Nephtalie Dorceus is the essence of Black Girl Magic and a laid back libra. She’s also a blogger, podcaster, traveler, and a trained sexual health educator with a strong background in Black women’s health and wellness and HIV prevention/education. She’s made it her personal goal to make public health sexy. Keep reading to learn more about her story.
Felecia: What is the purpose of Publicly Sexy?
Nephtalie: Publicly Sexy’s mission statement is “Making public health sexy. Encouraging all women of color to take responsibility for and to have autonomy over their sexual and reproductive health through comprehensive, educational, interactive, trendy, and fun sexual and reproductive health information.”
Publicly Sexy’s main purpose is to create a safe space for women of color to be their most authentic selves while feeling comfortable in discussing their sexual and reproductive health.
Nephtalie: Sexual and reproductive health has always been a topic of great importance to me. In some cases, one’s sexual and reproductive health can come down to life or death. Yet we tend to treat it as the elephant in the room and avoid talking about it. For women of color, especially Black women, our reproductive and sexual health is constantly at risk. Some studies have been able to correlate preterm birth among Black women to stress caused by things like racism and socioeconomic status. It has been said that a foreign-born black woman within a few years of living in the United States would be at the same risk for preterm birth as a native-born Black woman. That’s huge, yet its not something that is common knowledge, especially between Black women. On the other hand, sexuality itself isn’t something that gets spoken about. If you look at history, culture, or even social media, you can see that Black women are often overly sexualized. Yet black women expressing or exploring their sexuality is often suppressed.
Felecia: How does your background influence the way you approach this work?
Nephtalie: Growing up as a Catholic Haitian immigrant, sex wasn’t a topic ever discussed. Early on I joined an after school program where I got the chance to learn about sexual health. From there, I continued to studying and working in the sexual and reproductive health field. The more I learned, the more I wanted to teach and share the information. My experience with learning about sexual health made me want to create a space for other women to explore their sexual and reproductive health. Since I was given the space to ask questions, I want other women to be able to feel comfortable asking questions and challenge the status quo.
Nephtalie: It’s honestly so crazy to think that it has already been a year since Publicly Sexy started. It was all a dream, I started off with brainstorming how I could make this work, what I would do if I was given the chance, and then BAM on June 11th I made the commitment and bought a domain. We started off with posting here and there on Instagram and dropping blog posts whenever we could. As time went on we started to get the hang of things and established things like the #humpdaypolls, which are interactive questions on IG that explore sexual health.
Felecia: What do you think it means to be “unafraid”?
Nephtalie: To be unafraid, means to be authentically yourself, to stand for something you believe in, and to take charge.