Saturday, March 23, 2019

REVIEW: CBD Living Suppositories for Pain

I turn 41 this year. I've been excited about being an aging fat femme. One of the things I've been incredibly excited about is convincing myself of all the money I will save when I no longer bleed from my core. For now, Aunt Flo is a regular visitor tap dancing on my uterus.

And as my homegirl KF reminded me years ago, nobody likes tap dancing. I mean, I haven't liked tap since Gregory Hines died! Anyways, the tap dancing on my uterus is painful! This pain has shifted and intensified as I've aged. This is one of the things I dread now as a part of aging: the pain in the body that comes with the liberation.

I moved to Oakland, CA last year to be with my partner who was raised in the Bay Area. Upon this move I was able to find different therapeutic and less invasive options for pain management. Most of them did not work. As someone who is six feet tall and identifies as fat, when companies test their products, rarely is it on bodies like mine. It's a lot of trial and error with items that often don't always work.

For the past three years I've tried three different kinds of CBD suppositories. The first two were not impressive. I was using the first suppository while I was grieving the death of my mom and all it helped me do was feel warm. No help with sleeping, no help with pain, no help with being back in my body. A year later I tried another for menstrual cramps. Those didn't work well either.

Then CBD Living reached out to me and invited me to try their product. This is a review of the CBD Living Suppository. The suppository has nano-CBD. I didn't know what that was so here's what they shared on their site:

CBD Living’s proprietary nanotechnology method, which uses ultrasound waves to break down CBD molecules into nanoparticles 1/1000 the size of a red blood cell. At this tiny size, CBD is able to easily penetrate the blood membrane, allowing for increased absorption and faster effects. The body also absorbs much more of the CBD this way, meaning consumers often require lower doses of CBD Living products than of those manufactured without using nanotechnology.

As a new California resident I was frustrated with the limited options available for topical needs, especially for menstrual pain. It was only in Portland, OR where I had found the first suppository three years ago to try. The second suppository I found in California, and purchased it to try as this was the first and only suppository I had found distributed in my area. CBD Living is a California based company and there are dispensaries in my area that sell some of their products.

I received my sample via UPS in an unmarked box. Inside was the small box of 10 CBD suppositories. Each suppository has 50mg of CBD for a box of suppositories being 500mg. Often I've seen only certain items, such as patches, up to 100 CBD for sale because of state laws. However, as more research, laws, policies, and care being done we are seeing more of an expansive option for the amount of CBD available for purchase. For example, today I can easily find capsules that are more than 100mg for sale for a variety of needs: sleep, anxiety, etc.

I waited until I was menstruating to take try the suppositories. But the flu arrived before Aunt Flo. I was in so much pain physically: headaches, chest pains, sinus pressure, back pain from coughing, body aches from fever. There was such limited relief during that week. Three days in my partner said "Let's try those suppositories you received to review." And I'm so glad we did!

My partner put on a latex glove and inserted the suppository rectally.

I'm going to pause here to talk about how the suppository looks and feels and some challenges with insertion. My partner helped me because I was in such pain. If I did this on my own it may also be a challenge. I am very proportional with long arms to match my long legs, so reaching around to insert a tampon would not be a challenge, however what would be is inserting the suppository high enough that it absorbs into my mucus membranes BEFORE seeping out as it melts because of my body heat and ooze out of my vagina. Push that suppository as far up as possible rectally or vaginally! You need to use your hands and fingers as there is no applicator included (some applicators come with yeast infection over the counter medication and if you don't use them then you could try to use them here. I have not tried, and the CBD suppositories I have used are all slender).

The suppositories are very fragile once they are exposed to body heat. This means that the first time I opened a suppository three years ago it had a coconut oil base and it began to melt in between my fingers. This made the whole process odd and slippery by myself. The same happens to my partner when inserting into me, even wearing latex gloves! So be prepared for a bit of a melting experience, but not one that slides down your hand. It will only be on your fingers if you are quick and ready for insertion. CBD Living suggests running the suppository under cold water for it to harden for easier insertion.

