Waaaay back in September 2011 (which seems almost like a lifetime ago at the moment), I traveled to Portland for a flurry of photo shoots and a Rally. When I returned to New York, I was so full of ideas that I forgot to show you the portraits I’d taken! So now I’ve decided it’s time for show and tell. Today I’m sharing an interview with self-described sensualist Ev’Yan Whitney, whom I photographed, along with her husband, Jonathan Mead, in and around Portland’s Ace Hotel.
K: I get the sense that through your blog and your book, you’ve started a much-needed discussion of sex and sexuality in the online personal development world. What called you to start Sex, Love, Liberation?
E: Sex, Love, Liberation came from my own personal longing. I had this deep, insatiable desire to create a platform where I could document my sexual self-discovery journey. And then I realized that a lot of people need that outlet, too. Since then, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn everything I can about sexuality to aid in my own journey & the journeys of others.
K: I’m imagining that you’ve done a lot of learning about yourself through writing your blog. What’s one of the most interesting shifts you’ve experienced?
E: That matters of sexual dissatisfaction cannot be solved solely through the mind (logic, systems). It should be dealt with with movement, physical exploration, tangible release. Figuring this out healed my own perceived “dysfunction.”
K: Have you been afraid to write and talk about your own experiences with sex and sexuality? If so, how have you overcome the fear and done it anyway?
E: Every time I sit down to write something, I feel a small pang of fear. But I’ve found that continuing to write in the midst of that fear allows me to produce the most raw & revealing work. And I think that’s the key to speaking about such private matters. We don’t need anymore passionless diagnoses or complex techniques. We need humility, we need vulnerability, we need a sense of empathy. Those things are perpetually present in fear, & I do my best to embrace them.
K: What’s your very favorite way to practice self-care?
E: Touch, self-exploration, ecstatic release (i.e., masturbation). There’s nothing quite like being blissfully reminded of our capacity to experience pleasure. Self-love is self-care, & self-care can be in the form of orgasm (or being turned on).
K: What (or whom) is bringing you joy right now?
My husband & partner-in-lust. He gives me permission to be myself, wholly & unreservedly. He accepts me as I am & loves me unconditionally. He (& the companionship we share) gives me so much joy.
Ev`Yan Whitney is a liberation artist for women who are hungry for shameless sensual expression. With honeyed prose, she instigates brazen discussions about sexuality at her digital sanctuary, sexloveliberation.com, which serves as a safe haven for women who are craving connection to their inner desires. Join her tribe of sensualists by signing up to the Self-Love Letters. You can also follow her on Twitter: @ev_yan.