Introducing Dr. Mafe Peraza Godoy, as part of our Sextech Salon series on how your pleasure is totally healthy.
What is the Healthy Pleasure Show And how did you get into it?
The Healthy Pleasure Show is an uncensored radio show, hosted by Dominnique Karetsos, a well-known expert advisor in sextech and myself, Dr Mafe Peraza Godoy. I am an urologist and sexual medicine expert. Collectively we have more than 20+ years industry experience spanning medical, competitive luxury adult toy brands, sexual health and branding and commercial growth.
The topics we cover revolve around experiencing healthy pleasure, in a fluid, free, enjoyable, fun, normalised and responsible way. We talk about what sexuality is for both women and men, including anything related to it. However, the issues related to female sexuality are more prevalent and we believe that changing how we speak about female sexuality is a social need in today’s society.
We are two women who have a vested interest in generating conversations around curiosity and change. We are two women who decided to live all our roles as sexual and free beings. With our combined professional roles as an expert urologist in sexual medicine and a sextech brand consulting expert and businesswoman, we are also daughters, a mother (in the case of Dominnique), someone’s partner, homemakers, sexy, and smart.
Our debates come from our own professional experiences, but we also invite others to share their stories and powerful experiences. These need to be told to women in particular to help them achieve their own pleasure. In order to conceive of these experiences as their universal right, they need to enjoy themselves from the point of view surrounding wellness and health.
In general, in society, we speak about sexuality in a very polarised way – in conventional pornographic terms, the objectification of women, omnipotent sexist messages. Or as seen in terms of family planning, where pleasure per se isn’t important and the focus is mostly on preventing early pregnancy or STD infections.
All of that is important, of course, but the foundation of both is fear and prohibition. We speak in demonising terms, but we must acknowledge there is a gap in the middle. This is a space where we can speak not only without taboos but also with ownership and responsibly to issue direct and effective messages on a problematic that is transversal in women.
We all have the same problems regardless of the social class, educational level and geolocation, at least in the Western world. There are issues that are essential to us such as sexuality. Within this space, we have the social responsibility to change the discussion on female sexuality, with the purpose of educating as many women as possible, and why not men, on how to experience sexuality on their own.
Sexuality is part of our history and we live in a forbidding society, founded on censorship and the non-expression of it, and especially based on the idea of experiencing sexuality for the other, not for ourselves. Almost to the point that we use sex both as a currency and as a punishment in heterosexual couples, and sometimes avoid sex if a disagreement arises. Sexuality has not been conceived for women to enjoy in the same capacity and that is precisely what we talk about on the show.
Talking about all these issues, changing the speech, with the understanding that pleasure belongs to us and that we must change the idea that it is something for the other, and not for us. Furthermore, we don’t want a society full of women who are hyper-sexualised by messages issued without responsibility.
We want women to receive messages issued with responsibility. Ultimately, sexuality must be your own, and everyone should build it according to their own recipe. Thus, all these messages generate the worst of the problems: they create false and unreal expectations in terms of sexuality, and since those expectations are not fulfilled most people have problems related to that.
We create a space not only in radio, but also in society and in the market where sexuality has its rightful position: health and wellbeing, offering messages issued with responsibility that help to create the sexuality of everyone within millions of listeners: “Healthy Pleasure” is more than a name, it is our contribution to society, the market, Sextech and all women.
What is your vision for the future of The Healthy Pleasure Show?
The fact is that I am very ambitious and idealistic, but let me tell you about my big dream:
To turn The Healthy Pleasure Show into a reference for information, one that becomes a benchmark for those within the market regarding the language to be used, the messages to be disseminated, and a platform that is a resource for women to acknowledge pleasure as their universal right.
Certainly, as hosts, we expect that the content we share contributes to society in terms of trustworthy references from real and sexual women, with real bodies and roles, so that new generations can be seen for what they are and not for how they look.
So, we have a lot of work ahead of us, and I believe that through sexual empowerment, based on the right language, women will be able to validate their sexuality by how they are and not by how they perform at it or are perceived.
What are the key trends you’re seeing at the moment that influences your work?
Certainly, the arrival of AI, robots, VR and data are topics that highlight the need to work on changing the speech on female sexuality. Spaces like “Healthy Pleasure” certainly serve as a bridge in many respects.
For that precise reason, we have incorporated ideas that can be applied to these technologies. Not only in terms of the information of the show but also during medical consultations as a specialist doctor and sexual innovator.
Dominnique and I know we must incorporate the results of my research into our mission and apply said results to technology. We cannot jump straight into having sexual intercourse through these heteronormative technologies that exhibit sexism and androcentrism. That are based on the phallus cult. Where feminine pleasure is invisible. Or instant gratification is a need and there isn’t such a thing as establishing a bond. Where validating your own sexuality becomes a real problem because you don’t know how to do it.
