GRIOTS REPUBLIC - An Urban Black Travel Mag - April 2016



PROFILES: Sex Down South, Saddi Khali, Heather Hunter, Arielle Loren

Archivists Note

If you have been following Griots Republic the last few months,

you know that we have endeavored to keep the content of each and

every issue new and interesting. Also, if you have been following

us on social media, you know we promised that our March All

Ireland issue was going to be a game changer. If the feedback we

received and the record breaking readership numbers are to be

believed, we think our time on the Green Isle was well spent.

With that said, this month we want to do even better. So in this

issue, things heat up a bit as we present to you, our readers, a

close up and personal view of Global Sex and Sexuality.

Now don’t get all bashful on us…

As The GR team travels the globe and interacts with a myriad

of people and cultures, it is clear that whether for procreation,

remuneration or recreation, sex is the one thing we all have in

common. What is even clearer is that every culture has a slightly

different view of the dirty deed as well.

Now some of you may be scratching your head wondering, “how is

this travel related?” Well, stick around and it will all be made clear.

First, we begin our Global Sex and Sexuality journey down south

where we talk the politics of sex with the founders of Sex Down

South. Then we take yet another trip to the Motherland to talk

Massai Sexual Traditions. While there, how about a trip back in time

to uncover the secrets of Sacred Sex and Egyptian Spirituality?

We even peek into the tents of Taureg women! After which, we

return across the pond to see what is going on with Zane. And just

when you think it cannot get any hotter, we interview internationally

known Adult Film Star: Heather Hunter!

If that is not enough to keep your interests, we begin our Travel

Inward series and talk about the inner you with Dr Akua Gray. We

are very excited about this series, so please let us know what you


Travel safe and well.


This month we had the

immense pleasure of

chatting with nomadic

soul and photographer

Saddi Khali, where he

discussed why he does

what he does and the

therapy involved in his


Gerald Garth of

the Black AIDS Institute

took the time out to

educate us on HIV travel

restrictions, as well as

ways those with HIV can

travel safely.

Writer and Poet, Ebony Booth,

interviews Dr. Angelique V.

Nixon about her book "Resisting

Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora

and Sexuality in Caribbean

Culture" and it's a must read!

Did we mention that we

interviewed Heather Hunter?

Her transformation from adult

movie super star to travel and

lifestyle photographer is one of

gumption! The gist - follow your

passions and do YOU despite of.

Marla Renee Stewart, MA and

Tia Marie, founders of the Sex

Down South Conference, also

joined us this month to discuss

their conference in Atlanta

during October, as well as

attitudes towards sex in the

Bible Belt.




Looking for side gigs to fund your obsession? Try Zane!

By Simone Waugh

You are on a flight and bored

out of your mind so, what can

you do? How bout a quickie?

Get your mind out of the gutter

and into it “literally.”

Several years ago, the

e-Reader Wars began with

the Amazon launch of the

Kindle which took reading to a

new level but not to outdone,

Barnes and Noble responded

to the Kindle with a digital

reader of it’s own: The Nook.

Regardless of the device,

readers have access to some

of Griots Republic’s favorite

free content: The Naughty


Naughty Nooners are a series

of free erotic short stories that

can be read in 30-45 minutes.

With titles like: Hot Moon

Rising, Thrill of the Hunt, and

Desire in the Dark you are

certain to be entertained, if not

pleased. With any handheld

device, simply open the

application, type in Naughty

Nooners and the entire catalog

of free content is yours for the


ane has not only aroused our hearts and minds with

her 39+ books, a third of them selected for the New York

Times Best Seller list. She has also transitioned a few of

her books into TV shows featured on Cinemax and now

one of her novels was morphed into a major motion picture.

Zane is our Shonda Rhimes of the Erotica Sex World and

she is here to stay.

What makes her work so appealing? Is it that we, as sexual

beings, are being confined by our day-to-day world and

she gives us an outlet to let go emotionally and sexually?

Where are minds are allowed to create, play-out and

express our innermost views and feelings. I believe we all

are a little freaky or have an inner risky side, hiding behind

the veil of life and reality. Either way I commend Zane on

her accomplishments and wish her well on the journey as

it can only get better.

Speaking of better, look out for Zane’s new line of sex

toys called Zane’s Pleasure Products. You can become

a sales rep earning a substantial income

on the side by hosting APF (Alpha Phi

Fuckem) parties. Another opportunity

available right now is to become a sales

rep for Zane’s publisher, Strebor Books

International (SBI).

If you are serious about putting together

a travel fund with Zane, then be sure to

email (Book

Sales Rep program) or StreborBooks@ (Sales Rep for Adult Toy Line).

For all up to date information on Zane’s

publishing, please visit



Considered just a country boy from eastern North

Carolina, my life experiences have taken me to

live, work and vacation in over 33 countries so far.

(Not bad for a small town boy whose teachers told

him that it was “best to just learn a trade, because

college wasn’t for everyone.”) I’ve since tried my

best to live every day to the fullest, work hard, and

seize every opportunity afforded to me. Traveling is

one of those opportunities.

Traveling has given me the opportunity to see and

learn about other places and cultures first hand, and

expose those I interact with to an American Black

Man, which is certain to vary drastically from what

they see through music videos, movies and other

forms of media; a very narrow view of my people

and culture.

From a young age, I’ve always had a desire to

explore. My father was in the Army. So I spent my

formative years traveling to various bases in the US.

In the 80’s, just around the time I was learning to

speak french, my family moved abroad to Belgium

where we lived about three years. Upon returning to

the United States, we settled back in North Carolina

where my wanderlust grew for foreign lands and

different cultures.

This picture is from my trip to Rome in February 2016.

I found myself standing on a platform overlooking

the Forum Ruins and took this awesome pic from

my iPhone.



Henrietta Butler's "The Tuareg or Kel Tamasheq and a history of the Sahara"

is finally being sold in the U.S. and trust us, you want it in your collection!

By Rodney Goode

When one thinks of the Sahara Desert, images of

sand dunes and barren tundra stretching far beyond

human sight immediately spring to mind. In fact, the

Sahara covers nearly 3.5 million square miles of the

African continent encompassing ¼ of its land mass.

Let’s not forget the unbearable heat with recorded

temperatures above 115 degrees. Most think these

conditions would prohibit the maintaining of human

life and civilization; most would be wrong. In fact,

human civilization exists and has existed there for


The Tuareg, have both guarded and inhabited the

Sahara for over a thousand years and not only do

they live there, they still thrive as caravan traders in

one of the most inhospitable environments known

to man. What distinguishes these “people of the

veil”, is not the region where they live but rather

their unique and intriguing culture that strikes a stark

contrast to any known in the modern world and in

her book, “The Tuareg: or Kel Tamasheq” Henrietta

Butler captures the culture in all its glory in words

and pictures.

There is so much in this volume that it would be a

disservice to her to attempt to discuss it all within

these pages but, there is one unique facet of this

society that is fitting for this issue of Griots Republic:

The women of the Tuareg.

Butler highlights that Tuareg women operate, even

dominate, their culture in ways that modern society

would blush to even consider. Imagine a society

where women can have multiple sexual partners

within and outside of wedlock? In fact, Tuareg

women are afforded the same sexual freedoms as

their male counterparts and it is not uncommon for

a gentleman caller to enter the family tent at the

side entrance and “indulge” in the near presence of

the residents.

Now before you get the wrong impression, everything

is done quite discreetly. In fact, the man

“must” be gone before morning. Life for Tuareg

women gets even better. They own everything and

are guaranteed to walk away with everything in divorces

due to prenuptial agreements (which are

an acceptable norm in their society). Divorces are

even celebrated with parties hosted by the women’s

parents. But wait, there’s more. In deference

to the Islamic norm, it is not the women who cover

their faces, it is the men.

This is just a small portion of all that Butler shows

us in her work. The Tuareg people have a legacy of

beauty, strength and perseverance that has clearly

fascinated Butler and it is her fascination with this

culture that has enabled her to put together a photographic

journey that is both educational and visually


It is important to note that with the spread of radical

Islamic groups in this area, the life of the Taureg

is changing drastically and many of the tribe’s customs

are dying. Having captured the essence of

the the tribe’s culture prior to the indoctrination of

incoming groups makes this a fantastic work of history

and art to be cherished.

Griots Republic gives this book 5 passport stamps

out of 5.

















Marla Renee Stewart (The Sex Architect) and

Tia Marie (The Vixen Voyager) are the cofounders

of the Sex Down South Conference.

Sex Down South is a 3-day sex and sexuality

conference taking place this October in Atlanta,

GA. According to their literature, “In addition to

a diverse range of sexuality based workshops,

Sex Down South will offer attendees access to

various education stations where participants

can learn and practice sexy skills taught by


This is the second year of the conference and

aside from attracting diverse attendants from

all over the world, the ladies and their team

have turned the heads of quite a few notable

personalities in the sex industry. Devi Ward, Amy

Jo Goddard, and Tristan Taormino are just a few

of the sex celebrities that signed on to speak at

last years conference and this year’s conference

is shaping up to shine just as brightly.

We went to Atlanta to interivew the ladies about

the politics of Sex in the Bible Belt, creating

an international conference, and taking “Hoecations.”

For more information about the conference, visit

their website at

The journey of sexuality is as unique as each

individual. I know this because as I look back

over my own sexual travels, I smile at the myriad

of experiences that brought me to this point in my

own journey. Being so intrigued by the processes

and memories, I wrote a book called Holistic

Sexuality: A Practical Guide to Sexual Healing,

and because I also realized that my journey has

been one that most people cannot subscribe to,

this manual of healing was my gift to those who

are in need of healthy change in their sex life.

Sexuality is that completely natural part of us that

is responsible for continuing all human life on this

planet. It is an internal drive that attracts, bonds,

influences, dictates, elevates and sometimes

controls a person’s life. There are a set of rules

of engagement for human sexuality that are

standard in every culture. Some of them are truly

open, engaging and satisfying, however most

are restrictive and unfulfilling. Therefore, sexual

healing is the process of moving from one level

of consciousness to an elevated way of thinking,

pursuing and experiencing sex in its fullness.

I had my first sexual experience at twelve and

it was the best thing that had ever happened to

me in my life up to that point. I met a young man

who shared an interest in reading and sitting for

long periods of time in my local community library

exploring worlds beyond our own within a typical

African American community in the inner city. We

also enjoyed long walks through our local parks

during weekends and the summer. We were

actually good friends, and there was a distinct

difference in our ages, him being the oldest.

