We connect black families to black therapists. Today Our guest is Shamyra Howard. Hi Shamyra”
Sexologist Shamyra: Hello, Dr. O, thank you for having me.
Thank you for being here. It is such a pleasure. So let me start with a brief introduction about you is that okay?
Sexologist Shamyra: That’s fine.
Perfect Okay, Shamyra is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice serving the Baton Rouge LA and surrounding areas. She specializes in sexuality and relationships as a graduate of Southern University and A&M College and Southern University at New Orleans. And having studied at Wider University’s Human Sexuality Program, Shamyra is able to work with a varium spectrum of clients, including those battling depression, anxiety, pregnancy, parenting, peer relationships, and those of the LGBTQ community. Those who identify as bisexual, transgender, gay, lesbian, poly, Pan, BDSM, and kinky or otherwise, will find a safe, non judgmental sex positive space to discover areas in which they will likely grow, which they may or may not have anything to do with their sexuality. Shamyra is down to earth supportive, interactive and straightforward. Her approach is to provide professional feedback, support, and help you overcome personal challenges. If you’re looking for the best therapy in Louisiana, by the best therapist in Baton Rouge, please contact Shamyra. She is also a sexologist, sex and relationship therapist, Amazon best selling author, and sought after international speaker. She was named one of the most influential dating experts if 2019. That’s awesome.
Sexologist Shamyra: Thank you.
You are very welcome. And you know, you probably I don’t know about you. You talk about this stuff all the time.
Sexologist Shamyra: I do.
Dr. O: My palms are sweaty.
Sexologist Shamyra: Wipe them off! Wipe them off!
What is that about?
Sexologist Shamyra: The nervousness that you experience? Well, it’s probably because of the reason a lot of people getting their resume, we started talking about sex. It’s probably because of the reason why a lot of people come sit on the green couch in my office, or they call me and email me and they talk about some of the issues they have with sex. It’s very unsettling. And sex. Unfortunately, it’s still very seen, but it’s still very taboo to talk about. So depending on your upbringing, depending on the messages you receive about sex, or you’ve received about sex growing up, and also the messages you currently tell yourself, it can be a little unsettling and make you a little bashful.
Dr. O Well, it’s funny because it is my husband edits my podcast, and I know that this is probably one of his favorite. Yes. Now in your work, do you work more with women as opposed to men?
Sexologist Shamyra: So that’s a great question. I work with a lot of different people being in though this is a highly specialized area and being here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in a Bible Belt. I think a lot of different people. I will say that the majority of the people I do see are women, but I do see a surprisingly amount of men in my practice. Of course, they likely come in as a couple, but I do see a lot of men individually. And I am really, really proud of the fact that a lot of men trust me, especially black men, they really come in and will trust me with the issues that they have going on. So I see about 20% men 80% women.
Dr. O: Wow, that is awesome. I think that is still a high number. Yeah. Well, so are men still having these feelings about sex? Or is it just us women?
Sexologist Shamyra: Everybody has issues with sex because it’s something that we are. Our sexuality is something that we’re born with, and it’s with us until we die.
Dr. O: Okay.
Sexologist Shamyra: So men have issues, women have issues, people of other genders have issues. So we all have issues as it relates to sexuality. We have questions. There’s lots of misinformation out there. So people come in bashful, sweaty palms, but you come in ready to see something different ready to do something different. Also ready to be normalized. A lot of people are pleasantly surprised that a lot of the things that they think are issues or dysfunctions are regular and normal occurrences that happens to people with bodies.
Dr. O Yes, I’ve heard the statistic one time and I Like you to weigh in on this, is it true that we both lie about sex and that men are more likely to inflate the numbers and women like to decrease the numbers?
Sexologist Shamyra: Yes, absolutely. I’m glad you asked me that question too, especially since we’re having this conversation, in my experience, and of course, it the research also says that, you know, men are more likely to inflate the number of people that have sex, and that is due to how we view sexuality here, right? So for women, sex is something that we aren’t supposed to have a lot of, we’re not supposed to really enjoy it as women and so we get kind of bad name. If we have sex with two people in our lives. However, if you know, it’s almost it’s their, their rite of passage, it’s a rite of passage for men to be able to conquer as many women sexually as they can. And so because of this, and because of, of course, the patriarchy, it’s important for men to be seen as a manly man, when he is able to say, I’ve had sex with all of these people, even if it’s not true.
