UNDER THE COVERS
Dive ‘Under The Covers’ with Yinn and friends in our series dedicated to exploring, honouring, and celebrating our intimate individualism. Together we discuss sexuality, self-love, culture, pleasure essentials, and so much more juicy goodness!
An interview with Remedial and Pregnancy Masseuse Elena Solavagione who empowers and educates women about sexual health and fertility.
Hello, ciao! My name is Ellie (short for Elena - pronounced the Italian way, not the American version), and I always present myself as a 27-going-50 years old woman who loves furry pets, gelato and anything Rupi Kaur. Ellie is just one of the many personas living in this body, and she is artistic, warm and soulful. Ellie has an open heart and an old soul and wants to support people out there looking for a community.
Q) What are your pronouns, and how do you sexually identify?
My pronouns are she/her, and I identify as a bisexual woman - even if my acceptance journey has been quite bumpy, I can still see nothing but blurred lines around the subject.
Q) What does Pride mean to you?
To expose, to acknowledge, to inform, to educate, to celebrate, to empower, to grow, to inspire. To me, Pride represents progress. It goes way beyond the borders of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride is for that confused teenager whose best friend likes to wear make-up and loves impersonating Sam of Totally Spies (90s kids will know), even if he has a boy name and wears basketball shorts like all the other male kids. It teaches us all that we can choose who we want to be, for ourselves and no one else. And it helps people around us understand that my way of being will be different from hers and theirs, or his and so on…
Gilbert Baker wrote a beautiful quote, it goes like this "What I liked about the rainbow is that it fits all of us. It’s all the colours. It represents all genders. It represents all races. It’s the rainbow of humanity."
Q) What is your favourite thing about Pride Month?
That I always learn more! Gosh, there is a colourful World out there.
Q) Tell us about your sexuality journey and share your coming out story if applicable.
Well, I would say I was pretty oblivious of my sexuality and desires until I was 14 years old - ish. And then against my family's will, I became friends with the gay boy in my class. And a few years later I traveled to the UK, where I met a fabulous drag queen. And then Spain, where I kissed a girl for the first time. And France, for my first Pride. And by the time I turned 18 I was in Greece, where we partied day and night, for a week, on this freaky queer cruise. I had the time of my life. So I am not sure if that counts as a coming out story, but that’s when I realized who I was!
Q) How can we be better allies through the year, not just during Pride Month?
Ask the questions! It’s like being back at school, if you’re not sure then ask. If you come from a place of care and curiosity, people will be more than happy to answer your Qs. Trust me. Do you think that we knew how to be queer since birth? There is no rule-book, no guidelines. As humans, we are all different.. And isn't it beautiful?
I am a big believer in human kindness. So, be kind.
Q) What was the main message about sex and sexuality that you received growing up?
Uh, okay. Before we dive into this one, would you take a big breath with me? In through the nose for 4 seconds. Hold. Out through the mouth, all the way. Okay, here we go!
I grew up in Italy, in a close catholic community and sex talk was a big taboo in my family. Growing up as a woman, I was embedded to find a good man, to get married and have babies. Easy. Normal. I still remember my dad using the word gay like an insult, to say someone wasn’t strong enough, manly enough, straight enough. Ah, the mental battles that teenager me fought against him!
Q) If you had the chance, what would you tell your younger self about sex now?
I would say: “Elena, own your body before letting someone else claim it.” And I will now explain this further.
To know what I like and dislike helps me build a safe home. My home is not just my body, but instead is my physical, spiritual, sexual, energetical and emotional self. It is the space within and around me. If I claim the ownership of my home, I can also get a key. And I can use that key to open my door to chosen guests, let them in, show them around and when I feel unsafe that same key locks them out. So I am safe again.
Q) How important do you believe it is to embrace our sexuality?
It took a while to embrace the flows of my sexuality. I see it expanding and contracting, almost like an aura. Even being bisexual, I have been in two hetero-exclusive-monogamous relationships and I only have beautiful memories about those two men. I know that at the time I wanted that energy around me. But it is important to recognise when someone doesn’t serve us anymore. Please, hear me out - do not shut down the voice in your head telling you that there’s more out there. GO AND GET IT! If you want to kiss a girl, but you are a straight woman, just kiss the girl. If you get sick everytime someone refers to you as “he/him”, but you were born male, just tell them how you want to be called. We have the power over who we want to be, let’s own it.
Q) What do self-care and self-love look like for you?
Self-love is self-care! From exercise, to getting a blow-rdy, or getting blown (wink-wink).
My favourite treat is candles, hot bath, choc cake and some bad bitch music (Beyonce is a must).
Q) What do you love about your body?
You know what? There’s a list of things about my physical body that I am extremely grateful for: my hazel eyes, my small waist, the curve of my naked back, the shape of my lips, the two little moles under my left breast. But the thing that blows my mind is how much this body can handle and how fast it can heal. There is a small ritual that I do when I feel disconnected, I walk barefoot or sit in nature and I list all things I am able to do with this body (walking, running, swimming, dancing, grinding, breathing…).
Q) What are your top 3 pleasure essentials (tools, toys, resources etc)?
Oil, Oil, OIL! Does that count as three? I am absolutely obsessed with body oils, whether they’re scented or natural, water-based or not. I find them very versatile and can be used solo, in couples, trouples (that is fun!), or as a sex medium, for sensual massages. Have you ever tried edible body oils? Or burning candles that turn into moisturising pussy oil?
Shop The Body Oil today.
Q) What’s an unexpected moment that brought you pleasure this week?
Maybe it wasn’t completely unexpected, but I have a great one. I planned a recovery session in the sauna/ice bath with my very-hot-very-engaged ex partner, so we met after work and jumped in the sauna while chatting about life (as I haven’t seen her in a while). And even if there are only a few things I swear by in life, trust me when I say I have no idea what came out of her mouth cause all I could think of were her lips and how soggy my bathers felt for the whole hour we spent together. Best thing of that night? Her partner texting me afterwards giving us his blessings and letting me know he can’t wait for me and her to meet again. So I guess I’ll have to send you updates…
Q) Favourite song to get you in the mood?Saint Levant ft Playard - “I Guess”
Listen one YouTube here.
Q) Favourite ritual related to sex?
I like to loosen up my body by dancing before sexy-time. It really works for me, almost like a way to warm-up the muscles, tune into the partner/s energy and explore each other’s bodies in a slow, sensual way. I even do it when I want to feel a deeper connection with myself before some self-love.
Q) Do you have any particular people in your life who inspire you to be a sexually empowered person?
I am very much aligned with my feminine energy these days and I like to be in the presence of humans who transmit the same vibrations. I have been reading Rupi Kaur poetry and I found it equally confronting and empowering; I follow accounts on IG, such as @thelaurenporren and @comfortableinmyskin_ run by people/s who challenge my vision and educate about body positivity, self-love, sexual health and identity.
Q) Where can people find you.
My personal Instagram handle is @elenasolavagione, which is the best way to communicate with me these days.
- Y x
Follow @yinnbody on Instagram for more juicy interviews & sensual tips.