After a few months, we decided to call ourselves

boyfriend and girlfriend. Soon after, on one of

our walks, I found myself feeling a certain kind

of attraction that I had never experienced. It was

something different in the holding of his hand and

the warmth of his body standing next to mine that

made me lean over and kiss him gently on the

cheek. This simple kiss opened a flood gate of

sensations that felt stimulating and peaceful.

Now, I had already been taught that girls should

not have sex until they are married, but there

were many unmarried women in my life, including

my own mother. As an intelligent child, I knew

that waiting wasn’t always reality. So the kissing

in our relationship turned to hugging, then the

hugging turned to passionate kissing.

One day, we

were doing our

homework at his


house, where he

lived, when he

invited me into

his bedroom. This

was a first. He had

posters of Bruce

Lee on the walls,

which made sense

as he was studying

I was unafraid

and uninhibited

with moving

through this

next step in my




In the


he had an

altar with a

candle and

other objects

as a prayer

space in honor

of his brother

who had died. On

the headboard was

a big pickle jar with

coins, random trinkets and

condoms! I knew exactly

what those were for, because

I paid attention in sex education

class. With the invitation to come over

to the bed, I was greeted with the first

familiar passionate kiss. I found myself in

complete surrender, intoxicated by the feelings,

sounds, touch and movement. I was unafraid

and uninhibited with moving through this next

step in my maturity.

By that evening, at the completion of this first

of many encounters, I had resolved that adults

had been lying about sex and hurried home to

share the good news with my mother. She, of

course, went into a frenzy, which confused me,

and she made me put my hand on the bible and

swear I would never have sex again, but I went

back to CW’s house the next day and the next

day and the next! This was the beginning of

understanding my sexuality and the joy that can

be experienced through this very natural part of

our beings.

As a naturopath, whenever I talk to people

or counsel with clients, one of the goals in

assisting them is to bring to the surface issues

concerning not only the physical, but also the

mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of their

lives. In my studies of human sexuality around

the world and most extensively in the United

States, United Kingdom, the Caribbean, Israel

and Ghana, I have found that most people live

with inhibitions, misunderstandings, doubts and

dissatisfaction when it comes to their sexual

lives. Religious persecution of human sexuality

is the number one cause for this, although those

who promote the religious laws pertaining to sex

are also prime examples of the hypocrisy that

exist when one wages war against the laws of


Most people also want to improve their sexual life

because no matter what imbalances they have,

that natural sexual drive never leaves even if it is

a distant memory in old age. I know many elders

who have smiled greatly at the thoughts on the

sweet sexual experiences of their past.

Moving from a place of confusion, dissatisfaction

or mental conditioning to a place of healing in

your sexuality is not an easy task. It takes selfevaluation,

communication with your partner(s),

and a commitment to be true to the truth that you

establish for yourself when it comes to sharing

and blessing others with your sexual power.

You must also be open to receiving the energy

of another-an energy that ultimately becomes a

part of your soul too.

Sacred sex defines the physical components

needed to restructure what the body experiences

during sex. This begins with self evaluation on

what the individual really enjoys and loves to

experience. It is the certain way to be touched,

kissed, held and the peaceful patterns of motions

and positioning in sex.

Mind sex is the way we think and the thought

patterns that either nurture the restrictive

idiosyncrasies or flow freely from one sexual

experience to the next based on accepting that

our sexual encounters are also a reflection of our

consciousness level. You attract that which you


Holistic sexuality is a spiritual discipline that is

learned and lived with a constant flow of complete

openness and honesty. It nurtures the highest

quality of life that can exist for a couple or a

multiple family structure (polygamy, polyandry or

polyamory). Holistic sexuality is the answer to not

only a blissful sex life, but also a life that is filled

with energy that mends broken relationships,

promotes positive thinking about coexisting in

peace and if lived to the fullest, will bring forth

a life that enhances a system of longevity. The

essence of a healing sexual union depends on

openness. You must develop an honest trust that

is free of fear and deceit.

On a physical level, holistic sexuality brings

awareness to the individual and the couple on

the sacredness their bodies possess. Also, the

proper nourishment of the energy exchanged in

sex enriches their quest for longevity. This energy

exchange directly affects the internal organs,

the central nervous system and the endocrine


prepares the body for orgasm. Sex is an intensely

emotional experience of sharing that enriches the

ability of humans to respond positively to outer

body stimuli.

The spiritual components of holistic sexuality

include all of the above. When the consciousness

of divine union is brought to the sexual experience,

sex becomes a meditation; trance becomes a

prayer, and purpose living is enriched. A couple

can develop unconditional selfless service to one

another and inspire the growth of the relationship.

As couples grow together, their moments of

internal peace turn into minutes, hours, days and

years of blissful sexual expression that heals in

every way.

Holistic sexuality exercises the mind in two ways.

First, mind is energy; it has no physical form.

The mind is the constant reminder that there is

always an interconnection between man and

woman; this shows up as attraction and desire

which can very easily lead to a sexual encounter.

The underlying factor to consider in this most

primitive interrelation is that people were divinely

designed for each other and that designation was

intended to be eternal. People however vibrate on

different frequencies, so the levels of attraction

will be based on energetic compatibility.

The thought process involved in coming together

brings the mind into alignment with the need to

remain in constant contact with self through the

body of another. Second, once the connection is

made, the mind then surrenders to the autonomic

nervous system and goes into a state of trance.

This semiconscious state is the doorway to a

moment of peace and relaxation that the mind

needs to facilitate calm and unity for survival.

On an emotional level, holistic sexuality

strengthens the limbic system by activating a

series of central nervous system responses to

touch. Touch activates the endocrine system’s

glandular functions and releases hormones that

help to bring about the mind’s surrender and

K. Akua Gray is the author of five published

works in holistic health and vegan nutrition.

As the primary curriculum developer for an

international wellness education institute,

naturopath and wellness instructor Dr. Akua

has been writing on health and wellness for

over two decades. Born in Houston, TX, Dr.

Akua now lives in southern Ghana, West

Africa with her husband of 28 years. Her book

Holistic Sexuality: A Practical Guide to Sexual

Healing is available on





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RE:UNION Music Fest is a global music

festival aimed to assemble the music of the

African Diaspora into one unforgettable,

unique experience. Hip-hop,

R&B, Reggae, Kompa,

Cuban, Salsa, Afrobeat,

South African House,

and more will be

brought together

on ONE stage to

celebrate our


Written by Jeremiah Myers

Ever since I decided to chase this crazy

dream of creating a music festival that celebrates

the diversity and creativity of the African

Diaspora, I’ve been asked, “Where do you

even start the process for creating something like

this?!” Sometimes I can’t believe it’s happening myself. If

I had to boil it down to a short list, however, I’d say there

are six things you need to truly be successful at creating

a music festival.


The creation of a music festival involves countless hours

of intense work partnering with all sorts of personalities.

Many people will have an opinion of how to “enhance” or

“modify” your idea for the better. A festival creator must

have clarity about the objective and vision of the fest.

Without such vision, your festival can become something

that doesn’t represent the initial intentions. Always be



No one should be more passionate about a music festival

than the creator! There will be moments that people doubt

the idea or feasibility, and the passion and will of the creator

will be the biggest determining factor of whether or

not such obstacles and roadblocks will be overcome. A

creator’s consistency in being passionate for their own

idea will determine how invested others are.


Many people would be surprised at how important the

right location and date is in determining success! You

must consider whether the population’s demographics

align with your festival, how convenient travel is for those

coming out of town, what typical weather conditions are

for the targeted time of year, and competing events that

may already have a foothold in the market. Choosing the

right date and location will determine both the initial success

and longevity of the festival.

Experienced Team

Your team is everything when creating a music festival,

especially when you’re new to event producing like I am.

Everything from site management, production, talent acquisition,

marketing, community engagement, and more

requires skill and efficient execution. Moreover, you want

people that have both a deep knowledge of your host

city’s politics, key stakeholders, and the residents themselves.


The almighty dollar is something you just can’t get around

when building something of this magnitude! The first and

most important rule is unless you’re willing to lose it all,

don’t start in the first place. As the creator, you must be

personally invested so that others see your seriousness.

If your initial capital isn’t enough to fund the majority of the

festival upfront, then you must search for other avenues

for funding. This includes angel investors, VCs, business

loans, personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards, family/



Last but surely not least, a creator must have patience.

You must have patience for teammates and their own

personalities, the slow process of talent acquisition, or

even the scary delay in ticket sales. It all comes with the

territory, and exercising patience is the only way to keep

you sane. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself as well!

Learning is all a part of the process.

Flavor Intercourse

An Aphrodisiac Mixology Guide

Written By Bruce "Blue" Rivera

Throughout history and across the globe, people

are constantly on the quest to get some. They want

sex- more of it and of better quality. This quest birthed

aphrodisiacs, a food, drink or scent that can arouse

or induce feelings of sexual desire. Aphrodisiacs

are named after the ancient Greek goddess of

sexual love and beauty, Aphrodite. They can have

a powerful impact on the mind as most are thought

to trigger the release of chemicals in the brain which

then stimulate certain organs.

Lovers in every culture and in every corner of the

world have been consuming a long list of delicious

and some not-so-delicious food and drinks that are

said to have aphrodisiac properties for thousands of

years. The ingredients are thought to increase libido

when consumed, add sexual endurance or sexual


Culture and tradition play an important factor.

Ancient Greeks and Romans and medieval

Europeans coveted certain foods with aphrodisiac

status, like basil, rosemary, saffron, honey, grapes

and pine nuts. Or, like foie gras, caviar, truffles and

Champagne, they were viewed as romantic gifts

because of their rarity and luxury. Other foods, like

figs, asparagus and cucumbers, have long been

seen as erotic because of their resemblance to the

male and female sex organs. Some ingredients

are considered sensual by virtue of how they are

consumed and intimately shared by lovers.

These items may or may not actually arouse you,

ut one proven modern day aphrodisiac is good

old alcohol. From whiskey to rum to vodka, even

the go-to glass of red wine, has proven time and

again to be a social lubricant that’s been doing its

matchmaking-with a dash of courage- job since

before Billy D. Williams and Colt 45. So it is only

fitting that I mix, chop and screw (pun intended)

some of these age old all-natural aphrodisiac

blends to inspire some sexy cocktails. Hopefully

they will get you in mood, seal the deal and, at

best, increase the chances of you getting some

(slow jams playlist not included).

These are some of the most popular ingredients

that are said to have abundant aphrodisiac qualities

that we will be using:


This valentine staple is sensual, from its taste to its

aroma, but dark chocolate has also been shown to

cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings

of pleasure.


