Ahh, Twitter. It’s one of my favorite social media platforms, allowing those who work in the field of sexuality to broadcast openly about sex without shame. While scrolling through my timeline, I occasionally come across updates from one of my favorite personalities: Karrine Steffans.
A legend of hip-hop culture in her own right, Karrine Steffans is best known as a former video vixen whose unashamed expression of sexuality made her popular in elite circles. But she’s much more than what she’s been labeled by the men she was once involved with. She’s also a talented writer, an advocate for female sexual pleasure, and a voice for encouraging women.
Last week, Karrine started an open discussion about prostate stimulation, and her social media pages caught fire from a public offended at the mere thought of a woman playing role reversal and penetrating a man. “People are so comfortable discussing the penetration of women but not the penetration of men?” she asked. “Why? Come on. Let’s talk about it! #imagrownwoman.”
As soon as she tweeted, dozens of responses began pouring in. And as expected, slut-shaming tweets and negative comments were directed towards Steffans (who’s no stranger to negative criticism). But she remained unbothered and unmoved from continuing to fulfill her mission to speak the truth.
Inspired by her boldness, and recognizing her as a valid source of sexual education, I contacted Karrine to converse about her views on sexuality. The memoirist talked about her current projects and anal-play experimentation, as well as her beliefs on how women can go about embracing their sexual truths. Her words were nothing short of inspiring.
June 2 marks the release date for Karrine Steffans’s seventh book (and final memoir) detailing the gut-wrenching truth about her previous marriage. Vindicated: Confessions of a Video Vixen, Ten Years Later commemorates the 10-year anniversary of her seminal debut novel Confessions of a Video Vixen, and places of a stamp of completion on a part of Steffans’s life that no longer serves her.
“When asked to write this book, there were no guidelines as to what it should be about,” Steffens states. “At first, I couldn’t figure out what my readers would want from me at this point in my life and career that I could give them without hurting myself.”
In past memoirs, the New York Times best-selling author has exposed details of her intimate relationships with high-profile men, out of what many believed to be bitterness. But to Karrine, these retellings were all out of obligation to live out her sexual truth and fulfill her life’s purpose of being a writer.
“When a Black woman tells her truth, society assumes it’s because she is bitter, but I don’t carry around shame and I certainly don’t carry around negative energy,” explains Steffans. “I love, I live and I write sh*t down. It’s what all writers do.”
Instead of writing more about her own life, in recent years Karrine has chosen to keep her friends and current relationship out of the public eye. But in fulfilling her obligation to produce written works, she knew she had one more story that needed to be told in order to close a life chapter that’s been reconciled with and extradited from her life.
“For years, I lived a tormented life, suffering at home while the media portrayed me as a villain or a wild woman,” she says. “Meanwhile, I was married, at home raising two children, and slowly dying at the hands of a man who was, and still is, determined to kill me.”
Karrine goes on to explain that she made the decision to let urban media make up stories about her until she was ready to be open about her situation.
“There is a lot that the public doesn’t know. But now it’s time, and everything I lost or gave way will be returned to me with the publication of this book.” (Amazon presales are available now, and event tickets for her book tour are available on the events page of her website, www.karrineandco.com.)
On Women Embracing Their Sexuality
Women in general often have a difficult time embracing their sexual selves. Karrine has a lot to say about why this issue exists and how women can begin to take ownership of their sexuality. “What we have control of in a free society is our bodies, hearts, and minds,” she begins. “We may not have the ability to control what goes on around us, but we have the ability to control how we react to it. It is important to own and control your sexuality, because it is the one thing society thinks they still have control over. When a woman owns her sexuality, she owns everything.”
When it comes to the physical act of embracing sexuality, many women are left with questions about how to go about living in their sexual truth. Karrine suggests a variety of techniques to spark this awareness.
“Embracing one’s sexuality is like embracing anything else in our lives: the first step is always truth. There are certain things in life that are just true. ‘I am a woman. I have sex. I have oral sex. I love sex. I like to have sex often. Sex is natural. Sex is good.’ These are the sorts of things women need to be able to say to themselves first, before they can declare them to the world. Embracing a truth, any truth, is the most powerful thing any woman can do for herself and for society.
“Unfortunately,” she continues, “women have the hardest time with the truth, and they suffer under the weight of so much shame that it is difficult for them to look themselves in the eye most of the time. So this is the first step. I suggest every woman create a mantra for herself and fill it with true sexual facts about her. Then she should practice repeating that mantra while looking at her naked, sexual body in the mirror. She should listen to the words, the truths, and say them over and over until she is comfortable with them. Then, share them with her partner, pick a couple points to share with close friends during certain conversations. Ownership is sexy, and there is nothing but power in it.”
