The importance of self-care and sexual health can never be understated; the Lust Zine Wellness Series invites various experts and guides to help teach practices that will greater expand what wellness means to you. All episodes of the series are available to watch on my Youtube and right here on Lust Zine for free.
Sara Elise , a Black & indigenous queer femme, runs a catering and event design company, Harvest & Revel, in Brooklyn, NY that uses organic and local ingredients. Along with her wife, she has co-created Apogeo Collective, a boutique collective that provides pop-up bed & breakfast experiences at beautiful locales for various marginalised communities all over the world.
As she takes you through her morning routine, you’ll learn how to incorporate a mind-body connection into your day-to-day. From calming your headspace the minute you wake up to sexual wellness practices to clear your mind and get into your body after a long day. For those who struggle to keep up with a healthy routine, Sara has your sustainable solutions.
Watch her video diary below & then read on for a Q&A with Sara.
Q: What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness is just about the act of feeling well, but more specifically I think, the act of feeling whole. So it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to be feeling good all the time or that that even should be my aim. But wellness means that I'm paying attention to how I feel and aiming to feel well, and more importantly, allowing myself the space to feel a broad range of feelings and states of being that contribute to my overall wholeness as an individual. I like to think of wellness more on a holistic standpoint, so thinking about: how does my mind feel? How does my body feel? How does the space that I live in or the space that I take up feel? How are the people that I surround myself with contributing to my state of well-being or state of wholeness. So yeah, that's how I think about wellness.
Q: What makes you feel sexy?
I think my relationship to sexiness is just I’m able to access it when I feel present, and when I feel focused in my body - that’s when I’m able to tap into that the most.
Q: What does sexual wellness mean for you?
Sexual wellness is a super important part of each of our well-being’s, and it’s something that I think about often. I think it’s a really integral part of my wellness equation. So I try to think about it every single day and do something that I feel gets me in my body, makes me feel sexy, helps me focus on that aspect of myself every single day.
Q: How does BDSM support your sexual wellness?
BDSM is something that I use to really help me get into my body. Being able to submit to someone who is making all of the decisions and is fully in control is very relieving for my mind. It helps me really just get back into my sense of self. Pain also really just turns off all of the extra thoughts going around in my mind, which as someone with ASD, being able to do an activity that gets me out of my head and into my body has really been a game changer for my overall sense of well being.
BDSM also really helps me tap into my erotic energy, and I think that eroticism is an energetic thread that is present in all aspects of our life or can be present in all aspects of our life. And BDSM and pain and getting out of my head really helps me tap into this erotic energy that I feel most present with when I’m present in my body.
Q: Can you tell us about Apogeo Collective, and why you felt it was important to create this space?
So right now I'm spending a lot of my days and thought space co-creating a project with my wife called Apogeo Collective or Apogeo Collective, and it is a hospitality experience centering LGBTQIA+ folk, gender non-conforming folks, and travelers of color. And last year we had the initial pop up in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and we had close to 50 folks come join us. This space is super important because wellness and self care are very critical, especially for marginalized communities, so POC and LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming communities all over the world. We really just wanted to create a space where folks could go and rest and play and just be and listen to themselves without having to consider the things that we have to consider all of the time.
Q: In a society that often shames people for their sexuality and desires, how do you gain confidence to express your sexuality unapologetically?
I think as a Black and indigenous, queer femme with ASD I have a lot going on, to the point where I really don’t ever feel like I’m necessarily included or thought of in society. Because of that, I think that definitely stems into my sexuality and my expression and how I express even my femmeness. And I work to just allow myself to be as visible as I can to take up space. I just constantly ask myself like, am I being the most free? Am I accessing the most free parts of myself? And if the answer is yes, then I continue doing that.