I love everything spirituality, sex, and relationships.
I believe the core of our humanity is our connection with one another and our ability to create a life filled with our passions and desires. We all have the right to live a life with fun, joy, dignity, and healthy relationships. I receive great pleasure in helping people breakdown barriers that prevent them from connecting with their relationships and internal desires.
People often ask me,
“Why did you become a sex therapist?”
My answer is,
“It was more of an unexpected journey than a goal.”
As a child, I was often known as the special and somewhat different one. I held a sense of empathy, curiosity and intuition that was gifted from probably before I could talk. I have always had the ability to help people find the space to feel safe, heard, and be honest with themselves and others. I am often described as having the perfect blend between raw grit and compassion. I love working within taboos and the unspoken.
To go deeper in my story...
I grew up in Nashville, TN, one of the only Black kids in my neighborhood and school. My mom was from Miami and the Bahamas and my dad from Pittsburgh and New York. I was often questioned for being different. My accent wasn’t very strong for someone born in the South. My dad was passing for White, so I was often questioned about my ethnicity and race, and I plainly just connected to the world a little differently than the average person my age.
I was raised with the knowledge that as a woman and as a Black person in America I would be looked at as inferior, but I was not to allow society’s dysfunctional labels and stereotypes define me. I was to honor my ancestors, my intelligence, and my womanhood even if no one else did. I had the knowledge that I was born into a system that made me a taboo before I had the chance to define myself. I was stuck in a world where I was often too… to fit in.
I grew up a “daddy’s girl.” He was my heart, and largely who I contribute my gifts of empathy and compassion. My mother giving me gifts of resourcefulness, drive, and insight. In many ways, my foundation was filled with love and joy. However, just as there is light there tends to be a shadow side, and my shadow was my father’s battle with addiction. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how addiction impacted my upbringing, but what I will say is that it wasn’t easy. My heart was often broken, and resources often displaced. I grew up in the shadows of many secrets, and the only way I knew to compensate was through achievement and spirituality. I wasn’t allowed to show my vulnerability and pain because I had to protect my family from shame, and not give people additional ammunition that I was inferior. I was able to listen and connect to other’s secrets and pain because I held my own.
As soon as I got the chance, I left Nashville with the expectation never to return. I was in a constant battle of trying to prove that I was more than the stereotype of a Black woman who is a product of a drug addict. I hid my feelings of inferiority by becoming a wounded healer working past exhaustion and being highly critical and rigid with myself. I was focused on helping others have opportunities that prevented them from reaching their full potential because I wished someone had noticed my pain.
Along my journey, I entered into a relationship with a partner who was very controlling, but I could not see it because their practices of control fit my ideals of love, romance, and security. I began to become disconnected from my creativity, my sex drive disappeared, and all I could see value in was the finish line toward achievement. In many ways, I was miserable hiding my light and authentic self to show I was worthy through mainstream ideas of success.
I ended up following love to California, and due to power dynamics it ended in a way that left me homeless and brokenhearted. In my mind I had followed all of the “rules” for success in love and life, and still ended up exactly where I never wanted to be. I became disconnected from my faith. I was in a place where I had no family or friends. I felt overwhelmingly lost, hurt, and confused. I was right where I needed to be because my previous path of service was marked in self-righteousness, and I needed movement toward true compassion. I needed to learn that you can follow all of the steps to righteousness and still fall flat on your ass. Good and bad happen to everyone no matter the actions. The choice to do caring actions should be to help the soul of humanity not for the desire of some divine outcome. With time, I was able to survive and eventually thrive. Even while displaced, I went on to complete two master’s degrees with the hope in working in social justice.
I was on an upward cycle. I had overcome one of the most challenging circumstances in my life better and stronger. I had many opportunities at my door, and then my father’s health began to decline. I ended up doing something I never thought I would do and moved back to Nashville. My connections weren’t the same, and I ended up working as a medical social worker in long-term care. Not what was planned, but part of my journey. I was good at it. I was resourceful, compassionate, and death and change were normal for me.
As I went deeper into my personal growth a theme began to surface. I was essentially placing myself in a box based on what I was told was acceptable and respectful. I was functioning from a space of wearing a lot of different mask to please others and be accepted. I wasn’t given the opportunity to make mistakes because I carried the burden of defying multiple layers of shame from society. It was time for me to take care of me and reconnect to what was my path. I reconnected with my spirituality on a deeper level, actively meditated, went to therapy, and started doing intensive shadow work.
I began to reflect on my gifts and what came naturally for me versus what I was told would bring me profit. I knew I was a strong therapist. I was good at going into dark and taboo places with people. I was ready to really give space to pleasure and fun. A hobby of mine was learning the intricacies of sex. It is the one action that can literally make and/or break a person. It is one action that easily can connect the mind, body, and soul. In many ways it is a source of creativity and magic. I was often teased for being the “nerd of sex.” I had watched family members pass from AIDS in my childhood and unintended pregnancies came with a lot of stigma, so I knew it was a magic not to take lightly.
I was very preachy about safety. I was the one friends came to for condoms and pregnancy tests in high school. Regardless of my personal actions, I believed in having options and being safe. In many ways I was a sex educator long before I actually claimed the title. My knowledge was very personal to me and was only to be shared between lovers and friends. Owning and sharing my knowledge around sex was vulnerable for me. One of my earliest scripts around sex was, “Sex is the quickest way to have your power stripped as a woman.”. I wanted to be respected in this world, and I knew that anything sex related came with stigma. I had already felt the overt and subtle burdens of racism and sexism throughout my life personally and professionally. Did I really want to make things more challenging for myself? Honestly, I had to make the choice to stand bold or stand still. I had done too much to not listen to the guidance of what felt right in my spirit, and I went on to get additional education as a sex therapist and educator. I also worked as a consultant for Bedroom Kandi to educate my community on sexual health and pleasure.
I would love to say my journey from there was seamless and everything worked out smoothly and in full alignment, but it didn’t. I knew what I was getting into, and my insight was correct. The judgements were strong within my community. I would often hear chuckles when I told people about my path. I had no models for the path I was taking. I was entering unchartered territory, one filled with a lot of racism and tons of barriers for access. I asked for help, and soon learned that I was entering into a network that really only catered to a certain demographic, all of which I did not fit. The level of inequity within both the mental health and sexual health community was astonishing. Mostly because the racism and barriers were held by people who thought they were above it. People who specialized in seeing the truth were so blind to their own. It was disheartening and discouraging, and more reason I needed to stay on my path because I needed to open spaces of healing for people who had no access.
" I needed to be a face of healing to let others know they can receive help, and for hidden healers to know they can do this work too."
Over the years, I have helped countless individuals and couples move from shame to honest authenticity. I have helped people go deep into past traumas and move into a space of security, compassion, and grace. I enjoy teaching and helping people find resources for achieving pleasure and healing. I enjoy helping people break free from their boxes. I’m still on my journey. I am still curious. I am still learning, and I am here to partner with you as you progress in your journey.
I believe as we all do our work we can heal the traumas of the past and help create more space for pleasure in our future.