With its phallic shape, bananas already look like a

feel-good food; but they also contain bromelain, an

enzyme that triggers testosterone production. The

fruit’s potassium and vitamin B also elevate energy



This sticky elixir is a symbol of health and

procreation. In fact, the word ‘honeymoon’ got its

name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made

from honey given to the happy new bride and

groom. It also contains boron; a chemical element

that helps regulate estrogen and testosterone

levels and provides a natural energy boost. The

bees’ brew is sweet, never goes bad, and is the

perfect ingredient for your next drink.


This vitamin C-packed fruit helps keep blood

flowing to all regions of the body. Its playful

shape and portability also allows for very easy

interaction so feed them to each other and get



The gems enclosed in this fruit’s thick husk are

filled with antioxidants that support blood flow.

One study by The Male Clinic in California found

that pomegranate juice had a positive effect on

erectile dysfunction.


These small fruits are full of vitamins A, C, and

E, as well as potassium, magnesium, folate,

iron, and more. They also pack melatonin, an

antioxidant to help regulate your heart.


This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation

and a bright red color, which could be why it’s

considered an aphrodisiac and a symbol of love in

many countries. But there’s a bit of scientific truth

to this ingredient as it does quicken the pulse and

induce sweating, mimicking the state of sexual

arousal, as well as stimulates the release of

endorphins, which play a role in sexual pleasure.



-1 Cup Strawberries

(Halved and frozen)

-1 Banana

(Ripe, peeled, sliced and frozen)

-4.5 oz. Tequila

-1.5 oz. Triple sec

-2 tbsps. Fresh lime juice

-1 cup crushed ice

Freeze the strawberry and banana slices for a

couple of hours. Put all ingredients in the blender

and blend in short pulses – you want it

smooth but still thick. Pour into frosted

margarita glasses and serve.


-2 oz. Cherry Flavored Vodka

-2 oz. Crème de Cocoa

-2 oz. Vanilla Creamer

-1 oz. Grenadine


-1 oz. Maraschino cherry juice

Chocolate syrup

Prepare two martini glasses by swirling with

chocolate syrup along the inside of the glasses.

Set aside. Combine all ingredients in a shaker

tin filled with ice, shake with ice and strain into

prepared glasses.


- 1.5 oz. Bourbon

- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

- 1/2 oz. honey

- 2 muddled chili slices

- 2 dashes Angostura bitters

- Ginger beer

Muddle the chili and honey in a shaker tin and

add Bourbon and lemon. Shake with ice and

serve in an old fashioned (rocks) glass with ice.

Top with ginger beer and splash with two dashes

of Angostura bitters.

Enjoy this fun and lust-filled adventurous

experiment and sample these aphrodisiac-based

cocktails with your partner. See if the science

holds true.

Bruce Blue Rivera is an

accomplished mixologist

with over 16 years of wine

and spirits experience,

boasting an impressive resume

that spans across 12 countries.

Bruce Blue Rivera is currently the

General Manger at Boss Tweeds

Saloon - 115 Essex Street in New York


Cocktails created by Bruce Blue Rivera:

Caliente Kiss & Le Cerise Passion.


Written By: Ebony Isis Booth

The word paradise is a noun used to identify a

specific place, wherein the person who arrives at

said place, experiences a particularly individual

feeling of blissfulness. Merriam-Webster defines

paradise as:

1. A very beautiful,

pleasant, or peaceful

place that seems to

be perfect.

2. A place that is perfect

for a particular

activity, or for a person

who enjoys that


3. A state of complete


But what happens

when our normative

views of the individual

experience, and privilege

to experience

paradise, becomes

the broad brush with

which society paints

an entire established

region and its indigenous


Millions of travelers

and tourists visit the

Carribean region

every year to plant

their flag in paradise and await bliss. Tourists,

who save all year to lay beachside with a frozen

blue beverage claiming to require such vacations

to function properly, negate the very character of

the land they lay upon. Too often, there is little to

no consideration for the collective involvement of

the residents who built the industry that caters

to the tourist population. But when has that ever

stopped you from throwing a bikini and a new

Paulo Cohelo novel in your bag and booking it to

spring break in The Islands?

I recently had the

pleasure of conversing

about some of

these questions and

others with Angelique

V. Nixon, PhD. Nixon

is a writer, scholar,

teacher, activist and

poet, who is currently

a Lecturer at The

Institute for Gender

and Developmental

Studies with The University

of the West

Indies, St. Augustine,

Trinidad & Tobago.

Dr. Nixon is also the

author of the 2015

book, Resisting Paradise:

Tourism, Diaspora,

and Sexuality in

Caribbean Culture.

In her book, Nixon

makes a critical

analysis of the effects

of tourism on the

African diaspora,

through a mixedmethods

approach of

interviews, literary research, personal experience,

and site-specific research of festivals and events.

With her book, Nixon seeks to identify the

material effects of tourism on Caribbean cultures,



identities, and the collective sense of self.

When asked how it is that she came to be

motivated toward themes of tourism, diaspora,

and sexuality in Caribbean culture; Nixon explains

that she was essentially born into it. A native

of the Bahamas, Nixon worked in the tourism

industry since she was eleven years old. From

her first job passing out flyers to newly docked

cruisers, to bartending and serving, off-shore

banking and ultimately becoming a scholar and

educator, Nixon knows first-hand how the effects

of tourism and neo-colonialism on the indigenous

people of the Caribbean region impact even her

own heritage.

She notes, “When you grow up in an intense

tourism economy, it’s difficult to have a critique of

it, because literally one’s bread and butter comes

from it. I grew up in a really poor working class

family. My mother worked in a hotel when I was

growing up. She was a dancer in the cabaret

at Resorts International & Paradise Island. My

grandmother was a cook and a domestic worker.

My aunt worked in a hotel. It was just everywhere.”

Her tendency toward academic analysis of the

tourism economy and its effects on her people,

would be further inspired by her literary research

during graduate school. She notes that her own

socio-economic mobility was “mediated through

a tourism economy” as Nixon financed her

education while working at an off shore bank,

where she was awarded a scholarship, but not

one large enough to satisfy the entirety of her

educational aspirations.

Nixon says of this time, “I saved up for two years

by bartending at night and also working my bank

job. I came home every single summer, spring

break and Christmas, and worked at those times

as well. So, my own ability to get an education

was mediated through this industry and offshoots

of the industry.”

The tone with which Nixon explains this suggests

that she is expectant of criticism in response to

such an honest and difficult conversation about






an unsustainable industry; being wholly sustained

by the people who are most adversely affected

by its existence.

Nixon goes on to note, “I didn’t come to this

project just wanting to criticize the industry. I

wanted to talk about and investigate the really

complicated ways Caribbean people have to

negotiate within this dominant industry. We are

one of the most overly dependent regions on

tourism. It is completely not sustainable for many,

many reasons. I came to the project from a very

personal space, it was not only about doing this

for a very academic scholarly work.”

It was through her PhD work with the writings of

such luminaries as Audre Lorde, Jamaica Kincaid,

and Paula Marshall, that Nixon began to notice

that a lot of Caribbean writers and artists respond

to tourism in particular types of ways. Whether

or not the authors were criticizing the colonial

establishment, fetishizing tropical and illicit

affairs in novels, or composing gripping poetry

from otherwise invisible native worker narratives;

Nixon decided that she wanted to talk about it.

She employed mixed-methods and examined the

experience from a perspective of the people who

have lived within the tourism economy, yet thrive

despite its inherent problems.

In her examination of the nature of Paradise and

how one might learn to reject it, Nixon discusses

a multi-platform research methodology that

covers all of the potential tactics to make tourism

more sustainable for the people of the Caribbean


Moreover, she spends time calling attention to

the objectification of the black body. The body of

the community, the men, the women, the whole

experience, is a collective erasure of individuality

that serves to quicken one tourist’s shot at

Paradise, one million tourists at a time.

And what of the effects of this hypersexualized

hedonism which colors the

perception of the region as wanton and


Nixon’s research called her to consider

the ways in which paradise is consumed

across the region, and the ease with

which black bodies are gobbled up

along with poolside dance contests and

coconut milk. Nixon mentions that we

tend to think of the exploitative tourism

images as benign. “We think of it as

just another poster, or an image; just

a woman dancing.” The truth is that

sexual labor is a reality of the world in

which we live.

Society demonizes people who work

inside informal economies such as the

sex labor industry. The damaging effect

of tourism is that people end up having

to do all kinds of work and are then

criticized. She suggests that society

needs to develop a different relationship

with sex, sexuality and sexual labor.

“That sexual labor is deeply a part of

tourism; which needs to be unsilenced

and acknowledged.”

What can we, as informed urban

travelers, do to reduce cultural

objectification and increase

sustainability in the places where we go

to seek paradise? Nixon is certainly not

waiving a sign that reads “Go Home,”

by any means. She is, however,

suggesting that there are some minor

changes that we can make in the way

we discuss and experience other places

that could have major impacts for the

tourism industry and the workforce

keeping it alive.


Simply being an informed traveler can

mitigate some of the privilege we take

along as Nationals of the U.S., Canada

and Britain. Doing enough research

to simply acknowledge independent

governments, currency, and local

customs, could make a huge difference

in the way that a traveler might actually

experience a place and the people who

inhabit it.



#WhatsNext in Urban Travel



The whole way the region is

understood and framed as a

tropical “paradise” can be quite

attractive. But, be careful not to

allow that framework to cause you

to reduce the way that you see the

place and the people living in the



Resisting the ideas of objectification

and exoticising of bodies. Instead

allow yourself to be drawn more

closely to a connection that is

more than sexual; perhaps one

that allows you to actually see the

beauty that surrounds you.


Skip the resort and research some

amazing bed and breakfast sites.

Visit the local markets for produce.

Eat at local restaurants and make

sure that your dollar supports local

indigenous economies instead of

tourist corporations.

You can expect a more public

discourse from Dr. Angelique V.

Nixon in the near future as she

explores ways in which we can

identify and resolve oppressive

concepts by changing the narrative

around sex, gender, sexuality,

and how the Caribbean region is

influenced by global discourses.


A 2006 National Poetry Slam Champion, and recipient of

Westword’s Mastermind Award in Literary Arts for her work

as hostess of Café Nuba; Ebony Isis Booth is committed to

her work. She continues to fuel her drive toward art-ivism as

Programs & Communications Coordinator for Harwood Art

Center while simultaneously writing and performing original

poetry, heralding social justice, self love, and perseverance in

and around New Mexico.

There are still some artists left who do it for love,

whose voices speak to so many because they

take the time to listen. Unbound by conventions of

beauty and being, Saddi Khali is one such artist.