Dr. O: And on the flip side, we can’t tell if we’ve had more than two, because is
when it’s way more taboo for us, like, you know, I, there’s this joke that, you know, women are expected to be experienced, sexually experienced virgins.
Dr. O: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense? Gosh, where does that come from?
Sexologist Shamyra: So historically, the way we’ve used sexuality, the way we view sex for women is that women, sexuality, and having sex men being engaged in sex was historically not for women’s pleasure. That’s a huge problem. And that’s something that we are not claiming in 2020 and beyond. No, we’re not doing it. But we’re especially not doing it now. But historical impact was something that was done to women. And it was something for men to get from women. So it was done to us. Right. So we weren’t supposed to be enjoying it. It was for the male to get pleasure from and not for us.
Dr. O: That is so true. But some men didn’t get the memo.
Sexologist Shamyra: Hmm. What do you mean by that?
Dr. O: Well, you know, cuz a lot of, I have actually the example at the end of the show that I was going to go into, but sometimes I think men still think that they are giving us sex. And that it’s not a reciprocal relationship.
Sexologist Shamyra: Yes, they think they’re giving us. So that’s a whole other thing, right? So conquering sex. And having sex done to us is another thing. But also, if I’m understanding you correctly, is like, men think that they are doing women a favor, like they’re providing us with something that we can’t get, or that is so super pleasure. So super great, that we should take it in any way that they give it to us. And that is a huge problem, especially as it relates to the sexual pleasure of women, because that means that you are not in tune with women’s pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. And we know that historically, women’s sexual pleasure has not been something that has been valued. And so when we take that notion of sex is something that men are given us, we are allowing ourselves to succumb to that notion that sex isn’t supposed to be something pleasurable, it’s not something that we are supposed to speak up on and know our bodies and know what to ask for. And demand our pleasure. And guess what, that’s the own up. We follow you. But yeah, that’s, uh oh, we are the one with the cleaners. Yes, we are. So if you know anything about the function of the cleaners, it’s only for pleasure. Like the function that glitters is you know, way more study now and we now know that the clearance isn’t just what we see when we look at our Lady of between our lady we know that the glitter is is it actually extends four inches inside of our bodies and so we know that Yeah, we have an interest and we have the outer glitter as the part that you can see. Right. So we are the only ones that have this clitoris this pleasure button. But we are the ones whose pleasure is usually ignored or not valued. Nobody else has this exactly. with people with libya’s and vulvas.
Dr. O: That is lovely. I love it. And I mean it makes sense. I’m getting shy now but I’m gonna go there because we got to talk about.
Sexologist Shamyra: If you put pressure on the clitoris it is like a button. Yeah. Getting it like that is and that’s why it feels that way. Now let me ask you this, because I haven’t got we’re gonna go with that thought, basically sex is something that we have traditionally made ourselves feel. It’s an instrument we feed that narrative by what you say society and certain messages, boys and girls. Now where does our history come into all of this?
Dr. O: Our sexual history… You know, you talked about women’s bodies being something that that we have a lot of control over. So would you say like the history, maybe the institution of slavery, things like that.
Sexologist Shamyra: So if we even if we go back as far as what we know about slavery, right, and what was happening to black women’s bodies during slavery, as we were taught and how black women’s bodies were even then used for consumption of the white slave masters owners and overseers, how they were raped, how they became pregnant, for the slave owners, and how they even breastfeed babies that weren’t theirs, as well. Our bodies historically has always been for consumption of a man, right? So this whole patriarchal society and construct is what keeps us stuck. They’re allowing us to be seen as something again to be conquered. So that might I say, we’re not doing that in 2020. We, we are not allowing somebody to use our bodies for their own consumption. If we are going to lie down and if we are going to engage with someone sexually, we are going to get something out of it as well.
Dr. O: You claim it if all of us.
Sexologist Shamyra: I’m claiming it for everybody who wants it.
Dr. O: Now so we’ve mentioned we mentioned the clitoris… Are there other areas in the vagina aren’t or I guess other areas? I don’t know educate us, like, how many plate how many different ways can we reach an orgasm?
