Hi Roomies, I’m Ev’Yan!
Introducing Ev’Yan Whitney
Ev’Yan is a sexuality educator, therapist and writer from the United States. They are communicating with people all around the world through their podcast and book ‘Sensual Self’. 120,000 followers on instagram are also tuning in to Ev’Yan’s stories and advice.
Creating the role of ‘Sexuality Doula’?
In 2014, Ev’Yan coined the term "Sexuality Doula" and pioneered learning and healing methods. A doula is not a healthcare provider, but rather a trained and experienced companion, usually for pregnancy and childbirth. They are a person who is dedicated to taking care of both the body and the mind of a mother during childbirth. A new life needs a lot of help to make it’s way into the world in a safe and healthy way. Ev’Yan’s idea is that a person’s sexual self can also require guidance and support to develop and thrive.
Ev’Yan's role is to guide individuals to let go of their fear and find stability and reach pleasure when exploring their desires.
We compiled some of our Roomie’s most common questions about desire and relationships, and Ev’Yan gave us the answers!
🙋♀️ : It’s not all binary! When it comes to sex one of the biggest and most common pinpoints that I get from folks is that they do not know how to be in their bodies fully when they're having sex.
This is something that I see a lot with my women and non-binary clients where, because they have been sort of groomed to be these subservient, quiet, docile, submissive beings and because they have been told over and over again that their pleasure is too complicated or that they're not meant to take up too much space within this sexual interaction that it's all about your partner's pleasure particularly if that partner's a man or masculine of center.
We have to do a lot of work to dismantle and unpack a lot of those narratives that folks are walking around with without even knowing.
I've worked with clients recently who come to me being like “there's nothing wrong with me. I just don't want to have sex and I don't really have that high of a sex drive.”… not everybody is sexual and folks experience sexuality, sexual desire and attraction in a varying amount of ways and they're not wrong for that it's just we're different. (With my clients) we work through it and sometimes they're actually on the ace spectrum, and that gives them a bigger space possibility to be sexual or to be sensual or to experience pleasure and intimacy with themselves and their partners rather than this very binary degree or ‘you’re sexual or you're not’.
🙋♀️ : I feel like it depends on the person, right? But…
I mean I think that when it comes to one-night-stands, friends with benefits, the needs are similar but some of them are different right? Like if you are having sex with someone that you only want to see once or twice or want to have a casual sort of situation with your needs might be different or they might be the same.
After you have a sexual experience the differences are in the way that you're treated or in the way that you want to be treated or connect to your partner after sex, with a romantic relationship versus someone that you just had a one night stand with.
I feel that this idea of caring for or feeling cared for or feeling safe, that there's consent conversation involved. I kind of feel like even if it's not the situation with a romantic partner or even if you are doing a sort of one-night-stand casual thing, it's really important to think about these larger questions of like “what do I need to feel safe?”
What kind of conversations do I want to have with this partner that I'm hooking up with to make sure that we're on the same page when it comes to consent? What sort of things do I feel comfortable to reveal about myself so that this person can know a bit about my background? particularly if I am someone who has experienced sexual trauma and violence? What kind of depth and emotional intelligence do I want this person to have so that when we are interacting with each other it feels like a space where we can both have a good time?
🙋♀️ : Trauma is really complex.
I really want to stress the importance of going to therapy. And I say that as someone who has experienced sexual trauma and who has been in therapy for a long time working through that. Therapy is so important, and it's something that I'm always talking to my clients and my students about. Like I have no shame talking about the fact that I'm in therapy. And I just I think it's such an important thing to invest in.
The trauma that we've experienced might have been in isolation but we don't have to heal from it in isolation. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to ask for support. It's okay to need help and support.
I've worked with people in the past to have been like “this act, this act of violation happened a number of years ago. I don’t know why I still feel the way that I do about it, I should be over it by now”. And I really just want to give folks permission, that it's okay for this to still be a thing that you need help for and it's okay to ask for support.
I think one of the bigger mistakes that I've made in my own healing personally is that when it came to trying to understand my own sexual issues, I was going straight to like logical thinking. Like, let me just read a book… But I also think that we need to make space for the intelligence and inherent wisdom of our body. Because sex happens with our bodies. Trauma happens to our bodies. So, it would make sense that the body is informed through that process of healing. Maybe that means targeting those specific areas of your body that are holding that tension, holding that trauma, holding that shame … getting into some kind of yoga practice or movement practice, dance, walking, something that allows your body to move and find some spaces where it can be free.
I just want folks who have experienced sexual trauma to know that they're not alone. That what happened to them is not their fault and that there are so many people who are ready and willing to support them through this, that they don't have to search for those answers or try to heal themselves by themselves.