Love Matters is quizzing ‘sex-perts’ from around the globe about their work. This week: Antón Castellanos Usigli (27), a public health activist and blogger based in Cuernavaca.
How do you describe your job to a young child or conservative grandmother?
I would tell them that I'm a blogger and a public health professional with a background in psychology who focuses on human sexuality issues. I'm not afraid to say the word "sexuality" and no one should be. If asked what sexuality is, I would say it’s a combination of different elements, including: the identity that we have as men or women, how we bond emotionally with other human beings, who we want to have as a romantic partner, and how we express love or attraction.
What is the most common question you get?
The most common questions tend to be about issues of being single, STIs, sexual pleasure, different types of relationships (open, monogamous, casual, and so on), sexual diversity (gay, bi and transgender people) and about relationship conflicts.
What question was the most difficult to answer?
Sometimes, certain people want advice because they are in a problematic situation with their partner, and they are struggling to understand how they feel, how to communicate what they feel, how to set boundaries in their relationship, how to make proper choices and how to bring them into action. These questions tend to be very challenging!
What do you consider to be the biggest taboo you are fighting against?
Those taboos related to sexual diversity and sexual pleasure. I can even sum it up in a single word – DIFFERENCES. People are afraid of, and do not respect, what is different from what they believe or think is correct. They have a hard time to understand and accept that there are different valid ways to experience pleasure and to sexually relate to other human beings.
What’s the advice you’ve given that was most useful for your own life?
Embrace your own sexual identity. Only then can your self-esteem grow and you will become a more powerful person. Embracing my own sexual orientation as a gay man (instead of lying about who I am or being in denial) has been the greatest decision I've ever made in my life.