Sexologist Shamyra: Oh, so people. So there’s lots of information out there that says that there are so many different ways to have different orgasms there G spot orgasms, a spots pee spots and all these other spots. Well, listen, let me tell you something, because it’s already some for some people, it’s already difficult for a lot of people with vulvas to achieve orgasm. And again, that goes back to not being able to value our own pleasure in understanding our bodies in not understanding what sexual freedom looks like for ourselves. But let’s go back to orgasm. There are different ways for people to have orgasm. I’m gonna say this, a lot of us get our sexual education from listening to other people. And unfortunately, porn. And when I say unfortunately, I am not a person who is against porn. I’m actually pro porn when it’s used for erotic purposes, not educational purposes. So porn is okay. When it’s used for people who want to use it for erotic purposes. But when people start using it for educational purposes, that’s when we kind of get caught up in Am I doing this dry? I’m not doing this right. I don’t know what to do. I’m not orgasm, and it doesn’t look like how the girl did it in the video, or even when we see sex portrayed in TV, on movies. It always looks like somebody listened to this this would it sound like it sounds like somebody’s just getting pounded and then you hear moaning and it look like they both orgasm at the same time. And we know that that’s not real life. Right? So we’re talking about real life orgasms. Sometimes that happens with most people. The research says that most people with vulvas need direct clitoral stimulation so over 80% of people with a clitoral they need direct clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm which means you got to get your hands moving down there you got to get in a position that puts pressure on the clitoris. Some people can orgasm what they say what they call a badge and lower cervical orgasm, which is included with deep penetration but let me tell you the way the clitoris is set up. What we now know about the cleaners is that orgasms come by way of the clitoris. Pun intended. All orgasims… because the clitoris extends inside the body. So whichever way you have an orgasm, whether the penis is inserted into the vagina or not, or whether whatever is inserted into the vagina or not. You’re still stimulating a part of the clitoris, the clitoris is is homogenous to the penis. So there’s a shaft, there’s bulbs, there’s a head, on all this other stuff. So whatever type of orgasm you have, there is no superior orgasm, so there’s no hierarchy of orgasms. So whichever way a person needs or feels great or good to orgasm, whether that’s with a vibrator, with the hand with the leg, with a stomach, orgasm in a way up to orgasm.
Dr. O: Wow. Wow. Yes. I love it. I hope you’re hearing her because she is bringing it to us with that real concrete information. And I appreciate it. I really appreciate it. It’s so funny because I was just thinking to myself when you said that 80% do the clitoral stimulation. I’m just like, directly.
Dr. O: I think a lot of times, you know, I guess that goes back to what you’re talking about. We can feel maybe insecure, or maybe like something is wrong with us. Because we’re not socialized or conditioned to talk about this.
Sexologist Shamyra: Absolutely not
Dr. O: I feel validation about a conversation that I would never have had you not mentioned it.
Sexologist Shamyra: Thank you. Yes. why this is so important.
Dr. O: Yes, it is. It really is. It really is. So what do you want black families to know about sexual freedom.
Sexologist Shamyra: So when I think of sexual freedom, and what I want black families to know about sexual freedom is it’s yours. It’s basically what you view as sexually free. It’s not my own definition of you, right? So sexual freedom means First of all, that you are able to be comfortable and expressive in your own sexuality. So however you however you like to express your sexuality, however you like to identify sexually, whatever your sexual boundaries are, how you’d like to experience pleasure, knowing that you’re okay, you’re safe, you’re comfortable, that sexual freedom. So basically, I look at sexual freedom as more of a sex positive experience for all people being able to have these types of conversations in any type of setting without having to whisper or, you know, cover your mouth without soaking wet after having a conversation. You know, what I’m saying? And making sure that this is normalized, normalizing pleasure, allowing us to have access to information that is free from bias, that is consent in form that is pleasure based, that is medically accurate. That is what I call sexual freedom.
Dr. O: Love it. Love it. How do we work around the differences in sex drive between people? in sex?
Sexologist Shamyra: What drive? Sex drives?
Dr. O: Yes. So one person, you know, might want to do have sex twice a week and another person who’s like, twice a month.
