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The Value in Mapping Your Desire

I had the privilege of being a part of the Sex Track Faculty at the Creating Change conference.

I’ve written blogs on desire before, but my experience last week took this to a whole new level.

I had the privilege of being a part of the Sex Track Faculty at the Creating Change conference. The night before, we had a special dinner where we were able to have the opportunity to meet other Sex Track Faculty and go over what we were going to do the following day. I was able to meet people from all over the world who were doing similar work in the sexuality and academic industries and if you are a sex nerd like me, I was totally into everything that everyone was doing. An amazing group of minds and beautiful bodies surrounded me. I was grateful for the “foursome” (aren’t you glad I didn’t use that for click-bait?) where I had the chance to introduce myself to three new people who were also presenting other workshops at the conference. I was able to know them a bit more and for this reason, I think I’ll be at Creating Change again and again. After that, I was really looking forward to the session that we were all facilitating.


Where do desires come from?


Thursday morning, I walk into this really big room and I saw it slowly get filled up. There were over 300 people that ended up being in this room. Three hundred people who were willing to be vulnerable and share parts of their desires with strangers.

In the morning, some of the Sex Track Faculty talked about their stories and their desires and why they were important in how they perceive their desire now. After answering a series of questions, I realized that a lot of my desire stemmed from this one particular incident with a porn star that I had sex with. Everything from having consensual non-consent to the scariness of unknown sexual expectations to whom it is I desire can be traced back to this incident and even multiples of incidents like these. I really felt empowered doing this workshop because I realized that there are so many more nuances to desire than I originally thought about in the past.

Why do we like the things we do? Where do these desires come from? How can I enhance this desire? How would my life be different if I invoked all of my desires?


Sharing my own story


During the afternoon, I got the opportunity to share my story and as all those people listened to one of my most intimate stories, I was thanked later about my vulnerability and being open to how this experience has essentially helped in all realms of my life. It was extraordinary.

We even did a guided meditation that allowed my soul and mind to reframe how I thought about myself and how I was relating to others. I had questions about my own objectification and the feeling that I have in my body when it comes to my own personal agency and pleasure. This was nothing short of amazing and incredible brain food.

The Mapping Your Desire Institute helped me with these questions. The best part about this is that year-after-year people come back to this institute to realize different desires, to dive into old desires or to uncover nuances in the desires they have expressed before in their life. It truly is amazing to see people’s developments.

This curriculum set up by Dr. Jaime Grant with the facilitation by Amelie Zurn and Ignacio Rivera, is something that you want to experience. Maybe we can make this happen in Atlanta at Velvet Lips or at Sex Down South!




All in all, we became new people in this space. We were brave in this space. We were loved in this space. We were able to be at peace with our desires in this space. So, what are your desires and what is stopping you from invoking your desires? Cheers to your sexual success!

Marla Stewart

Marla Renee Stewart, MA is a professional sex, intimacy and relationship coach and sex educator. Not only is she a lecturer at Clayton State University, she is also the co-founder of the Sex Down South Conference and the Sexual Liberation Collective. Gaining her reputation for being "The Sex Architect", she created Velvet Lips to empower people of all ages to embrace, educate and enjoy their sexuality and their sexual lives. She has studied human sexuality for more than 16 years at San Francisco State University and Georgia State University, respectively, and has expert knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. She has published academic articles and continues to do sexuality research. She has conducted workshops at conferences, not-for-profit and private organizations, as well as universities in the Atlanta area. She has been featured on many radio shows, documentaries, books, magazines and has been invited to speak at Universities around the country. She also sits on the board for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!
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