Khali’s faithful walk from writer to producer and

image evangelist is marked by trials and transience.

Displaced overnight by Hurricane Katrina, the

New Orleans native returned unsheltered and

untethered to his beloved community of 30 years.

Khali lost a lifetime of artifacts and keepsakes,

departing with bare means, memories and a

budding love for photography.

Crediting traditions that are distinctly southern, yet

unapologetic in their aesthetic, Khali continues to

craft a bold and brash brand of art and arts practice

through his exploration of vulnerability and courage

-inviting viewers to welcome the possibilities that

arise when they choose both.

It is through this listening lens that Khali stakes

claim to a healing arts renaissance, which

fearlessly intends the restoration of black love and

black beauty.

(From his website,


One Woman’s Journey to Intentional Loving

and Living in a Tantric Community


APRIL 2016

December 31, 2009

I arrived at Delhi airport for the beginning of what

was supposed to be a yearlong sabbatical to

India and Argentina to work on myself. I decided

to travel in order to work on my relationship

issues, get to know myself better and understand

why I have commitment issues. While in India, I

remember meeting a man from Sao Paulo, Brazil

who invited me to a tantra ashram. I declined. In

my mind, tantra was all about sex, and I pictured

a place where there were a bunch of orgies taking


Six years later, I am now living in a tantra

community and I was wrong.

In that time, I stayed in India for three months

where I looked at relationships within the Indian

culture. They are not allowed to have sex until

they are married. I dated a man while there. It

was interesting because I was not allowed to go

into his house or else people would begin to think

that we were having sex and would speak badly

about us. So we always met in public places. It

was quite strange for me as I was 35 years old,

completely independent and carefree. As much

as I heard that women were seen as objects

and the rape rate was high, I was fortunate to

meet many wonderful people there without any

problems arising.

The next nine months were supposed to be spent

in Buenos Aires, Argentina but the freedom of

traveling led me on a journey

throughout South America.

I went to Argentina, Peru,

Ecuador, Colombia, with an

eventual unplanned move to

Brazil. As my goal was to work

on my relationship issues, I was

very observant of relationships

everywhere I went.

I noticed in South America most

singles lived with their parents,

and even after marriage they

often continued to live in the

same household. This meant

that after a date the man would

take the woman to a hotel for

sex. This is quite commonplace

and there are many hourly

hotels throughout South

America. Once the couple is

in a long-term relationship, the

girlfriend or boyfriend is then

brought into the home.

I arrived in Brazil February

2011, where I immediately

fell in love with the country.

Because I spent over five years

in the country, I was able to

delve deeper into Brazilian

relationship culture. Many

men immediately invited me to

a hotel or to their home, if by

chance they lived alone. They

would not invite me on a date.

This is not to say that this is the

norm, but what I encountered.

I remained single for a long

time because I do not find it

productive for me to have sex

with someone without dating

and getting to know him first.

It was in Brazil that I noticed

many couples would have

sex immediately before dating

and then would jump into a

serious relationship soon after,

sometimes moving in together

after a couple of months.

I decided to study Transpersonal

Therapy and Shamanism in

Brazil as I was fascinated with

these topics. I was already

a licensed and practicing

Psychotherapist in the United

States but wanted to continue

my studies as I saw a difference

This was


tantra. I

didn’t just

read about

it here or

listen to

talks on

tantra, I

lived it.

with the psychology of Brazil

and that of the States.

Here in Brazil they believe in

spirits and magic. It is quite

plausible to speak with an

ancestor or spirit guide, or

believe that someone could

put roots (or harmful witchcraft)

on you. In fact, this is widely

believed throughout the

countries I visited in South

America. My eyes began

to open and I no longer saw

people as crazy because of

their ability to connect with

other beings. Transpersonal

Therapy and Shamanism gave

me a new vision of how I can

work with people as a therapist.

During an event, I met a lady

from California. We began to

talk and somehow the subject

of tantra arose. She began

to explain tantra to me and I

learned that it isn’t about sex.

Sex is only a small percent of

the topic.

We decided to plan a tantra

night at the space where I was

working as a Reiki practitioner

and therapist. We planned

a night of events to awaken

the senses of the participants.

Participants would smell, feel,

taste, hear and see (or not

see, as we used blindfolds at

some points) various fruits,

scents, objects and sounds.

We also planned activities

such as meditations, breathing

exercises and dancing. I really

enjoyed this and longed to learn


A year later I learned of another

American who lived in tantra

communities in India and

Thailand, so I connected with

her and offered my space for her

to do her six week tantra course.

It was awesome. We learned

about the philosophy of tantra,

tantric yoga, and exercises to

awaken the kundalini (which is

a powerful dormant energy at

the base of the spine), as well

as sexual techniques to prevent

ejaculation, since ejaculation is

believed to cause one to lose

energy in Tantra principles.

I wanted more, but there wasn’t

APRIL 2016

anything else that I could find related to tantra

until the day I learned of a tantric massage

course I completed the first module and was

quite impressed. Soon after, while at my shaman

course in Sao Paulo, I met a woman who told

me about the local tantra community. I was so

excited to hear about this community.

They offered many different workshops for

personal healing and growth such as “Journey to

the Heart,” which is a path where friendship, trust

and surrender develop in a profound way. They

work on releasing suppressed emotions thereby

healing phobias, anxieties, fears, obsessions

and depression. They also offer “Melting”, which

is a powerful course in which you die and are

reborn, additional courses in rebirthing and the

tantra therapist course.

Since I was living in Salvador and the community

was in Sao Paulo and expensive for me as I

was only teaching English 15 hours a week for

income, I didn’t know how I could afford to pay for

the courses and workshops. Luckily, the friend

who initially told me of the community shared

that they have a flowing program where you can

live and work in exchange for points to take the

different courses and workshops offered. I knew

right away I would go live there.

I wrote to the community and the coordinator said

I could stay for a week so that both they and I

could evaluate if this was a good fit. I told them

how I lived in Salvador and would need to plan

and that I wanted to stay the maximum threemonth

length of time. After many exchanged

emails, they accepted me and allowed me to stay

beyond the week trial period.

In this community, we practiced yoga at 7am every

morning and I participated or led meditations,

breathing exercises, and dance meditations at

5:30pm and 9pm daily. It was a strict schedule of

practices and work. No days off. Every weekend

was a course.

They taught me eagle vision, how to see

things from various angles and how to be more

observant. They taught me how to be disciplined.

I had to arrive on time to each daily practice. I

had to be disciplined in my work schedule. They

emphasized work meditation. We were not

allowed to really have loud conversations during

work hours. Many of days I wanted to leave and

would become frustrated.

I often heard “flowing is overcoming”.

Many times I felt like I was being tested. I had a

goal and knew I had to persevere to accomplish

it. I needed to finally do what I felt to be the last

bit of work to overcome my relationship issues. I

traveled through India and South America staying

at Ashrams doing meditations, yoga, and spiritual

work. This was the next step. I had to remain

strong through the disagreements with peers that

I ate, worked, meditated with and slept beside in

the same dorm. It was 24 hours with no privacy.

I had to remain strong through the challenges of

the coordinator being disappointed with my work

at times, or making me go work in the kitchen

instead of participating in the meditation due to

arriving two minutes late. I had to remain strong

to work 7 days a week with no days off for three

months. This was living tantra. I didn’t just read

about it here or listen to talks on tantra, I lived it.

I was/still am experiencing tantra through living it

day in and day out.

I have been living in this community now since

July 2015. After my three month period ended

I was offered a position to continue working as

the website translator. I decided to stay on as I

was growing and learning invaluable information

about tantra and myself. I think back to my invite

to the community while I was in India and realize

that what is meant to be will be. What we are

supposed to learn or experience will continuously

present itself to us until we go through the process.

Traveling has helped me to find that path and

experience what is meant for me. Through travel

I have gained numerous PhD’s that can never be

taken away.

Through this tantra community, I learned to

communicate and express myself. I learned how

to respect myself and demand respect. I learned

how to not allow my ego to take over; the ego will

always exist in me but I am better able to manage

The Metamorfose Commune is a

Centre for Human Growth, a

meditation laboratory where quantum

leaps occur for those who experience

the Tantric Vision of The Path of Love.

Only 120 kilometers from São Paulo,

the Commune is located on a stretch

of land of 35.000 square meters at the

top of the Mantiqueira Mountain

Range, which offers the ideal

environment, weather and energy

fields for therapeutic activities.


for more information.

it. I learned how to love myself and made

wonderful friends that I would have never made

otherwise. It is through travel that I am able to

grow, heal, learn about myself, make friends from

other cultures and learn about different cultures.

I am forever grateful for the ability to travel! And

it is through tantra, that I have matured, connected

with my innate nature, and learned how to trust

and respect my body for the temple that it is. It is

through tantra that I can now be open to give and

receive love!


Renée Marie Adolphe is an international

psychotherapist, transpersonal therapist,

Reiki Master, and medicine woman, currently

training to be a tantric therapist. She is a

world traveler, journeying throughout the

Caribbean, South America, North America,

Europe and India. Her repertoire of healing

modalities include dance therapy, art therapy,

Reiki, massage, shamanic ceremonies and

rituals, regression therapy, and counseling.

She is currently residing at Metamorfose

Center in Minas Gerais, Brazil studying tantra

where she is working on her certification in

tantra therapy and rebirthing.




The juxtaposition between women's

expectations and men's realities.

By Alexis k. Barnes

Mombasa and Zanzibar have a lot in common.

Mombasa sits on the southeastern coast of Kenya

while Zanzibar is an island off the coast of

Tanzania. They both house fractured histories of

an “Africa meets Arabia” old world feel with their

location on the eastern coast of Africa; traders

and adventurers traveled down from what is now

the Middle East establishing Islam and trade

points in the regions since the 11th century. Both

locales are steeped in African, Persian, Arab,

Portuguese and British influences, evident in the

architecture, narrow streets, markets, mosques

and temples.

They are also both places where many European

white women come to buy sex from Maasai



I spent March of 2015 in Mombasa. My friends

and I rented a large, private home on Diani

beach and we spent days alternating between

falling asleep on the veranda to floating in the

Indian Ocean. The foot traffic across our little

stretch of beach was consistent. There was always

a tall and slender African man draped in

the recognizably Maasai garb of crimson cloths

and bright, primary colored beads. He usually

had his arm around the waist of a considerably

older white woman. The women were always at

least twice the age of the men, and in some cases,

triple. These pairings, with blatant disparity in

age and attractiveness, would walk up and down

the beach each day. Walking oftentimes turned

into passionate displays of public affection. My

Kenyan friends said the women come for the

Maasai’s “skill in sex.”

