Lets Talk About Sex with a Sexpert Michelle Hope
Michelle Hope is more than a sexologist, she’s an award-winning, passionate edu-tainer, who has combined her love of pop culture, entertainment, and sexuality into events and media content that educate and motivate. Michelle has developed a unique voice in helping people identify how sexuality is impacting their everyday relationships. A veteran speaker with over 15 years of experience, she has delivered lectures nationwide, working to help contemporary millennials understand those interactions and make healthy decisions for their sex lives in pursuit of successful, holistic living. It is Michelle’s goal to reach the masses to engage in real, raw and unapologetic conversations about sexuality. If you have questions about sexual issues that hinder your personal progress, she has answers: non-judgmental real talk.
Over the course of her career, she has trained and facilitated national programs for Harlem Children's Zone, Community Health Network, NYCDOH, Phoenix House, LAPD, Pacific Oaks College, among many others. Her sexual education seminars, lectures and workshops educate individuals on safe sexual practices and prevention, including but not limited to therapeutic alliances dealing with trauma, reproductive justice, youth rights, LBGT-Q inclusivity, parenting skills, creating safe spaces and healthy relationships. In the media, Michelle has appeared on NewOne Now with Roland Martin, CentricTV, Revolt TV, Power105s The Breakfast Club, Dr. Brenda Wade's Modern Love, Lip Service, Brilliant Idiots, and many others.
I first was introduced to Michelle on Power 105 radio talk show The Breakfast Club and I was immediately captivated by her open, honest and non bullshit approach to sex and sex education. I found her both relatable and encouraging of sexual exploration. Since that interview I have become an avid follower of her social media platforms as well as her sex trivia game nights and other events she promotes. I was able to get a moment with Michelle to ask her some questions about herself and her craft.
Hellotittie: How and why did you get started in Sexology?
Michelle Hope: I have always been fascinated with the study of sex, I remember when I was young thinking about how cool Dr. Ruth and Dr. Drew were however I questioned how they could understand the experience of People of Color. So from a young age I set out to follow their careers. I never knew the journey would shape up the way it has.
HT: Tell me where your interest in sexology had stemmed from? Was it a particular sexual experience? If so, what occurred?
MH: In addition to the above I experienced sexual assault in high school and never really told anyone until I was in my twenties. When I was finally comfortable talking about it with friends i often heard stories from friends of similar experiences and then i became even more passionate about pressuring a career in this field. I believe it was for two reasons, first to try to heal my own wounds and secondarily to understand why people end up violating others.
HT: What advice would you give to young women in their mid-twenties to early thirties?
MH: Learn your body, it is up to us to understand what gives us pleasure and to do that we must explore our bodies and become the experts of our own pleasure. Once we learn ourselves we then have the potential to voice our needs to your partners.
HT: Any tips on how to get your sexual mojo back after a bad break up?
MH: A good vibrator and being committed to pleasuring ourselves on a regular and consistent basis; orgasms are so good for not just our psychical health but our mental health as well. The better we learn to love ourselves the more equipped we are to recognize the type of love we want from our partners.
HT: What’s the best sexual advice you can give to men and why?
MH: Consent is a must; you should never assume that consent is given if not asked... To really respect consent and get it partners must ask questions and communication with women. It's vital for safety and sanctification that men LISTEN to their partners and focus on their pleasure. Anatomically men have an easier time reaching orgasm so it is important that men check in and do it often to ensure all a parties are happy. Additionally, remember that like foreplay; feminism is not a dirty word and as women we need men to take the time to learn both.
HT: What’s the best sexual advice you can give to women and why?
MH: Learn yourself and remember that your pleasure is important and if you are not getting what you want from a sexual experience you have the right to change your mind at any time not matter what!
HT: What was the biggest challenge you have faced in your career of being a sexologist?
MH: Well the fact that a lot of People of Color don't know that it is a real career and I often get a lot of push back on my ideas, and in some cases I get made fun of or completely shut down. Also there are times when I am out and people meet me and they want free advice it’s like I have a ton of student loans and my career is not a novelty so I deserve to be compensated for my advice.
HT: If people want to help spread your message what can they do?
MH: They can follow me (but be active like photos and repo my content and of course tag me) tell a friend and BOOK me for lecture, professional development consulting or even book me for private coaching sessions.
HT: How often should women masturbate? Is there such a thing as too much or too little?
MH: There is never too much masturbating, but you should watch the porn consumption as that can put a damper on your ability to orgasm or even get aroused if you consume too much porn. This could also happen if you are using vibrator too much if you start to find that you are having difficulty getting aroused without the stimulation lay off the porn and/or vibrate for a while and even take a small hiatus from any sexual activity and I promise when you come back you'll really CUM back!
HT: What is one of the most common problems you encounter with couples?
MH: Lack of communication, unfortunately we often don't teach young people how to communicate around sex and sexuality and then we become adults and we still lack the skill set needed to achieve the most fulfilling relationships. So I always urge people to really start by communicating with self through journaling and self-exploration to develop a clear scene of self-love and tap into your sexual self. The first relationship starts with self and it must be in a good spot or all other relationships will be off.
HT: Is squirting the same as cuming (having an orgasm)?
MH: Well the squirting that we often associate with orgasm comes from the images of porn which an awful representation of what female orgasm looks like. While yes some women might squirt when they orgasm not all women do, studies have suggested that the excess liquid that is expelled during orgasm may come from the urethral sponge. I don't want to give a false narrative for your readers as every women's bodies are different and all women experience orgasms very differently.
HT: Is it possible to experience a drop in your libido in your later twenties?
MH: There are a lot of reason that a person can experience reduced libido; it could be related to stress at work or home, problems with a romantic partner, perhaps a medication a person might be on and even varying times during one menstrual cycle (the full 28-31 day cycle; not specifically the time of period) could all be reasons why a person libido is low. Additionally, not all women experience the same level of libido as other and as we get older our libido may actually increase.
HT: How can I get my libido to stay up 24/7?
MH: Being healthy! Keeping your mental health in check, working out, eating right, getting ample sleep can help to boost your libido and believe it or not sex can too. So maybe your tired and not in the mood to masturbate try to make a commitment to yourself to find the time to masturbate at least once a week. Pamper yourself home girl cause you deserve it!
HT: How many times per week is considered normal to have sex?
MH: As many times as you feel is right for you as long as the sex is consensual there is never too much sex, so have fun and let your freak flag fly!
Follow her on Instagram @mhsexpert
Visit her website www.mhsexpert.com