haylin belay

sex educator, yoga instructor, witch

Hi! I'm Haylin.

 photo by Yanyi

photo by Yanyi

I'm a seasoned sex educator, bodyworker, and holistic health promotion professional with a focus in reproductive justice and youth empowerment. With nearly a decade of experience in developing health education programming, working in erotic retail, and providing facilitation trainings for activists and educators, I don't just talk about sex—I know about it. I'm also a Tarot reader, witch, and yoga instructor, offering group classes, workshops, and one-on-one coaching from an integrated mind-body-spirit perspective.

My mission is to support everyone—regardless of gender, orientation, libido, relationship style, kink/fetish, physical fitness, trauma background, or sexual experience—in living their best and healthiest lives. No question is too stupid, and no fantasy is too bizarre. All you have to do is ask.

In addition to my work as an educator, I have experience as a freelance writer, an editorial consultant, a sex shop employee, a workshop facilitator, a public speaker, a yoga instructor,  and more. I'm a practicing witch, yoga instructor, and professional tarot reader currently living in New York City with my cat, Princess Walter.

my MANIFESTO:

All people deserve an integrated sex life and the healthy pursuit of pleasure.

All means all: no matter someone's age, sexual orientation, libido, gender identity, kink, fetish, fantasy, relationship structure, sexual experience, race/ethnicity, class, history of trauma, physical ability, mental/emotional health, or cultural attitudes towards sex, all people have a right to the information they need to make decisions about their sexual health and pleasure, and to receive this information in spaces that are safe, accessible, and comfortable.

Our sex lives are not separate from our "real" lives, and finding our happiest, healthiest sex lives is a crucial part of maintaining our overall well-being.  Whether someone wants lots of kinky sex or no sex at all, being able to clearly identify and safely pursue our desires is a fundamental part of living an integrated life that encompasses mental, emotional, physiological, spiritual, and social well-being.

We often teach reproductive health from the perspective of NOT getting STIs, and teach consent from the perspective of NOT violating consent or having one's consent violated. I believe that sexuality education, and health education more broadly, must also explore the pursuit of pleasure, whether that means talking about pleasurable safer sex practices, destigmatizing STI diagnoses, experiencing non-sexual pleasure and intimacy, pursuing pleasure post-gender transition, or the power of consent to facilitate pleasurable sexual exploration.

press mentions

If I asked you, “Maya, what are three words that describe you as a person,” you could give me personality traits, like “I think I’m hard-working, I think I’m kind,” or whatever. But for a lot of people, if you ask them, “Give me three things about what you’re like sexually,” they won’t be able to answer the question—not because they don’t know themselves, but because they haven’t practiced having that vocabulary: “I’m a person with a really high libido; I’m a person who has a very responsive sexual desire; I consider myself kinky; I consider myself vanilla.”
— AYO Magazine, "Health Educator Haylin Belay Wants You to Be Okay With Sex"
Of course, even with witchcraft becoming increasingly common, there are still many who are skeptical of witchcraft. Belay’s take? “A lot of times, on dates, I’ll get questions from guys being like, ‘Oh, witchcraft– are you really into that? Is it “for real“?’ The place I always go with that is: it really doesn’t matter if it’s real. It really does not matter if it’s literally, actually True with a capital T. As an anthropologist, a huge part of what I unlearned in my years of studying was the idea that there is some kind of singular, objective truth. What there is is lived experience, there’s material conditions, and there’s also this very hard to define and pin down subjective experience of the world. In my subjective experience of the world, witchcraft is useful, it’s helpful to me, and it actively contributes to my quality of life. I’ve long since given up any attachment to the idea of ‘real’ or ‘true’ or ‘authentic’.”
— Garden Collage, "Haylin Belay on Practicing Witchcraft in NYC"

After graduation, Haylin hopes to continue writing and educating people. She’s been applying to editorial positions at publications with a health beat; her dream job is “being paid to talk about sex.” So she’s not worried about her sex column popping up in her search results—in fact, she says it’s a representation of her values. “As someone who’s experienced a lot of slut-shaming and negative attention about sex, I think at a certain point I hit a nadir and said, ‘Okay, I’m choosing not to let this affect me anymore.’ As long as everyone’s being healthy and making smart choices and everything’s consensual, then sex should not be something that anyone’s ashamed of.”
— Blue & White Magazine, "Campus Character: Haylin Belay"

WATCH

Video Profile: Ozy Magazine, "Spells for the Modern Day Sorceress"
TV Interview: Sex. Right. Now., "Ladies of Sex Tech" [trailer]
TV Panel Interview: The Daily Show, "Sexual Racism: When Preferences Become Discrimination"

LISTEN

Podcast Profile: Real Talk Radio, "Haylin Belay on Sex Education, Modern Witchcraft, and Relationship Anarchy"
Podcast Profile: Juicy Bits, "Sexpert Haylin Belay"
Podcast Profile: Biology of the Blog, "Haylin Belay"
Podcast Interview: Another Round, "Dearest Y'all, We Have Some News."
Podcast Interview: Flash Forward, "How Is Babby (Not) Made"
Podcast Interview: Radio Interview: Sex Ed with DB, "Meet Your Students Where They're At"
Podcast Interview: MetroFocus, "The Physical Effects of Racism" [Part 1] [Part 2]
 

READ

Profile: Garden Collage, "Haylin Belay on Practicing Witchcraft in NYC"
Two-Part Profile: AYO Magazine, "Health Educator Haylin Belay Wants You to Be Okay With Sex" & "Witchcraft As Black Feminist Practice: Part II With Educator Haylin Belay"
Profile: Blue & White Magazine, "Campus Character: Haylin Belay"

Quoted in...
iHeartRadio, "2018 Psychic Predictions: Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Britney Spears, & More"
WHEDCo.org, "JAM Empowers Middle and High School Students through Sex-Ed"
InStyle, "Sexual Consent: Why We Still Haven’t Gotten the Conversation Right"

conferences

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2018 [Panel] "Beyond Consent: Power, Pleasure, Profit"

Black Girl Project Sisterhood Summit 2018 "The Sacrament of Yes: Creating a Positive Consent Culture"

[Keynote] Northwest Magic Conference 2018 "What Feels Right: Intuition & Pleasure In Magical Practice"
[Workshop] "Mind, Body, & Spirit: Bodywork for Healing Intuition"

Civil Liberties and Public Policy 2018 [Panel] "Power, Pleasure, Profit: Radical Visions of Consent"

National Sex Ed Conference 2017 "Creating, Maintaining, and Repairing Safe Spaces"

SisterSong 2017 [Plenary Panel] "Power, Pleasure, Profit: Radical Visions of Consent"

Columbia University Scholars Program Symposium 2014 "Alcohol use and risky sexual behavior among young adults living in Nantes, France"

BACCHUS Initiative General Assemblies 2012/2013/2014, Regional Assembly 2013/2014, IvyAlcohol Symposium 2014 "Responsible Communities @ Columbia: Peer Education Models for Alcohol Education"

 
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