Insertion requires you are comfortable touching yourself, mainly your vaginal canal and/or anus. If that's not you, or if you physically can't for whatever reason as I couldn't at first because of illness, you must be comfortable with others touching those body parts. If you are not, this may not be the best product option for you. This is the main way to insert the product.

In less than 30 minutes I was able to breath without pain in my chest and my back pain was able to subside in between coughing. I slept well for several hours and felt rested. I immediately knew the CBD Living Suppository was the TRUTH!

When I recovered from the flu, of course I bled right after from my core. When the day came that my cramps became more painful I inserted a suppository and in 20 minutes there was relief. I was so happy that my pack of 10 suppositories from CBD Living would last enough for three cycles.

Then my partner started to use them too. We quickly went through the suppositories within a month
between the two of us. We used the suppositories mainly for pain in our core and back. This has been the most useful and impressive form of care I've experienced from a variety of CBD products! I'm so thankful for this product to be offered to me to sample! It's one that works for bodies large like mine, and the comfort and relief it offers is one that does not distort my perception of the pain or of my surroundings.

Find our more about the CBD Living Suppository and other products at their website. It is $60 for a pack of 10.

This review was due to a free sample given to me by CBD Living and includes only my perspectives and opinions.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

People of Color centered Sexual Attitude Reassessment POCc SAR

It seems like everybody and their mother is doing a SAR! Well so am I. I am partnering with the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians (ABSC) to offer our inaugural People of Color centered SAR!

This SAR is open to all. That means yes, you white person or non-identifying person of color may attend! Usually SARs are exclusive of people and communities of color, bodies of size and color, disabled bodies of color, and bodies of color in bliss and ecstasy. They are often devoid of any inclusive or realistic approach to how we as communities of color are interacting with systems, structures, institutions, and -isms.

This SAR is different! Influenced by my two decade career in the US sexuality field I have crafted a two day experience for all of us to examine what we need to build the space for ourselves and our communities that honors our values and beliefs and our growth.

Join us for this intimate (15 registrants only) and sensual (all our senses will be used!) experience in a Black owned and run community space in historica Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. Saturday April 28 and Sunday April 29.

Register at

View the flyer below or download it at the link above!

Friday, March 30, 2018

your last word to me ...

Im taking an intensive course w Alexis Pauline Gumbs called Daughtering in the Face of Death. I've thought a lot and have written a lot about death, dying, grief, mourning, and the process and ritual and eroticism of it all!

Now I can find a new outlet to explore death and grief. Here is my poem that Alexis guided us through where we respond to the writing prompt of "your last word to me ..." I had dedicated my course participation to my mother and to Puerto Rico. These are who are who and what I am speaking of in this poem:

your last word to me was rememory
and i knew it.
you never read Toni Morrison, but
i am your beloved first born.
it was i who made you mother. it is
me here now finding anew and
being my own universal mother.
the disease took your memory but my

your last word to me was libertad
and i knew i would not live
long enough to see or witness
Puerto Rican independence and
the 'decolonization' people are
constantly misusing to describe their new idea.
there's no decolonization for the puerto rican.
que viva puerto rico libre!?

your last word to me was que revolu?! and
it was so very messy
totally d              i       
                         i                              e
        ing. The wind
and water battling.
The water from above chomping at
the isla
as the water from below chomps at
la isla
who will win this battle?
they both cede
leaving Puerto Rico.
leaving puerto rico delirious and un tremendo revolu
la isla
that my mama died on and where she
donated her body to its inhabitants: her
our people.
Speaking of my mami:

Your last word to me was cuentame.
as the Alzheimer's that took you
at the tender age of
i stopped sharing stories with you
the only video i have
with your voice says cuentame
lo que tu dices yo lo cuento.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bound By Colonization: The AfrxBoricua Kinship & Courtship Practices

I was a respondent at the John's Hopkins University's History and Africana Studies Department Bound/Unbound: Contemporary Black Marriage in Research, Policy, and Practice two-day Symposium. I spoke about AfrxBoricuas: Black Puerto Ricans. Here's what I shared, my references, and my suggested citation for attributing this work. View my presentation and the keynote and first panel below. My presentation begins at 2 hour mark / where -44.32.

