Over the years, female sexuality has been both celebrated and at the root of widespread controversy (hello, "WAP" debate!). But certified sensual movement coach Anjua Maximo believes the discussion regarding women and sexuality goes much deeper than wardrobes and dance moves. She has dedicated her work to helping women reconnect to their sensuality and redefine what sexy means to them. POPSUGAR spoke to Maximo for insight into how and why women should bring sexy back into their lives.
For many women, feeling sexy is difficult or uncomfortable. Whether it be a result of past experiences or unattainable standards set by the media, Maximo explained that women often disconnect from their sexual nature, which then doesn't allow them to live fully as themselves. "Getting in touch with our sensuality and sexuality is a move to develop, understand, and reclaim a part of us that whatever trauma, society, culture, or religion we come from has controlled for far too long," she told POPSUGAR.
One of the biggest obstacles in reconnecting to your sensual self, Maximo said, is that women tend to focus on what sexy looks like instead of what it feels like. "We're fed messages from so many different angles about our sexuality," she explained. "There's very little opportunity or encouragement to discover or decide what sexuality feels like for ourselves."
In her Pure Mvmnt sensual dance classes, Maximo guides women to release the shame and fear around their sexuality through intuitive dancing, guided self-inquiry, and journaling. The focus is on the sacral chakra, located between the belly button and pubic bone, which is the center of creativity, erotic energy, and emotions. "Not nurturing our sensuality and sexuality can feel like walking around with part of ourselves on mute," she said.
While many women may struggle to connect with their sensual selves, Maximo said it can be uniquely difficult for women of color, and specifically Black women due to harmful stereotypes of being hypersexual. "Latina women and Asian women have endured the same type of fetishization," she said. "As a result, BIPOC women may sometimes feel they have to be overly conscious of how they present."
Maximo said the main concern is that women have been told at some point what is considered acceptable sexuality and what isn't. The definitions may vary, but the root of the issue remains the same — it wasn't decided by you. Her mission is to encourage women to create their own definitions and rules about sexuality. Keep reading for eight insights from Maximo on how to reconnect, reclaim, and redefine your sexuality.