Slut Shaming Doesn’t Apply
Slut shaming unfortunately exists as society’s way of discouraging women from embracing their sexuality, but according to Steffans, shaming only exists if one makes it real. “Shaming doesn’t exist unless you are ashamed,” Karrine states. “When a woman changes her mind, she will change her life. Her perception will change, her shame will peel away, and she will find a second, thicker skin.”
Hundreds of thousands of women never reach their fullest potential sexually because of the fear that withholds them from exploring their own bodies and embracing their natural birthright to have pleasurable sex.
“Women all around the world are being taught to be ashamed of their bodies, sex, and sexuality,” Steffans laments. “Women are being raped, having their clitorises cut off and their vaginas sewn up. There are some horrible travesties happening in the world, all designed to make women hate their vaginas and be ashamed of the power of the P.
“But that’s just it, isn’t it? We all know that this little space inside our bodies holds so much power! It’s legendary the things men have done for and because of a woman and her sex. But the world wants you to forget about that power. They want you to forget or ignore how your vagina can bring your man to his knees or how you can give yourself pleasure without a man at all!
“Instead, they’d rather you think this asset is a liability and that there is something wrong with leveraging it for your pleasure––even and especially if that pleasure means not using it at all. Again, it’s all about power.”
Practice Makes Perfect
When asked about how women can become confident in the bedroom, Karrine gives the best advice any advocate for sexual freedom could recommend. “Practice,” she says boldly. “Here’s the thing. Men want a woman who knows her way around a penis, but he doesn’t want to think about how she got those skills. It’s so ridiculous! But practice is the only way a woman can become comfortable and confident in her sexual ability.
“Exploring, trying new things, and even porn can all be great teachers,” she opines. “Insecurities and inhibitions are not sexy, and any man or any woman will tire of the same-old sex life, night after night, year after year. Even and especially in monogamous relationships and marriages, fantasies, sex play and exploration are a must.” Karrine’s fourth book, Satisfaction: Erotic Fantasies for the Advanced and Adventurous Couple, was designed to help couples with this issue.
So Prostate Milking Is a Thing?
When Karrine took to social media to speak about prostate stimulation, the urban community reacted in reluctance to the info. Yet her experience with anal play and its health benefits come directly from her experiences in her previous relationships.
“I once dated and then married a man who appreciated anal stimulation,” she reveals. “This was my first time being introduced to the practice, and it very quickly became a part of our sex life. He introduced me to anal beads and bullets, as well as oral copulation of the area. Once I saw the reactions from his body while being anally stimulated, and felt the power it gave me over his body, I understood why he liked it so much, and I loved seeing my husband in fits of ecstasy.
“Naturally, he stimulated me in the same way. And though anal play was never a favorite of mine, the experience heightened our sexual bond at the time. It is definitely the most intimate of all sex acts.”
Milking the prostate through stimulating massage is rarely spoken about in the African-American space, but the benefits it provides to a man’s sex life can be extensive, especially when he can overcome the idea that anal play is limited to homosexuals.
“What we know for sure is that the prostate gland is an erogenous zone for men, and it’s often referred to as their G-Spot. When manipulated, or milked, it releases the excess semen that often causes discomfort in the gland,” Steffans educates. “Prostate milking is beneficial to men, and is even said to help minimize the chances of developing prostate cancer.
“It is a procedure also performed by medical professionals and should be carefully approached by men and their partners. That being said, a man who is not open to this sort of manipulation in his personal life will most likely have to be open to the idea of having his prostate examined, and maybe even milked, by a medical professional around the age of 40, if not before. So now would be a good time to wrap their minds around the idea.”
Anyone having a conversation with Karrine Steffans is exposed to an educated woman with much to share in the area of sexuality and full of life lessons in general. Her passion and eloquent use of words places her beyond the standard of the villainous sex kitten she’s often stereotyped as. She’s chosen to use her life experiences as an inspiration for other women to be unashamed of their natural birthright to have great sex, and with the release of her final memoir, she intends to help women and save lives.
It’s not often that a woman of color steps forward boldly to speak openly about sexuality as visceral and candidly as Karrine has. For this alone, she should be celebrated. The life she once identified with is a thing of the past, but her mark on history as a sexually confident and liberated woman should never be diminished.
Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.