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Intimacy and self love are something of a challenge for a lot of women, particularly women of a certain age who are at a certain point in their lives where their bodies feel like their arch nemesis, the world even, so I was quite looking forward to the online event on this topic that comprised of two separate events.

The hosts were Yvonne Writer and Dr. Yansie Rolston, who birthed the Menopause Project, who were accompanied by a selection of other speakers armed with expertise and experience in a number of different fields including sex and health and wellbeing. I was particularly keen to listen to, learn from and identify with others regarding the topic of the menopause as I currently battle through the deep, dark depths of peri-menopause – there is always a little comfort in knowing someone is going through the same bloated, amnesiac, sweaty misery as you, there was a small segment regarding the menopause, and an informative backdrop by Dr. Yansie Rolston regarding the black woman experiencing menopause, stigma surrounding it and the journey of selflove, which I could have listened to for the whole evening, it resonated massively.

As women we blindly fight through the hurdles that mother nature throws, unkindly, at us and we rarely complain or verbalise it, even to our friends-because who wants to tell their friend that they’re so incontinent that by the end of the day their jeans are damp and they smell like a public lavatory? Uhhhh, not me, it is beyond embarrassing and just reinforces that nagging, twisted self-belief that you are old and have lost all beauty and femininity. Society has some hand in creating these middle-aged women that become unhappy, self-loathing creatures that compare themselves to their younger and youthful counterparts, who seem to have all the collagen their skin could ever need, a vagina that doesn’t leak, pert boobs, zero brain fog and washboard abs, we are told via media, tv and public views that unless we are these things, we are not worthy or attractive, and definitely not sexy! Which leads me on to another speaker Anika Theolode who is a life coach and an orgasm trainer.

Anika is part of a community that practices orgasmic meditation in which a woman, who is called a ‘strokie’, has the left-hand quadrant of her clitoris stroked for 15 minutes with no other purpose than to tune in to the sensation as it happens, when the 15 minutes is up, it is up-even if you have not orgasmed or if you are on the brink! I found this a little bizarre because I am an individual that needs to have connection with somebody to let them touch my genitals, I have also been celibate for six years so this would not work for me in any way, in actual fact, the thought filled me with dread, but I also respect other people live differently and if this is constructive in their life, more power to them.

At the beginning of the zoom event, we were told it was not for the faint hearted and to expect some laughs, it delivered on both counts but with a big slice of education and a community vibe too. I was greatly impressed that the LGBTQ community improvise when it comes to safe sex and use different sourced materials as a means of protection, I was flabbergasted to learn that some women had never seen their own lady garden and to know that you can be left on the brink due to a pesky thing called time.

Kerry-Jane Bunting

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