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Sunday
Jan102016

Ebony Stewart on Sexual Health (sex, love & above)

"Sex is never just about the plumbing," says Ebony Stewart, a writer, performance artist, and sexual health instructor. "Sure the act of having sex on the surface level is easy. But what of feelings, the way we love, the way we learned to love . . . and not just the person but ourselves."

"Sex often times has a background story, the one we haven't fully told or even observed," she notes. "Therefore, when we teach or learn about sexual health we have to dissect the emotional, physical, and social parts. Or the heart, the brain, and the genitals. Or the poem, the prose, and memoirs."

Stewart is a leader in the slam poetry and theater arts community of Central Texas, and a three-time Slam Champion in Austin, Texas. She's author of The Queen’s Glory & The Pussy’s Box and Love Letters To Balled Fists. In 2015, her one-woman show, Hunger, earned accolades and awards. Her works appears on YouTube, and has been hailed by audiences across the nation. "Ebony Stewart is a bad ass and gives standout performances," the Austin Chronicle says.

Ebony Stewart recommends three good books on the theme of sexual health:

The Vagina Monologues
by Eve Ensler

Saying the word I was not supposed to say is the thing that gave me a voice in the world. Revealing the very personal stories of women and their private parts gave birth to a public, global movement to end violence against women and girls called V-Day.

In the introduction, we get an idea of what secrets this book might hold. And so, if the title didn't intrigue you or cause you some embarrassing discomfort, Eve Ensler gives you a little bit more rope to hold on to. Maybe you've seen the staged play of The Vagina Monologues or someone told you crude lines from its script because that's all they could remember, and your eyes widened with curiosity and you vowed to see it the next time a organization produced the show. Whichever came first, nothing is like reading the book. Sitting with the words. Alone. On your own time. The book is an ocean, like a woman, wet, engulfing, dangerous, mysterious, forgiving, and calming. If you are a woman or girl, it strengthens you. If you are a man or boy, it humbles you. If you are non-gender conforming, it comforts you.  

Our stories only exist inside our heads
Inside our ravaged bodies
Inside a time and space of war
And emptiness

The Vagina Monologues is generously brave in the way it helps us know and explore the hard and beautiful sexualities of women.

 

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
by Ntozake Shange

i loved you on purpose / i was open on purpose / i still crave vulnerability & close talk

For Colored Girls is the woman of color's bible. It's not for everyone, but in fact, specific in its grit. Written in plain English, but in a dialect that only women of color can fully understand its true meanings, For Colored Girls is layered with so many jewels on how to navigate the body, the heart and soul of being a forgotten woman in this world. While reading, you find yourself in the mouth of these women. For Colored Girls gives us an opportunity to laugh and cry. We get a front row seat of how we come to love and hate our body. What compromises did you make today? What lies did you tell yourself about your worth today? It's not enough to just make love, Ntozake Shange reminds us of its responsibility, the way we lose ourselves and are forever gaining ourselves too. She keeps us close but pushes us away.

my love is too complicated to have thrown back in my face

 
Magical Thinking: True Stories
by Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs is a witty and hysterical and brutally honest writer. I can appreciate anyone who writes exactly what they're thinking in the exact ways they would speak it. Magical Thinking holds nothing back. These short stories have wide range about our sexual insecurities, parental curiosity, and domestic capabilities. This book forces you not to take yourself so seriously. I laughed out loud at how many poor sexual encounters I've had and how awful relationships can be in general. There is no How To guide or This Is The Way It Goes book for every single romantic, sexual, dating instance. In this memoir,  Burroughs helps us realize we're all trying to figure it out, whatever IT is, pertaining to sex, love and above.

Back at the escalator, I see the "down" side is working. Of course, this would be the case. The "down" side always works. You can always slide down with ease. It's going up that sometimes takes extra effort.



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