Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Love Letter To Myself

Over a year ago I dished out a TON of money I didn't really have to begin with and decided I wanted to be a "certified" sexuality educator. I had convinced myself that being a part of a very racially White organization that focuses on sexuality was a good professional move for me. I knew it would be difficult and I knew I had all I needed to be recognized with those who are already members.

As with many membership organizations they wanted an application, membership fees, processing fees, and one specific session that I did not have: a SAR (Sexual Attitudes Reassessment). As I paid for my conference attendance, bought a plane ticket, mentally prepared myself to be and feel "alone" in this space where the sexuality of poor people, people with disabilities, and people of Color would be obviously omitted, I also paid to attend a SAR. I've written about my experiences here in what I call my triptych at the sex conference. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here.

One part of the SAR that I appreciated and forgot about, was writing a letter to ourselves. I received my letter earlier this summer and it got lost under a pile of other papers. As I was cleaning my apartment for the start of the new school year I found it and put it on my wall. Here's what it said:

Dear Sexy Bitch!

You are:

-Seen & respected as an expert in the field of sexology
-You are a sexologist of Color
-You find love & intimacy in new ways that feed & nourish you
-You build communities of practice that are supportive, powerful & free of opporession
-You are content!
-You remain always a fierce Sexy Bitch!


I'll admit I had to take a moment and think about if I have accomplished this in the year. Not being able to afford the AASECT membership fees, processing fees, conference registration, and travel even though my proposal was approved (although my time requested cut in half without notice) for the 2010 conference means I did not accomplish the original goal I had last year. I thought that this was one way to fulfill my first goal.

Even though I did not fulfill this goal, and today even if I did have the money to do it (and I don't forsee having that money at any time in the near future) I don't think I'd follow through. I realized at that last conference that I'm not welcome in that space. It's not a space for me, so instead what I need to do is create a space for us to be welcomed, visible, centered, and our voices given just as much importance as pharmaceutical companies, I mean doctors and those with more "popular" followings.


  1. I think writing love letters to ourselves and each other is a wonderful thing even if they get hidden and are found like yours was. Perfect reminders of who we are and where we want to be.

    Gracias for sharing.


  2. Interestingly, I never thought about sexuality of ppl as something that could be subdivided into categories determined by race or ethnicity. I've always simply thought about sexuality as one thing that applies equally and in the same manner to the lives of us all... whether you're African American, Caucasian, Latino (black or white), or of Caribbean descent, and so forth. I mean, don’t we all like sex? (What is there not to like? as long as there is mutual consent ;) So what are the differences? I too am a Latina raised in Chile most of my life, but I've now spent almost 10 years in NY (mostly Bk and Qns)... and all I can say is that your testimony concerning your experience with the aforementioned conference that you planned on attending, has undoubtedly awakened my curiosity to examine these issues and differences, concerning sexuality, even further.
    on a personal note, I have dated outside my race (for the most part because I can no longer subject myself to the virgin/whore dichotomy that many of my Latino peers perpetuate), I can tell you with certainty that this in some superficial and perhaps implicit way, probably has enlightened me in respect to different manners of expressing sexuality that may present themselves among different groups. …I just never stopped to think about it.
    Sadly however, I find that within my ethnic/ gender group (and perhaps it’s because of the ppl i surround myself with... I don’t mean to generalize), I find it extremely difficult to engage in discussions about sexuality, sensuality, reproductive health or simply the pleasures of sex in a normal fashion. It’s always a “secret”, a “whisper” and sometimes it’s even just a “gesture” …because god forbids someone hears you and judges you.
    I truly commend you for having the courage and the insight to share with us your knowledge and your experience... whether it’s through workshops, blogs, classes, books or articles. This is much needed within our community.
    It was pleasure meeting you today in class! :D