Sexologist Shamyra: Okay, so that comes up often on a green couch. A lot of people say, you know, I have a low sex drive or a low sex desire, and my partner wants sex more than me, do they not like me? Do they not find me attractive. So I find that that comes up a lot. And that often keeps a lot of couples apart from each other because it creates some distance and some as you might sight. See, and so another part of owning your sexuality and sexual freedom is, I have this motto, that I like to live by, and that I like to talk to people about all the time, and it’s called “create your own relationship.” You people often ask and create your own sexual relationship, people often ask, how often should we be having sex in a week, you know, month and I’m like, how often do you want to, you know,
there’s no magic number of what is sufficient. It’s all about what works for the relationship. So most couples have mismatch desire, meaning, like you said, somebody might want it twice a week, somebody might want it twice a month. And so what needs to happen is the way that we prioritize sex has to change, right? So we need to make sure that we’re prioritizing sex and understand that when we’re talking about sex, we’re not just talking about the activity of intercourse, right. I think what pops up into a lot of people’s head is penis and vagina penetration as soon as we talk about sex, but also knowing that sex is so much more than that. And I talked about that I have a book called “Use Your Mouth”. And I talked about that and what the difference the difference in what sexual intimacy looks like. So sexual penetration, and activity is a part of that. But also what works for this relationship sexually. Okay, if we’re not having penetrative sex, what else can we do because there’s a lot of other things that consider sex. So we also can do mutual masturbation. We can watch each other masturbate. For some people. They like to have outter course, which is where you just have non penetrative style sex. There are people who again, they watch pornography, and they might reenact something from there. And another thing is a lot of people don’t like this one, because they think it’s not spontaneous enough what it is, and this isn’t for every couple. I don’t recommend this for couples who are not connected in their relationships, otherwise, I recommend this for couples who are usually busy, but they’re just having a hard time prioritizing the sexual part of the relationship is scheduling sex, right? And I don’t mean naturally will not also talk about this in a book. I don’t mean like saying, okay, tomorrow at 7:15pm when I get home, I want to see you in a doggy style position. And we will have sex, it’s more like, hey, this weekend is our weekend, you know is our sexy time, or when you see me get out of the bathtub, that’s me, I’m gonna be ready. So it’s more about making it sexy, and it can be spontaneous, right? And so everything that’s important to us, we schedule it. So as it relates to having mismatched desire, what works is for each person in the relationship, to be able to prioritize sex in a way that works for them, but also be able to change what sex actually looks like in the relationship. If you’re not having penetrative sex all the time. What else can you do to be sexually close to your partner?
Dr. O: Love it. Love it, love it, love it? Well, as we’ve already stated, he worked a lot in the LGBTQ community. As we go, unfortunately, we’re still not an LGBTQ, we’re working on being more inclusive. But there’s, you know, there’s still like a lot of stigma discrimination. So what does it look like? What we’re already talking about a difficult topic. And then you add added layers of maybe some LGBTQ stuff where a person, you know, maybe is out or is not out? Or is being discriminated against? And then to make it even more complicated if we would add like BDSM like kinky, like, just all these it has, it can have many layers. So what would that look like in a in a client.
Sexologist Shamyra: So it looks very different in every client, because every LGBTQ plus person has their own issues. And sometimes it’s not even related to their orientation, or their sexual identity or anything like that. Sometimes it’s related to something else. But a lot of times it is, right. So how they show up at work, how they feel comfortable with presenting, understanding how a lot of people want to know, how do I have sex? How can I do this as, as this type of person who identifies as such, and who sexually attracted to this and who wants to be sexually expressive in this way? How do I navigate that. So it takes some work with getting people here and being comfortable with themselves, but also a lot of harm. Like we have to make sure that the work we’re doing, we’re not allowing our putting our clients in further harm, because it’s dangerous for a lot of LGBT people, a lot of LGBTQ people to be able to express themselves in the way they want to, I think it’s very freeing for them to be able to come sit on the green couch, and to get information about how they can live their lives. So sometimes they can’t, they might not be able to be as expressive as they want to at work. But when they get home, they want to know, how do I connect with my partner in this way. And sometimes what happens is, they’re so oppressed from just society and work. And when they get home, it’s hard for them to even still have that same connection at all to have a good connection with their partners at home. So they come here for the same reasons that people who are not LGBTQ come here to increase the intimacy to increase the connection, but also to deal with a lot of the discrimination, the oppression and the fear of just living as themselves every day. So that looks differently per person. And Hmm, but I just Yes, I bet I could imagine, I can imagine. But is there anything in particular that you wish black families knew about sexual freedom? That is a great question, especially because I do see a lot of black people. And when I hear some of the things that we talk about, or some of the ways in which we talk about sex and how we view sex, it’s sometimes very heartbreaking. To hear it. I just wish that people understood that there is no right way to be a sexual being. And that’s what I wish a lot of black families knew. Because a lot of us, of course, what I find, is pretty universal with a lot of black people I work with is that many of us come from rural Baptists, especially Southern Baptists come through. We love Jesus you know, you know we love us some Jesus and we come from very religious backgrounds. And one thing that I want us to know is that you can still love Jesus and still be a sexual being at the same time and still honor your sexual boundaries, which is it’s conflicting for a lot of people because you’re still a sexual being right? So God made you a sexual being one of my favorite sexologist is Brittany Mitchell. And she does a lot of sex therapy with believers at the intimacy firm, and she has a talk that she calls if God created my clitoris and Now, and it’s amazing, I recommend it for everyone. And I often tell a lot of people like you need to consult with her whenever you have some issues that are conflicting with your faith and your sexuality. And so for a lot of black couples, I want them to know that you can still maintain your religious values, but also honor your sexual self at the same time.
