Kendall: I am so excited to introduce to you Ms. Alejandra Welsh. She is the founder of The 5th House, and I have just gotten the pleasure to get to know her through our friends over at Skirt Clubs. We'll dive into all the things. I just want to start off with a big welcome and thank you so much for joining us. Tell us a little bit about you and what is your big mission on the planet and how you shine your light?
Alejandra: You meet people from all walks of life and no matter what culture or religion that there was in that country. One thing that I noticed was that everyone was really having a hard time talking about sex and sex was the taboo and there was so much female oppression, no one, no matter what country you're in, it was very male dominated.
You can imagine in Latin America and Southeast Asia and middle east, even Europe, to some extent, well, anywhere, really and then so many of my experiences, which was shaped on this and I realized, um, how much it was affecting my psyche to, to almost have my sexuality controlled by other people, particularly men. I didn't really have a say in my own sexuality slash cheating was such a common thing, especially in school and I think 19%, if not a hundred percent of girls go through this at some point in their life. It's just, it's just crazy that, that it's just the norm, you know?
Kendall: What an incredible way to grow up and, you know, to really look at those different perspectives, feeling like your sexuality was controlled, what did that look like for you when you were growing up and feeling like your sexuality was controlled? Do you have an example? Because I know there's lots of different things, I'm sure you've experienced.
Alejandra: I mean, anything from like being 13 years old and wearing my uniform was a skirt and then getting Wolf whistled or whisper or, um, going to the gynecologist and having an awkwardly uncomfortable checkups, which I don't think is very unusual in fact. And, um, yeah, also maybe dating a boy in your class and then all of a sudden, you know, you get called the slot because you're dating someone, but you know, if you, if you're not dating someone that you're the prude and it's just the constant cycle of, of, you know, back and forth and just never getting it right. Really. Um, and especially growing up in, in the middle east, I think that was, that was very prominent there. It's all about, um, what you wore, um, holding hands in public at that time is not, not so much anymore, but at that time was, was even a big no-no.
Kendall: Those different experiences will absolutely shape your psyche and your perspectives of how you view life and how you think about things. You know, I think when we look at our sexuality, it's so deeply tied with our self-worth or self-confidence how we show up and present ourselves in the world. Growing up with all those different perspectives and really seeing it from around the world, how do you think that impacted the way that you like really owned your own presence growing up and into adults?
Alejandra: Another great side about living is telling in different countries and experiencing so many cultures is that you grew up so fast and you're, you become so open to everything because everything around you is constantly changing. Everything is so unfamiliar. You're constantly adapting, adapting, adapting, um, and it really makes you grow up because you can't afford to be close-minded or single-minded and also having two pretty liberal parents, they were always like the north star, the grounding for me. I could always, I always knew that if I wasn't feeling self-worth then, or if I wasn't feeling confident enough, which by the way everyone goes through, when they're teenagers, then they were always there to, to boost me up, which is great.
Kendall: What was your cry for help, but, or at least at 16 running around the countryside in Scotland?
Alejandra: I never actually talked about this but I had a tough relationship with my mom back then. I think our excuse was, oh, well she was menopausal and I was hormonal cause I was a teen and she was going through menopause and, and it was just like one big crash. But, um, yeah, it was definitely more deeper than that and we just, we moved around so much. We were, we ended up going to Scotland, which is one place after living in hot, sunny tropical countries, um, on, yeah, warm does it then coming to cold, rainy gray, Scotland was just a real kick in the teeth. I think that, and happiness plus living in a household that was like a little bit chaotic because obviously having to new school, again, having to move house, not knowing where we were really disliking where you were. You know, it is one of the best decisions I made because I ended up, um, I ended up moving to the Netherlands after that and, and many other places. Everyone says everything happens for a reason. I know sounds super cheesy, but sometimes it really does count, you know?
Kendall: I think those decisions shape us and, and to be able to live in an experience where it is quite chaotic. It's also recognizing, I think when we're 16, we feel like we're the only ones going through that but to really just honor the fact that everybody has their own journey and so many people are living in chaos and in their own ways and to be able to start to normalize the conversation, just like we do for sexuality is so important of like, it's okay to feel like you're living in chaos and, you know, the decisions, the decisions that you make will have consequences and actually like energetic ripple effects of those choices that we make, but they also are exactly perfect for us. I totally believe that everything happens for a reason. And you know, those choices that we were meant to make are the things that shape us into who we are. As you said, like you moved to the Netherlands and had these other experiences. How did your journey evolve from there into where you are now?
