|CONTENT NOTE: This email talks about sexual abuse prevention for kids and includes a helpful resource.
There’s an email I’ve been wanting to write for more than a year. Randomly, with the clock ticking on six different past-due tasks, I’ve decided that today is the day.
A bit of backstory—
Yesterday I was facilitating a call for a secret membership I run,* and gave participants three prompts:
>> Something I’ve been wanting to write about but haven’t yet is…
>> One reason I’ve been putting it off is…
>> It’s important I write about it because…
As a facilitator I don’t generally share what comes up for me but I chose to make an exception. The truth is I needed the accountability.
I explained about the email I’ve been wanting to write. “I’ll do it sometime before the end of the year,” I promised, giving myself a lavish timeline.
Well, I’m knocking this out 4-months early.
Last year I took two private clients—first time I’d done that in several years. One of them was Rosalia and I am not kidding or using hyperbole at all when I tell you that Rosalia changed my life.
Someone needs to get this woman a cape. ♀️
Rosalia Rivera is a consent educator who teaches parents how to talk to kids about their bodies, about consent and boundaries, and give them skills to prevent sexual abuse. She hired me to work on her sales funnel, which you can check out here but read this email first.
As part of our work together, I got access to her library of training. It took me more than a month to work up the nerve to log in.
About halfway through a class on how to talk to kids about private parts, I started to feel really heavy. I felt so sad for 5-year-old Tarzan who didn’t know anything about her body but shame and forbidden apples, and 15-year-old Tarzan for whom silence and secret-keeping was a basic survival instinct, for 37-year-old Tarzan who, for the first time in her life, was learning the absolute basics of consent.
In that moment I hurt for my entire lineage, for the generations of women who were taught to shut down their bodies and submit to their husbands, who were so profoundly cut off from themselves they didn’t even know what they had lost, who trained their daughters to submit to the same abuse because it was the only thing they knew, and to them that was love.
I had a big full-body cry, unleashing a torrent of mad-sad-glad feelings through my eyeballs, and then I went to Amazon and bought a book called Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of YOU by Rachel Brian.
My children and I have read this book literally dozens of times.
It started a conversation I never knew how to have because no one ever had it with me—not my parents, not my siblings, nor any of the many lovers who I’ve written about in these emails (maybe because they didn’t know either).
This information was life-changing for me.
As a mother of sons – sons who hold a high level of unearned power just by virtue of their gender and skin colour – this is one way that I can teach them how to steward that power, and how to share it responsibility.
Rosalia is truly an unsung hero.
I have continued my re-education with consent educators, sex educators, kinksters, sex workers and other professionals. That work profoundly impacted my closest relationships. I realized I wanted something different for myself, which meant making hard choices, and letting some relationships go.
Whenever I think about leaving this industry because it’s just too rotten and unfixable, I think about people like Rosalia who are doing such important work.
It’s not all a big dirty pyramid scheme—just in case anyone forgot!
There are so many smart people out there making a real difference in the world.
I’m glad I get to be the one to introduce you to Rosalia, and I strongly recommend her workshop, Privates + Prevention: 5 Effective Ways to Teach Private Parts + Body Safety.
This is a funnel we worked on together. Whether you have your own children, or you are working on reparenting yourself (that’s me, hi ), I cannot recommend her work enough.
She is one of the bravest people I know, and has one of the most difficult jobs there are.
Thank you thank you thank you, Rosalia.
You changed my life, as well as countless others.
* My secret membership is opening TOMORROW, to a select segment of subscribers that (SURPRISE!) includes you.