Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

Melania’s Meaness

Ladies – Why is the FLOTUS so mean…?

Sure. We’ve all become accustomed to Melania’s scowl.  Melania often looks unhappy or mad.   Many people think Melania wears a scowl because she’s trapped in a miserable marriage with The Donald, and they feel sorry for her.

But, over this last week or so, what has come out is that Melania is just straight up mean.

In spite of her #BeBest campaign, which promotes the well-being of youth and advocates against cyberbulling, this past week Melania’s spokeswoman tweeted that Melania thinks her husband has every right to mock the 16-year old climate change activist Greta Thornberg who is on the autism spectrum – like their son Baron. By the way, The Donald made fun of Greta because she – not he – was on the cover of Time magazine.

What’s up with that?

Who does that?

What former First Lady of the U.S. has been so spiteful? What former FLOTUS has come out and attacked childreb who are trying to make the world a better place? None that I can recall.

Incredulously, just the week before, Melania went ballistic on Twitter because an Impeachment witness and Stanford law professor brought up her son Barron as an example of how the President cannot behave like a King. Melania tweeted, “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”

Listen to that tone.  Really?  From a FLOTUS?

But, if we had all been paying attention since the Trumps snuck into the White House, we would have heard Melania tell us herself that she is mean.  When James Comey’s book came out, Melania lamented the contents were “disappointingly mild. ” According to The New Yorker Melania said the book isn’t as mean as the one she’s going to write. Melania declared, “Clearly, he was trying very hard to be nasty, and he deserves credit for effort,” she said. “But I will show him how it is done.”

Photo credits: The Wrap, Yahoo News, HuffPost

 

Fertility Friday: Surviving Infertility

 

Today we share Fertility Friday’s episode on the difficult topic of dealing with infertility.  Lisa’s guest is Sheridan Voysey, who is a writer, speaker and broadcaster. His books include Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings, Resilient, and the award-winning Unseen Footprints.  Sheridan shares his personal experience of making it through infertility from the male perspective.

Topics discussed in the episode include:

  • A look into Sheridan and his wife Merryn’s ten year infertility and adoption journey
  • How their journey led Sheridan to write his book, Resurrection Year
  • How Sheridan dealt with the grief and loss of their unsuccessful dream of having a child
  • Sheridan’s advice for couples struggling with infertility
  • The importance of putting your marriage/relationship first during this challenging time
  • Ways to deal with one partner wanting to stop trying and the other wanting to continue
  • How dealing with fertility issues can affect men in various aspects of their lives
  • The importance of also remembering to check in with men to see how they are feeling and dealing with the fertility struggles
  • Ways men who deal with lower sperm count can connect with others to know that they are not alone
  • How those who have gone through the infertility journey can use their trial to help guide, inspire or comfort others going through it
  • The importance of remembering there is so much more to you than your parental status

Click here for the podcast and full episode.

Sophia’s Grown & Sexy Thanksgiving – SIZZLE WITH SOPHIA

Even though I try to practice gratitude year-round, I think it’s well and good that we take a special day every year to pause and give thanks for all the good in our lives. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Thanksgiving!

But, as much as I love spending time with family and friends over a delicious meal, I’m also pretty thankful for sexual health and pleasure! And y’all know me. Ain’t no shame in my game! That’s why I’ve put together Sophia’s Grown & Sexy Thanksgiving List! Feel free to add to this in the comment section below.