Alejandra: I guess on a more personal level, it was definitely beneficial for me and my mom's relationship because, you know, getting on top of each other sometimes the solution is to remove yourself from the same situation and it will better the better your relationship. Now it's now it's really great and then from there, um, gosh, that must've been 18 then and I went to go to university in the Netherlands. I had the best time did the worst at school had to drop out. I was like a runaway dropout.
It's so difficult at 18 to choose what you're going to do for the rest of your life, to even know what your hobbies or interests are and if they're even going to stay like that, which most likely they're not because we will evolve. Especially at that age where you're constantly evolving. I then moved to London and did also stuff. I then worked in fashion. I was as a model for about four or five years in London and kind of around the world, um, which coincidentally I was terrible at and I totally hate it because I hate being in front of a camera.
Honestly it was like having a quarter-life crisis, just feeling so unfulfilled when people ask me what I did as a job, I was so embarrassed. I was like, change, change what I'd tell them, I'd say I was a photographer or that, you know, I worked in advertising or anything but saying that I was a model. Like I was just, that's how I shamed it, but I was and after that I moved to Barcelona. It was really honestly a long time struggling what I wanted to do and feeling really empty about it. I'm feeling really frustrated with myself, seeing people around me or at least thinking that people around me were getting it and winning and excelling in life and knowing what their path was on. But looking back like no one really knew what they were doing. Nobody knows what they're doing. Yeah. We're all figuring it out. 27 and 28, I decided, you know what, I'm going to go back to uni and I'm going to study psychology. I was getting very sex therapy, stuff like that.
I thought, you know what, I'm just going to find people that I'm going to start studying again at the age of 28, go back to university. I started studying psychology and from there, I mean, I always knew that I had a deep, intense nation with sex, anything to do with sexual wellness. It really gave me a voice to stand up because before I kind of cowered away and I, you know, let things slide and slip, which honestly weren't that. Then as soon as me too happened that's when I noticed I really do have a voice and people will listen because there's other women standing up saying the same thing.
Kendall: What a powerful movement and what a powerful, like global almost permission slip for women to speak and own their voice of like this, this isn't okay. These experiences happen more often than people would think. To be able to find that value in your voice and the courage to speak up and to know it is an important topic. I think it takes a lot of courage, especially for you to say, where am I, where do I want to go? Like, how do I want to actually make an impact in this life? Anything, you know, that desire to be aligned with a greater purpose just shows your soul's evolution and being able to follow that calling does take courage. Thank you, Esther. We appreciate you. She's an incredible, incredible woman and brilliant in the information that she shares and to be able to have the courage to go back to uni at 28 is that does take a lot of courage because everybody else around you is 10 years younger than you.
Alejandra: I really do feel like sexuality and sexual pleasure is, is like a birthright is everyone's right. And we should all be able to enjoy it and, and not feel shame around it. Which so many of us, so many of us do, I was talking about this yesterday and a dinner party and someone asked me so what do, what do women mostly come to you about? And I said, usually pleasure issues with pleasure or understanding their own pleasure, accepting their own pleasure.
Kendall: It's always so interesting to see kind of like the, the lean back or the lean-in of how people respond to that and being able to just create conversation. I always say sex is something that we should always talk about at the dinner table and some people don't agree with that. The more that we can show up and do that work, the more we can start to normalize these conversations and make people understand them. It's similar to the me too movement is like to let people know that it's okay to experience pleasure and if you're not experiencing pleasure, if you're having difficulty orgasming, or if you don't feel connected to your own body and your own pleasure, like it's okay. There's things that you can do to build a deeper connection and that desire to feel that connection and confidence in your sexuality is, is normal. Of course, we want that, like you have sexual desires, guess what? You're human you're in a human body. Like, of course you're going to have those kinds of desires and fantasies and things that you're passionate about. And it's about really paving the way for people to explore that. And I think that's one of the beautiful things that you're doing with your work in your platform.
Alejandra: Yeah, absolutely and also the other side of the coin, which is understanding your boundaries and knowing when to say no and feeling confident to say no and not cowering thinking, what are they gonna think of me? How is this going to translate later with my later relationships with other people, you know, what's a hundred petitions going to be, if I say no, how they're going to see me, do you know what I mean? I think this happened quite, quite a lot and just knowing where you can stand, like practicing your note, knowing how to say no is such a valuable thing.