Dr. O: Oh, I love that. I love it. Well, speaking of honoring our sexuality, can we talk about oral sex?
Sexologist Shamyra: Oh, course
Dr. O: Talking about being Southern Baptists, you know, just bad enough, you know, we’re learning how to have sex. Now you want to add extra stuff? You know, on top of it? How can people get more free and enjoy both maybe giving and receiving oral sex?
Read Song of Solomon, that’s biblical porn.
Sexologist Shamyra: You know, if we’re talking about oral sex, that is not surprisingly, it’s not as taboo as it once was. There used to be maybe 20 years ago, there was, or maybe longer than that, too. There was this like myth that black women didn’t give their men oral sex, that that was like a white person’s thing. Like white women. Remember that, like that was like for white women. So people were like, no black women, they do it, they just they’re just not doing it like that. And also, because Hello, black women, we can’t be all we couldn’t be all out with it then. So now we are in the age of information, we’re in the age of social media. So we are in the age of way more expression and exposure than ever. And so it’s not as taboo anymore. So people are now engaging in oral sex in the way that they want to, in lots of different ways. So it’s very, it’s not as taboo, I really don’t have a lot of people having issues with it, except I do have people that I see, like, I see a lot of different people. And so there are some Catholic people who they just aren’t, they can’t get with it. So they are like, Nah, I really can’t do that. I can’t, I just can’t do that. That’s just not okay. And so, okay. I always meet people where they are and work with people where they are. And so we figure out ways for them to still maintain, and enjoy their sexuality, but figure out ways to go around that. So for some people they do, they’re still conflicted about it, I always tell people don’t ever feel pressured to do anything that you don’t want to do. Because sex is something that we want to make sure that it’s, of course pleasurable and enjoyable, and for many was very sacred and spiritual. And if you’re doing something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, or if you’re feeling forced or pressured, you’re not going to enjoy it. And so that’s going to breed some negative reactions to it, and then we possible trauma. And so, you know, we don’t want to go there. So, I mean, as we as it relates to oral sex, it’s people are getting their oral sex.
Dr. O: What about their anal sex?
Sexologist Shamyra: That too, so that’s a whole other thing, you know, that’s something that historically was considered gay sex, which isn’t even a thing. There’s no such thing as gay sex. But it was considered a thing that, you know, gay men had anal sex as a way for them to engage in sex. But now we know that many other people are enjoying annual sex as well, which is another erogenous zone for many people who like to engage in that way. There are safe ways to engage.
Dr. O: Can you Sorry, I was just mentioning erogenous zone. Can you have an orgasm?Anally??
Sexologist Shamyra: Yeah, a lot of people have orgasms via anal sex. Okay. Yeah. Well, especially for people with penises, they have their prostate there. And so for them is said to be very pleasurable there, and that they have their strongest orgasms when their prostates are stimulated. So whether that be via finger or via another orifice it’s that that people with a penis can have a very amazing orgasm once their prostates are stimulated.
Dr. O: Wow. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Good information, good to know. Where do we as black families struggle the most about sexual freedom.