I thought it was a European women’s version

of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and occasionally

a Maasai even headed my way with

questions of if I wanted company or needed a

friend. That is, until I learned of “The White Maa-

sai,” a book and later 2005 movie by a Swiss woman that

traveled to Kenya and fell in love. It sold four million copies

and promised “an exotic tale of love and adventure”

on its cover. In Corinne Hofmann’s 320-page autobiography,

she met Lketinga while on holiday with her current

boyfriend, went home for 6 months, and then decided to

uproot her life to live in the isolated bush, the traditional

Maasai way with her African lover.

The book was terrible; the author fetishized the Maasai

man while simultaneously showing a complete lack of regard

for the culture she barged into. But, it was my curiosity

in this possible sale of sex or search for love that had

me in Zanzibar last month, sitting on a stone ledge in a

narrow alleyway talking to Tobiko Melau. In Zanzibar, the

contrast is even starker. The Maasai men there looked

no more than 18 or 19, arms linked with older white mzungus

(the Swahili word for “white people” and generally

foreigner) from Italy, Netherlands and Germany.

I wasn’t interested in paying for sex, but I work in development

and I have a plaguing writer’s curiosity. Maasai

women are cut, or more than 80% of them have undergone

female genital mutilation, for reasons that include

purity for their mates and the promise of fidelity. Yet, it

seemed Maasai men purportedly, and for profit, regularly

seek and partake in sexual relationships outside of marriage.

The usual juxtaposition between expectations of

women and the realities of men spoke volumes.


Tobiko was missing two of his bottom front teeth and had

identical scars on each cheek; traditional characteristics

he told me prove that a man is a true Maasai. Between

asking me if my father would allow me to wed and sharing

secret Swahili jokes with his nearby Tanzanian friend,

we talked sex and love.

“Many Maasai men believe that white is a good blessing,”

he said. “If it is sex, they get good money. But sometimes

they try to make relationships because then they can

travel and move to the countries of the women.”

He told me white women are more adventurous and that

African women were too proud to try new things. While

Tobiko minced words, his friend Elvis Mwingira had a

more direct suggestion as to why white European women

travel thousands of miles to sleep with (fake or authentic)

Maasai men: circumcision. Elvis declared the Maasai

method of circumcising leaves a ridge unlike traditional

male circumcision. This ridge protrudes slightly

and causes “extra sensation” for women during


We looked at Tobiko. He smiled and coyly refused

to confirm or deny.


The transition from Maasai girl to Maasai woman

is marked by a circumcision ceremony that occurs

sometime after puberty when a girl prepares for

marriage. There are four different types of cutting

procedures that involve the removal of the clitoris,

inner-and-outer lips of the vagina, and the sewing

or stapling together of the two sides of the vulva

leaving only a small hole to pass urine and menstruation.

All the methods can lead to recurring infections,

severe bleeding, pain, difficulty in childbirth

and urine retention.

“Our women our cut because it is our culture…our

tradition, and it makes desire lower,” Tibiko told

me. “If they don’t, it is easier to get disease.”

When Maasai men leave home to hunt or find

grass for cattle, they are oftentimes gone for weeks

at a time. This is a time, this Tanzanian Maasai,

told me the women are vulnerable to increased

sexual desire. It is a time where, if women were

uncut, they might have sex outside of their marriage.

Circumcision supporters believe cut women

are more prone to sticking with one partner, thus

lowering the risk of HIV/AIDs.

So while some true Maasai men frequent tourist

beaches and cities in search of sexual profit,

women are expected to keep their households in

order and their legs closed.


The Maasai people are the most marketed ethnic

group in all of Africa. They reside near many

of the most popular game reserves in the African

Great Lakes region and their villages are common

stops on safari drives offering popular photo opportunities.

Traditional Maasai beadwork is touted

in many stores and marketplaces. They have im-

personators and imposters. On the beaches of Mombasa, they’re called “beach boys” or

“rastas”. Young men mostly of Samburu origin, a semi-nomadic people of north Kenya

related to but distinct from the Maasai, dress in traditional Maasai swaths of fabric and

intricate beaded jewelry. In Tanzania, Elvis told me the percentage of real versus fake

Maasai in tourist areas could easily be 50/50. The topic of sexual tourism within the community

is rarely called prostitution. It’s a budding business that leaves many speculating

whom is being taken advantage of: sex and love-seeking white European women or (potentially

phony) Maasai men seeking a payout.


Alexis K. Barnes is a multimedia journalist currently based in Lusaka,

Zambia as a Global Health Corps fellow. ​Previously she​ worked in

the United Nations bureau of Al Jazeera English in NYC​. She has also

worked in ​Washington, D.C., then South Korea and Thailand.




Heather Hunter - a celebrity, author, painter, and

photographer born in the Bronx of New York

City. Hailed as her generation’s most adored

erotic icon, Heather Hunter has proven that she

is more than a pretty face with erotic skills over

the past decades.

She is the first African-American women to

bodly cross racial barriers into mainstream

entertainment through adult film. Recognized

by her loyal cult of fans around the world and

referenced in songs by super star rappers like

LL Cool J, Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dog, Lil’ Kim, and

Tupac Shakur, Heather has smashed taboos

and led the charge of sexual liberation.

Having been in the entertainment industry for

over 25 years (mostly in front of camera) she

decided to switch sides. As a photographer

she specializes in transforming and capturing

the natural beauty inside and out. According to

her website, it was during her frequent travels

around the world that she discovered her

passion for photography.

For more information on Heather Hunter

Photography, visit her website at www.




According to Wikipedia, a news article discusses current or recent

news of either general interest (i.e. daily newspapers) or of a specific

topic (i.e. political or trade news magazines, club newsletters, or

technology news websites).


Attending an LGBT Pride festival

typically means very different things to

different people. For some, it will be their

opportunity to support a family member

or loved one. For others, perhaps it is

their first time publically exclaiming their

gayness to the world. For many; however,

attending Pride is another chance to break

free from the judgment and “closets” that

hold so many captive and keep them

fearful of truly expressing who they are

or wish to be. Interestingly enough, that

oftentimes equates to a serious amount of

partying, fun, and sex!

I have been to several Pride festivals

around the globe. Sao Paulo, Brazil;

Toronto, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico;

Amsterdam, Netherlands and several

Many pride parties are

known for having back

rooms and secret invitation

only areas where patrons

escape from the general

public to seek respite in the

hidden party within the party.

other cities in the United States. The one

common theme that binds all of them

together, aside from the supportive gay

atmosphere, is an underlying culture of

sex, and drugs, in many cases. Depending

on your knowledge of gay culture and






assimilation into said culture, one can

easily look past the Pride floats, beautiful

dancing bodies and sponsors that support

the effort, and the community at large, to

see the abundance of partying and sex

that is available.

In most cases, Pride festivals last for a

full week with the main events occurring

Friday to Sunday. There are usually events

hosted during the week but often are events

within the community and not attended by

the masses. Most people will attend the

Pride Parade during the weekend and the

festival if there is one. The festival will

typically offer various events, venues for

live concerts, demos, beer gardens, etc.

However, for many Pride goers the main

focus is the parties that are hosted by the

community organizers or private citizens.

Oftentimes there are many large-scale

parties that occur during the Pride

weekend. Of course, not all of the parties

will have this theme but a large portion of

them will. Many pride parties are known

for having back rooms and secret invitation

only areas where patrons escape from

the general public to seek respite in the

hidden party within the party. These are

the areas where alcohol, drugs, and sex

have been known to run rampant. Many

people are inclined to join these parties

just for the opportunity to watch those that

actually participate in the various activities

that occur behind closed doors.

Pride weekends are a lot of fun and

provide the opportunity for self-expression,

introspection and freedom. In short, like

most things in life, Pride weekends are

what you make of it. Some just enjoy the

large gathering of LGBT individuals while

others smile at the chance to break free

from their lives and live a little!


Khalif Hayes, also known as Mr. Carryon,

is working to reach 100 countries.

To that end, he has become skilled at

traveling as light as possible; refusing

to ever check a bag.




Apr. 30-

South C





May 11-2



Milan, It

June 22

Milan Pr





, Caribbean

May 4




July 31-Aug 2

Amsterdam Pride

Johannesburg, S.A.


Johannesburg Pride




er Pride





Reykjavik, Iceland

Aug. 4-9

Reykjavik Pride


Quebec City, Canada

Sept. 3-7

Quebec City Pride


Hong Kong, China


Hong Kong Pride


Manila, Philippines

Dec. 5

Manila Pride

or a full list of Pride Events visit



The Moche, Sex Ed &

Ancient Peruvian Art

W r i t t e n B y : E n r i c o C i o n i

When people come across Moche sex pots, they

usually find them amusing, gross, or weird. But what

if we take them seriously, as objects that can tell us

something about people’s lives in the past, how they

thought about things, and what they valued?

First, a few words on the Moche. They inhabited the

North Coast of Peru between 200 and 850 AD (way

before the Inca), and they produced a huge amount

of beautiful pottery. Some of this pottery is painted

with hunting scenes, duel scenes and scenes of ritual

sacrifice, as well as stories from mythology. Some of it

is shaped to look like agricultural products, animals,

warriors, musicians, gods, the faces of prominent

individuals, amputees, animal-human hybrids, old

men, seashells, mountains, sacrifice victims, labourers,

blind people, headdresses, skeletons… and, of course,

people having sex.

Not much has actually been written on Moche sex

pots–despite the fact that the Moche are very well

studied (they’re probably the

ancient Peruvian culture

we know most about,

after the Inca), and the

fact that they produced something like 500

of these pots. These pots clearly reflect very

different notions of sex and reproduction from

ones that prevail in contemporary Western

culture, and, because of this, a lot of researchers

have had trouble making sense of them.

For example, depictions of vaginal sex are rare.

Why? One of the theories used to be that Moche

sex pots were meant to encourage birth control,

by showing how one might enjoy sex without

risking babies. However, there’s something

unconvincing about the notion that people

made hundreds upon hundreds of expensive

ceramics, just for a Sex Ed lesson.

Another example of the strange stuff you see in

Moche sex pots: women masturbating skeletons.

For a while people thought that these pots were

supposed to illustrate the dangers of excessive

sex--but this theory is suspiciously reminiscent

of Western notions of sex as something

dangerous or sinful.

Joan Gero’s 2004 article

“Sex Pots of Ancient

Peru: Post-Gender Reflections”

probably offers the first really

interesting interpretation of

these strange objects. Gero

points out that Moche society

was more hierarchical than

previous societies in the region,

and she suggests that the

pots may have been used as

metaphors to justify the new

power relations.