I believe this is a golden opportunity to witness these changes take place faster if we use the right language and issue messages with responsibility through these new technologies. I’m afraid that, if we don’t take advantage of this opportunity, the existing gaps and the problem itself could not only increase, but also become more complicated.
So, we are committed to continue with the research, talking about these topics and generating messages issued with responsibility.
What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had since starting to work in sextech?
Do I have to choose one? It would certainly be the little space available for women in the industry. How tortuous the process of talking about sexuality is whilst being a woman who wants to be taken seriously. Even being a urologist, a professional talking about women’s health, it is a complicated issue and it gets even more difficult if you are dealing with sexuality as the topic.
First, because it isn’t yet perceived as a health topic. Second, because we have not been given full social permission to experience pleasure and live freely as sexual beings. Then, when you approach the subject within the scope of entrepreneurship, business and marketing.
Explaining the fact that this is a serious topic and not a superficial one to a male majority (that is used to “objectifying” women, plus the fact that the niche market is framed in health) has been surprisingly difficult to gain credibility and financial support. The gaps are very broad, but healthy pleasure is also present to deal with that.
When it comes to sex, what’s the one thing you wish everyone knew?
That, unfortunately, the vast majority of women build their sexuality based on expectations of how they are supposed to be. How they have to enjoy it. How many times you have to do it “to be considered normal.” We don’t build our sexuality on our own, we do it based on the rules set by society.
I wish everyone knew that the expectations we have are perpetuated because our sexuality was “confiscated.” That we continue to build sexuality based on the “other” and not on ourselves; and this must stop.
I would like to tell you that sexuality is normal whenever there is coherence between what you desire, what you want and what you do by yourself and with a partner. That includes consensus and clear respect. Experiencing sexual health isn’t necessarily based on how many sexual encounters we have or if we masturbate 5 times a week; the point is to enjoy sexuality and experience healthy pleasure.
I would like to let women know that society has taken away your erotica and your sexuality. It isn’t present in our daily thoughts, while men were given permission to do so and have access to erotic information almost by the hour. They are allowed to express and validate their sexual desires openly, in a non-judgemental way.
We are biologically perfect to experience sexuality to the fullest. In fact, we were born for pleasure, we have a clitoris (whose only reason for being is providing sexual pleasure). Yet we must still give ourselves permission to enjoy it and achieve equality. Not to experience sexuality as men or for them, but to do it for ourselves, as women – knowing that we are different in terms of sexual response and granting us permission to enjoy it.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Let’s see……I always wanted to be a doctor and change things in the world, small or big things.
What are you currently working on that you are willing to share?
I’m doing research on the patterns of female sexual behaviour, and I am also part of the Scientific Committee of the project Sex360 led by my colleague Eduard Garcia-Cruz, MD. I invite you to visit the webpage because they will be part of a great project, the proposed questionnaire shows the existence of a great diversity of profiles of sexual behaviour and can serve as a tool for the research on sexual behaviour, even redefining some current concepts.
As for the show… we have plenty of “clit whispering” and some interesting changes are just around the corner when it comes to the format. We want to have a lot of participation and we just love round tables. So, stay tuned!
How do you think the industry has changed in the past 5 years?
It has changed positively. Now there are more and more women participating and echoing these transversal “feminine” problems, and those problems also show a need in the market. There has been more talk about sexuality over the last five years, but I believe that the social responsibility behind all these messages is necessary.
As well as those, there needs to be training and serious education of those who generate them. Not necessarily from a scientific point of view, but the sources should be read with caution. The incorporation of big data, VR Apps, AI and robots is a giant step that contrasts greatly with the slow motion of the incorporation, financing and acceptance of women in the industry.
What do you think is the next big step for sextech?
To change the language in terms of sexuality. To contribute in ending the objectification of women and to take advantage of the industry as a platform for sex education. I think The Healthy Pleasure Show has taken a big step in this regard, framing sextech around health, and I would certainly dare to say that we are the first ones to do so.
Who else in the industry do you admire or look up to?
It’s hard to name only one person so, first, Laurie Mintz MD, author of Becoming Cliterate – Why Orgasm Equality Matters- and How To Get It. She is a born researcher, with a very clear and valid message that we should all listen to or read.
Second has to be Dominnique Kartesos. I don’t understand how she isn’t famous already! Many outside and within the industry don’t have the coherent speech on health and sexuality that she has incorporated as a businesswoman in the sextech arena. Since she perfectly understands the female transversal needs, and manages to impress me as she strives to learn about human sexuality. How she applies it in the area, detecting niche markets, adds value that is priceless wherever she is at. She will certainly be a world benchmark soon.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to break into the industry?
That having sex doesn’t give you permission to speak responsibly about sexuality; so, learn, get educated, read, do research about it. If you do so, then view the job as a social responsibility. I believe that innovating with social responsibility is what will lead us to success as a society.