  1. Smart Men – Smart men are sexy! In my younger, wilder days, I could put up with dumb but cute guys. Not anymore, though. A cute smile, a stiff dick and a nice ass won’t get you very far these days. I need some stimulating conversation and not just about sex. If you can’t intelligently converse (not conversate, which is NOT a word) about current events, local politics or something deeper than the latest reality show drama, then I can’t be bothered. You must be able to get into my head before you can get into my panties. I am thankful for smart men.
  2. Hard Bodies – That said, I ain’t mad at the brothas who got it going on body-wise! We women are just as visual as men. And I’m old-school. I like a man’s hardness to compliment my soft curves. (Shut up! It’s not fat! We’re calling it curves, all right?) While we are visual, women tend to be more forgiving of men’s bodies. And I think that’s a good thing. We still find our Boo’s beer belly sexy and don’t mind when he’s put on a few pounds. But we ain’t blind, either. We can appreciate a six-pack, big biceps and thick, muscular thighs, too. Phew! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I am thankful for hard bodies!
    The Hooded Lady – Okay, that’s just a euphemism for our crown jewel, the clitoris! This fascinating part of the female’s anatomy has twice as many nerve endings as the penis (8,000+) and is only there for one purpose: sexual pleasure. Unlike the penis, which also serves as a liquid waste portal and reproduction organ, our clitoris serves no other biological function than our pleasure. How cool is that? It’s like God, in his infinite wisdom, decided that since women have to endure menstruation, the pain of childbirth and 30% less pay, we deserve our very own personal pleasure center. And so He gave each of us a clitoris. I am thankful for the clitoris!
  3. The G Spot – For so many women, this much-hyped spot is an elusive, almost mythical body feature. Much scientific and sociological study has been made of the G Spot, yet many women have yet to experience its amazing power. Keep looking, ladies. It’s there, somewhere on the top wall of your va-jay-jay. I suspect that it’s actually a continuation of the clitoris, which goes so much further than the little tip we see on the outside of our bodies (think of that visible part as just the tip of the iceberg). At any rate, a properly stimulated G Spot will send you to the moon and have you speaking in tongues. I am so thankful for the G Spot!
  4. Multiple Orgasms – Sure, there are some gifted men who experience multiple orgasms in quick succession. But they are few and far between, and are often experienced in some form of tantric sex. Trust me, your average Joe ain’t nuttin’ three or four times in a row without some serious recovery time in between. Multiple orgasms are another Godly gift to women. I know that not every woman is multi-orgasmic. But every woman has the potential to be. And that’s the important part. There are few things more beautifully spiritual than riding wave after wave of ecstasy without pause! I am thankful for multiple orgasms.
  5. The One-Eyed Beast – Dick. Peter. Call it what you like. As a devoutly hetero woman, I have a strong and deep appreciation for that glorious member attached to the male body: the penis. Like the TLC song says, “Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it’s sagging”, I love the penis in its many shapes, sizes and states. And while no woman is exactly comfortable with really tiny ones or really big ones, most dicks are just the right size and perfectly made! Honestly, give me a smaller guy with the right moves over an enormous one who just lies there any day! Big, small, circumcised or uncut, I love ‘em all! I am thankful for penises.
    O.B. – As much as I love penises, I don’t always have access to one. Thank goodness for my B.O.B. (Battery Operated Boyfriend)! Woman-centered sex toys have been around for thousands of years. But these days, thanks to the internet and a growing demand among women, the sex toy industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Now, there’s something for everyone out there and at reasonable prices, too. And they’re not just for lonely, horny women anymore either! More and more couples have discovered the joys of playing with toys together. And I love it! Every woman should have at least three or four reliable B.O.B.s in her nightstand drawer. Oh and tons of batteries! I am thankful for vibrators, dildos and other sex toys.
  6. Safe Sex – In the 30+ years since the AIDS epidemic began, condom use has dramatically increased in general. But current statistics are troubling: there has been a noticeable decline in condom use, especially among young people. Too many women of color globally are being infected. And women of the African diaspora are disproportionately more likely to become infected with HIV/AIDS, despite all efforts to the contrary. Access to barrier methods and other forms of contraception varies worldwide. In the United States, we have it pretty good. However, the political tide has shifted and it’s getting harder for low-income women to have access. Safe sex is necessary for both our health and our pleasure. And ladies, in this area we cannot rely on men to protect us. It’s on us. Practice safe sex … ALWAYS! Educate yourself. Arm yourself. Protect yourself. Save yourself. Love yourself. I am so thankful for safe sex!
  7. Good Sex – Let’s face it: not all sex is created equal. It’s not always pretty and it certainly ain’t always good. But I love good sex. I appreciate good sex. I want everyone to have good sex! The necessary ingredients for good sex are self-love, self-respect, and a healthy relationship with your partner which includes respect, friendship and trust. Our biggest and most important sex organ is our brain. Women, especially, have to “get their minds right” to truly enjoy sex. If you love and respect yourself, you won’t engage in any activity that will ultimately harm you. That’s half the battle right there. The other half is your partner. If he doesn’t respect you, he won’t make any effort towards your enjoyment. If you don’t trust him, you’ll never really let go and have fun. And if, regardless of your “relationship status”, the two of you aren’t friends first, then it will be hard to reach the highest heights of ecstasy together. But when all of the ingredients are in place, you can rest assured that it’ll be all good! I am thankful for good sex.
  8. Head – Yep, I’m gonna wrap up my list with good, old-fashioned oral sex. I recently heard some great advice from a man. He said that the best way for women to ensure fantastic sex every time is to get the man to agree to one thing: if he ain’t strokin’, he needs to be lickin’! Of course, this elicited cheers and whistles from all women present. But, I think he might be on to something. And I also believe the reverse is true. I haven’t met a man yet who would turn down even a mediocre blow job. It’s quite simple, really: we all like being on the receiving end of some good oral loving, right? And for the most part, we all like pleasing our partners, right? So it stands to reason that if everyone agrees up front to offer up a little mouth and tongue action to their partner, everyone will be happy. It’s a win-win situation! So embrace the joys of oral sex, both as a giver and a receiver! I am so thankful for oral sex!  So there you have it: my list of things for which I am grateful. Please feel free to add your list in the comments below. In the meantime, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
    ~Sophia