In her view, Moche sex pots

are all about dominance and

subordination. Because (1)

depictions of anal sex and

fellatio are common, while

depictions of vaginal sex and

clitoral stimulation are very rare

and depictions of cunnilingus

non-existent, and (2) the women

never seem to be enjoying

themselves, Gero suggests that

the women in Moche pots may

be stand-ins for “the people”,

who do all the hard work and

get little in return, while men

may represent the rulers, who

get all the pleasure and give little


I’m not entirely convinced. For

one thing, it’s often very difficult,

in Moche pottery, to tell what

exactly the people depicted

are feeling–sometimes there

are obvious frowns, or smiles,

but most of the time facial

expressions appear to be neutral.

This goes for sex pots as well: the

women don’t seem to be having

much fun, true–but, usually,

neither do the men. There are

a few rare cases in which men

are shown to be enjoying being

fellated, but then there are also

a few rare examples of women

smiling while they masturbate

their partner.

Secondly, who says that anal sex

or fellatio can’t give pleasure to

women? As far as I am aware,

they both can, and, in any

case, though it may well have

a biological basis, “pleasure”

is also often influenced by

culture. In other words, if in

some societies things that are

thought of as delicious to eat

can be thought of as disgusting

who says

that anal

sex or


can’t give

pleasure to


by others, then the same should

apply to sexual practices.

Overall, I think that Mary

Weismantel’s 2004 article

“Moche Sex Pots: Reproduction

and Temporality in Ancient

South America” offers a more

persuasive theory.

Weismantel points out that the

way humans think about sex

and reproduction changes from

culture to culture. For example,

contemporary Amazonian

peoples like the Tukanoa, the

Barsana and the Wari’ believe in

“seminal nurture”–-that is, they

think it’s not the single moment

when sperm meets egg that is

important for reproduction,

but repeated intercourse, as

it’s through regular infusions

of semen from men, and the

mother’s own substances, that

the foetus is gradually formed.

In Melanesia, at least until

the 1980s, the Sambia people

believed that boys could become

men and have children of

their own only if they received

precious vital fluids from their

elders—that is, only if they

fellated older men. In sum:

many cultures don’t believe

that vaginal sex is necessary

for reproduction and some

cultures specifically believe

that reproduction is all about

the transferral of bodily fluids,

regardless of the orifice through

which they pass. In light of this,

maybe Moche sex pots depict

reproductive acts after all.

Indeed, Weismantel writes

that there are pots in which

women are shown breastfeeding

infants as they are

penetrated–suggesting that a

link is being made between the

vital fluids that the man passes

on to the woman, and those

that the woman passes on to

the infant. And pots depicting

women masturbating skeletons

may well be illustrating the

transferral of vital fluids from

long-dead ancestors to current


Consider, as well, that these are

high-quality ceramics, and, in all likelihood, only

the ruling classes could afford to commission

them. If Moche sex pots are indeed all about

reproduction, then maybe they specifically

reflected elites’ concern with furthering lineages,

producing heirs, ensuring that their family

remained powerful, and remained connected to

the ancestors’ power, through the generations.

In fact, it’s particularly interesting that these pots

probably accompanied the elite dead to their

graves (we don’t know for sure because many

were looted rather than properly excavated)–

maybe they were meant to indicate that, despite

the death of single individuals within a lineage,

their descendants lived on, and would produce

other descendants, and so on.

This theory is not flawless: for example, pots

in which breast-feeding and anal sex co-occur

are rare. Also, as Weismantel herself points out,

the words “Moche sex pots” cover such a huge

variety of objects that many do not fit very easily

with her theory–for example, pots depicting

possible venereal diseases, or copulation scenes

between animals, or other weird things that defy

categorisation. But, after all, it seems reasonable

to guess that the Moche themselves thought of sex

pots as divided into different categories, each with

its own attached meanings and values—some had

to do with reproduction, some didn’t.

In the end, even if we’ll never truly be able to tell

what it is that Moche sex pots mean, they are

inspiring all the same, as they give us a precious

example of how, throughout history, there hasn’t

been one single, biologically-based way of having

sex and thinking about sex, but a wide range of

weird, creative and diverse ones.

Enrico Cioni studied Archaeology and

Anthropology at the University of Cambridge

and the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the

Americas at the University of East Anglia.

He currently works for Seshat Global History

Databank, and lives in Norwich (England)

with his partner and an extremely fluffy cat.





T H E A N A T O M Y O F A B A E - C A T I O N

“Babe, info I need… passport

name, number and date of birth,

if you’re going to fly to NYC first

before we head to the island.”

Ten seconds later, I had all the

relevant details. I don’t even

think he was in the country at the

time of that WhatsApp request.

All I knew was that my new

lover and I were taking our first

trip together to one of the most

romantic islands in the world,

after having only spent a few

hours together in person. And

technically speaking, this would

only be our third date.

I should probably back up, right?

Explain a few things? Give you

a bit of context? Considering this

was only the third date. What you

should know is that this is how I

live my life. My dating adventures

are unconventional. I don’t have

set rules. Instead, I make my own

experiences by remaining open,

flexible, curious, adventurous

and, at times, spontaneous as I

meet amazing men and go with

the flow of us.

I met him in Chicago by

happenstance at an outdoor food

festival. Neither of us lived there. I

currently call the east coast home

and at the time his was the west

coast. However, serendipity was

on our side and for 15 minutes I

had his attention at this crowded

festival. I remember being so

enamored by his presence that I

asked him to keep his sunglasses

on. I could NOT look him in the

eye. His energy was too strong.

I knew right then and there I was

going to be in for a ride, if I spent

more time with him. Instead, I

said goodbye, having no idea

what would come to be over the

course of a few months. You

should also know, prior to this

we had been friends for about a


Fast forward a few months later

and by happenstance, we were

both in Washington D.C. I was

there for a business conference.

He was passing through, as he

headed elsewhere for a vacation.

A friend connected us, realizing

that we BOTH were in the same

city and should meet up. This

became known as our first date.

An impromptu first date on my

birthday. What I remember about

that time together, which only

lasted a few hours as it was in

between his layover flight and

my conference lunch break, was

that he had my full attention and

I was captivated.

There were two other things

to note about this date. One,

apparently he had been watching

me for awhile over the course

of our friendship. Instead of

engaging in small talk or asking

the 5 or 7 or 10 questions one

“should” ask on a first date…as found on way too

many blogs, he was very open with his feelings

and observations of me. He was commanding, kind

and had a deep, piercing gaze. That same gaze

from months prior in Chicago. This time, though,

there were no sunglasses. I let his gaze drink me

all the way up.

The other thing to note is the “impromptu” part.

This first date was spontaneous. I didn’t know I

was about to start dating this guy. I didn’t know I

was going to have a romantic rendezvous on my

birthday. Had our friend never made the connection

that we were in the same place at the same time,

I have no idea how our friendship would have

unfolded. What I’m glad for…is that I just went with

the flow. While I might lean more towards a Type A

personality, when it comes to love, travel and a fine

ass man, I make exceptions and ere on the side of

spontaneity. I could have easily said, “Why don’t we

set a future date when we are in one of our home

towns and go on a ‘proper’ first date”…whatever

that is. I could have said, “Why don’t we PLAN a

date.” But nope. He was there in the same city as

I was and we both were free. Time is precious and

you can never get it back. Shoot your shot!

Unlike the first, our second date was planned.

He flew to NY and we had dinner at my favorite

place in Harlem. However because of both of our

schedules, our time was limited again. In fact, I

had a flight the very next day at 6 am, as I was

traveling back to D.C. again on business. He also

had plans later that night. Dinner was fantastic but

what slightly annoyed me was that I knew I wasn’t

going to have sex at the end of this particular date.

My hunger for this man was beyond my hunger

for that grilled tilapia on my plate. Sigh! Be that

as it may, it was still a very good time together.

Beyond the incredible food was the intensity,

intimacy, and intentionality of his energy and the

conversations, which would go on to become some

of the foundational principles in our relationship

and world adventures. There was also his kiss

which still lingered on my lip by the time the check

arrived. He spoke of wanting to travel the world

with me and his daydreams of what it might look

like. I remember saying that most of my stuff was

in storage, so I was ready to go!

A few months later, after many phone calls, “Skype

dates”, and about a hundred Glide videos later,

we were planning our third date in the Caribbean.

I really don’t know what the rule books say about

dating, lovers and when the best time to travel

together might be but what I do know is we both

had a week free, I had complimentary flights and

a complimentary suite at a five-star resort. We

both loved to travel. We were both hungry for each

other. So all I needed was his passport information

to book our flights!

In the planning process for this luxurious island

getaway, he asked if he could take control of one of

the days and plan a series of surprise adventures

for me. I like to know who, what, when, where, why

and HOW! But I was enjoying the tone that we were

setting with each other and gave him permission to

do as he pleased. In return, he told me what to pack.

That list included hiking shoes and ….something for

him to tie me down with. LAWD! My spirit and my

vagina were willing and able! The trip was magical.

He surprised me with hiking excursions, outdoor

volcanic spa clay body painting rituals, a perfect

sunset on a semi-private beach and more.

And the sex? Given how hungry we were for

each other. Given how our relationship was long

distance. Given how we were on one of the most

romantic islands in the world. Given how he made

me bring things so that he could tie me down with

considering our interest in BDSM….by day two,

I was already sore, satiated and elated from the

mind blowing sex. That didn’t stop me, though. Any

chance we got, we were on top of each other. Our

energy must have been spilling all over the place

because every person we encountered asked if we

were on our honeymoon. Nope. This was just our

third date!

My review of the trip? A simple Facebook status

explained it all, vaguely. “Well, he just took date

night to a whole other level. I think I might have to

bow down..... Or bribe one of the gods of pleasure,

seduction, and love for a day with their powers.”

The fourth date was a surprise to me…but

apparently he had been plotting with two of my

best friends. A month after our third date, I spent

two weeks in Thailand on vacation. I remember

exploring Thailand and wishing he were there with

me and being sad overall because based on our

schedules, the next time I’d be able to see him was

maybe in six months. However, unbeknownst to

me, he had changed his travel schedule to be in NY

upon my return. For weeks…he had been in cahoots

with my friends, so much so that he answered the

door to my apartment… when

I went to use my keys after a

30+ hour flight. From having a

flower infused bath drawn for

me, including a warm, dry towel,

to rearranging my room, adding

mood lights, and more…he made

my “Welcome Home” a trip to

remember. Oh, and the sex was

our best sex ever. #JetLagSex,

anyone? I mean, we didn’t have a

long standing history of a sexual

relationship considering we were

long distance. But of the limited

sex, we’d had, considering this

technically was our “fourth date,”

life was swell. After a week of

bliss, he boarded a plane and I

had no idea when I might see him


A few months later, I saw him

for our “fifth date” in Thailand.