Laureano, Bianca. (2018, March 8). Bound By Colonization: The AfrxBoricua Kinship and Courtship Practices. [Blog Post] Retrieved from:

Tera W. Hunter shares the various ways that intimate relationships were seen on a continuum. The various ways that enslaved Black loves built kinship, family, and marriage included terms such as:
  •  “sweethearting,” a romantic relationship w some of the benefits of marriage and being single combined
  • “Taking up,” a longer term relationship where the partners lived together and were monogamous
  • “Cohabitation” couples shared financial resources and responsibilities, surnames, and were monogamous
  • “Acting married” a term used by whites to target Black people and identify their relationships as a sign of disrespect, incapacity, failure to assimilate
Many of these forms of loverships remain today. They also were present in colonies where other empires who engaged in exploration and conquest; brought enslaved Africans for their labor and bodies to exploit. One of these colonies has remained Puerto Rico: a colony of Spain and now the United States. Puerto Rico is an archipelago. Similar forms of kinship were explored and remain for the Puerto Rican today. Now that Hurricanes Irma and Maria have hit, what are we prepared to do to support and honor the displaced Puerto Rican families, kinship, and lovers? What are the ways we can build and preserve new archives that are waterproof? What rituals of partnership do AfrxBoricuas still practice and why are their testimonios important for inclusion today? These questions I would like us to ask each other and ourselves.
How many of these forms of family, lovership, and flexible ideas of marriage, which are practiced by the Boricua, become forms of resistance today? What is the AfraBoricua / Puerto Rican resisting today? I believe that Puerto Ricans are resisting the continued exploitation, colonization, forced migration, forced displacement, assimilation, white supremacy, catholicism, and sterilization they have been birthed into. Hunter shares that generational differences led to a shift with younger ex-slaves moving toward legal marriage whereas elders supported more loose forms of coupling. That same elder and ancestor wisdom is what remains practiced in Puerto Rico.
Classic assimilation patterns are rooted in being absorbed into the dominant culture. It has been an area of research interest and focus for scholars in all fields of study. When looking at the marriage and courtship practices of ex-slaves, immigrants in the US, and colonial subjects, there is a pattern of resistance that the Puerto Rican consistently maintains. Cohabitation in research literature in the US has noted that cohabitating couples are unstable, harm children’s overall educational outcomes, and are not ideal in the US. Puerto Rican children living in a family structure that is different from the married heterosexual biological-parent family structure do not necessarily fare worse according to the Youth Boricua Study, a project of Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry that examines the experiences of Puerto Rican youth in the US and in the mainland of Puerto Rico.
Examining the psychiatric disorders among Puerto Rican children, researchers Olga Santesteban-Echarri,, examined responses from the Boricua Youth Study and published findings in 2016 that demonstrated Puerto Rican children in cohabiting families have access to community and resources; two things that are believed to not be stable for cohabiting families. Because Puerto Ricans embrace and practice cohabitation differently than other Latinx immigrants who value marriage, there is no finding that shifting from a cohabiting family to a marriage or a step-family / blended family situation results in negative psychological experiences for Puerto Rican children. Community as resource is what Puerto Rican’s still value.
The pathway to citizenship also differs in comparison to other Latinx, Caribbean, or Black immigrants. Puerto Ricans were forced citizenship in 1917 so the pathway to citizenship via marriage is not important for the Puerto Rican. As Hunter writes “the ultimate test of how individuals define their relationship may have been how they acted within a community of friends, neighbors, and kin.”  Puerto Ricans on the isla, which to us is the mainland, still practice and embrace these communal and collective forms of coupling and family formation.
Yet citizenship for the queer AfraBoricua is not what it seems. Between 2008-2014 Gilbert Gonzales examined the health insurance coverage of Puerto Ricans in same gender coupling and found that they are not able to access full forms of employee benefits such as health insurance as cohabiting or common law couples because of homophobia and discrimination. Puerto Rican Maternal and Infant Health Study of 2001 demonstrated that cohabiting Puerto Rican couples who pool financial resources have been found to be just as equitable in nature as formal marriages.
My mother Ivette Laureano Nieves De Jesus, who died in Puerto Rico March 1, 2016, it’s been 105 motherless weeks, shared with my sister and I often that we “did not ever have to get married” and that we should “first live with someone to get to know them.” She and my Papi would share the same testimony and remind us that they left Puerto Rico together to dream bigger, explore more, and find new paths. They seperated when I was 16 years old and divorced when I was 33 because my mother had health insurance and wanted my father to not be uninsured. They remained family even as they shifted our family structure. When my father remarried his agreement with his current wife Linda, a Puerto Rican-German woman, was that my mother is his family and anything Ivette needs he will help her get it, even if it means moving her into their home as her Alzheimer's progresses. Linda agreed to have my father’s first wife, my mother, move into her home with my father if my mother needed care. She agreed for her husbands ex-wife to be cared for in her home. Let that sink in. That's my machismo That’s what community restitution is for the Puerto Rican.
As the bodies and bones and remains of our dead Puerto Rican ancestors emerge from their graves with the water and are unearth and resisting their erasure, what are the ways we today can create new paths for Puerto Rican family formation to be honored and nurtured? Hunter offers a variety of ways to preserve and reimagine codes of courtship, love, citizenship, home, and place all within a framework that begins and ends within the African diaspora.
How are we preparing to preserve a waterproof archive that humanizes the agency within constraints, as Iris Lopez writes, of the AfraBoricua body in ecstasy, survival, here. I’m no longer dreaming in Puerto Rican, I’ve been displaced from Puerto Rico for 24 years. It’s a constant nightmare where there is no decolonization - giving the land back to the people. I need to dream through the rest of you because my family is actively becoming extinct as we speak. I ask each of you today: What are your dreams for Puerto Rico and for the preservation of family formation that our enslaved elders cherished?

