At WISP we care about overcoming taboos when it comes to sex and sexuality. While sensuality is just one way of opening up discussions around sex, we spoke to host of the amazing podcast Sex Ed With DB to find out what sex ed, and creating this podcast, means to her.
Hey Danielle, could you tell us a little about your podcast series?
Sex Ed with DB is a feminist podcast bringing you all the sex ed you never got, done through intersectional storytelling. This means we want to talk about all the different facets of sex education, whether that be masturbation and pleasure, body image, or abortions, period equity, sex workers experiences, birth control, mental health, consent, menopause, porn, or differently abled sex. Our goal is to reach the masses and normalise these conversations, and make sure folks feel their voices are being heard. We primarily want to make sure we are uplifting people of colour, queer voices and other marginalised groups who may not otherwise have the opportunity to share their own stories and ideas.
Why did you start the podcast? What did you think the world needed to hear?
Almost five years ago, I was in Israel for a year teaching English on a volunteer abroad programme. I was on a trip with the rest of my teaching cohort in Jerusalem, and the main Rabbi was showing us around. At one point he offhandedly said that he has five daughters and when all of them reached 17 or 18 "they will be married off by the matchmaker and they won’t learn about sex until their wedding night, and hopefully they’ll get pregnant that same night".
That really ignited something in me. It angered me. I tried to challenge those notions and he swatted away my question saying that’s just how it is over here - “next question”. That in combination with the election of our current president really pushed me to want to start these conversations around sex education.
Why is sex education so important?
It is a part of every single persons life in one way or another. Not necessarily the act of sex, because there are asexual folks out there, so we want to be mindful of not excluding anyone. Sex education is an all encompassing idea that relates to the way we see ourselves, the way we see others; pleasure; how we feel in our bodies; how we feel when we look at our bodies; how we think other people look at our bodies. It has to do with mental health; it has to do with physical health; emotional health; wellbeing.
I think it’s important because of the issues we have in our society. Whether that be about sexual assault, rape and lack of consent, or people who have body image issues, people who aren’t comfortable in their own skin, the gender pleasure gap, people being marginalised for their sexual orientation or gender identity, or disadvantaged in our very heteronormative society. All these conversations enable us to engage with these really important things, that in one way or another, impact everyone.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve learnt from speaking to so many amazing people?
A really interesting conversation I had when recording the podcast was in our "Just Trust Women" episode, (Season 2 Episode 6). We chatted with Toni Guy and Dr Karen Scott. I made this blanket statement, that was pretty ignorant at the time.
I said, “don’t you feel if everyone had access to abortion, poverty would disappear?”
Dr Karen Scott replied “no Danielle, there are other kinds of instances of structural oppression, racism, sexism and classism, that have to be attended to and fixed before we can even talk about one facet of that ending poverty. In poor communities families need access to healthy foods, transportation, clean water, good paying safe jobs.”
That conversation opened my eyes. I do think that a lot of things would be better if people had safe access to abortion. But it’s definitely not the end all be all of what would need to happen in order to dismantle poverty and the system that perpetuates it.
Tell us a bit about your fave episode that you would like people to listen to.
"Vote for Pleasure Part II", where one of my best friends and I chat about politics and about the presidential candidates who have sex education as part of their platform. It was a very authentic episode, it’s funny, silly and informational.
Do you have a favourite smell or taste?
I have two really weird favourite smells, and one normal one. Walking down the bread aisle in a supermarket, is absolutely one of my favourite smells. It’s just so fresh and so great. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s nostalgic for me. The second one is definitely nostalgic. Play-Doh. I love the smell of Play-Doh, it’s very bizarre. It’s really salty and reminds me of being a kid.
The "normal" smell I love is Clinique Happy. It’s one of my favourite perfumes. It smells so fresh and clean, sexy and fun.
In terms of favourite taste, it would probably be my favourite desert, which is Tiramisu. Light fluffy, rummy, creamy, sugary deliciousness.
What do you do to be more sensual in your life?
Being sensual for me comes with good experiences not only that I have with myself, but with my partner. Things that feel good between us. Paying attention to the specific clothes that I’m wearing, or my hair, or how the different curves of my body look in the mirror.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I want to tell everyone that our last episode of Season 3 comes out October 15th; check us out at www.sexedwithdb.com. Just remember, it’s never too late to start learning, and it’s never too early. There’s always sex ed appropriate information for kids as well as teens, adults and beyond.
Bio: Danielle Bezalel, aka DB, is the Creator, Producer, and Host of Sex Ed with DB. Danielle is absolutely thrilled to share Season 3 of the Sex Ed with DB Podcast with the world! Danielle is a Masters in Public Health candidate with a focus on Sexuality, Sexual, and Reproductive Health at Columbia University; she graduated with her BA in Film and Media Studies from UC Berkeley. For fun, she loves to sing and perform on stage, travel to a new place, check out the latest Broadway musical, and eat as many Reese's cups as physically possible. To learn more about her and her story, email DB at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.sexedwithdb.com to check out the podcast.
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