Originally published November 24, 2015

 

Elijah Cummings’ Widow Will Get A Double Mastectomy… And Seek His Congressional Seat

 

It has not been a month since we buried beloved Congressman Elijah Cummings. Now, weeks later we learn that his widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, will have a preventative double mastectomy this week. Maya, who is currently the Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman, has also decided to run for her late husband’s seat as United States House of Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district.

Breast cancer runs in Ms. Cummings’ family. Her mother passed away from stage four breast cancer in 2015 and her younger sister was diagnosed last year with stage two breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a real challenge in our community. Let’s be supportive of friends and family facing this health scare and encourage them to share their stories. Like Maya, many continue to help our communities and achieve more professionally while fighting breast cancer.

See more SuzyKnew! stories on breast cancer symptoms.

For more on this story, hear Maya tell her story on Monday’s Rachel Maddow Show.  Open the link below in a new tab.

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/maya-rockeymoore-cummings-to-run-for-her-husband-s-seat-73311813652

 

Fertility Friday: Arvigo Abdominal Therapy For Fertility And Period Pain

Ladies, today we share Fertility Friday’s interview with Rosita and Donna.

Rosita Arvigo,  a Doctor of Naprapathy, ethnobotanist, spiritual healer, author of 8 books on traditional healing of Central America and the of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® & the Arvigo Institute.

Donna Zubrod is a nationally certified, North Carolina Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist, a DONA certified Birth Doula, and a certified practitioner and teacher of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. Her practice, Seven Generations Massage & Birth, offers support towards positive reproductive and digestive health experiences and outcomes from menarche, throughout the childbearing years, to menopause and beyond.  Ms. Zubrod helps couples with fertility challenges to successfully conceive and nurtures expectant mothers during pregnancy through postpartum.

What topics are covered in this podcast?

  •  The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®
  • The process of Arvigo® Therapy
  • What inspired Donna to conduct her observational study on measuring the affects of Arvigo® Therapy on the menstrual cycle parameter
  • How effects were measured for each participant
  • Confirming ovulation during the study
  • Did the participants have less painful period during the study?
  • Highlights of the results
  • How can Arvigo® bring women with extreme menstrual pain back to a normal cycle

Click here for the podcast and more information.

Dia De Los Muertos – Fet Gede 2019

Google says Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) started Thursday, October 31 and ended Saturday, November 2, 2019. But, you can still celebrate your ancestors today November 3, 2019 in many cities.

If you’re in New Orleans, continue the celebration Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. at Shrine on Airline (6000 Airline Dr.)  The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana’s inaugural Día de los Muertos Festival will take place at the New Orleans Baby Cakes Stadium. Bring something that represents a deceased loved one.

Los Angeles has a long history of celebrating Dia de los Muertos. For over 30 years Olvera Street Plaza has hosted celebrations. Today many events like theatre and face painting continue.  Click here for more information. More Dia de los Muertos events in the San Fernando Valley click here.

