Grey Day Wanders with Kiana Reeves
Women’s health is, and always has been, a passion of ours – one that we are so grateful to be able to continually support through our work with the incredible Planned Parenthood. We firmly believe that reproductive health is a fundamental and inarguable right of all people – an integral facet of health care that facilitates a safer, richer, and more meaningful life. Kiana Reeves, a somatic sex educator for Foria, pelvic health practitioner and full spectrum doula, deals with exactly this - supporting and facilitating women’s sexual and reproductive health on a deep and fundamental level. Working both physically and psychologically, Kiana’s practice and education work is designed to ease conditions ranging from scar tissue and other birth injuries, to emotional trauma surrounding birth and beyond, guiding women towards a fuller, more integrated expression of sexuality, health and motherhood. Calm and nurturing, Kiana approaches all that she does – from working with clients, to mothering her two boys – with a gentle and measured consideration, moving thoughtfully from a place of knowledge, wisdom and intuition. We are so thrilled to feature Kiana on our journal, and were eager to speak with her about her life-changing work. See below for photos from the grey morning we spent wandering the hills of Topanga, and for Kiana’s thoughts on the importance of integrating sexuality into our view of health – as an essential form of self expression and connection.
“Sexuality is as innate to our being as breathing and sleeping. It is an important primal, biological, social, and emotional part of us that keeps us connected to our deepest instincts and connects us to others. As our understanding of wellness evolves as a culture we are beginning to see the re- integration of sexuality as an essential part of wellbeing; an opportunity to redefine our relationship with pleasure, and an invitation to ask ourselves what kind of relationship we want to have with our sexuality.
Not only does a healthy relationship to sexuality (and frequent orgasms) improve your quality of sleep, relieve anxiety, improve mood, and even boost your immune system (all of these benefits can happen with or without a partner), but it also can act as a lifeline to the self - a way of knowing and valuing your own personhood on a deeper and more empathetic level - cultivating a sense of selfhood that, in so many ways, is integral to overall health and happiness.
Sexual desires and needs are not static. They are constantly evolving and changing within us, often in a way that reflects our growth and curiosity - ebbing, flowing and shifting forms as we move through the seasons of our lives. There is no right or wrong way to relate to this part of yourself, rather the process is one of perpetual exploration and discovery.
At my workshops and with my clients, I often hear reports of women feeling a sense of disconnection from this part of themselves. For new moms it can be that since they gave birth it hurts when having sex (usually due to scar tissue - which can be worked through with a skilled practitioner), or they “feel touched out”, that everything in their body feels different and unfamiliar, and that meeting the needs of others all the time leaves nothing left to give. For many other women it is a sense that they are wanting to connect with this part of themselves in a deeper way but they don’t know where to start.
If you too feel a curiosity to ponder or write in a journal, here are some of my favorite questions to share with clients - Is this a part of myself that I value and want to continue to learn about? When I have sex with another person how much do I show up for myself in the experience? How much do I focus on my partners pleasure and how much do I focus on my own? How comfortable do we feel making the requests that will shape and guide our experience? And how do we stay curious so that we can truly experience the capacity of our own bodies? I also encourage you to explore your own body - through self pleasure, through looking at your body, and through education (books like the “Female Anatomy of Arousal”, “Wild Feminine”, and “Come as You Are” are all incredibly informative reads that can help you discover things about your body that you may have never known before).
Sexuality is a powerful tool, and I hope that these resources and techniques will guide you towards a deeper relationship to this essential, life-affirming part of yourself."
– Kiana Reeves