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WAP, Sexual Health and the Black Erotic Revolution

Updated: Aug 12, 2020


On Friday, August 7, 2020, the world was blessed with the music video WAP (an acroynym for "Wet Ass Pussy" or the censored title "Wet and Gushy") by Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion. As a sexual health and wellness influencer, pleasure activist and fans of both Cardi and Meg, I was not surprised as to how pleasantly provocative the music video turned out but for some reason many people were thrown off by the sexy duo's musical collaboration. Their erotic interpretation was just that, their own interpretation and celebration of their own WAPs. Unfortunately, mainstream society, including black folks, have much to say about black womxn's sexual anatomy [read: titties, ass, and pussy of trans women, non-binary women, and women of color]. Nonetheless, I have a few thoughts about the ridiculous opinions about the video as well as the video itself.


Thought 1: Misogynoir is alive and well...

If one wants to see an example of misogynoir, just show a music video of two black womxn unapologetically touching; luxuriously donning; and rhythmically bragging about their WAPs for the world to experience. Coined by black queer feminist scholar Moya Bailey, misogynoir is the specific hatred, dislike, distrust, and prejudice directed toward black women. Black womxn's erotic autonomy is never absent of sexual oppression which has existed since slavery and is carried out in current day by white supremacy and toxic black masculinity [read: white men, white women, and black men who need to degrade black womxn to prove their masculinity]. Seriously, why are black womxn who are confident in our own sexual expression deemed intimidating or offensive to those who hate us so badly? Well that is until our sexual expression is for the benefit of others' sexual pleasure [read: sex workers]. Sex work (also known as erotic labor) is obviously accepted by our misogynoiristic society because black womxn have always been seen as nothing less than hypersexual objects that are used to the disposal of everyone except ourselves. When will black womxn be able to experience another version of WAP... Worth, Agency, and Pleasure?


Thought 2: Politicians of Respectability must be ashamed of their own WAP

Which brings me to my next thought... There are Democrats, Republicans, and then there are Politicians of Respectability. Coined by Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham and the Black Women's Club Movement, respectability politics refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous and compatible with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for what they see as its failure to accept difference. In other words, respectable black folks, especially black womxn are upset that Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion are not conforming to respect-worthy sexual narratives [read: don't ever mention your WAP in public]. Although, respectability politics was a strategy to protect black womxn from the negative and aggressive wanton tropes of Jezebel, Sapphire, and welfare queen, its judgmental and self-hating messaging are more harmful than beneficial for rewriting black female eroticism.


Thought 3: Sexual Health needs more music like WAP...

I said what I said. As a sexual health educator, finding the perfect scenarios to discuss healthy sexual behaviors can be difficult at times. When songs like WAP are released, especially by black womxn, it opens an inviting door for genuine sexual health discussions to occur. For example, the fact that black womxn were celebrating their WAP opened up dialogue about what it even means to have a healthy, well Kegel-ed, and lubricated cupcake in the first place (shameless plug: check out my Seasonal Cupcake Cleanse Guide for more details). Meg Thee Stallion even admitted that a WAP will make a penis owner's pull-out game weak which supports condom use during vaginal-penis and/or anal-penis sex. Open conversations about the difference between natural lubrication and unhealthy discharge from STIs or other vaginal health issues are also valuable.


Additionally, there is societal pressure on vagina owners to have a WAP but it is perfectly human to use artificial lubrication when this particular arousal response isn't readily available. Furthermore, for black womxn who have not-so-wet vaginas, neo-vaginas and/or consider their anus as WAP, artificial lubrication is definitely important for sexual intercourse to increase pleasure and prevent unnecessary friction, tearing, and exchange of blood and sexual fluids (semen, vaginal and anal fluids) which spreads HIV and other STIs. In general, WAP can be pleasurable for whatever healthy and freaky sexual acts black womxn desire including solo sex, wig-switching role play, kink, fetishes and BDSM. We would love to continue witnessing sex-positive messages with sexual health undertones from both the music industry and pop culture as a whole, especially from womxn who look like us.


Thought 4: The Black Erotic Revolution is coming...

Songs like WAP just confirm the inevitability that our Black Erotic Revolution is coming and it's being lead by black womxn [read: A lot of black movements are typically led by black womxn so why should this one be any different?]. I conceptualized the Black Erotic Revolution as a sexual liberation movement by black womxn for black womxn that is long over due. Despite the explanations of white mainstream feminism, Black womxn weren't realistically able to participate in the sexual liberation movement that took place in the 1960s and 1970s due to our fight for black liberation and black feminist movements during those times.


The Black Erotic Revolution was heavily influenced by Audre Lorde, a black feminist lesbian poet, who described the erotic as the most responsible source of womxn's power. Lorde located that power in womxn's acknowledgement of desire. She issued a call to all womxn, regardless of sexual identity, and erased erotic differences between straight, bisexual, and lesbian desire in order to promote such desire as a creative force for revolutionary change. We are in dire need of a black erotic revolution because black womxn living healthy, unabashedly provocative, and luxuriously erotic lifestyles is a form of power and resistance against misogynoiristic sexual oppression. According to bell hooks, sexual oppression has had plenty of time to wreck havoc on the eroticism of black womxn and there is no true sexual liberation until it's been destroyed.


To kick off the Black Erotic Revolution, feel free to explore this growing list of black-owned brands, resources, experts and activists as a starting point to increase knowledge, self-love and confidence regarding a future of liberated eroticism, sensuality, sexuality, pleasure, and divine feminine energy...

Thought 4.05: Kylie Jenner is a non-issue

We all know that the culturally appropriating Kardashian Klan thrives off of attention so let's stop giving it to them. Kylie is literally just strutting down a hallway because that is her only talent and we should leave it at that...


Final Thoughts...

Bottomline, like it or love it [read: those are your only two options], WAP is demonstrating how black womxn have a right to healthy and liberated erotic lifestyles despite misogynoir, respectability politics, white supremacy, toxic black masculinity, patriarchy and other sexually oppressive systems. Through the Black Erotic Revolution, black womxn can ultimately achieve Black Erotic Futurism, which is a black feminist expectation regarding a future of liberated eroticism, sensuality, sexuality, pleasure, and divine feminine energy that empowers black womxn to self-define sexual narratives; explore all sexual identities and expressions; heal from sexual trauma; and engage in healthy sexual behaviors within a sex-positive, intersectional and inclusive environment that is free from sexual oppression.Thanks to artists like Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion, we are reminded to embrace ourselves whether as vanilla temptresses, celibate dominatrixes, luxurious sex goddesses, erotic whores and/or certified freaks. However we identify along the erotic spectrum, the Black Erotic Revolution is coming and the world needs to get ready or experience the wrath of our black WAP.


Out with Mammy, Jezebel and Sapphire... In with Cupcake Noire...


XOXO, Shawna

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