Body Politic


february: body love
a workshop + panel on the intersection of sexuality and movement

In February, we got together at New Women Space to learn more about one of the less talked about issues in wellness: sex, sexuality, and sensuality. We were curious about how movement and sexuality intersect, and whether exploring this topic further might help us develop a greater understanding of self-love, and body acceptance.

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We started off the afternoon with an intro to kink workshop, led by the incredible kris rodriguez…

Kris is a dominatrix/cyclist and a mental health warrior based in NYC. You might remember them from our September event BODY WORK where they powerfully shared their experience as a plus-size person in the fitness industry.

Kris started off the workshop with some insight into their own journey as a dominatrix. Then we got introduced to Kris’ favorite toys - including their trusty whip, Lynda (named after Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman!).

Kris shows us how it’s done!

Kris shows us how it’s done!

After the workshop, we broke for some snacks at NWS’s amazing pop up cafe, and attendees bought their final tickets for the BODY LOVE raffle. We reconvened downstairs for an amazing panel with sex positive wellness influencer and podcast host, Chinae Alexander; pole-dancer and fitness coach Roz “The Diva” Mays; sex therapist and former wrestler Domina Franco; yoga instructor and burlesque troupe leader Elle Randall; and our lovely workshop leader, Kris! The panel was moderated by body image activist and writer Laura Delarato, who has spoken at several of our BODY TALKs, as well as BODY WORK.

I’m not totally sure why there aren’t like tons of people saying ‘masturbate all the time - it has so many health benefits!’ - that’s not being said - yet there’s so much ‘have your celery juice!
— Laura Delarato on the mainstream wellness industry's approach to sexuality

Our panelists were amazing - we laughed with them, and learned so much from them. They shared personal stories - about overcoming other people’s pre-conceived notions about their bodies, about finding joy in sex and sexuality, about self-image and sex-work, and the journey to self-love.

I lost some weight, and I was doing fitness, wellness, [and] social media stuff. But the most important thing I had to share was that was actually the time I was most unhappy with my body.
— Chinae Alexander on the journey to self-love

After our panel, we announced the winners of our Body Love raffle! We raffled off three amazing prizes. Our first prize was a boudoir photography and manifesting session with the exceptionally talented and magical feminist boudoir photographer Sarah Borst. Next, we raffled off a much-coveted cycle-set of period underwear from THINX, a brand making ultra-comfy underwear for people with periods. Our final prize was a gift bag from The Pleasure Chest, containing sex toys and a piece of lingerie.

No matter what your level of self-confidence, you can’t avoid the fact that your body is a commodity - especially in a heteronormative situation.
— Domina Franco on body image and sex work