Are you in Des Moines, Iowa today? Don’t miss out on this free event held at Merrill Middle School 12 – 4 pm, November 3. Activities will include face painters, Mayan soul blessing and cleansing as well as  “Day of the Dead” merchandise and Mariachi music.  Click here for more.

For Washington, DC events today, click here.

Fête Gede, or “Festival of the Dead,” is one of the most important celebrations in the Voodoo religious calendar. But, it was hard to find public information on what is still taking place in Little Haiti in Miami for Fet Gede.  But, if you go down to the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, we bet you will find something interesting.

 

And, here are a few interesting videos of what took place over the weekend and in the past for Day of the Dead in various communities internationally.

In Haiti, the Day of the Dead and also All Saints Day are called Fete Gede.

Fete Gede 2012

Feature photo courtesy of Daily Beast

 

The Ecology Of Wellness And Spaces For Black Faces

Introducing Ms. Dupuy Love…

In a world in which we are constantly bombarded with the beauty perks offered by fashion, hair and make-up, it seems to me that health and wellness often take a back seat for women of color.

I studied Holistic Health at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City which is now a curriculum offered online only. During that last live program in 2010, I had the honor of hearing lectures offered by some of the leaders in the wellness and thought world from Deepak Chopra, Queen Afua to the raw food movement leader, David Wolfe. I was excited to be in the Jazz At Lincoln Center auditorium where lectures took place, filled with like-minded students like me, who wanted to be a part of a movement to “make America well again”.

Filled mostly with white women, the auditorium was sparsely strewn with women of color who inevitably found their way to each other in a grassy area of nearby Central Park during the lunch break. We shared goals, fears, obstacles and offered each other words of encouragement. Before attending, I worked in the wellness field as an office manager for one the school’s first graduates, I observed my employer cross network with other, mostly white women in the industry doing joint webinars, offering joint wellness packages and retreats and referring each other to clients where appropriate. I dreamed of seeing more of this type of support existing between women of color in the holistic wellness world.

Fast forward to 2019, as I live in New Orleans, I’m finally starting to see and benefit from such collaborations and it’s a beautiful thing. My first client as a health coach was the founder of Suzy Knew! Like many Black women with a lot on her hands and plenty of responsibility, she needed support around prioritizing her daily health routine. I pulled from my arsenal, the many helpful tools the program has armed me with, hopeful about the ways in which I could influence other Black women with hard won means, to prioritize, beauty from the inside out. One important concept I learned at IIN was that of having the right ecology to support your wellness. Our two 45 sessions a month had a huge impact on both of us. I was a stand and support to her focus on her own well-being while working in Equatorial Guinea and for me, she provided the invaluable practice of supporting someone else, thus keeping me on my game.

A palm tree will not grow in the Arctic, it has to be in the right climate in order to thrive. It is the same with your own unique self. Setting up your day and your life to win at the wellness game, in ways that support your own specific needs; from small things like, having a jug of water next to your bed so that water is the last thing you drink at night and first, in the morning to stocking your fridge with healthful options. Learning the difference between whole and processed food, macro and micro nutrients. And big picture things like, enlisting the support of a coach, a yoga or dance community and incorporating quality time to do things that you love, like dance, write, paint or sing, for no other reason than you enjoy it.

In addition, there needs to exist safe spaces for our faces that foster us to nurture ourselves in ways that promote our self-esteem, self-awareness and acceptance. Currently I belong to the first Black owned yoga studio, Magnolia Yoga Studio in New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA). The owner, Adrianne Jackson, has offered yoga teacher training to a host of young Black yoga teachers, paving the way for more agents of wellness in our community. Wellness events at the studio feature presentations and samplings of services provided by Black chiropractors, acupuncturists, and masseuses in the area. I, my sister and niece participated in a workshop the studio offered on Tantric yoga, offered by a Black female expert, Diane Goghogomu (@dloveisyours). We now have access to a diverse wellness community of color in a city where wellness spaces were traditionally enjoyed by a predominantly white and privileged few. As Over the past nine years there has been a well spring of Black female proprietors with a focus on nurturing the wellness of our communities across the country (https://wellinsiders.com/7-black-women-making-waves-in-alternative-medicine/) There’s plenty more to be done, but I’d say we’re beginning to thrive, one palm leaf at a time.

