Sexuality was something that seemed for everyone else. I saw it as accessible for others, beautiful and enticing yet, for me, it was forbidden. This belief ingrained into me from years and years of being told that sex was wrong, that is was only for making babies, that it was “the devil”. Growing up in a household of deaf parents, who were Cuban immigrants, and devoted Southern Baptist Christians can give you a small glimpse into why I received these messages. There were many layers and many cultures clashing and confusing, my head spinning, trying to make sense of it all while coming into my own.
Although I was in a constant internal battle, I was the person that others came to for support regarding their own questions and curiosities of sex. They knew I was safe, that I would hold no judgement. I have always been a deeply feeling person, one who worked hard to make everyone feel included, and most importantly, accepted. As I sit here, I recognize that I was giving to others what I so desperately needed and craved. I wanted to help others embrace their whole, sexual selves. It would be years and years before I would allow myself the same.
As I grew older, I began to slowly release the shame and restriction of my sexuality. But it wouldn’t be until I was in my doctoral program for Human Sexuality that I would fully embrace and integrate the sexual parts into my being. It was in the deep dive into myself and being surrounded by truly sex positive humans that I could explore, get to know, and accept my sexuality. It was where I began to understand the true essence of sex-positivity and how I could integrate that not only into my practice as a sex therapist, but also into my own practice of being human.
Human sexuality isn’t just about sexual acts, desires, or fantasies. It is about respect, autonomy, boundaries, needs, and relationships. It is about power, privilege, consent, and pleasure. It is about the fluidity and beautiful diversity of humans. IT IS ABOUT LIVING, BEING.
This journey has been about learning, but even more, of unlearning and unbecoming so much of who I was raised to be. To shed the layers of shame and disgust I once wore as a cloak. To finally become my whole, empowered, sexual self. I now own my sexuality with pride and without shame, with deep love for who I once was and who I continue to become.