Sex Gets Real: Episode 72

It’s about to get super fierce and very real.

We are so excited to have the powerful, the fabulous, the game-changing Feminista Jones on with us this week.

We talk about sex-positive feminism, BDSM, Dom/sub dynamics, how the term vanilla has become a slur, street harassment, birth control, how sex and body autonomy are the key to liberation and freedom for Black women, and so much more.

If you want to check out all of Feminista’s amazing work and her superstar bio, you can find her at FeministaJones.com. She is also on Instagram and Twitter, so check her out there, too.

The Women’s Freedom Conference that she’s organizing is also on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to sign-up for updates and attend in October.

A few of Dawn’s favorite articles by Feminista are below:

Your Sex Life Should be Free of Regrets

When Did Vanilla Become Such a Bad Word?

I’m Not a Slut, I Just Love Having Sex

Deconstructing ‘Ho’

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Episode breakdown

  • 0:35 – Dawn is just a little excited about the guest today.
  • 1:00 – Feminista Jones was the keynote speaker at SEXx Interactive a few months ago, and Dawn knew immediately she wanted Feminista on the show.
  • 2:26 – Let’s discuss sex positive feminism, shall we? What does it mean? Why is it important?
  • 3:12 – It’s about embracing ownership of your own body.
  • 4:14 – Let’s talk about people who choose sex work for themselves.
  • 4:20 – Why can’t people make money off their bodies in this way, when tons of other people make money off their bodies like models, athletes, etc who profit off their bodies that other people consume?
  • 5:30 – Sex work and human trafficking are often conflated, when really they are separate issues with separate needs.
  • 7:00 – Human trafficking really is a problem, especially for young Black girls and boys, but this is often overlooked by the sex worker activists who say sex trafficking isn’t really an issue at all. Both issues need attention, but in very different ways.
  • 10:18 – Feminista talks about how women, especially Black women, need to claim their pleasure and claim their sexual selves as the ultimate act of liberation.
  • 11:57 – So many women don’t even realize that they are allowed to feel pleasure, and are allowed to enjoy touches and caresses.
  • 12:17 – Black women are either portrayed as asexual or hyper sexual tropes, which is really an excuse to abuse Black women.
  • 13:55 – Too often, Black bodies are seen as something to use without any humanity. White women often are seen as something to be saved. There’s no respect, but it’s an honor to save them. Black women don’t have that at all.
  • 15:00 – At SEXx Interactive, Feminista talked about how lesbian/queer Black women are especially marginalized and vilified, especially by Black men. We dig deep on this one.
  • 18:00 – Feminista took a lot of heat for writing about domestic violence after the Ray Rice video came out, and also for her outspoken campaign to end street harassment of Black women by Black men.
  • 18:12 – Read about Feminista’s #YouOKSis here.
  • 19:14 – Feminista talks about how she has hated her big behind for most of her life because it has attracted a lot of unwanted attention.
  • 20:38 – Someone wrote in wanting to know how people can be more aware and supportive of the Black women in their lives.
  • 21:44 – Black women are women, too. Sadly, that’s often forgotten or overlooked.
  • 21:51 – Respecting boundaries is huge. So many people are curious and end up crossing boundaries, which contributes to the violence in a way.
  • 22:40 – Sometimes in our quest to be intersectional, we still hyphenate Black women’s womanhood, and see them as “other”.
  • 23:52 – Asexual Black women are completely invisible.
  • 24:10 – Sexuality is a choice in many ways – you can choose to be queer or asexual, and there is power in that choice.
  • 24:47 – Talk about sex, kink, BDSM, and flogging and realize that every single person is going to have a different experience and reaction to those things. There isn’t a canned response for all Black women, which is part of the trap people fall into, especially if they’re fetishizing Black women (or men).
  • 26:05 – We need to take a closer look at how Black women can use the kink community to help heal their traumas and violence.
  • 27:07 – The core of sex positivity is really allowing space for everyone’s own experiences, even if you don’t understand them or disagree with them.
  • 28:05 – Let’s talk about BDSM all the time. Like, every day.
  • 29:29 – Feminista’s book “Push the Button” is a story about BDSM, but she takes a different approach than most kinky stories. It’s also somewhat autobiographical, which is exciting.
  • 32:04 – There are so many teachable moments, but sometimes you’re just too tired to want to deal with it. It’s a burden for the marginalized folks to always have to be in teacher mode.
  • 32:59 – Vanilla has become an insult or a slur that’s used by kinky folks. Feminista wrote about it, so we dig in.
  • 34:37 – We should never shame people for the things that they are or are not into. There’s enough shame around sex, so we need to at least allow room for the differences between us.
  • 35:00 – Sometimes you just want a good 5 minute quickie – no bells or whistles. It’s nice having vanilla as an option.
  • 36:27 – Dawn has noticed some trends at sex positive events where everyone is automatically assumed to be kinky, queer, and poly. But this creates a sort of discrimination and shaming on its own. Feminista agrees and suggests we need to get back to a place where everything is on the table, and we just have better conversations rather than assumptions.
  • 37:48 – Let’s deconstruct the words ‘ho’ and ‘slut’, and even call out the phrase ‘slut-shaming’ and what that really means.
  • 38:27 – Sex has been weaponized against women. Women are really only allowed to engage in sex at the permission of men.
  • 38:43 – ‘Slut’ and ‘ho’ reinforce this idea that men have a right to decide a woman’s value based on the number of sex partners she has had or the kind of sex she’s had.
  • 39:31 – People who don’t even have sex can be labeled a slut or a ho. It’s based on this external perception by others, which is ridiculous.
  • 40:21 – Slut-shaming, the phrase, reinforces the idea that someone can be a slut. What they’re really doing is woman-shaming.
  • 41:40 – Because the cultural story is that a woman is bad or wrong if she wants sex, it’s become expected that men have to coerce or manipulate women in order to get sex. Everyone loses.
  • 43:33 – Feminista spends a lot of time focused on young people – changing the stories and the lessons for a 10 year old helps change the world in a much more profound way that arguing with adults who don’t want to change their ways because it’s scary or their ego is on the line.
  • 44:00 – A lot of hormonal birth control is only tested and rated for folks up to 200 pounds. Many doctors don’t know that, and most people who take hormonal birth control don’t realize that, either.
  • 46:15 – Doctors and the medical community need to be way more body positive and fat positive. People are avoiding medical care because of the fat shaming that occurs.
  • 48:50 – If you are over 200 pounds or if you have a body mass index over 26, most hormonal birth control AND emergency contraception is rated as less effective. So investigate your options, and make sure you’re using barrier protection as much as possible if you’re unsure.
  • 49:46 – The Women’s Freedom Conference is coming up in October to help amplify the voices of women of color from around the world. Sign-up for updates here.

And be sure to pin, share, and Instagram this bad boy

Oh, it's a good one this week on Sex Gets Real. We've got Feminista Jones talking sex positivity, BDSM, kink, Black women and street harassment, queerness, how sex and body autonomy are the key to liberation and freedom for Black women, birth control, and so much more.

  • Dawn
  • August 16, 2015