Desire, sex, lust, sexuality. Sometimes it can feel like you're just meant to know exactly what you like and how you like it. But that's just because it's the story we're told... in reality, sexiness isn't just one thing - it all depends on where you are in life, how you're feeling mentally (and physically), what stories you're being told by the world around you and so-many-other-things. And if it changes all the time, how are you suppose to just know what you like?
Sometimes we end up giving up on understand our sexuality and sexiness instead of exploring it. Or maybe you just let other people's perception affect your sexuality. And that's a shame, because intimacy and sex can benefit your life and wellness so greatly. So how can we become free to explore our desires? We spoke to Joy Léonie about all of this and it was so incredibly interesting. Joy blogs and writes about sex, intimacy, taboos, stereotypes and everything else that impacts our emotional values and world view. We hope you'll enjoy this conversation as much as we did.
Hi Joy, could you give us a short intro to who Joy is?
This is actually a pretty tough question haha… who I am as a person is so many different things, so I’ll just break it down to the very basics: I’m a food-obsessive, wine-dependent, yoga-loving omnist, nonconformist, anti speciesist, librocubicularist, dromomaniac, selenophile, music enthusiast, model and passionate writer.
You write and share your sexual experiences in such an honest yet thoughtful way. Have you always been so reflective about sexuality?
I was sexually aware from a very young age, so yes, definitely. I’ve always been encouraged to be open about sex, emotions, intimacy and sexuality, so it’s always felt extremely safe for me to reflect on and navigate in.
Do you think there’s a need for being more open about about sex and intimacy?
Absolutely. Sex makes the world go around. Sex (and sexuality) is one of the fundamental drives human behaviour, thoughts and feelings. It shapes the brain and body to be pleasure-seeking. Talking about sex and intimacy - although it may feel uncomfortable at times - is key to maintaining a healthy sex life and a positive sense of sexuality. In my opinion, it'll help us achieve better sex and more intimacy by feeling more emotionally connected, in touch with our bodies and in the present moment.
So are you open to explore when it comes to sex?
Yes, it comes naturally to me! As I mentioned before, I was sexually aware from a young age and exploring was part of that as well. I remember exploring with my girlfriends as early as in second or third grade. Obviously in a very different and more innocent way compared to exploring as an adult. We didn’t talk or communicate much about it as it happened, it was merely just “child’s play”, I reckon.. when puberty kicked in, it was a different story. My sexual awareness had evolved and my masturbatory habits completely changed or shall I say escalated lol. I was definitely testing grounds to figure out what I liked and disliked - mostly by myself. As I’ve gotten older, my sexual adventures have given me so much empowerment and have taught me that my sexuality is mine. When I was younger, I think I was waiting for someone to give me what I thought I needed, and since that didn’t really happen, it left me super caught up in my shame and feelings, which later on, made me realise how society’s sex education is actually pretty lame. I believe our sexuality can change a lot throughout our lives, so I really think it’s important to continually seek out experiences of your own personal preferences and desires, as well as boundaries.
You’ve written about how we all get too obsessed with likes and followers. Do you think that affects us sexually?
Obsessing over likes and followers on social media creates an extreme insecurity and self-consciousness. It affects our self-image, how we feel about ourselves, our beauty - and body standards and of course, how we see other people. And all those things play an important role when it comes to sex, so yes, I definitely think it affects us sexually because it affects us mentally.
sitre believes our mental experience of sex is as important as the physical one. Do you think your mental wellbeing affects how you feel sexually?
Love that! Yeah, as I just mentioned our mental health affects everything we do, including sexual health. As much as sex is a physical act, it’s also a matter of mind so to speak. A lot of it doesn’t just take place in bed, but also in our brains. And it makes a whole lot of sense, that our thoughts and feelings play a vital role in getting us turned on etc.
Do you think there’s a connection between wellness and sex?
Sex is such an important part of our physical, mental and emotional health and that’s exactly why we need to talk about it.
What three tips would you give someone if they wanted to start exploring their sexuality?
1. Forget Hollywood movies and porn. None of that is real. What turns you on? Make a list! Once you figure out what you really want, it'll make it so much easier for you to ask for it.
2. Take yourself out on a sexual odyssey! It’s been a life-changer for me. For women, this is imperative - our sexuality has been controlled and suppressed for so long. Reclaim it on your own terms. And make sure to make time to touch yourself with tenderness. We tend be so hard on our bodies, we forget to give them the loving touch they deserve <3
3. This is one is crucial: you have to remember that sex is a two-way street in Pleasure Town. It is as much for your own pleasure as it is for your partner’s. I really wish I'd learned this sooner because maaaan, have I had too much bad, people-pleasing sex…
- oh and btw, apparently women’s sexual satisfaction increases with age! I recently read that a woman has the greatest capacity for sexual pleasure at age 70.
sitre is a sex wellness company on a mission to change the perception of sexiness through stories and products. because sex happens as much in our heads as in our bodies, so it’s time we start caring for both.
Our first product is a sex gel: a luxury lube full of natural ingredients to create high quality moisture. Learn more here.