Meet our latest Sexuality Superhero, Shanae “Honestly Nae” Adams. Shanae’s goal is to eliminate any taboos or stigmas surrounding sex and pleasure. Shanae is a therapist, educator and sex-positive enthusiast. Get to know Shanae a little better by reading their feature below.
1. Why is sexual health education/therapy so important to you?
Sexual health education is important to me because there is liberation in embracing sexuality. If a person can own and feel confident in the sexuality they can advocate their needs. If you can advocate for what you need sexually, that confidence can help you advocate for yourself in other realms of life as well.
2. How does your experience and/or identity inform your work?
My experiences inform my work because I am a selfish educator, I love learning and putting energy into gathering information that I want to know. Once I have it I can then pass it along to others. Every workshop I create started because I want more information around a topic, they become more of an adventure, and the treasure is more education. I also am very intentional in creating and holding space for the community. Community, in my opinion, is the cure for everything. By presenting workshops with black femmes, QTPOC, and kinksters in mind, I teach through a lens that is not seen in mainstream education.
3. Who was your biggest role model growing up and why?
My biggest role model growing up was Talk Sex with Sue. This was the first time I saw that being a sex educator was an actual career path. I also credit the director of SHAPE, when I was a member at The University of Missouri, for solidifying that I had the passion, knowledge, and skills to do that. My dream one day is that I become some other Black femme’s ‘Talk Sex with Sue’ and they can see themselves teaching in the future.
4. What’s missing from most sex education programs?
Most sex ed programs are missing sex positivity and pleasure positivity. Programs focus on getting scientific information out but don’t attune to the emotional sides of humans unless the emotion they are pushing is that of shame. Approaching sex ed from pleasure and positive standpoints give young folks more authority in the decisions they make. It sucks to make a choice based on the opinion of others because you are the one that has to live with yourself at the end of the day. By centering pleasure and the other values that feel good to that person, they can own their decisions and find liberation in knowing themselves, their needs, and acting on it.
5. What is your vision for the future of sex?
I would like to future of sex to be a world where we all feel safe, we all hold ourselves accountable for pleasure and we all have critical thinking skills when engaging in sexual acts. Unfortunately in this country, I think that’s only a fantasy. There aren’t structures in place to push positivity, and pleasure is not a value held by society at large. Without that society shift, we will continue to be in the same cycles.
6. If you could wave a sex wand and make one change to the way we view or have sex, what would your wand produce?
My sex wand would upload sex-positivity into all the humans. We would see an appreciation of sex work, finally view each other as equals, be able to have difficult conversations, and believe each other’s experiences without the need to poke holes in the story. Plus there would be a lot more pleasurable sex in the world.