Ms. Dupuy Love is a quintessential artist and a lady of many talents. She hails from NOLA with roots in Haiti.  To start your own personal coaching sessions, email her at Dupuylove@gmail.com.

Fertility Friday: Hormones, Menopause, And Using The Keto Diet To Manage Symptoms

Ladies, this past weekend was so crazy hectic SuzyKnew! didn’t get a chance to share with you a Fertility Friday podcast.  This Monday we are playing catch up.  Here is Fertility Friday’s podcast interview with Dr. Anna Cabeca on hormones, menopause and using the Keto diet to manage symptoms.

Dr. Cabeca is a triple board certified, Emory University trained physician and hormone expert, who was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38.  Devastated, she set out on a personal wellness journey to reverse her menopause side effects, which resulted in her delivery of a healthy baby girl at the age of 41.

After experiencing her own health successes, Dr. Cabeca began counseling others, ultimately changing the lives of thousands of women across the globe. Her new book The Hormone Fix and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again.

Topics discussed in today’s episode:

  • How Dr. Anna’s early menopause diagnosis changed her work, her health and her life
  • What is Mighty Maca Plus
  • How a tragic loss in Dr. Anna’s life led to early menopause
  • The impacts of stress on the body and the menstrual cycle
  • How Dr. Anna was able to heal her body, mind and spirit to began ovulating again
  • The natural things Dr. Anna used to help heal herself
  • The process Dr. Anna has used to help her “infertile” clients conceive
  • How sugar affects our hormones balance
  • What is Dr. Anna’s 10-80-10 rule
  • What is Ketosis and the Keto Diet
  • The differences in the way intermittent fasting works for men vs. women
  • Why you have to take bio-individuality into consideration when changing your diet or eating habits
  • Symptoms that have improved with Dr. Anna’s clients after lifestyle and diet changes
  • The importance of never losing hope in your journey

Click here for more information and access to the podcast.

The Father Of Your Unborn Child May Kill You…

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, of the 1.5 million women sexually or physically assaulted by an intimate partner in 2015, 324,000 were pregnant when attacked, or about 21 percent.

Crystal Taylor was one of these women, and it took her family decades before they brought her killer to justice. If you’re a Dateline fan like me, you saw Crystal Taylor’s story last Sunday. Her sisters said Crystal told them when she got pregnant, “If anything happens to me, it’s Derek (her boyfriend and unborn baby’s father). ” Her sisters didn’t pay attention to this comment – until Crystal turned up dead. If you know someone who is in this situation or if you are, you are not alone. Say something. Tell someone.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in the U.S. Many women, especially pregnant women, are in precarious situations.  To read more on the topic of maternal mortality in the U.S. in the Women’s Health article: “Death By Pregnancy: Why Are So Many Moms-To-Be Dying?” For more on Crystal’s story, click on the trailer.

Where Were You September 28 – International Safe Abortion Day?

Ladies – don’t tell me you missed it.  But, September 28 was International Safe Abortion day.  Where were you? With all the anti-abortion rhetoric these days due to The Donald and the conservative winds he ushered in, you probably didn’t know this day was going on. It didn’t get a lot of attention.

Even SuzyKnew! was asleep at the switch. But, all the anti-abortion groups came out the woodwork. Google Safe Abortion Day and see what comes up.

September28.org is the official site

So, in honor of this day, we’ll go over a few important stats and graphs so you will feel you have done your part in getting accurate information on the topic to share with others.

First –  How many unsafe abortions are there a year? 

The Guttmacher Institute, the premier reproductive health organization whose mission is to research this topic and other reproductive health issues, states worldwide there are 25 million unsafe abortions, or 45% of all abortions

Guttamacher estimates that there are around 56 million abortions worldwide each year. Most unsafe abortions (97%) take place in developing countries. But, this does not mean we in the States could not see unsafe abortion become a problem in light of the current political environment.

What are the abortion trends worldwide? The number of abortions has gone down in the States which could contribute to the rise of states taking steps to ban abortion believing its affecting fewer women. But, in developing countries – especially those that have restrictive laws against abortion, limited access to contraception, and weak health systems – abortion is increasing.

Here’s a brief news clip on what happened in South Africa on Safe Abortion Day