Updated: May 17, 2021
On the 27th March I attended a zoom discussion entitled Let’s talk: Intimacy and Self Love which was hosted by Yvonne Witter and Dr Yansie Rolston, and included some very interesting and knowledgeable speakers.
The event really did bring to light a lot of perspectives on a wide range of topics, for example Dr Ryeal gave a very scientific approach to relationships discussing why we do what we do in relation to love based on his work as a cognitive neuropsychologist, and Habeeb Akande brought the African perspective of sexuality and erotology and enlightened us about the traditional Rwandan sexual practice of Kunyaza.
Onika and Nicole enlightened us from the female perspective with Onika touching on sexuality and mentioning that within Ifa Yoruba Traditional practices some of the Orisa dieties have no intrinsic gender. Nicole a breast specialist and Onika a sexologist/sex coach, and Dr Yansie who’s speciality is the menopause all shed light on so many issues that I had not even considered before.
One of the things I learnt was just how important a woman’s breast are to her in terms of self-esteem and also her sexuality, and how it can impact on her sexuality. That was very interesting because it put into context that the breasts are not just about nurturing so for those who have lost their breast it can have a deep impact. I would like other people who have partners who have gone through the trauma of losing a breast to understand how it can impact on them emotionally, and that they should find ways to offer support to their partner and take time to know where support is available because someone like Nicole who’s speciality is breast health is something that a lot of people can benefit from.
I came away with so much knowledge such as that sensuality, love making and intimacy are best when the partners know their own body and their partners body and how it responds to stimulation – either through touch or breathwork etc, and it can definitely benefit personal experiences and the relationship as a whole. I also got clarity in understanding that sensuality and stimulation and orgasms do not only occur physically, but also occurs mentally and that tantric sex can be as fulfilling as penetrative sex.
I have to admit that my perspective prior to attending the session was that in same sex relationships they would know exactly how to stimulate each other because they are of the same sex. But listening to Dr Yansie made me realise that even though the partners may be of the same sex, what works for one does not necessarily work for the other because everyone’s stimuli, desires, pleasure zones and anatomy are different.
The entire discussion helped to bring light on a lot of things pertaining to sex, intimacy especially for women going through different stages of their life cycle. The event was important as it helped me to understand some of the issues women deal with in terms of sexual trauma, the different bodily cycles and that some of them are not able to figure out what is really happening to their bodies.
It is something men in general should consider when dealing with their female partners, for example when women say that they are not in the mood for sex it is not that they are being spiteful and brushing you off, but it is quite likely that she is not in the mood for sex for a number of reasons including emotional and physical. It could possibly be that she is not able to articulate what is happening to her body, so she isn’t able to explain what she is going through at the time.
One of the things I took away from the discussion is that as a man it is not all about us. Sometimes when women are going through their periods, and menopause it impacts on them emotionally and psychologically and the way society views the biological changes in a woman’s body means that it is not easy for them to discuss what they are going through. This event was very important, and it would have been good to have more men in the audience. I hope that at the next event men are encouraged to attend – whether they are partners, friends, fathers, etc. More men should be encouraged to participate so they can hear some of what women are dealing with and realise It is not always about us men.