I took two weeks off work, went

half way around the world and

he met me in Thailand. Actually,

he arrived a few days early to

set the stage. Working with the

hotel staff and a local friend in

Thailand, he plotted and planned

for not only my arrival but also

our 3 cities, 2 country tour. The

sex was different this time. It was

definitely good. I’d been sooo

hungry for him, I thought I was

going to lose my mind. However,

when you travel, shit happens.

In the midst of those two weeks

together, I’d been sick twice with

a fever and sinuses, I had a death

in the family, my FUCKING period

came (I had to teach him about

sex with an Instead Soft Cup), and

because of our Muay Thai boxing

lesson, I was sore and sensitive.

We simply adjusted and kept on

fucking. A lot. In fact, this time, we

brought some fun games and hot

candle wax too!

Its been a few weeks since our

vacation in Thailand, which

included flower baths together

(of which I can now cross off

#BathTubSex), massages, kite

flying, temple visits and outdoor

photo shoots under waterfalls.

I’m starting to feen again which

means, we’re plotting.

This is what I want you to

know about my unconventional

relationship where we’ve had

5 dates. , 28 dates, if you count

each day of our various vacations

together. Of which, if I count all

the hours…we have only spent

a total of 23 days together. They

are scattered. The 2 hours in

Washington D.C. The 3-hour

dinner in Harlem. The 4 days in

the Caribbean. So, in 7 months

of dating, we’ve seen each other

for the total of 23 days having 5

date experiences ranging from 2

hours to 2 weeks. And this is what

I want you to know.

Life is what you make it. If you’re

willing to trust your intuition,

try new things, go with the flow

and seek adventure at every

opportunity, you’ll find yourself

on romantic islands and half

way across the world taking a

flower bath with your lover, right

after you land. This sex and love

is so hot because the trust is deep, the intimacy

continues to grow, the support is unparalleled and

the compassion and understanding for handling the

changing tides of life is mutually respected by us.

When time allows for planning, we are deliberate

about creating sensual, romantic and erotic

experiences for each other. And when time doesn’t

allow, we embrace the spontaneity of only having two

hours together. We infuse elements of surprise. We

incorporate different date night ideas so as to have a

sense of wonder and delight…because we know that

once you set the stage and create the mood…..later

or when no one is looking, the sex is FIRE!

Date number six, he’s coming back to NY. Date

number seven, we’re going out of the country again.

Date number eight, maybe I need to finally go to him

on the west coast? Or meet him in Iceland? Or Paris?

And the rest, I have no idea. I’m excited, though. And

I’m wondering what goodies I should pack next! A

gag ball? A riding crop? Sex toys?

Sheena LaShay is an “Intellectual Sensual

Shaman, Wild Magical Woman and Cultural

Provocateur” who leads workshops, retreats and

events. Her digital home, www.SheenaLaShay.

com, is the space where vulnerability, eroticism

and power intersect.




Arielle Loren is a sexuality thought leader, writer, and

filmmaker, who has dedicated her career to empowering

dialogue about sex. Her work has been featured and

praised by The Huffington Post, NPR, ESSENCE,

Jezebel, NBC News (The Grio), BET, EBONY, The Root,

and Clutch Magazine.

In 2012, she sat as one of three panelists on the

“Erotica Out In The Open” panel for BlogHer, the largest

conference in the world for women in social media, and

the Women’s Media Center honored her in 2011 for

empowering women online. Loren is one of the select

contributors to be featured in the first-ever anthology

about E. L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey called 50 Writers

on 50 Shades of Grey. She also directed and produced

a media-acclaimed documentary, Bideology, about

women dating bisexual men (

A graduate of New York University & Georgetown

University, she also works as a business and media

strategist to small businesses and large organizations,

while teaching online (

She’s the founder of CORSET and serves as the

company’s CEO and magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, leading

CORSET’s international community of readers on their

journeys to sexual empowerment.

(Taken from website:



The Intersection of Race, Culture & Sexuality.

Written By: H. Sharif "Herukhuti" Williams, PhD., M.Ed.

All Photos By: Saddi Khali

“Do you want to

experience the best

orgasms ever? Not only

is it possible, but it’s also

sustainable - full bodied,

earth-shattering orgasms

for the rest of your life.”

How much would that be worth to you? What would you

do to have that life? Those are the questions facing many

of today’s personal development seekers as they explore

the field of sacred sexuality. Sacred sexuality is the nexus

of spirituality and sex. It includes the development of

an appreciation for the spiritual nature of sex. Think about

how often, on the verge of orgasm, you feel the urge to

call on God or reach out into the abyss as you enter into a

space of oblivion within orgasm. In this area, sacred sexuality

practitioners perform a variety of practices before,

during or after sex such as reciting prayers; performing

ritual or intentional body cleansing and baths with herbs

and oils; burning incense, smudging sage or other herbs

to purify the space; or anointing their lovers with oil.

Some practitioners even use sex, sensual touch, and erotic

intimacy as forms of spiritual practice. These practitioners

may bring a life goal into the sexual moment and focus on

that life goal during orgasm as a form of invocation. Other

practitioners, sometimes called sacred whores or sexual

healers, have sexual ministries that offer healing, pastoral

counseling, and care to people who are living with needs

for affection, connection, affirmation, understanding, intimacy,

and/or clarity. Priests of temples of certain deities

during ancient times fulfilled the role of sacred whores. In

the contemporary context, people have accepted the call

to serve as sacred whores.

Dr. Loraine Hutchins, in the article Bisexual Women as

Emblematic Sexual Healers and the Problematics of the

Embodied Sacred Whore, recognized, “Visualizing women,

and men, as Sacred Whores seems…to be a key part

of many newly-forming erotic communities where sacred

sexuality is practiced in a variety of forms…. Unless we

find ways to make erotic healing rituals more available

to more people, at a variety of levels suitable to different

needs, and woven into resistance movements

that profoundly change people for the better, we

will never have what we really need: a community

of sacred erotic healers who practice beyond

current gender constraints and the constraints of

all oppressions.”

Today, sacred sexuality is not inherently altruistic.

Like prosperity theology, it can be big business.

Evangelists and gurus, with sacred products to

sell, devise effective ways to convince people in

spiritual, physical, emotional and/or social turmoil

that they have a need that can be met by buying

their particular brand of product or service.

Sometimes the product is a book; other times it’s

a weekend retreat or workshop. Whatever the

product, the claims are roughly the same—become

a more orgasmic person i.e., have better


Orgasms are important parts of health and wellness.

Great orgasms can be a vital component of

one’s relationships and sex life. But when great

orgasms become just another product on the

open market, one that is saturated with trends

and fads, the power of sex to transform our society

as well as how we feel about ourselves and

each other is sidelined. In her speech, which later

became the essay, Uses of the Erotic as Power,

poet Audre Lorde reflects upon the potential for

this power to act as “a well of replenishing and

provocative force” that disrupt and even destroy

the forms of structural inequality and social violence

inherent in an oppressive society.

Beyond sexual consumerism, sacred sexuality

can be a vehicle for political activism, community

organizing, and environmental and social justice.

We can remake the world into one that is more

socially just and ecologically sustainable through

an intentional cultivation of our erotic selves. As

a revolutionary, that idea is extremely appealing

to me and is the reason why I became a sacred

sexuality practitioner, educator and author.

My journey as a sacred sexuality practitioner

began when, at the age of fourteen, I was initiated

into the Temple of the White and Gold Lotus,

Shrine of Amen Ra, a Kemetic (i.e., ancient

Egyptian) priesthood and part of the 20th century

movement of people in the African Diaspora

to reclaim their African heritage. Like many other

parts of the movement, the knowledge traditions

of the priesthood were pulled together from

a number of different systems of thought. In our

specific case, priests studied an eclectic mix of

so-called Egyptology (i.e., Kemetic history, language,

theology, and culture), rkh hti kmti (i.e.,

Kemetic mysticism), snb ntchr (i.e., spiritual healing),

hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, pranayama, tai

chi chuan, and chi kung.

An initial reflection on that course of study usually

results in questioning the presence of seemingly

Indian—yoga and pranayama—and Chinese—tai

chi and chi kung—practices in what

is supposed to be an African priesthood. Members

of the modern Kemetic Movement justify the

seemingly syncretic fusion of different cultures by

pointing to the fact that human culture began in

Africa and traveled with humans out of it into other

parts of the world.

Kemetic culture, which included what we would

today call ancient Nubia and Egypt, was the prevailing

and preeminent civilization of its day and

influenced the culture of the ancient Indus Valley

Civilization of what is the northern part of present-day

India. We believe this influence led to

the development of kundalini yoga in India. Indian

culture, through the travels of people like the

monks Buddhabhadra (also known as Ba Tuo)

and Bodhidharma (also known as Da Mo) influenced

ancient Chinese culture. Chinese martial

arts, including Shaolin kung fu and tai chi chuan,

are products of these cultural exchanges.

Kemetic spirituality is an African and African Diaspora

religious tradition that is similar to jazz—a

magical use of tradition, structure, hybridity, and

improvisation. One of the key approaches to Kemetic

knowledge and sharing knowledge that I

learned while I trained as a priest was knowledge

management. These approaches

were taught through terms like “inner

temple and outer temple” knowledge

and parables like “To those who have

the eyes to see, the truth of the world

is revealed.” These statements reflected

our belief that knowledge was

power and some knowledge was so

powerful that it had to be protected.

Protection meant that access to such

knowledge was contingent upon the

demonstration that one could ethically

and effectively possess and utilize

the knowledge.

The purpose of our training was twofold:

to prepare us to be the possessors

and wielders of certain knowledge

and to evaluate our preparedness to

do so. This approach is the reason

why Kemetic priesthoods have been

called secret societies and their temples

referred to as mystery schools—

they contain knowledge-power that

is held in secret and away from easy

access for the community.

People who wish to possess and

wield secret knowledge-power must

commit themselves to intensive study

and responsible use of it. Sacred sexuality

is one such knowledge-power.

But in today’s capitalist, consumerist

global economy, it seems everything

is obtainable if you have enough money,

privilege or access. Individuals

who wish to dabble in sacred sexuality

can register for a workshop, class,

seminar, or weekend retreat without

paying any price other than the registration

fee or making any commitment

other than attendance.