Brown, Susan L., Van Hook, Jennifer, Glick, Jennifer E. (2008). Generational Differences in Cohabitation and Marriage in the US. Popul Res Policy Rev. Oct; 27(5): 531–550.

Hunter, Tera W. (2017). Bound In Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage In the Nineteenth Century. Belknap Press.

Gonzales, Gilbert. (2017). Health Insurance Coverage among Puerto Rican Adults in Same-Sex Relationships. J of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved. 28(3).  pp. 915-930.

Santesteban-Echarri, O., Eisenberg, E. Ruth, Bird, Hector R., Canino, Glorisa J.. Duarte, Cristiane S. (2016). Family Structure, Transitions and Psychiatric Disorders Among Puerto Rican Children. J Child Fam Stud. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 November 1.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Quick Fun Gift & Rememory

A while back during one of my numerous experiences of unemployment, I signed up for various opportunities to review items. I'm still on lots of those lists and many of you have benefited from my numerous reviews of books, sex toys, random accessories, and food!

Well, I received my Influenster Vox Box this month and it was from Godiva chocolate. Now, almost everything I've received in food form to review has been delicious and at a price point I can't always afford or with so much sugar it's not the best food decision or meal replacement. However, Godiva sent their Masterpieces, a new collection of their decadent chocolates in an accessible price point ($4) and at stores such as Target and Walmart.

I know a lot about this "two-tier" marketing approach, where a brand has high point and luxury products and then has another brand that is more affordable. Think of how Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic all the same organization/brand but with different price points to reach different customers. It's the same thing happening here and I don't mind it! I know there are going to be folks who have more status and wealth and social capital who will think making brands and luxurious things accessible to others means it's no longer special.

I was once those desegregators. I still am in many places. I am often one of the first people like me: fat LatiNegra queer disabled etc. etc. etc. I know what those looks and sneak peaks of me feel like. I know what mystery the luxury options present and value the gentle way staff provide support without isolation. Now I'm a pro!

