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I'm A Sex Doula & I’ll Teach You How To Find The Sex Goddess In You

Reminding ourselves how powerful our love is, is the most empowering thing we can offer ourselves.

As Told To


As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Amina Peterson's story, as told to Charmin Michelle.

My all-time favorite moment as a sex doula has an ironclad NDA—so I can't really talk about it. Sorry. But a close second, was the time I was leading a large group of black women into a meditational masturbation session.

It was unbelievable. The energy in the room was so powerful. Pieces of art fell from the walls as some of us reached orgasm. Like, completely fell off the wall. Whewww. The women who were at that session were all very new to Tantra, to sexual liberation, and to me.

If they didn't believe in me before, they certainly left believing in me then.

Ha! Yes, ladies. I'm great at what I do.

Introduction Of A Goddess

My name is Amina, and I am your Goddess, Sex Doula, Intimacy Guide, and Somatic Bodyworker. You could say my line of work is a mixed plate—I also run a "church" of women who subscribe to my teachings, placing me in the role of teacher/leader often. I use a variety of tools, including meditation, touch, reiki, breath, BDSM, and talk therapy to guide people into an expanded sexual experience, encouraging healing from traumatic past experiences, and accessing pleasure points in the body. My sessions with my clients are very different—we meet online, in group sessions, on massage tables, and in beds.

My sex work meets the client where they are, moving them to where they desire to be.

I was actually closeted deep in the shadows of sex work until 2016–completely anonymous. I never used my face in my ads, I even went by a pseudonym. I suppose I was still holding on to a bit of shame around my work, which prevented me from reaching my full potential. I continued to work in corporate, in highly visible positions, which threatened my work, so this caused me to hide—and for the longest, I thought I was unnoticed.

Silly, right?

Well, one day while at dinner with a group of women I had known for years, I was outed. They were complaining about the lack of intimacy in their relationships, the frustrations they were dealing with and sex problems. One of the women looked at me and said, "Amina, why don't you help us. Isn't this what you do?"

I sat stunned. And it quickly became obvious that these women had been following me and that I really wasn't hiding from anyone. From that moment forward, I resolved not to hide anymore.

Which I guess was right on time because I've seen over the years, sex work become more visible in the black community, which is making it more safe, sought after, and maintaining a level of accountability that was missing before. When I first started going to to Tantra events, I would be the darkest, youngest person in the building. Now, my classes have mothers and daughters together, and my clients are all ages. The Tantra Fest had attendees ranging from age 18-70.

Our community has the juice, even in sex work. When we chant we sound good, you hear me. Like, soulful kirtan is a THING and we do it well.

My upbringing consisted of a mish-mosh of things. My biggest complaint being that my mother, a hotep-ish fan of Dr. Sebi, raised us without sweets. She also raised us without religion, which I'm incredibly grateful for. We were home schooled, initially, with several other children from the neighborhood, but a toxic marriage took a toll on my mother's mental health and she divorced my stepfather. Soon after, we began attending public school.

There was a lot of Muslim and Buddhist influence in our home from growing up around my mother's African and Asian friends in the shadows of 80's east coast Hip Hop. My father died when I was 11, causing my life to take an unfortunate series of twists and turns in my teenage years. After several years as a queer runaway and living on the street, at age 17, I returned to Islam—which really helped to frame my concept of womanhood, the divine feminine and the subjugation of that energy.

Birth Of A Sex Doula

I was 19 when I answered an ad in the Chicago Reader for a sexual surrogate with the Father of Sex Surrogacy, Dr. Dean Dauw. That was my first dip of the toe into the work. I was on scholarship at the University of Illinois, still receiving my father's death annuity, and I was in the Army reserves, so I can't say I needed the money, but I was intrigued. I didn't stay long with Dr. Dauw, as my own understanding, and issues, with God, sex, shame, and guilt were amplified in the work. I ended up running back to the mosque, donning hijab, burying myself in prayer and fasting and settling down to become a good Muslim wife.

It turned out that traditional marriage and orthodox Islam weren't the best fit for me, and after my second divorce, I removed the veil. I hired a massage therapist, and that woman provided me with more embodied joy then I even knew I was capable, and certainly more than I had felt in the years of selfish lovers and inattentive husbands. I knew at that moment I wanted to give that kind of pleasure to people. With that, I closed my business, a small restaurant on the southside of Chicago, and went to massage school.

I eventually began studying and working as a birth doula, focusing on prenatal and infant massage in my program. However, on Craigslist I was able to work from home, where massage therapy was busy enough to pay rent when birth clients were slow.

When I learned that I could increase my fee from $50 an hour to $150 an hour if I went topless and touched genitals, it was an easy decision.

This was over 17 years ago, before the Craigslist Killer and SESTA/FOSTA.

Life was good.

I moved to Hawaii in 2005, where therapists where calling their offerings "Tantra Massage". I had never heard of it, but I fckin loved the idea, so I looked into it. After reading several books on Tantra, I started offering elements of Tantra to my sessions, and I haven't looked back since.

But I've certainly had my ups and downs in navigating my world. The biggest stigma being sex workers, as a whole. So many believe that sex work isn't work. And working for yourself in the industry is somehow degrading and less than real work. I work just as hard for myself as I did for anyone else, and it is way more rewarding. I really try to just show up authentically in my world so people get to meet and see a sex worker, that way we are not just mythical creatures. No. I certainly exist and I am your neighbor, you sister, your friend. I am not trafficked, and I never have been. Too many think that men are exploiting women in this industry; when clearly this isn't true—80% of my clients are women.

My Life Today + My Lessons + My Teachings

I recently married again (they say third time's a charm, right?), and reside in Atlanta which is the blissful lane I've lived in since our marriage.

We practice ethical non-monogamy (he is also a sex worker). We have a non-sexual partner that we share and we are open to dating separately, but admittedly, it's hard. There is still a lot of fear and stigma around non-monogamy in the black community, so put that on top of my work, and it gets tricky. Also, I prefer women and a lot of women who date women, have an additional stigma with women who are still having sex with men. Because of this, dating for me is a lot of flirting and first dates…not much after that. I'm OK with that, though.

I have my hands full and I know that moving in flow will allow beautiful partners to move in and out of my life in a way that is healthy and productive for all involved.

Courtesy of Amina Peterson

Anyway, ladies, if you're interested in joining my world, make sure you heal, heal, heal. And absolutely nothing less.

I struggled for a long time while I learned how to heal myself. I had to in order to defend myself against all of the energy that I would consume working with other people. Find a community of folks who are sex positive and lean on them as much as you can. Support is everything in this. If you can't find one, email me. Don't go at this alone.

I always choose to empower. Love is empowering. And reminding ourselves how powerful our love is, and that it needs nothing in return—not even more love—is the most empowering thing we can offer ourselves. I am in the business of selling love. As a sex doula, my love is my commodity. I am healing every day with the power of love. Sex, orgasm, intimacy: these are all just byproducts of love.

As of today, I'm honestly not sure what's next for me. The COVID-19 lockdown has me asking myself that all the time. I started my school to teach others how to offer this type of work and I really want to continue teaching as I learn more. I've moved some classes online, but I don't want to be an online school. I want to offer mentoring and coaching in a space where I can physically contact you as much as possible. I am really trying to spend about half of my time with students and half with clients. So, we'll see what the future brings.

But sex is my happy space, and always has been. And that's where you'll be able to find me.

To keep up with Amina and learn some of her sex and spiritual teachings, follow her @atltantra on Instagram. Amina also hosts the annual Tantra Fest in Atlanta which takes place Fall 2020.

Feature image courtesy of Amina Peterson.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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