In our What’s In Your Nightstand? series, we chat with friends of Swell across the globe about their sex essentials, their new projects, and what harmful sexual messages they’re railing against.
Danielle Bezalel is the creator, co-producer, and host of the Sex Ed with DB podcast, a feminist podcast bringing you all the sex ed you never got centering LGBTQ+ folks and BIPOC. Danielle earned a Master of Public Health with expertise in sexuality, sexual, and reproductive health at Columbia University.
And: Dame was lucky enough to recently hire her as our Head of Content!
Swell spoke with Danielle about CBD lube, daily masturbation, and the importance of asking a doctor (not the internet!) about your health issues.
What are your top 5 bedside essentials (i.e. lube, vibes, sleeping mask, books)?
- Aveeno moisturizing face lotion: to start and end my day in a smooth & soft way.
- Face mask and ear plugs combo: I never used to use these growing up but living that ~big city life~ has changed my ways.
- Pom vibrator and Toca CBD lube: I’ve been a huge fan of Pom for a long time and I love using it during solo and partnered sex with Toca’s incredible CBD lube!
- A book: I just started A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza and can’t wait to keep reading.
- My meds: from BC pills to vitamins, my meds are always right beside me (unless my cat, Ruby, has knocked them over for the 5th time that day).
If you could tell your teenage self one thing about sex, what would you say?
Dan, Dani, Dani-pie (first time I’m calling myself this but I like it?) — the fact that you masturbate daily is wonderful. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact, it’s quite baller that you make time for yourself to feel good, relax, and get intimate with your body and mind on the daily. Keep it up, girl! You’re doing great!
What question about sex and intimacy keeps coming up in your work?
A lot of folks DM us on IG asking us if we can confirm something for them that no one would (or should) comment on unless that person has been seen by a medical professional—like pain during sex, a spot on a breast, large amount of discharge, if their birth control side effects are normal, whether or not they are pregnant, etc. I totally understand that not everyone has access to a medical professional or is able to be seen in person with the responsibilities they have, but we always try to emphasize the importance of being seen by a doctor or medical practitioner to get the best and most comprehensive care possible!
What does “self-care” mean to you?
Self care means lots of different things depending on my mood and who I’m with. Generally, it means relaxing; getting in tune with my body by singing or exercising; experiencing joy, happiness, and pleasure; eating delicious food; being in the sunshine; and lots and lots of belly-laughs!
What harmful or useless sexual script have you learned to dismantle in your own life?
That sex equals penetration. IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT! The more and more I realize that sex can mean so many different things and pleasure can come from so many different experiences, the word and meaning of “sex” truly cracked wide open for me (in the best way)!
Go to www.sexedwithdb.com to learn more about the podcast. You can listen to the podcast on the Sex Ed with DB website, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Follow Sex Ed with DB on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
De-Stress Your Sex
Learn actionable strategies for relieving stress and focusing on your pleasure in the on-demand workshop, led by Shadeen Francis, LMFT.