Sexologist Shamyra: I think accepting like accepting what sexuality is what I see is basically accepting sexuality we don’t really have historically we didn’t have access to the information, being able to be expressive understanding sexuality, accepting having the language to talk to our children about sex, and understanding that sex isn’t inherently a bad thing. So I think that’s where we struggle most It’s with the messages that we receive about sex. So it’s okay to have sex but no, we don’t talk about it. No, you can’t say penis. My kids are used to those terms on a penis, penis penis, that’s boring. And a penis penis penis all day. So, you know, it’s, I think that’s where we struggle most is basically having the language and having the information, but also accepting the information. So we have the information, I find that now we’re not accepting it, because that’s not what we were taught for a lot of us. It’s like, Nah, I wasn’t taught that. That’s not what I’m gonna go with. I’m gonna call this a thing. And I’m not going to believe it. And I’m not going to accept it. And I’m going to be very disrespectful with it. So I think we struggle with accepting what sexuality is.
Dr. O: Mm hmm. Wow, that we got to accept it. And are you finding that you said you said you had two boys, right?
Sexologist Shamyra: My husband and I have four children together? And I have two? Yep.
Dr. O: Okay. So then, do you notice that there’s just as much of an issue with girls saying vagina, so yes, only boys can use the word penis. So I was trying to clarify that. So like, whether it’s boys or girls, are we also having a hard time saying the word vagina?
Sexologist Shamyra: So I think what I’m seeing is, a lot of us and I don’t think this is specific to race, but a lot of us are giving our children nicknames for their genitals, right? So we call it high an eye, nose, the nose and mouth, the mouth, we’re calling a penis, or we-we a weiner were calling a vulva, a cookie. You know, that very, that’s not okay. That’s dangerous. And also that contributes to the culture of shame around sexuality. And it teaches children that their body parts is something that they aren’t supposed to embrace, and it’s supposed to be shameful, and they need to give it a nickname, a penis, and vulva is are two different body parts just like your ears. You wouldn’t call an ear, a mouth. So why are we calling a penis a we-we
Dr. O: All right?
Sexologist Shamyra: And it’s also dangerous, because we know that children are molested and sexually assaulted. Yeah. When, you know, when your kid comes home and says, they took my cookie, or they touch my cookie at school. And if you’re calling a vulva a cookie, you might miss that your child’s being sexually assaulted or molested. Right, that makes so much sense.
Dr. O: And just so you know, you just called me out because we call it pp. We call it pp. But then when I was having when I was giving birth to my son, I broke it down to my daughter. And I said, Okay, this is mommy’s vagina is gonna do XYZ, and then on our way back to pee pee. And I’m like, no, no.
Sexologist Shamyra: No we not doing PP Dr. O. Because my thing is, why do you teach that and then you have to reteach them the correct terminology. So let’s just start off with the correct or proper anatomical terms, so that they’ll know what this is so that they won’t grow up until we’re talking about sexual freedom. And if we’re talking about sex positivity, giving them the power to use the correct terminology shows that this is this is sexual freedom, it shows a level of acceptance, it shows a level of not having a shame towards bodies is a body. That’s it.
Dr. O: That’s absolutely right. Absolutely right. What is the common myth that you hear often around sexual freedom?
Sexologist Shamyra: Uh huh. So one is that I think we kind of maybe touched on this often. But a myth that I hear is that promiscuous women, and whatever that means, so whatever we determined to be a promiscuous woman is not safe sexually. So they are more prone to have STI’s or STD’s. So that is a myth that we know. Also, another myth is that this whole gender roles stuff, if boys don’t play with boy toys, or if you let boys play with dolls, that they’re going to be gay. That is a whole other myth. So there are lots of different myths that I hear related to sexuality. Also, if you are here, one of the bigger ones that I really lost is if you talk to your children about sex, that they’re more prone to engage in sex. That’s one of the ones that really grinds my gears because the research even disproves that so on so many levels, which is why I’m not understanding why we don’t have a comprehensive sexual education across the board because we know everything else doesn’t work. And we know that the research even shows that the more information our children have about sex, the more prone they are to make more informed choices, the more they are to delay, the onset of peak jobs having sex and the less risky sex they engage in so they protect themselves more as well.
Dr. O: Good. Love that. Love that. Love that. Ah, you hear that, like parents? So yeah. It sounds like you’re putting our own anxiety and discomfort about this conversation on our children. And we’re about these things based off of inaccurate assumptions.
Sexologist Shamyra: That’s absolutely what it is. So we are not comfortable talking about sex, a lot of us don’t have the language to talk to our children about sex. So we don’t we just say stuff like, they’re too young to know that and like, now there’s an age appropriate way to talk to children about everything, they and the way it becomes awkward is if we make it awkward as parents. So I always recommend this one resource for people to talk to their children at any age about sex, and “Sex Positive Families”. So that’s a great resource to talk to your teacher to talk to you about sex or to help you find someone who can.