Who’s providing these experiences?

Mostly middle class people of European

descent with new age philosophies

and fancy marketing materials,

touting products usually priced at

hundreds of dollars; they are generally

not within reach of the average

working class Black person.

There are also books on sacred

sexuality, written by the same

type of people who provide

these experiences.

More recently, a number of

these sacred sexuality teachers

have marketed ankhing as a

sacred sexuality product. They

promote ankhing, a gerund adaptation

of the Kemetic word for

eternal life ankh, as a form of

Kemetic sacred sexuality that

relies upon a practitioner consciously

breathing during sex

and intentionally sending the

orgasmic energy they experience

through a specific part of

their microcosmic orbit or kundalini

system known as a chakra.

They market the practice as a

way of achieving orgasms that

“increase your life-force energy,

making you stronger, more

alive, and more conscious.

And…may lead you into eternal


Generally, they do not offer a

source for this knowledge-power

nor provide a cultural context

for why, when, and how this

practice was used in ancient

Kemet. In history, for example,

sacred sexuality was practiced

by a small segment of the Kemetic

population, e.g., priests

(all genders) of certain temples

and shrines and of certain levels

of initiatory education/training.

It was not something the

average person practiced and

those who did practice it only

performed the very rudimentary

forms given to them by priests

as medicinal aids. The present

phenomenon of ankhing, therefore,

becomes just another personal

development product of

knowledge-power stolen from

people of color.

If you’re a person of African

descent, why would you go to

people whose ancestors contributed

to the reason why you

don’t have direct access to the

knowledge-power of your ancestors

to learn what they’ve

gleamed from their reading of

your ancestor’s wisdom? Be

sure to seek out sacred sexuality

resources, learning opportunities,

and practitioners of African



spirituality is

an African and

African Diaspora


tradition that is

similar to jazz

One of the earliest sacred sexuality

practitioners in the United

States was a Black man named

Paschal Beverly Randolph.

A contemporary of Frederick

Douglass and Alexandre Dumas

and acquaintance of U.S.

President Abraham Lincoln,

Randolph founded the oldest

Rosicrucian organization in the

United States. Rosicrucians

are a Western secret society

that borrows from Kemetic and

Asian teachings. Randolph

published a number of texts of

sex magic philosophy and theory

as well as manuals including

The Mysteries of Eulis and

Eulis! The History of Love: Its

Wondrous Magic, Chemistry,

Rules, Laws, Modes, Moods,

and Rationale; Being the Third

Revelation of Soul and Sex.

Also, Reply to “Why is Man

Immortal?” The Solution to the

Darwin Problem. An Entirely

New Theory published in 1874.

In Sacred Sexuality, Ancient

Egyptian Tantric Yoga: The Neterian

Guide to Love, Sexuality,

Marriage, Relationships, and

the Secrets of Sexual Energy

Cultivation, Sublimation, and

Spiritual Enlightenment, Dr.

Muata Ashby, a US-based Puerto

Rican/Bajan holistic health

doctor and Kemetic priest, applies

his reading of Kemetic

history, language, culture, and

sacred texts to provide readers

with a basic foundation for

understanding sacred sexuality

within Kemetic traditions. Much

of the information Dr. Ashby

provides in the book is useful

in addressing intellectual curiosity.

I find his work somewhat

problematic for people whose

experience of their desires,

bodies, and sexualities is not

particularly heterosexual (e.g.,

people who experience samesex

desire, similar-gender love,

sexual fluidity, bisexuality, etc.)

or experience of their gender

is not particularly binary (e.g.,

two-spirit, transgender, and

gender non-conforming people).

There are sacred sexuality

practitioners of African descent

and/or of color whose work

does address a wider audience.

M’Kali-Hashiki Nin, a priest of

Oshun in the Ifa tradition and

an erotic empowerment guide

at The Enstatic Body, specializes in working

for “radical transformation through erotic empowerment

for QTIPOC & allied folk.”

As a high priest of the Shrine of Sekhmet

and Heruhet and founder/chief erotics officer

(CEO) of the Center for Culture, Sexuality

and Spirituality, I work with people of various

sexualities and genders to use the knowledge-power

of the erotic, the spiritual nature

of sex, sensual touch, and erotic intimacy as

forms of spiritual practice in service of the

goal of creating a more socially just and ecologically

well world. This work goes beyond

providing another sacred sexuality product

or service to people in need. In addition to

providing short-term educational learning opportunities

to liberate the ways people love,

experience the Erotic, and connect to the

Sacred, we help people become agents of

social change through sacred sexuality. Because

while we believe great orgasms are

important, we also know a better world is

possible if we work to achieve it.

As you enter the field of sacred sexuality,

think about your motivations, commitments,

and responsibilities. Be mindful that knowledge-power

of any form can be detrimental

to those who posses it and those around



H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, PhD, MEd,

is a liberatory sociologist, cultural studies

scholar, sex educator, playwright/poet and

award-winning author. Dr. Herukhuti studied

sex research methods, sexology, sexual

health, and HIV at the HIV Center for Clinical

and Behavioral Studies of the New York

State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University

through a National Institute of Mental

Health-funded graduate research assistantship.

Dr. Herukhuti holds a doctoral concentration

in transformative learning for social

justice and specializations in sexuality and

cross-cultural studies of knowledge.




Written By: Gerald Garth

Black AIDS Institute

Working together

for better health

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield —

your choice for a healthy life.

Visit us at

Serving Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan and Hoosier Care Connect

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a

registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

AINMKT-0121-16 02.16

Global travel is an important aspect of life,

be it for business or pleasure, for many. But for

those travelers living with HIV, many countries

around the world may restrict the entry, residence

and stay of foreigners. While some countries

prohibit people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)

from traveling to them, this is changing as

governments learn more about HIV. Being HIV

positive does not mean that individuals cannot

travel; however, travelers living with HIV should

plan more carefully when planning a trip outside

the United States.

Planning carefully to protect your health and

safety is important. Before traveling abroad,

travelers should talk to their healthcare provider

about health risks in the intended area to visit,

as well as any need for special medications—

especially in developing countries.

Infectious diseases are a big concern in certain

parts of the world and travelers with HIV may

be especially vulnerable. These diseases can

increase one’s risk of getting an opportunistic

infection; an infection that occurs more

frequently and is more severe in individuals

with weakened immune systems, such as

some PLWHA.

Healthcare providers

will also know

If a country does have

entry restrictions, people

with HIV who still decide

to travel risk being

refused entry.

the best ways to protect global travelers with

HIV from such things as malaria, typhoid fever,

and hepatitis. Travelers should also make sure

all routine vaccinations are up-to-date.

Additionally, travelers should be aware that food

and water in some countries

might not be as clean and

safe as they are in the

United States. By eating

raw or undercooked

food or drinking

contaminated water,

individuals could get

sick from bacteria,

viruses, or parasites.

Before traveling

outside of the United

States, the

Department of State recommends that travelers with

HIV get a letter from their doctor listing prescription

medications, including the generic names of

prescribed drugs. Medications being carried overseas

should be left in their original containers and clearly

labeled. When checking personal belongings for air

travel, travelers should inform officials if needles or

syringes for medication are present. In addition,

travelers with HIV should carry one week’s worth

of medications in their carry-on baggage in case

luggage is lost.

Also, travelers should check with the foreign embassy

of the destination country or countries to make sure

that required medications are not considered to

be illegal narcotics. When contacting an embassy

or consulate to ask about travel restrictions, an

individual’s name and HIV status can be kept


If a country does have entry restrictions, people with

HIV who still decide to travel risk being refused entry.

According to, America lifted its

restrictions on HIV-positive visitors in 2010.

Previously, the United States travel ban prevented

visits to the U.S. by people with HIV, excluding

exceptional circumstances. An HIV waiver could

only be obtained if the traveler met one of only

a few exceptions. Although the ban was widely

defied, individuals with HIV who were detected by

U.S. immigration staff were refused entry to the

country and deported. Following the removal of

this ban, HIV-positive individuals can now legally

visit and migrate to the U.S.

In other countries where restrictions have been

recently changed, added caution needs to be

taken if discussing HIV status. If someone with

HIV disobeys a regulation and traveled into a

country when a ban was in place, they could

still be open to deportation following a travel

ban being lifted. This could happen if there was

proof that the individual knew of his/ her HIVpositive

status when the ban was in place and

still entered the country. In this circumstance, the

individual would have broken the law in the past

and could be deported for that reason.

There are some simple steps all HIV-positive

tourists can take regardless of their destinations

to minimize chances of undue customs delays or


• Keep anti-HIV medications in their original

bottles and do not attempt to hide the

containers. Customs officials may think

hidden bottles may contain contraband,

which could result in the traveler being

detained while medications are verified.

Opening packages or taking pills out of their

prescription bottles will delay time in security.

problems, ask to see a supervisor.

Travelers should avoid starting a new

treatment combination within a month of

trip, as health care provider may need

to monitor and adjust treatment in case

of side effects or allergic reactions.

• Providers may also be able to suggest some

tips and tricks to help with adherence to your

dosage schedule when traveling across time

zones and wrestling with one’s body clock.

While some countries restrict visitors who are

HIV-positive from entering their borders or for

staying for long periods of time, there are many

countries that have legislation that clearly states

that entry, and permission to live and work will

not be affected by HIV status. There are also

several countries that do not require any type of

medical tests either for short-term or long-term


For more information for travelers with HIV, visit and

• Pack extra medicine and supplies when

traveling in case of unexpected delays.

• For those taking injectable medications,

when carrying empty syringes, travelers

must also have the medication.

• Depending on the circumstances, it may be

worthwhile taking along a doctor’s certificate

(in English), which shows that the holder is

reliant on the medication and that it has been

prescribed by the doctor. Also, carry a copy

of prescriptions in carry-on, purse, or wallet.

Travelers may ask and are entitled to a

private screening to maintain confidentiality.

Show copies of prescriptions and/

or medication bottles. If there are any

Gerald Garth, a writer and publicist, works

at the Black AIDS Institute as Outreach and

Media Coordinator. Garth currently resides

in Los Angeles, California.

Griots Republic Vol. 1 Issue 4

April 2016

Cover Image

Courtesy of Saddi Khali

Editor in Chief Davita McKelvey

Deputy Editor Rodney Goode

Copy Editor Alexis Barnes

Video Editor Chidi Nwaozomudoh


Alexandra Stewart


Visit or


Brian Blake

Write to: 405 Tarrytown Rd STE 1356,

White Plains, NY 10607

Phone: 1 929-277-9290

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