Lessons on Sensuality and Eroticism with Taneesha Sijmons

Lessons on Sensuality and Eroticism with Taneesha Sijmons

Taneesha Sijmons is a 29-year-old mother and performer whose sensual dance classes kicked off her work as a sensuality, relationship, and intimacy coach. After becoming a mom, Taneesha’s personal journey of self-expression, pleasure, and sensuality led to her transitioning from professional commercial dancing to erotic performing. She began to expand her artistry and implement erotic art in both her personal and professional life. Today, she guides and empowers individuals and couples to deepen their relationship with themselves, their partner(s), their bodies, and their sensuality and sexuality. In this interview with Taneesha, we wonder and learn what sensuality and erotic art have to do with empowerment and our perception and practices of intimacy.

What is erotic power and sexual energy? What do these concepts mean for you as a coach and an artist?

I witness my own or others’ erotic power when there is full embodiment and full alignment of feeling, humanness and pleasure. When we understand that our sense of pleasure is vital to our human experience, and we are open to all of it, then we can experience erotic power.

Whereas our erotic power revolves around our sense of feeling and human experiences, sexual energy is an even bigger concept: it's our entire life force energy. It's bigger than just the act of sex itself and it also doesn’t end at procreation. In itself, sexual energy is life and life is sexual energy. We use our sexual energy to give birth and procreate but also when we create businesses, relationships, art, or success.

To me it’s a part, if not the entirety, of who I am as a person but also as a mother, a coach, an artist, and a lover. I can’t separate my being from my sexual nor erotic energy and power. Even if I or others decide to keep it in a dormant state or are still unaware of its existence and power. 

“Eroticism is the process through which sex becomes meaningful. It’s intricately connected with our hopes, expectations, struggles and anxieties — everything that makes us human. Whereas sex can be simple, a little more than a collection of urges and acts, by its very nature eroticism is complex, and from this richness true passions can be born. It is also through the magic of eros that sex and our search for emotional closeness become intertwined.” – Jack Morin

What does it mean for you to be an erotic artist?

Being an erotic artist, to me, is being able to fully express my sensuality, my erotic self, my creativity, and everything that lives in my heart – from my anxieties to my desires. Through my work, I want to communicate that nude bodies should be normalized and that we as human beings are allowed to explore all the different forms and expressions of sensuality and intimacy. Especially in a society where sexuality, eroticism, and sensuality are often seen as taboo subjects.

I see myself as an artist because I allow others to witness my artistry and what I create, But at the same time, I see myself as a muse when I allow others to depict me in their art. I truly enjoy exchanging energies in safe spaces.

As an erotic artist, I can and have made a space where I can fully indulge in my deepest desires and curiosities. I came from a place where I felt ashamed about these desires and felt I needed to hide them as a young girl. Now, I have grown into a woman that is not afraid to explore and embrace the multiverse of her body and fully embody the riches of her sensual and erotic expressions.

How can sensuality be used for empowering purposes?

We live in a society where the sole goal is to be productive and consume by any means necessary. For a lot of people, this leads to disconnection from themselves and all that their bodies have to offer. Unfortunately, this way of living has resulted in a high number of people being burned out and depressed, overindulging in addictions, lacking purpose or sense of self outside of productivity, comparing wealth and beauty standards. All this has a big impact on our bodies and how we see our bodies. Most of the time, we are moving on autopilot.

Sensuality is about focusing on having an intimate relationship with your body and its sensations. It can help you be more present in the moment through the awareness of your bodily pleasures and sensations coming from yourself or from nature and other bodies. Sensuality can re-open spaces for the feeling of aliveness and wellbeing that most of us are so desperately searching for.

It can also be a place of empowerment, acceptance and embrace of all parts of your body that the society tells you are out of norm or are subjected to oppression and objectification. When you start listening to your body and all its wisdom, it will help you navigate from a place of fulfillment and therefore create a life that works best and is most pleasurable for you!

How is sensuality and intimacy transformative?

In my erotic art, I have witnessed transformations in my sense of freedom and in being able to be fully authentic. Growing up, I felt “wrong and bad” whenever I wanted to express myself in a way that people and society condemn women for. But I didn’t want to be modest. I didn’t feel free that way and I felt extremely disconnected from my body and femininity. I just couldn’t understand why we as women had so many limitations placed upon us, our bodies, our sexuality and self-expressions. Who decided that women should behave a certain way to be deemed worthy and lovable? Being able to embody the multifacetedness of my womanhood is extremely liberating and has created the second biggest transformation in my life so far, aside from motherhood.

The transformation my audience experiences is also one of liberation: liberation from shame and fear of self-expression. The realization that your self-expressions are yours to express and that they don’t make you “worthy” or “unworthy”. There is also the realization that there is nothing sinful, degrading, nor disgusting about the very thing that makes us human - sex, sexuality, and our nude bodies. They will forever be a part of our human existence and the more we normalize and de-sexualize them, the more we can create a society and a world where there is less harm and more pleasure and joy.

In my coaching sessions, I am grateful to have a more intimate and deeper look into the transformations my soul-clients go through. This is truly a vulnerable experience, both for them and for me. The way they open their hearts, minds, and souls to (re)connect to their sensuality and intimacy with self or with their partner and find acceptance, liberation, intimacy, and confidence through it, is astonishing. I simply provide a safe space, a listening ear, and (hopefully) the freedom to explore and figure all of this out for themselves. I don’t see myself as the one with all the answers, I believe we all carry our own answers within us that will work for our own journeys. I am only a guide, with the intention of giving power back to people that are seeking freedom within the realms of sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy.

As a mother of a daughter, how do you teach your child about intimacy and connection? What are some important knowledges you want your daughter to have?

My daughter just turned seven and I can witness the changes in her thinking and how she experiences the world, others, and her body. That is so beautiful to see but also frightening and challenging.

My whole journey started when I became a mother and knew I was gifted a daughter. I wanted to learn and be able to guide her in her journey so she feels free in all her expressions and feels connected and comfortable within herself and her body. She is now coming to that age where I have to be very conscious of how I talk to her and how I formulate my answers to her questions, while still unpacking and unlearning my own conditioned beliefs. I can feel an intense need to protect her from the world. I am questioning if I’m not being too open or not open enough. While, on the other hand, I can feel my desire for freedom, including hers. Often I don’t know if I’m doing it right or wrong, but I think all moms feel that in multiple aspects of our children’s lives.

What I can witness already is that she feels free to be herself. She feels free to ask me questions and to act from a place of authenticity. I believe this is because I encourage her to always listen to her inner voice and express her emotions, so that she knows she is allowed to feel and explore her identity but also her boundaries. I think that giving her the freedom in simple things like: what do you want to eat on your sandwich, or not pressing her to give someone a hug if she doesn’t want to, or explaining why mommy wears a tampon and why there is blood coming out of her vagina, or helping her regulate her emotions through breathing deeply and making room for her creativity, already makes a big impact. The older she gets, the more we can navigate together in which way I can support her the best. She has always been and will be my teacher.

What is your mission with your work and how do you incorporate your values into your art and coaching?

My mission is always to empower and help others feel free and gain freedom. I think that, as human beings, our mission should always be to support each other and help each other grow. I feel most fulfilled when I can just help people. Everything that has benefited me in my own sensual journey, the lessons in intimacy and self-expression, have empowered me tremendously and given me a lot of freedom and acceptance of self. I would love to pass that onto others. Not because I have all the answers, but to open up the conversation and connect deeper with each other, our bodies, our existence and all of the beautiful energies we inhibit so we can create a beautiful world together.

Written by Paula Brečak for Self Studies

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