It's something that's not commonly talked about when it comes to sex education and that foundation is to know what are your boundaries and why do you need to have those boundaries in place? And how is that going to impact you? What that's going to feel. I think that's such an important piece to keep in mind is to recognize that boundaries are so important. I think if you look back on, I know I've definitely had experiences where I'm like, I don't really like this guy, but I'm already far enough along, like we're already back at his place and this is like, there's been alcohol involved. I'm just going to do it, but then how do you feel the next day? Not great. I think, I think that's so common. At least I know I've coached a lot of women on this who today are like spiritually awake and enlightened beings and have incredible businesses and jobs and like show up with a lot of self-worth but the area of sexuality and relationships is still a challenge for them. So they're still, you know, making choices where they're not confident in their yeses or they're not confident in their nose and so they are making choices that are breaking those boundaries to themselves, and then they don't feel great about it. It's like, that's why I think sex is so related to every aspect of your life. You can't really call in that abundance in your business or your own personal growth. If you're still making choices in this one area of your life of sexuality and relationships that isn't honoring your highest self and honoring your highest worth and so that's where getting super clear on your boundaries and what consent looks like. All of those pieces is really important.
Kendall: Tell us what The 5th House means and where that comes from.
Alejandra: The 5th House comes from astrology and the fifth house basically is the house that sits in picture your childhood playfulness, anything that brings you joy and can expel your creativity. That's exactly what I wanted, for The 5th House, because obviously erotic playfulness in our child. All of these things is exactly what the fifth house is, is about an honor, your creativity as well through art, literature, culture, dance, move music, anything like that. I know it sounds quite far away from the topic of sex, but what I really wanted to do with The 5th House is marriage sex into popular culture and things that we surround ourselves with media, you know, anything external and immerse it into everything that we see and hear, and experience and smell and touch because that way we start to normalize the conversation around sex and it becomes our surrounding, rather than that scary little thing that we tuck away on under our bed or in a little black box.
I am a holistic sex educator with the background in psychology, as I mentioned before. What I noticed was that I kind of wanted to reach more people than I was able to, and just like a zoom over zoom or in a class, but in a, in a class setting. I recently founded The 5th House, which is a collaborative e-learning platform for a sex positive and pleasure based education. What it does is it allows users or people to access e-learning content and connect with community that we would build, um, sexual health practitioners. You'd be able to go onto the platform if you're, if you have any issues of worries or concerns, or just want to share then you'd be able to connect with the sexual health practitioner that practitioner like a therapist, um, like a trauma therapist or couples therapists or whatever it might be in order to further your erotic and sexual health journey.
Kendall: I think it's so powerful and I love the way that you are looking at the expansion and immersion of popular culture and media. I think when we look at, and especially like your background as a model and like, through experiencing what that journey looks like, the sex is everywhere. It's all about how do you look sexy? How do you portray like the certain line on your shoulder or a curve or a sultry look and sexist. Everywhere we look, but nobody talks about it. So I love that you're bringing all of those pieces together to be able to say, it's already around you. We may as well just have a conversation about it to make it okay, to have fun. Not that like playful creativity. That's what I love about the fifth house is it, is that like childlike joy. It is that playfulness that creativity in our sexual energy is our creative life force energy. So when we're tapped in and connected to our sexual energy, we're going to be more creative. We're going to be more passionate in all areas of our life. So I think that that immersion is really neat. And then the way that you're bringing together photography and literature and all the different elements, as well as the education.
Alejandra: Exactly. The, the actual initial concept of the fifth house was to be really an editorial magazine concept. That's why the photography and the visual aspects of it was so important and it speaks volumes like you were saying. Even in advertising these days, since the pandemic, I think people are trying to say, let's get back to our sexual cells and embracing each other again. This big campaigns by suit supply, which is a Dutch suit brands, diesel, they're all getting, um, or non like, um, yeah, and, um, homosexual couples to model their, their clothes, all different identities, all different races. Also suit supply did a very, very sexual, uh, photo shoots where they basically had two or three or four naked models all over each other. It was basically like just saying, hello, look at us. Sexuality is fine. They had like huge posters of campaigns of this on their walls. And I just thought that was incredible. I was so happy for that because, because it really means that people are starting to talk about sex. If you, if it's in your shop window, you just walk past it every day. It just starts to become Laurel. You don't, you're not scared to talk about it anymore. You might be walking with your grandma and it's just the most normal thing.
