Welcome to Don’t Yuck My Yummm, Unbothered’s sexual wellness column and digital diary aimed at destigmatizing Black womxn’s intimate experiences. Trust us, this ain’t your mama’s how-to-guide. From the policing of our bodies, the antics of respectability politics, and the rise of toxic male "dating coaches," Black womxn are in need of a safe space for storytelling, education, and advocacy when it comes to sex. Don’t Yuck My Yummm is an opportunity to amplify the voices of folx who are doing the work. We encourage you to turn the mirror on yourself and join us on our self-discovery experience. This month, The Honey Pot Company founder and chief innovation officer Bea Dixon talks about her sexual wellness journey and the launch of the brand’s new sexual wellness line.
My mommy was very instrumental in my sexual wellness journey. I was young— 16 years old I believe — and we were in Denny's. It was me, two or three of my friends, and her then-husband. I remember her saying to all of us at the table, “Hey, so how do you guys masturbate? I use the shower head. What do you do?” Back then I was fucking mortified, but now being 40 years old, I can appreciate the fact that my mommy was willing to sit at a table with me and two other humans whose parents probably weren't even thinking about having this type of conversation. I appreciate that my mom was willing to be open with me because masturbation is natural.
I remember when I first started having sex and I don’t know how the hell she knew, but she knew I was having sex. She saw me walking, looked at my hips, and said, “Huh. What you been doin’?” She just knew! And whether I was aware of it or not, what she was communicating was that she was paying attention, and that is so important when it comes to contributing to a human’s life on this planet. My vagina has been through a lot of stuff, and it has been sensitive over the years. When I was building my business, my hormones were all over the place thus affecting my vaginal pH. I have to be extremely proactive and pay attention to my vaginal health.
I have to also be responsible with my mind, which is hard. But Honey Pot creates a lot of space for a lot of humans, and it is important to remember that we’re human, too. The space that we are working to create together starts with saying this shit to ourselves. This is why I believe in being in a place to remember all the things that we preach as a unit, as a company, as a part of society, and as a part of culture is important. That’s not to say it can’t be very difficult because I am a human being just like everyone else. So sometimes I have to remind myself to not be so hard on myself and give myself grace. At the end of the day, all of these things are a part of the sexual wellness journey. There’s a lot that comes with being a human with a vagina. We’re held up to these standards that are virtually impossible to uphold. We have to remember they are impossible so we can give ourselves grace. That shit is hard, but I’m just doing my best.
When I think about my journey, I think one of the biggest things I want people to understand is that sexual wellness is not just about what we’ve been taught. Sexual wellness centers around everything that The Honey Pot does because at the root of it all I believe sexual wellness is how you care for your vulva on a daily basis. We should be thinking about what kind of menstrual pads we are using and what kind of cotton is being used in them. We have to consider what sort of supplements we are taking and how it affects our microbiome. Sexual wellness is not even about the actual intercourse itself. The goal should be to be ready whenever and not even have to question it. And subconsciously, to me, sexual wellness is all about being proactive with your health. It is wellness.
All of these things, whether directly or subconsciously, helped guide me to this point in my journey where we are now launching this beautiful collection of sexual wellness products. We wanted it to be beautiful and have a sexiness to it, always with humans with vaginas in mind. Typically when you think about this space, it is an industry that is very masculine, but there should be femininity. There should be something beautiful to it. There should be softness, some elegance, some sexiness and intimacy. Those were the words that came to mind when we were thinking about this collection at inception. One of the things I admire most is the beauty that humans with vaginas bring to sexual energy. It’s beautiful, soft, wet, and smooth and we felt strongly that the products should reflect that.
One of the things I admire most is the beauty that humans with vaginas bring to sexual energy. It’s beautiful, soft, wet, and smooth and we felt strongly that the products should reflect that.
These are products to proudly want in your space. We didn’t want people to feel like they had to hide these things. When we were thinking about the product innovations for this year, that’s where we started gathering information. Yes, I am the Chief Innovation Officer at Honey Pot, but the team brings a lot to the table and we’re all collectively working together. Our intimacy wipes, sensual stimulating serum, and our hybrid silicone and water-based lube feature star ingredients that are key to vaginal health. Aloe, for example, was super important because it does so much. Apple cider vinegar has pH balancing benefits. And vitamin E is important because the vagina needs it. It’s one of the vitamins that’s actually really amazing not only for the moisturization but for the microbiome as well. Even the essential oil blends we used to create the scent profile for this collection were really important. I’ve said it a lot, but the sexiness of how something smells is equally as important. When I smell something, it puts me somewhere. Honey and potassium alum is actually in our sensual stimulating serum. So ingredients are at the foundation of everything that we do.
There is so much responsibility put on the human with a vagina in all aspects. We all know if any kind of infection or STD comes up, a lot of times it's deemed our responsibility. This is why I think that it's really important for people to understand it takes two and that this collection is for everyone to take part in the responsibility. Our wipes and our lubricant are not just for humans with vaginas. If there are two people, then everyone needs to be responsible. Responsible for pre- and post-clean up, with bringing whatever the tools are that are needed whether that be condoms or otherwise. Washing your hands and washing out your mouth after sex are things that have to be considered that people don’t talk about. And there’s ways to be proactive to protect yourself, but everyone involved needs to be responsible with that. We need to be responsible with ourselves to know what you need to be proactive with your play in whatever way you do it because it’s nobody’s business but yours. Live your life the way you want to live it. Play in whatever areas you want to play. Do it with whomever it is that you want to do it with. But be responsible with your health and take care of yourself. I think that these products are meant to help people do that. It’s a first step towards freedom.
The whole obstetrics and gynecology foundation was built on Black women's backs — or on their vaginas, should I say.
The crazy shit is we are already free. It's just all the constructs that have been put into place to make you think that you're not free. Humans are dying to the constructs and dying to the stigma. Being free is hard to do when there's been systems, people, and inventions all put in place to keep you in a certain place. When it comes to being liberated whether sexually or in your mind, (because that’s really where the liberation has to happen), it’s going to affect every other thing you do, sex is included. The whole obstetrics and gynecology foundation was built on Black women's backs, or on their vaginas, should I say. I think the question is, “How do we as humans understand what we need to do to free ourselves as it relates to all things sexual wellness and as it relates to all things that have to do with our vagina?” Because the system isn’t just built against Black people, not anymore. Not when they’re coming after the makers of Plan B or they're trying to get rid of critical race theory. We just saw what happened with Roe v. Wade. That was just the beginning, and that's not just for Black humans. That's all the humans that have vaginas. It's a vagina thing, but I can also acknowledge in this society that the way that obstetrics and gynecology even came to be was because of science experiments that happened with Black enslaved people.
So it is very important that our reparations be paid because we have been the caregivers. We have held a lot of the stress. I think that it's time for us to band together because a vagina is a vagina is a vagina. We need to free ourselves together and have that conversation to liberate ourselves as a unit so this dumb shit can stop happening in our society. Some of that is based around politics, some of that is based around religion, and some of that based around conservatism. It’s based around a lot of stuff, but that doesn't mean that if we didn't band together that we couldn't fight as a unit. These are things that I care about a lot, which is why we say “humans with vaginas” because the only way that we're going to get anywhere is together. We have to understand together that we’re already free. Nobody can give you freedom because you already have it. Liberate your mind and the rest will follow. I truly believe the time to do that is now.
As told to Kourtney Pope. This interview has been condensed from its original transcription.