Domina Franco is a New York City based sex educator, coach, and writer. Franco completed her Masters in Human Sexuality at Widener University and helps clients of all genders and orientations clarify, explore and enhance their sex lives. She guest lectures at universities around the country and provides one-on-one coaching as well as trainings and workshops that cover pleasure exploration, empowerment, kink, and alternative relationship models.
Defining Sexual Authenticity
Domina defines sexual authenticity as approaching your sexuality in a way that’s true to your desires while honoring what you need, what you want, and your boundaries. She warns that it requires a lot of honesty with yourself and others, both of which can be difficult.
“People don’t give themselves enough credit for acting against social norms.” Domina says accepting ourselves and our sexual selves despite cultural resistance requires courage and involves the hard work of cultural unpacking. She admits that overcoming stigma and shame takes a lot of courage.
Many people, Domina reminds us, were raised in conservative social or religious groups, and beliefs about sex, gender, and sexuality inherited from those groups can create lifelong hang-ups. Even people who don’t come from conservative backgrounds can have hang-ups, she admits, but regardless of your hang-ups or their origin, she insists that it’s imperative to get in touch with your genuine needs and align yourself with your authentic sexuality.
Not Accepting Your Sexuality Divorces You from Your Partners
Even if it’s condemned by social norms, Domina believes it’s important to accept or, better, rejoice in our sexuality. If we can’t do that, she warns that sex will be unfulfilling. She further warns us that if our genuine sexuality is too different from what we act out in reality, we may be traumatized by the sex we force ourselves to endure.
She believes sex is about connection, but we pull away and compartmentalize our true emotions when we engage in sex acts that we don’t find fulfilling. When we aren’t present and attentive during sex, we aren’t just pulling away, we’re also growing more distant from our partners, which she says defeats the relationship-building purpose of sex.
Sex is Something We Learn to Do Safely
Domina warns that your first few times authentically expressing your sexuality may not grant you the full connectivity found in sex either, because it can be difficult to relax into activities that society condemns or stigmatizes, but embracing and acting upon your true sexual desires allows for the vulnerability and joy that create emotional connections between people. In short, she assures us that the connection and enjoyment will improve with time and practice.
Human Sexuality is Relative
We hear what Domina things about this when she asserts that everything is relative, “Somebody’s flogging and needle play is somebody else’s doggy style.” But despite these differences, she makes it clear that ‘vanilla shaming’ people is not okay while reinforcing the fact that there’s no hierarchy of sexual desires, and it doesn’t make sense to compare human sexuality in that way. Knowing that everyone—including you—deserves to be sexually fulfilled is what’s most important.
Embracing Truth Can Change Your Relationship
You need to roll the dice and share your sexual truth if you want to be fulfilled. The alternative is being perpetually unsatisfied, according to Domina. She acknowledges that this can be scary but reminds that courage is acting while feeling fear. Domina always hopes that people find the mustard seed of courage they need to pursue their true desires.
Talking about Sexual Goals with Your Partner
Once you know your authentic self, she says, you can speak your truth. She tells us we can start speaking our truth in a place as safe and impersonal as an online community, but she believes that sharing your truth with someone who’s important to you in person is more helpful.
Many of her clients don’t feel comfortable talking about their fantasies face-to-face, even with their partners. Sometimes her clients write letters or emails to their partners to get around this limitation but face-to-face discussions, Domina explains, should take place in a neutral, nonjudgmental, accepting environment. She says both parties should be sober, fully clothed, and in a receptive mood. The conversation should provide a safe space for both of you to air your desires, and both parties must aim to accept what the other says, even if they can’t meet all the needs voiced.
Sometimes Partners Can’t Meet Our Needs
Heartwarming stories of acceptance are great, but Domina admits that not everyone is accepted when they decide to be authentic. She reminds us that some partners do not want to participate in our kinks. Just like not everyone shares the same taste in food, not all partners are going to be okay with everything we want to try sexually.
Being Single While Exploring Your Sexuality
Domina wants to point out that doing this can be harder when you’re single, because you’ll be having a lot of conversations with a lot of different people who will have a lot of different reactions. However, the only way to meet people who can fulfil your sexual needs is to keep sharing and being open about your sexuality. On a good note, she points out the experience gained by being open with new people will quickly raise your confidence, making it much easier to discuss sexual matters with potential partners.
Resources for Domina Franco:
https://www.instagram.com/domina_franco for Q&As on Mondays