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It’s not about sex, it’s about relationships

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

It’s not about sex, it’s about relationships

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Sex begins in the brain. When you’re released and free in your mind, you can have the greatest sex.
This isn’t some New Age theory, but rather it’s the belief that prompted Denise J. Charles to pen her second book, How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain.
“I’ve always been fascinated by sex and relationships and sexuality from my young days as a teenager,” Denise revealed.
“Even when I got married young, I always wanted to go to couples forums that discussed relationships. I got married at 19 and we used to attend a couples forum once a month. Even back then people used to ask me, ‘Did you study psychology?’ and I hadn’t at the time. But I just had an instinctive understanding of what makes a good relationship and what doesn’t.”
Perhaps Denise’s interest in relationships was sparked from watching the demise of her own parents’ relationship.
“My parents had a broken relationship, and I saw and observed a lot,” she said. “I can remember things that my brother, who is older than I, can’t remember in terms of my mother’s pain, her hurt. I saw a lot and I understood a lot from very young. I was always an observer of people; I guess that’s what makes me a good writer.”
Denise’s foray into writing began a couple of years ago with her first book, Your Baby’s Coming Now Push! In many ways, though, this second book has garnered more notoriety, making her first book in many ways prophetic.
“I wrote this book not knowing that it would launch my writing career in a much wider way, in a more global way,” Denise said. “That involved a certain amount of risk-taking, a certain amount of faith. Before the book was actually published, I started a blog writing about relationships. My son had started playing around with the design of the book and we decided to name the blog Red Red Apples. One day while perusing the Net I came across the website of a Canadian sexologist Dr Trina Reed and I decided to call her. I told her I was a writer from Barbados looking to break into the North American market and she told me to send her my writing. I sent her six samples and she told me I love this and she would run them on her website. She sent out my writing for six weeks and even recommended me to Hitch magazine in California, who offered me to be one of their feature writers.”
That connection seemed to spiral and even earned Denise three television interviews on Rogers TV in Vancouver, and a magazine article in Fresh Vancouver. She is even in talks now with CMC to produce a talk show.
Denise admits that she has pushed out a serious product in her second book, which sometimes even amazes her.
“[Involvement in writing] came in my 40s. I was at that point when I was looking to redefine myself,” she revealed. “I’ve been a professional educator since my early 20s and I value all that I have learnt as a teacher. I will always be a teacher at heart because I love young people, but I think my interests have broadened. I’m interested in people development on the whole, development of marriage and families, even people who aren’t married.”
Denise and her husband Gabriel have formed the Better Blends Institute, which works with couples, hosting seminars on relationships.
“When we host seminars we don’t say only married people can come . . . . We believe that marriage is ideal because you have the covenant, you have the commitment and so on, but we still believe that you have to interface with other couples who live together to show them that marriage works.”
Even in her book Denise said she wasn’t targeting a particular audience – she was writing for people.
“I wanted to target everybody because everybody is interested in sex at some level, even if they hate it,” she said. “The mind-blowing thing is something we see so much in magazines. Everybody is focusing on the orgasm, but this is not a book about sexual technique. It’s about helping us to see sexuality in a much broader context. If you’re going to have a great sex life, it means getting rid of your sexual demons; it means dealing with the issues of abuse.”
For Denise the issue of sexual abuse is a deeply personal one because she had to deal with it when she was eight years old.
“I went through a period of abuse with someone. That was something difficult for me to negotiate,” Denise revealed.
“When I got married, even though I told my husband before I got married, I had to be counselled because I started to feel dirty with respect to sex. Those are the issues this book deals with. Even the way we are taught to view sex in the church is discussed. In the church we are taught not to have sex. Then when you get married you’re expected to transition to having great sex, but it doesn’t work that way because you almost see sex as something taboo. This is what other young people in the church have told me who haven’t been able to make that transition because they haven’t been taught to celebrate sex. Even if you want to promote abstinence among youth, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to them about sex.”
Since Denise wrote this book after her own personal healing, it was easier for her to bring a deeper perspective to it. The book, which she wrote in six months, seemed to spew out of her because of her observations and the counselling she had done.
“We see sex in terms of something hot, juicy and dark that needs to be hidden,” she said. “You see that with some women who don’t have sex with the lights on or who don’t want their partners to see them naked. We have these issues still. To me your sexuality is about how comfortable you are within your own body.”
While Denise admits that it’s not a book about sexual technique it does delve into things that you can do in the bedroom to make it more exciting.
“I talk about mirrors where you can see yourself having sex, where you’re comfortable with your body,” she said. “You don’t have to watch porn if you can watch yourself.”
Denise, though, just wants people to see the beauty in sex and the necessity in freeing one’s mind.
“Sex was meant for women to enjoy,” Denise said. “It’s about where you are in your mind because sex begins in the brain. When you are comfortable with yourself and you’ve resolved your issues, sex can be amazing.”