Kendall: I love the way that these big organizations, big brands can have such a forward facing, um, billboard essentially like of high. Look at me, look at this as something that we do need to normalize and talk about. I think it also shows the dressed com contrast between the world of social media. And I think that that's something as a sexual wellness platform or a sex educators that they really struggle with is to, for those artists to be able to confidently display their artwork across platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and being able to show the depth and the sensuality and the eroticism, and just a naked body for being a naked body. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing that we should be shaming about that. And yet we still can't write the word sex when it comes to our Instagram posts.
Alejandra: The thing is for you and I and other sex educators, it's literally, they talk about the weather or what did you have for breakfast this morning? You need to remember that other people are not going to respond in the same way to you because we're quite desensitized to a lot of things. When you say the word sex immediately, it's like a shock or great, let's get into this because I never talk about this topic and it just takes that one thing to say that will open up Pandora's box. Then you realize how much people just want to get it out and talk about it because we don't talk about it with anyone.
Kendall: I think that it's such an important work that we have to do to be able to share that and talk about that. When you look at some of the different art or photography that you're using, why do you think photography and art does have such an impact of conveying a message and an experience of the playfulness and eroticism and pleasure in general?
Alejandra: Art is all around us, whether we think about it or not, whether we notice it or even think it's not odd and so just to be surrounded, subconsciously having images, but nothing shocking, just erotic, beautiful sensual that makes you, that just makes you question and think a little bit further. Then we start questioning ourselves. Then we start enjoying, we start allowing, accepting ourselves to be like, that is a beautiful pic picture or portrayal of a naked human body because we never, we never seen naked bodies unless like we have a partner, um, or unless it's a high school and the showers, and even then everyone's like covering up and they don't want to show, we don't even look at our own genitals. It's such an important form of, of creativity and expression that we shouldn't cost it aside because it's not written word or, or, or, um, visual as in a video or something where think people are speaking to us and telling us, this is how you should interpret this. You get to interpret it the way you want to and take away whatever message you like.
Kendall: I think that's what the power is. Is it connects you to that energy that exists within yourself so that, you know, some of the photos that you even have on your website or your Instagram page, it's like, you look at that and that's going to instantly stir and energy in you. It's going to connect you with that sexual energy that exists within you. Turn on curiosity, pleasure, playfulness, all of those things, you can start to feel the physical sensations in your body, whether it's your postings starting to get wet, or feel like a tingling across your skin and not like light flutter in your heartbeat or your changes starting to notice those physical sensations is such a beautiful way to feel the energy of that art and feel the purpose behind it.
Alejandra: Having said all of that, I can feel quite uncomfortable at the beginning because it's so taboo and you're, you're so conditioned to be, to turn away and not, and not look at such things, but fight through the uncomfortableness because that's when you get to really understand what I like and what I don't like. Um, this is what turns me on maybe this I'll put aside because maybe that's not for me. That's an issue that I don't really like. I remember when I was, I think five or six years old, I was in Venezuela in south America and they have these big, like life-size posters and there was one with a naked woman and her breasts and I was just there for probably a good 10 minutes, totally aroused by the picture. I couldn't understand why and then two ladies came over and they saw me looking. They're like, oh, I know what she must like and then I quickly flipped the post is away. Then that's the kind of response that we get to erotic art, which is such a shame because it's so beautiful.
Kendall: When you think about really tapping into that exploration and getting excited, what are some ways that you work with your clients to start that exploration of getting curious about what their eroticism is or the things that turn them on?
Alejandra: I like to make sure that people understand touch and aren't afraid of touch, especially in a non-erotic way because we tend to, we tend to find that very uncomfortable if someone rests their arm or national older, or if somebody is like looking at us into our eyes for a little bit too long, and these are things that can really, really connect us. But, um, but for some reason where we're very hypersensitive to touch, to tiny touch as well as a central touch. I really like thinking into exercises of just understand, like starting by, you know, stroking a hand and then maybe asking for consent, can I touch you your upper arm? And then can it go into a hug and things like that. And then really just staying present in those moments, uh, and enjoying that kind of touch. I really feel can bring, especially if it's a, it's a couple at a couple who's been, been going out for a very long time. We've been together for a very long time. Sometimes they forget to do these things. It's like, remember you're like teen self, almost trying to get giddy again, get those butterflies feelings again.
During today's episode I talk about:
Connect with The 5th House
In light, in love, and in gratitude, K