We had the good fortune of connecting with Òla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Òla, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I constantly find areas of inspiration as I live my daily life but I’d say I’m always vastly inspired by seemingly innocuous dialogue. Functioning as a sex educator and coach, words are integral to my career and being able to communicate topics and sexual health information that is sometimes intellectually dense in a conversational and plain manner goes a long way. Often times people have complex relationships with sex and that’s evident in conversation but frequently those of us most uncomfortable with a topic are great at analyzing the role it plays in life and society which usually serves as inspiration for the conversations I have with my clients or during speaking engagements. The often quoted Oscar Wilde stated “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.”, a sentiment I’d agree with so it’s easy to find inspiration when so much of our larger culture has sexual undertones. So I’d say sex inspires me and because sex is everywhere, I’m often and easily inspired!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My career has been a reflection of my life. As a Disabled Black Queer Femme, I spent years being mindful about how I took up space in rooms even when the rooms in question were supposed to be “safe spaces” for my various identities. Deciding to venture into sex education was an easy decision for me because I’d done the work as a adolescent serving on a peer education program speaking to youth about safer sex practices and continued my education as an adult, (I have a degree in health sciences). I’d found solace in sex as it unified communities because despite our differences we all got here the same way! When I made the leap turning my education and coaching business into my full time pursuit, I was met with resistance and found my transition harder than I expected, for a while money wasn’t coming in which required me to reevaluate my approach and my purpose in education and coaching. I had to sit with the discomfort of having to carve a path for me in sex ed that honored why I got into the field which was to equip fellow BIPOC disabled, queer and otherwise marginalized people in reclaiming their sex lives. I had no blueprints to follow because the ones in front of me lacked the nuance of race, ableism, cisheteropatriarchy and the many other systems that inform our sexual behavior and education. Essentially, I had to be the change I wished to see in the field and once I made peace with that, the opportunity to do speaking engagements, workshops, and serve coaching clients came. My business continues to evolve as my portfolio grows and more people find themselves wanting to examine why their sex lives feel one dimensional and denies their full existence. I’m rolling with the punches, which can be stressful but at the end of the day, my work is very rewarding, emotionally and otherwise.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a NYC native, born and raised in The Bronx (what’s up boogie down!) so naturally there is plenty to explore in the most illustrious city on earth (pardon my bias). Personally, I’m a museum kind of gal and would recommend you block out a day for just museum hopping. My recommendations are : Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Intrepid, The New York Transit Museum and the Museum of Sex of course! For food, I’d recommend Wagamama (the 5th ave location), Lamia’s Fish Market and Jacob’s Pickles for soul food. If you’re looking for a lowkey place to take your boo or friends, go to Iguana on 54th st. You can eat in the restaurant, grab a drink (they’re strong) then go up or downstairs to dance, the vibes are great and they have rotating DJs! I wouldn’t be a good Bronx native without recommending The Botanical Gardens, they’re beautifully kept and the conservatory is meticulously cared for. If you still need something to do, take a trip out to City Island where you’ll think you’ve made it to New England and if you like a little history, head to the home of Edgar Allen Poe which is on the Fordham Uni campus. That’s all for y’all, us locals have to keep a few things to ourselves.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Any success in my life can be attributed to a dynasty of Black Women but the one I’m choosing to shoutout is Dr. Jocelyn Elders. Her work in sexual health and education during her tenure as the 15th Surgeon General highlighting the barrier to care for Black girls as well as her advocacy for abortion access and reproductive justice paved the way for people like myself to imagine a career speaking loudly about sexuality, sexual health and the intersections Black Women contend with sexually. Her advocacy was fierce and ahead of its time! I have vast respect and admiration for her work and wish we spoke about her more in sexual health forums.

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