
While both of us have had very different journeys around our sexuality, we’ve both had to do a lot of work to reclaim our bodies from what society and others told us about ourselves – what it means to be Black, women, from particular classes, with our body shapes, etc. There are so many messages that tell us because of our identities we are less deserving of power and pleasure. Pleasure-based sexuality education is important for us and our community because it directly counters these messages and affirms that we deserve to experience pleasure in our bodies, in our relationships, and in our world. Our mantra is ‘less oppression, more orgasms’ and we believe that the skills we teach in sex ed – consent, body agency, advocating for our needs and wants, honoring our boundaries, etc. are skills that can liberate not only our erotic experiences, but also our familial relationships, friendships, career, political experiences.
2. How does your experience and/or identity inform your work?
We selfishly started Afrosexology because we were looking for a Black and sex-positive community to learn and grow with. When it comes to our work we’re constantly thinking about what resources, information, experiences we wish we had 15 years ago and what we want 15 years from now. Our workshops range from confronting masturbation shame, to reclaiming our bodies through twerking, to healing from boundary-crossing and are often inspired by our journeys and the journeys of those in community with us. While we know the message of sexual liberation is empowering for everyone, we’ve unapologetically created a space that centers the Black experience and what it means to explore and reclaim our Black bodies.
3. What’s missing from most sex education programs?
So many programs lack the inclusion of pleasure when they’re talking about sex. They often focus only on risk, harm, and trauma, which are very important topics. But the absence of pleasure means that we limit sex to the things we should avoid, which paints sex as a thing to fear, a site of oppression, a place to be harmed, and taken advantage of. We think it is equally important to position sex as a site of liberation, a place where you can get to know yourself, know what you like and don’t like, learn how to communicate your needs and desires, a space where you can experience ecstasy, pleasure, and orgasmic experiences. It is so important that we don’t only see our bodies as places that can be harmed, but as places that can experience deep pleasure and liberation.
We often find that the conversations of sex particularly in Black communities are really focused on harm and risk. And this mimics the structural and cultural views of Blackness. That to be black, is to constantly be navigating and experiencing trauma and pain. That because of our body and our skin, we are destined to experience so much harm. And for us, pleasure-based sex education helps us to flip that narrative and to affirm that in your Black body, you get to experience joy, pleasure, connectedness, and all of these feel-good feelings.
A lot of these sex ed spaces also forget to include conversations about social justice and identities. How it can be harder to access pleasure, to experience the relationships you want, or go to the orgy if everyone who is there is white, able-bodied, cis, and hetero, when you’re not? We need to talk about how those identities impact our relationship to pleasure and power, our relationship to our bodies, sex, romance, exploration, safety, and eroticism.
4. What is your vision for the future of sex?
This is such a delicious question! Our vision is that we’re able to build a world that supports individuals’ own authentic exploration to figuring out what sexual liberation looks like for them, whether that is practicing celibacy or participating in the world’s largest orgy. We want everyone to know their desires, how to consensually pursue things that bring them pleasure, and how to build a healthy relationship model that works for them. For everyone to navigate their day feeling connected to their body, having their boundaries honored, and feeling resourced to explore their erotic self.
Oppression is the biggest turnoff. Trying to masturbate and going to your phone to find your favorite porn site and seeing that another Black person has been killed by a police officer is a huge turnoff, to say the least.
So our vision for the future of sex is not possible without a vision for a liberated world that honors all of our lives and dismantles the systems of oppression that are barriers for us being our fullest selves.
5. If you could wave a sex wand and make one change to the way we view or have sex, what would your wand produce?
That Black people are hypersexual or sexual deviants. This myth is what validated the systematic raping of Black women and men during slavery, the death of Emmett Till, the lynchings and castrations of many Black men, the hyper-sexualized portrayals of Black women in media, the idea that Black men are sexual beasts with big dicks, just so many lies that allow for violence towards our Black body and misrepresentation of our sexual expression.
6. Do you have a favourite sex toy or brand you recommend? What makes it great?
Two toys that we’re fans of are:
The Satisfyer 2, an inexpensive air pressure, suction technology. First, we love how this toy looks! It’s discreet and could seriously be mistaken for the hand piece of a facial cleaning product. This toy is easy to hold, has several settings, and can be used in water. Two words: Multiple orgasms!
The Tango, If you are looking for a beginner vibrator, we highly recommend it. It’s small but powerful and is a great clitoral stimulator. Its size makes it easy to travel with or carry around with you, in case you want to incorporate it into a hookup or partnered sex. This toy does not use batteries, has several settings, and is waterproof.
Afrosexology, LLC, was birthed from the desire to experience a more sex-positive Black community. Owners, Dalychia and Rafaella, are two Black, women, pleasure advocates, sex educators, social workers, activists, and creators, who are passionate about empowering people to live their most pleasurable lives. They have been interviewed and featured in HuffPost, Vibe, Teen Vogue, Glamour and Playboy magazines to share expertise and share the passion behind this movement. Afrosexology has traveled nationwide and internationally, successfully engaging with tens of thousands of people through community workshops, conferences, webinars, and social media. Afrosexology aims to educate, explore, and reclaim Black sexuality and promote Black self-empowerment through sexual liberation.