Today we are talking to Jewaria who on the surface is living thé life: she is a model, a law graduate, online creative and raising the cutest little baby boy next to it. In this episode, we'll go a bit deeper than that, and talk about topics that you don't easily come across on social media. Jewaria has experienced sexual abuse and opens up to us about this, and what other girls should learn from this. Next to this intense experience, Jewaria also suffers from a rare skin disease called Lichen Sclerosus, which impacts the area around her genitals. At age 24 it seems Jewaria has already lived several lives, so let's get into it.
"48% of all women before their 18th birthday experience some sort of sexual abuse or intimidation."
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Hi Jewaria, can you describe yourself in one sentence?
I can do it in one world- Caring. *Everyone nods in approval*
What does sexy mean to you?
From when I was really little, my mother always taught me that feminine sexuality is extremely important, so I think that feeling sexy for me is basically the base of my existence, it's very important actually. My mom is Vietnamese and that culture is very similar to Chinese. My mom is fairly unique when it comes to educating me to be feminine and sexy because it's very out of the box.
What is one thing you can remember learning about sexuality growing up?
My mom is open-minded and started the “talk” with me when I was 12. She told me "If you are interested in a boy, make sure you like him enough because your vagina is like a diamond . Only people with very very delicate gloves can touch it". She also said " Sex is something I should be very comfortable with" and if I wanted to have any, she'd prefer me to do it at home.
She's definitely a progressive mom! Did your Vietnamese Moroccan upbringing affect your sexuality?
I was not raised by my Moroccan father. If I refer to "my father", it's my half Japanese and Dutch stepfather. Generally, I don't think I was so much influenced by my cultural background. My parents were open-minded about sex, and also why théy had sex. My mom reasoned "Your father and I have sex because we love each other and it's healthy!". We were also very open-minded about it in school (in the Netherlands).
The one thing that I wasn't allowed to do was to sleep over at friends' houses. My parents were brought up with the fear that kids might get raped. I guess that's one cultural aspect where my parents were more conservative. My grandparents were from Vietnam and rape was prevalent back in their days. That fear transcended to my parents. Since that generation does not discuss mental problems and discomforts, it'll be hopefully down to my generation to break that cycle.
Speaking of taboos, do you think sexuality is still tabooed?
My parents and I are very open-minded about it: My mom even gave me my first vibrator when I was 16 years old, actually two!
What did your mom say when she gifted you your first vibrator?
My mom told me that " I needed to know my body to be able to have good sex".
Can you share a little bit more about your skin disease "Lichen Sclerosus"?
I hope you guys didn't google it because that's not how it looks like for me! It's basically an autoimmune disease and it affects the skin around your genitalia (not always), or areas where you have more sensitive skin such as behind your ears and in between your fingers.
A scab with a thick layer of scar tissue will form on those areas. When I was little, I had this around my genitals and my mom was so fearful that I was raped and took me to the doctors very often. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that the doctors found out it's an autoimmune disease.
A part of the reason my mom gave me a vibrator was because I have scar tissue around my genitalia that sometimes would cover the clitoris and can influence my orgasms. I think I have a harder time orgasming with a partner, if I do it by myself, I can finish in 15 seconds. I have never orgasmed with a partner!
Probably this has less to do with your skin disease and it's more of a universal "problem"?
I think it's a mix: I know my body better with the conditions I have. There's a lot of skin from the scarring and I have less sensitivity from it. From childhood, I learned to flex my muscles really hard and orgasm quicker through that.
Another sensitive topic you shared with us is that you were sexually abused. Can you tell us a bit more about that and what you want others to learn from this?
I am very open about it because I have already overcome and reclaimed my power over it. There's so much shame and guilt put on people around this topic and it's not often talked about. It is NOT your fault when this happens to you. Often it's portrayed that it's the women's fault, but this is never the case. I used to only think it would only happen to girls who were shy and don't have a voice but it was stupid for me to think like that.
I was raped by a man who I knew for a while. From the moment we met in person, he'd been manipulative. He drugged me, sexually abused me and took photos of me without my consent. It took me a few weeks to finally acknowledge and realize I was sexually abused. His ex also connected with me and told me the same had happened to her. It also came to prove that I wasn't “crazy” after all.
During that time, everything my mother taught me about owning my sexuality was taken away. I was scared, I didn't feel sexy, I felt dumb, and not in control. It took time for me to take it all back and I have become much more powerful since I have confronted the problem.
*if you have experienced sexual abuse, we recommend checking out Inward Shanghai where they provide safe medical and mental support to survivors of sexual trauma.
What are the red flags someone should never ignore?
Jealousy and possessiveness. Make sure to trust your gut feelings!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to all the girls and women out there?
Put your own needs first!
What is one self-love quote you live by?
" I love you, but I love me more."
if you want to know more, follow @Jewaria on IG. She has posted her full story on sexual abuse as a video there.
If you, or anyone you know, has experienced sexual abuse, please find professional help. Inwardsasia is one of the platforms in Shanghai that can help you where you are connected to safe medical ob-gyn and counselling resources.
About the Oh Collective
The Oh Collective wants to inspire all women to be confident and happy with their intimate selves by recognizing their physical needs and their own definition of "pleasure."
We believe you don't need to be ashamed or shy to explore your body. We are here to provide our sisters with safe and reliable products, a trusted community and content that offers 100% good vibes only!