Dr. O: Is that a book that you just referenced?
Sexologist Shamyra: “Sex Positive Families” is actually a website. They’re also on social media. So yeah, I love them sexpositivefamilies.com.
Dr. O: Got it. Got it. And it’s just so funny, because even as you were saying about, like naming the body parts correctly, even sex, we call it “the birds and the bees,” especially when we’re talking about having the conversation with kids.
Sexologist Shamyra: Exactly. And if we know anything about bees and sex, we don’t even go there. The bee kills the person after they have sex with them! So we don’t know. yet. I think I read that somewhere a while ago, and I was like, Okay, so that’s definitely a reason not to call it the “birds in the bees”.
Dr. O: Geese. Wow. Yeah, that’s very interesting. What is one thing that we might have already addressed this, but is there any like if there was one thing that we can choose? out of everything you know about? sexual freedom? What can black families take away? What would you want black families to take away from it today?
Sexologist Shamyra: I want black families to get some real sex education. That’s what I want. I want us to get a real sex education, not the STI, not just the STI STD prevention stuff. I want us to get more real sex education, that the sex education that is comprehensive and inclusive of all sexualities, that is based on pleasure, you know, that is consent, informed and discusses consent, because that’s huge. I just want to get the information and not just get the information. But I want us to apply it to our lives because we can literally next education saves lives. And we know this, the research tells us this. And the more information we have, the more accessible to the information. We are we know that we can save as many lives, children are completing suicide and way higher rates than ever before. We know that children who feels safe with talking to their parents about sexuality, they are less likely to attempt and engage or complete suicide. So I just want black families to know that we can save our children if we have sex education.
Dr. O: That is so good. And, and I always like to tell my parents this if you don’t talk to your kids about sex, somebody will. Okay. He said we are all sexual creatures.
Sexologist Shamyra: We all are and that whether or not we engage in sex or not, so choosing not to have sex is still exercising your sexuality. So when people need to understand that right, and you are so right about if you don’t talk to your children about sex, someone else will. My kids come home. And because we talk about sex openly in our house in age appropriate ways. Of course, our children come home and they talk about stuff that people talk about on the bus. And it was a conversation that they heard on a bus about masturbation. And they didn’t say masturbation, but they were saying that some boys on the bus were saying, if they masturbate, they get taller.
Dr. O: I remember for me, I remember hearing and I believed this for probably two or three years that if a man pees in a woman, she’ll get pregnant.
Sexologist Shamyra: You see what I’m saying? I remember I used to watch I don’t remember what this show was. But a long time ago with my mom, we watched this show. And a girl was on theirsaying like after you have sex, you need to get a Coca Cola and shake it up and allow it to go inside of your vagina and don’t get pregnant. And I don’t remember what that was all in and I was like, Oh, no, no, no, no, that’s not that’s how we don’t do
Dr. O I can imagine that would really be uncomfortable.
I have all kinds of infections. literally thought you pour the coke in there.
Sexologist Shamyra: Yeah, you shake it up. And this is my coke. You remember what Coca Cola came in a glass bottle, you shake it up in the glass bottle, and you open it and allow it to explode inside the vagina.
Dr. O: Oh my god. Parents talk to your kids. Okay.
Sexologist Shamyra: That won’t prevent pregnancy. Okay.
Dr. O: I bet. All right, we’re now going to transition to a part of part of the show that we like to call “What’s Good.” So what’s good is when I give a hypothetical scenario, and then ask your expert feedback, is that okay?
Sexologist Shamyra: That’s fine with me.
Dr. O: All right, Meet Patty. Patty is a 72 year old black woman has carried eight children full term, 2 premature babies, and a stillborn she loves her kids andsays that got her biggest contribution in life has been through the lenses of her children. But recently, she has been unfulfilled and decided to try therapy. It was in therapy that she learned that a woman could have an orgasm. Yeah, after birthing and nine children. Patti had never had an orgasm at 72 years old. She wants to go home and speak with her husband about it to see if she could experienced this, but she has no idea where to start. How would you advise her?