When I opened the box I found a paper bag and inside 18-20 individually wrapped chocolates. A dark chocolate, hazelnut chocolate, and caramel chocolate. They were all delicious. I remember growing up with my mom loving the sweetness and luxury of the gold Godiva box that had two tiers of chocolates, a legend with descriptions, and the fun of finding which chocolate matched the image and description to try. My mom would savor these chocolates on special occasions like holidays or her birthday. These are easy to carry, easy to share, and give the perfect taste of deliciousness that will soothe a craving. I'm definitely buying more in the future and you need to pick one up as well!

Monday, December 18, 2017

WOCSHN Inaugural Curriculum: Communications Mixtape: Speak On It! Vol 1

When I think about what kind of archive I want to leave for others to find out about my work, what I value, and what I was able to do while on this planet, curricula and lesson plans and trainings and workshops are what come to mind. As someone who has been writing lesson plans for decades but never being supported, mentored, or given the opportunity to be published; I know firsthand how opportunity and access changes some people's lives.

I know what publishing a curriculum can do for communities. When I published my first curriculum What's the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity? with Scenarios USA, it was a curriculum I always wanted for younger Bi, for educator Bi, for mentor Bi. And it was something I have done for years, yet folks in my field didn't notice me until that curriculum was published.

And then things changed. It's like then folks realized I have something of quality and value to share. I always knew I did, yet those people who "discovered" my work were very much not trying to pass along job opportunities or say my name for employment. What ended up happening often was people saying WOCSHN to mean me or another member. However, WOCSHN is an organization I co-founded, not who I am. It's what I've built.

Then I started to think bigger: what do we really need? How can we create opportunities that will get us paid and help us build our own archive of brilliance? I decided to create a Curriculum Lab, something I've wanted to do for years! I tried to do it at my last full-time job but the non-educators couldn't see the value and it didn't happen. Today, I crafted and built a workshop that trains individuals in writing measurable learning outcomes and objectives, that discusses copyright laws, build creativity, and peer support. One part of this that I learned at the original Lab was we need more than 3 hours to write together. We also need some time to discuss unlearning the white supremacist ways we have been trained to educate our communities. We must focus on our intuition and what we know to be true and just for our communities and ourselves.

This curriculum offers that and more! We pushed each other to use gender neutral language, resist ways that ableism shows up in our work through language and expectations for body movement, learning, and pleasure. We wrote and centered bodies of color and communities of color first and foremost. We are unapologetic about this focus. We reimagined and recreated definitions for terminology that has targeted us yet not been relevant to us. We do not assume participants are HIV negative or heterosexual and encourage facilitators to do the same. There are no images because black and white copies of people of color are usually horrible.

As the editor of this curriculum I am wide open to learning how we can make this more accessible in
the future. I'm so proud of what we have created. Below is a line up of what lesson plans are featured. Here we are closing 2017 with a publication that has Black and Latinx writers. 

Exploring Sources of Sexuality Messaging by Rev. Lacette Cross
Examining faith and spiritual belief systems messaging

All the Feels! by Elicia Gonzales, MSW
How all bodies may experience pleasure?

Love Haiku: Write One For You by Mariotta Gary-Smith, MPH, CSE
Exploring Japanese poetry genre Haiku and creating one about love of self

Types of Propaganda by Bianca Laureano, MA, CSE
Understanding the different types of propaganda and how they target us

Bodies Impossible: How We See Black Bodies In the Media by Ashleigh Shackelford
Examining media messages and representations of Black bodies

Bodies & Pleasure: Beyond One Size Fits All by Sara C. Flowers, DrPH & Bianca Laureano, MA, CSE
More bodies and more ways to experience pleasure and understand the range of pleasure

What's Self-Care? by Bianca Laureano, MA, CSE
Exploring the reality and actions of self-care strategies

Asking For Help Is A Gift by Bianca Laureano, MA, CSE & Abeni Jones
Understanding resistance to and strategies to asking for help

How To Take Care of Each Other by Abeni Jones
Examining the ways we can support each other and community members

Read our press release here.

