Photos by Inna Shnayder.
Tell us about yourself
I have been working in corporate finance for over 10 years now and currently work in private equity at a consulting firm.
I also work with a project called Hedoné, which is a non-profit that seeks to liberate pleasure through art and contribute to the eradication of female genital mutilation. The project is based on sensuality and merging consciousness with the embodiment of the sensual self; it is realizing that pleasure exists in everything that you do and are.
I am also part of an organization in Delhi, India called Sewing New Futures which brings women out of sex trafficking and teaches them how to sew in order to gain a sustainable income. It provides them with social services such as education, medical care and career training. We have a sewing center for the women and their children and sell the garments that the women produce with 100% of the proceeds going back to the women.
How old are you?
I just turned 35, and every year continues to be better than the last and the best year of my life!
Where do you live?
I currently live in Venice Beach and will soon be acquiring property in Mexico to build a communal living project.
What was your relationship to sex like growing up?
I was sexually abused as a child in my home by a relative for 7 years. This isn’t something that people openly talk about in society but for me this is one of the strongest, most relevant things that has shaped me into the woman I am today. Needless to say, I have had a very tumultuous relationship with my sexuality over my lifetime. I have grown a lot and have allowed myself to break free from thought patterns that once trapped me in a life I didn’t desire.
Now I remain very alert and conscious of my sexuality and how it is portrayed to others but most importantly to myself. When I speak of my past it is usually quite shocking to others because I am very free in my life now; but I attribute that freedom of self and expression to fighting the hard fight. I will never sacrifice the person that I am or who I want to be because I have fought very hard to get here.
What were the events in your life that have made you the sensual woman you are today?
I was with a partner for a long time who was not as sexual a person as I am. Again, another taboo in our culture that we don’t normally discuss openly. This experience in my life really emphasized how important sex is to the formation of who I am as a person, and to my relationships.
I am a very sensual and sexual person and I am proud of that. I am now very cautious of making sure the sexual energy of any partner is a good fit and someone I would consider being in a relationship with. They need to be able to play, laugh, enjoy and be fully embodied in the sexual experiences we have together or it isn’t a good fit for me.
I recently stopped using a vibrator all together. I was feeling like it was taking longer in duration and more intensity for me to build up to climax and since then I really feel like my masturbation has led to such deep and intimate orgasms. This could also be a product of getting older and growing more into my sexual prime as a woman.
So right now I would say that I use lube mostly, non-toxic is preferred, and I also have a double sided glass dildo which is really nice to use with a partner, silk ties and eye masks, fuzzy things, butt-plugs and small treasures that I have collected over time.
Do you still have any insecurities or hangups when it comes to your sensuality?
Of course, I am human. Haha I am very particular when sleeping with a partner about that person being connected and present in that moment. This is something I have really tried to work on within myself.
This book was gifted to me by my friend Vanessa Jova who is an artist and makes these beautiful crystal creations under her brand Of Aurora. Her art is incredibly sensual and feminine. This particular piece is called Venus Vulva.
How do you connect with your sensuality?
I make space in my daily life for sensuality all of the time. I am constantly connecting with it in every decision I make about who I want to be. Everything I do goes into that so it isn’t just a handful of things for me. I love to dress up and have role-play in relationships, I also like bondage and lots of different techniques. I simply like to explore who I am with each partner and who they are; how our energy is together and see what fits, then always change it up.
I love documentaries about nature because I feel that nature is the truest form of sensual and sexual expression. Just the simple image of a flower blooming, animals running free and the tides ebbing and flowing reminds me of the sensual aspects within myself and others.
How do you manage your schedule to make time for yourself?
I am very selfish when it comes to me-time. I like to sleep early and wake up early in order to walk on the beach and meditate every morning. I love to sing and dance a lot, I like to sing in the morning at the ocean as well. Since adding this ritual to my life I feel a greater depth and appreciation for my feminine self. This time is only mine and only for me, no one has to see it or know about it for it to be fulfilling. It brings me great joy.
I love taking long baths with candles and bath salts and I have a large collection of vintage lingerie and house slippers from the 1940s to 1980s.
What are the ways you’re continuing to explore and learn about sensuality?
I am mostly heterosexual, but my sexuality is always a state of mind and remains fluid at points. I feel like I am just beginning to get into my sexual prime as a woman - the more conscious connected experiences I have, the deeper they continue to be.
An exploration of tantra over the past several years have led to a deeper look and exploration of my sensual self. I really enjoy the teachings of Margot Anand and Osho. Even though he is quite controversial he has a lot of valuable things to say about love, intimacy and sex.
I enjoy Esther Perel as a modern day sage on the topic of sex and sensuality from the feminine perspective, and David Deida from the masculine perspective.
Who inspires you and teaches you about sensuality?
Anyone who is living in their truth, self-confidence and freedom inspires me. I am inspired by Lola Toscano, the founder of Hedoné.
What are some new products you want to try in the future?
Everything! But for me, toys are just for fun and to be playful. They are not necessary when connecting with a partner. I believe the most important factors in connecting with a partner sexually are eye contact, breathing and presence.
How do you see the relationship between sensuality and sexuality existing?
Sensuality comes from within, it is a deep seed planted in the spirit which blends the conscious mind with the body. Sensuality can be found in everything that you do from eating to walking or simply smiling. It is an essence of who you are and for most people it can remain suppressed throughout your life, but it doesn’t have to be. Sensuality doesn’t have to be linked at all to sex in any form it is just a state of being, it holds the divine feminine.
Sexuality on the other hand is more surface level, it exists within the sex organs, it is something that is felt and exudes through you and through the discovery of pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Sexuality is the Masculine side of the sensual self and it can be soft or rough, painful or light, it can be all things at any given moment we don’t have to choose just one.
Both Sensuality and Sexuality carry equal weight in my life, they are the two sides of the scales within myself and to be balanced in my life they have to be intertwined and integrated. The masculine and feminine constantly ebb and flow within me and push and pull me throughout my life.
You say "God is love" and I say what if “Love is God?” - Osho