We’re lucky live in a world where lots of us are free to be who we want to be, sexually. We have access to a lot of raunchy material. But raunch is very rarely combined with useful information about the actual sex.
As sex positive woman of colour (WoC), I also very rarely see myself reflected back in the media. Take, for instance, the following commercial smash hits: Sex and the City, The L Word, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Girls, Catastrophe, Fleabag. Apart from all being smart and diverting depictions of women’s sexuality, they only really feature Caucasian people.
So, in 2018, I launched my own web platform, ‘Kayleigh Daniels Dated’, which subverts the concept of ‘sex sells’ by pairing beautifully illustrated sexy stories with informative health features by expert writers, to encourages and normalise free and frank discussion about sexuality.
Kayleigh Daniels is a 30-year-old fictional character, whose dating exploits – written by me – are published monthly. She’s a darker-skinner WoC, who dates lots of different physical and socio-economic types of people. Because it’s important that readers understand that, not only does Kayleigh have lots of great (and sometimes not so great) sexual experiences, but they are also with different kinds of people, who are all into her. So far, she’s dated people who range in age from 26 to 61 and have occupations that include an estate agent, acrobat and aristocrat.
The accompanying information features expand on a theme in the dating story – such as cystitis, polyamory and consent – and are all commissioned out to professional ‘sexperts’.
In the UK, women of colour experience negative reproductive and sexual health outcomes, in addition to barriers accessing sexual health and reproductive health care. Some of these include: difficulty negotiating condoms use, increased rates of domestic violence, language barriers, concerns about confidentiality and cultural stigmas.
So, to tackle some of these issues I’ve brought in doctors, therapists and facilitators from the fields of gynaecology, sexual health, sex therapy, and psychiatry – the majority of whom are women of colour – to demystify some of the taboos surrounding women’s sexuality.
Last Autumn we held evening an event at Libreria London, and were joined by writers Yomi Adegoke and Bridget Minamore for an evening of contemporary visual storytelling.