Head on over to my website to purchase the curriculum directly. Be sure to include an email address for me to send the PDF of curriculum! If you have questions send me an email!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

re: the nicki minaj paper cover & foto shoot

all fotos: Ellen Von Unwerth for Paper Magazine

Tardy to the party with writing about this Paper Magazine cover. What I am more interested in is how the conversations are evolving (and not being facilitated) and what others have to say about what another Black woman does with her body. The judgment, the shaming, the name-calling, the ways that we continue to police body autonomy. The same folks would argue that they are on the side of reproductive justice, however they have a very under-developed understanding of body autonomy.

In short, I really love this cover image. Not because it's a Black performer doing Black performer things. I love it not because it's a Black woman controlling the "gaze" and deciding how she wants to be viewed and consumed in a particular way because that's power. I love it not because it demonstrates a power that we all know exists for femmes, for femininity, and wish to erase or ignore or blame for things. I love it not because it demonstrates how Dancehall Queen aesthetics are alive and well among Caribbean rappers living in the US (Caribbean influence on hip hop in the US is so strong and very well archived and documented go read up on that legacy).

I love it because I too have a fetish for myself. I too fantasize about how dope it must be for others to see me loving myself, pleasing myself, feeling myself, and noticing them seeing me and being able to consume their desire for wanting more of me while I'm taking all of me for myself! Choosing yourself is never the wrong decision! Ever in this life on this planet.

Body autonomy is about every person having the human right to make decisions about their body. Their decisions may not be for you, and that doesn't mean you have to be sharing your opinion about someone else's decision-especially to that person, especially unsolicited. You definitely don't need to talk about how you wouldn't do the same thing especially if nobody cares and didn't ask you. Yes, have your opinion, know when it's time to share and when it's time to keep it moving.

And for the (white) feminists (because the white is always silent with ya'll) who want to argue objectification, exotification, etc. Recognize she is in control of the gaze. She is in control of her image. She is in a powerful position where she is in service to herself, honoring herself, topping herself, caring and tending to herself. That's got nothing to do about you unless it's a reminder you not doing a good job doing either of those things for yourself. We live in a capitalist society where Black women's labor, even as performers and entertainers, is not well paid. Are you mad that Nicki is getting paid or are you mad that she's figured out a way to get paid and care for herself and show her power at the same time and you haven't yet? Join the club! You not the only one, you also don't have to be so salty about it all the time, that's a choice. Ya'll for choice right?

Oh but I get it, ya'll are mad because you got to now talk to youth and children and girls about bodies, objectification, power, and you don't feel prepared. Again, you are not alone and there are plenty of Black women who can help you, who are trained and have dedicated their career to such forms of education and support. You're reading the work of one of them right now! So, if you are anxious about that and not able to be ready to talk to the young women in your life, and the young men you are excluding, well, maybe you got to realize they will def not come to talk to you if you cant talk to them. Reciprocity impacts youth too. So does body autonomy. Youth have body autonomy as well. I know some of ya'll may not enjoy hearing that because you have latched onto an idea of power and control over the bodies of brown and Black girls. You're wrong. How about refocusing that power onto what you are doing with your body. How does it feel when you try to control another young woman's body? How does your body feel? Is it tense? Is it rigid? Is it wide open? Check in with yourself because we all got to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

Don't you too want to know what you may look like at some of your most powerful moments? That's what orgasm may be for many of us: our most powerful selves. So join that tired legacy of policing Black women's bodies, choices, lives, movement. You're in company with white supremacy, misogynists, abusers, rapists. Unlearn those lies you tell yourself really quickly. Because there's a whole archive of slave narratives and of sexual assaults, and testimonios that remind us everyday what happens when we go down the route of blaming, erasing, destroying, judging, Black women and what they do with their bodies. Which side of justice and liberation are you going to be on?