The word ‘sexuality’ is often misunderstood. This can make the intimate connection between women’s empowerment and sexuality difficult to grasp. Sexuality is not simply a matter of sexual orientation or preference. Whether or not a woman is lesbian, same-sex desiring, heterosexual, bisexual or asexual, she will experience, at different times in her life, constraints, restrictions, pleasures and possibilities that derive from her sexuality.

Sexuality is integral to women’s political and economic empowerment. Women need control over their bodies, be able to assert their right to physical autonomy and protection from abuse, and realise sexual rights such as the right to a safe and satisfying sex life. If they do not have this, women have limited scope for making claims in other areas of their lives. [Source :Pathways of women empowerment]

For International Women’s Day we invited a group of women power houses to discuss all things gender equality, confidence, sexual empowerment and more.

What an empowering and thought provoking conversation it was. Laughter, tears, roars, stories and cuddles were shared and I couldn’t have wished for a better turnout

I was blown away by the openness and bravery of our speakers who spoke so generously about their own personal experiences from sexual trauma to finding a new sense of sexual empowerment and confidence that catapulted them into a world of success and happiness.

Meet the speakers

Calandra Balfour

Calandra Balfour is the Founder and CEO of LoveGivr, the world’s first sex-positive combined social media and e-commerce platform that donates to sexual health/sex-positive charities. With nearly two decades of working in the adult retail industry, and 10 years of running and co-founding three successful Brighton-based retail shops . ⁣⁣ Calandra is combining an ongoing passion for sex-positivity with a proven track record in business development, whilst striving to give women a sexual voice.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣

Calandra Balfour

Madam Storm

Madam Storm is a qualified therapist, clinical hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, confidence and fitness coach and motivational speaker. She specialises in helping women to enjoy life by inspiring them to gain confidence through a practical programme of self-belief and outward presentation. ⁣

Madam Storm

Bibi Lynch

Bibi Lynch is a “controversial” journalist, writer and broadcaster.

She co-hosts After the Watershed (an ‘adult’ radio show for BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey); presents Bibi Lynch’s WHIPs for BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey; co-presents Good Sex Bad Sex (a podcast for; and fronts her own show Bibi Does Soho on Soho Radio.

Bibi Lynch

Nadia Deen

Nadia Deen is an artist, speaker and the founder of AM: Appointment.

AM: Appointment is an uncensored platform offering extensive advice and tips for women and people with vulvas on how to achieve their best orgasm during self play.

Nadia Deen

Oli Lipski

⁣Oli Lipski is a freelance Editor, Copy Writer and Social Media Manager for various sextech and sex-positive companies. With a degree in Sexual Dissidence, she strives for social change and personal empowerment through sexual liberation, sensual wellbeing and queer activism. ⁣

Oli Lipski

My main takeaways?

Here are a few sound bites I had to share:

“Only you have the power to make yourself feel a certain way” – Madam Storm, life & confidence coach and dominatrix

“As a child, having a role model who you can be comfortable talking about sex with is so important. Be open with your children and encourage their curiosity.” – Nadia Deen, Sexplainer and founder of Am Appointment

“Educate yourself, talk to other people about your experiences and be open about how you really feel.” – Olivia Lipski, freelance editor and copywriter

“I’ve been on a long journey of self discovery and I can tell you as you get older you learn to truly love yourself for who you are.” – Bibi Lynch, radio presenter and journalist

“Have passion in what you do and don’t give up on the things you truly believe in” – Calandra Balfour, founder & CEO of LoveGivr

I’m going to let these photos and brilliant video filmed and produced by Anja Poehlmann do the talking.

 A huge thank you to our speaker Bibi Lynch, Calandra Balfour, Nadia Deen, Madam storm and Olivia Lipski.

Also. Big thanks to our partners including Platf9rm, The Protein Ball co, Hanx, The Good Cookie, Deja Moi, Fempowerment, Lust!, The Mood Club, Living ashram, Up Circle Beauty and Ilo.

For more info on upcoming events you can sign up to our newsletter here and follow us on Eventbrite here

About the Author

Lara is the Founder and Director of Found & Flourish, a female led organisation empowering women in business through community, services and events. With a background in advertising and social media strategy, Lara has over ten years experience working with early stage startups to household brands.

Lara hopes by putting on events such as this one she can support other women in business to launch, grow and scale impactful businesses, offering them solidarity, support and connection.

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