Che Che Luna is a pleasure coach and sexual healer. In her practice, she guides people to reclaim their body literacy, to un-shame their desires. She also leads sensual dance workshops, in which she guides people towards sexual liberation through movement.
(Content warning: sexual trauma discussed).
Where did you grow up, and how did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. My dad is Mexican, and he has a great, big family. (My dad has eleven siblings!) So, I grew up surrounded by my Mexican family. My dad’s side of the family experienced a lot of cultural erasure when they moved to California. My family wanted to focus on speaking English and becoming part of American culture — and America pushed them to do so. I’ve spent a great portion of my adult life trying to reconnect with that piece of me.
At the age of 5, I started experiencing sexual abuse. It wasn’t safe to be in my body, so I became really good at disassociating, numbing, and repressing. Those traumatic experiences left me incredibly afraid of my voice.
I grew up doing competitive gymnastics. It was a really powerful outlet for me. It taught me how to speak through my body when I didn’t have the words to explain the really abusive, scary, not-consensual things that were happening. I learned to channel my feelings of confusion into empowering movement, and I learned to feel confident and to understand embodiment at a young age.
I experienced some intense injuries in gymnastics, and I needed to find another form of physical expression. That is when I found dance, and it has become my most treasured form of healing and expression.
Experiencing sexual abuse as a young person also made me very afraid of my desires. I always had this deep knowing that I didn’t fit into heteronormative defaults, but I didn’t have anyone to teach me that queerness could be celebrated. So, I didn’t address that part of my identity. I shoved it away and steered clear of any sexual intimacy with others until college. There, I started to explore my queer identity, my sexuality, and my long silenced desires. That is when I found out that I was not alone.
How did you find your sexual health?
A big catalyst for me was moving away from home and going to college. During my first year away from home, I was at a performance for a dance company, and I don’t know why, but I was magnetized to them. The show was very alternative —unlike anything I had ever experienced before in the dance world. It was exploring space outside of the default, showing me outstanding ways people of all different genders and backgrounds could engage with each other.
Six months later, I auditioned for the company and I was accepted into it. I danced with the company for about five years. That period of my life was a time of rapid shifting and growth.
During that time, I came out. I also fell in love with a woman for the first time. It was then that I began to dismantle the patterns of silencing my existence that had operated as my baseline for so long. The dance company pushed me to grow. I was constantly inspired by the people around me. I wanted to feel what they were feeling. I wanted to be able to express myself as freely. My peers were invaluable angels and teachers for me.
During that time of deep, heavy healing, I worked with sexuality coaches, therapists, and other guides. I cultivated a badass team of support to help me heal.
In that process, I realized that sex, the source of our existence, should be celebrated not suppressed. We are born from things our society teaches us is ‘inappropriate’ to address and talk about. Once I started to dissect the patriarchal culture, and the system we are living in, I could never go back.
I will never un-awaken to the feelings I’ve gotten to reclaim. I have to share this knowledge. I have to be a catalyst. I want to be the leader that I wish I had growing up.
What does it mean to be a sexual healer?
Guiding people to reclaim their body literacy, to un-shame their desires.
How do you teach someone to ‘reclaim their body literacy’?
Dance is a big piece of how I am building healing spaces for my clients. Sensual movement aids us to feel safe again and to find pieces of ourselves that have been repressed. Dance provides a space to celebrate ourselves as sensual beings.
I have created two different curriculums in which I help my clients with their journeys toward sexual liberation. The first is my sensual dance workshop, which is a four hour, in-person experience. I bring together groups of about twenty people and facilitate exercises and meditations thereby giving structure to help people to tell their intimate personal stories through their bodies. People walk in restricted, swearing they cannot dance, and they walk out free, feeling awake in their bodies.
I teach them that they don’t have to move in a certain way to be sexy. I help people acknowledge that their stories are real, and their bodies know how to move and share their truths.
The second curriculum is my one-on-one work with clients in which I work with them for three months at a time. Together, we focus on returning to the bold, sexually liberated version of themselves. We look at communication and ways that people can set boundaries and share intimacy. We explore tools for being alone and for being in healthy relationships. Overall, I help people return to their bodies.
In your adult career, what has been a challenge you’ve faced, and how have you overcome it?
My fear around my voice, my fear of being seen, is a great challenge of mine. Having powerful narratives telling me that my voice doesn’t matter has really affected my self-worth and presence in this world. I started to take baby steps by finding people who help me use my voice authentically. I surround myself with people who really see me, who make me feel powerful. In their presence, I grow to my greatest self. If someone approaches me who makes me want to retract, I have learned to lovingly step away.
With group facilitating, my voice and presence is the most important thing. As my groups expand and grow, I continue to gain the courage to expand myself and the group. I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve overcome it, but I have been really brave and I have been doing the things that scare me the most.
A challenge within my industry and career is censorship: how do I find empowerment in a space of mixed social media where I am constantly being shut down for being my most authentic self?
I recently had my instagram deactivated. That made me feel small but, to respond to that with power, I need to not back away and fight to be recognized. I have been using my frustration as fuel to take up space unapologetically.
What are your hobbies?
Because my work is my deepest passion, I tend to work a lot. But thinking about this question has made me realize that I do have tools that are just for play. I really like gardening and taking baths. I like traveling and crocheting. I love being naked in nature. I love self pleasuring and taking sensual selfies and self-portraits. Stepping away from producing all the time provides an important lightness to my life.
What does being powerful mean to you? When do you feel powerful?
To me, being powerful means understanding and really believing in my impact. It means loving myself fiercely so I can have the capacity to serve humanity and the planet. It means choosing courage over being liked.
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