Jessica Badonsky Flips Your Sexual Script
She's a Board certified FNP, podcaster and menopause healthcare provider who believes in your erotic power above all things.
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Hi, Jessica, Welcome to the Womancake interview! How is your workday going?
I just spent the whole entire day learning about STIs, sexually transmitted infections. One of the things that I've learned at this job, and that's because I've taken care of people as a nurse practitioner, [is] the importance of checking all of the areas of the body, when we're checking for sexually transmitted infections, and how much in particular, certain infections are missed. Because women, or people with vaginas, are just peeing in a little bottle to test their STIs, and we're really missing a lot.
Good to know! You are a Board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and you’re also certified by the North American Menopause Society as a menopause provider. You're a sexual Wellness Coach with an almost 20-year background in women's health and wellness. When you look at the landscape of women's health and wellness in America right now, what are you most inspired by, and what is most concerning to you?
I'm absolutely inspired by the conversation that's happening around perimenopause and menopause. I also am very inspired [by] the conversation that's starting to happen around pleasure and sexual pleasure, because I think that's huge. There's a large gap that's missing when we think about how we teach young people about sex and sexuality. In my own thinking about Miss Humphrey, I think that was our [high school sex-ed] teacher, [the conversation] was always, and I think that it still is very much the case, around disease prevention and pregnancy prevention. There was no conversation [about] pleasure. When [America] did have the Surgeon General, Elders, who actually talked about self pleasure and masturbation as being brought in as part of sexual education, they just got rid of her lickety-split. So the current [focus on pleasure] is really exciting.
What is really concerning [goes] back to my day today. When we talk about sex and sexuality, and we talk about bodies, and we talk about pleasure, and we talk about STIs, I think that people don't put together the connection of health equity and STIs. Which communities get them more often, right? There's a definite inequality right there. Then we can think about black women and maternal death, and the fact that congenital syphilis has just been skyrocketing. So it's the inequality and the lack of conversation around how, if we can only know as a society, that there really is enough to go around. Your safety is important to me, as I hope that my safety is to you, my mother's safety, my cousins, my uncle, my aunt. Everyone's safety is important.
What you're talking about there, if I understand you correctly, is the lack of equity when it comes to information about health care, and the way that systemic racism and sexism affect various populations in different ways.
It's not only just health care, it [also] becomes access to health literacy, access to literacy. When it comes down to economics, then it comes down to [for example], a Plan B pill. We've lived our whole lives with the ability to have some autonomy, some kind of agency in our bodies, and that has been taken away. Whoever thought that was going to happen? It just becomes very, very fundamental. [The] economy, food deserts, it's all interconnected. We are all here for from sex, right? If sex didn't exist, neither would any of us. So it's just very complicated and deep.
I want to speak now to the part of you that is a menopause coach, and ask if you had any kind of advice you might offer to perimenopausal and menopausal women who are interested in increasing pleasure in their sex lives?
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