Sexologist Shamyra: Oh, wow, I love that. That sounds so familiar. You know, it’s also so sad, you know, to hear I always get a little sad when I hear people who say that they’ve never had an orgasm. But at 72 I can imagine that that’s a thing because my grandmother is 92. And I’m sure she’s never had an orgasm. But what I would talk to her about basically, I would talk to her about the functions of the vulva and the vagina, talk to her about you know, erogenous zones. And usually at that part, we will talk about ways for her to explore the area first, before I even introduced her to any type of apparatus or tell her to masturbate because I know a lot of people go straight to Oh, just go masturbate. Right. So I will talk to her more about having dates with her valva Emily Loski calls these v dates. So we’re in a mirror and you look at these at your valva in a mirror, one of my favorite exercises to do at seminars and workshops. And let me I don’t actually do this is one of my favorite exercises to tell people to do. I would instruct her for a little while to just get comfortable because chances are she’s not had an orgasm before, she’s probably not explored her that area of herself before. So I would talk to her about maybe getting a little more acquainted with herself. And once she feels a little bit more comfortable, we can talk about manual stimulation of the clitoris and all the vagina as well. And then I would introduce something small to her like a small vibrator or something that vibrates or something like that. And then we will talk about that experience.
Dr. O: Very good. I love that. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I want to make sure that you tell us a little bit more before you go about your book. Use Your Mouth. Mm hmm. When I hear the title, I think oral but is that?
Sexologist Shamyra: No, I love this when I first made the use your mouth brand. I may use your mouth sex and relationship conversation starter cards. And I made these because of course as a sex relationship therapist, I see a lot of people who say we have communication problems. And people aren’t talking about sex in their relationships. People who have sex with each other, aren’t talking about sex. So they’re not not with each other. Like they’re not knowing how to explore. They’re not even having conversations about the relationship. So I made the use your mouth, conversation starters, sex and relationship conversation starter cards first, to help people connect in and out of the bedroom. And so basically, because conversations, save relationships and conversations, basically, we need conversations for our relationship to build intimacy. They, we need those. So having these conversations actually bring us together, and it increases intimacy, right. So after I made the cards, people wanted more, they were like expansion pack, blah, blah. And then people were still talking about they, you know, wanted more intimacy. So whenever they will come in. And whenever I asked people about what intimacy means for them, or what’s intimacy, they go straight to sex. They like, well, we have sex about three times a week. And so I realized that the reason why people didn’t feel as connected is because they didn’t really understand intimacy fully outside of the sexual realm. So I wrote a small pocket sized book. It’s called use your mouth packetized conversations, to simply increase seven types of intimacy in and out of the bedroom. And so the book is basically it’s a very short read is basically to help couples understand different types of intimacy including sex, because all three hear, they only touch me when they want sex and I want more intimacy. And so a lot of people are like, Well, what does that mean? And you’re like, I just want you to just be closer to me. And so the book actually helped to define what that mean for a lot of people. So it can be found on my website on the greencouch.com. And it is an Amazon number one best seller.
Dr. O: Yay. Congratulations. Congratulations. So tell us your website again, real quickly. The website is www.onthegreencouch.com.
Sexologist Shamyra: Okay, and I was just looking on your website. So it looks like though you’re located in Baton Rouge, and surrounding areas, you can service the whole state. Is that correct ? Through telehealth?
Dr. O: Yeah, yes. And she can you can follow her on Instagram.
Sexologist Shamyra: Yes. My Instagram handle is sexologistshamyra. I’m also Sexologist Shamyra on Facebook, and I’m on there on Twitter, but I’m not on Twitter. I just share everything on Twitter. I can’t really understand Twitter or Instagram, though and Facebook as Sexologist Shamyra.
Dr. O: Love it. Love it. Love it, you have brought a wealth of knowledge for us today, you’ll talk about some very, I don’t wanna say taboo because it shouldn’t be but I think we still internalize it that way. But you made it safe. You talked about it in a way. And I have learned so much and Imma grab your book. And I want to direct my audience for that as well.
Sexologist Shamyra: Good. Thank you so much.
Dr. O: You’re so welcome. Thank you for this interview. I truly appreciate it and I can’t wait for us to follow up soon.
Sexologist Shamyra: Same here. Thank you for inviting me. I’m so glad that we got to meet.
Dr. O: Fantastic you take care you have a wonderful day.
Sexologist Shamyra: You too. Thank you so much. Bye Ya’ll
Dr. O: Bye