FIRST FRIDAYS – LAUREN BILLE
Q+A with the Co-Creator of CYCLES + SEX
For this edition of First Fridays, we connected with CYCLES + SEX co-creator Lauren Bille, a partner in The Big Quiet and a former Lululemon community builder advocating for reproductive and sexual health alongside Natalia Hailes and Ashley Spivak. Read on for a sneak preview of their event tomorrow in downtown LA and why all genders are joining the conversation around reproductive rights.
CYCLES+SEX Co-Creators (from left) Natalia Hailes, Lauren Bille, and Ashley Spivak
Please tell us about Cycles + Sex and what inspired the three of you to create it.
We decided to create CYCLES + SEX to educate people about their bodies! Because info on sex, menstruation, birth and reproductive health is hard to find, shame inducing, intimidating and outdated—yet it's vital to our overall health and well-being! In fact, it's vital to the human race.
Reproductive rights are again under serious threat. We must get educated, support one another, take action to protect ourselves and make our own informed choices about our bodies.
What can people expect from the event this weekend?
It's going to be EPIC. We have a full day of panels and speakers (check out full line-up here) with keynotes by Ericka Hart, Alisa Vitti, and Madame Gandhi. Plus Ricki Lake + Abby Epstein will be showing a sneak peek of their new documentary on hormonal birth control. The Pleasure Chest will have sex-ed programming all day, and we are taking back the speculum in our wellness area with self cervical exams! Lioness will be showing the data connected to your orgasms, and HMBLT will be teaching us about how to use cannabis to support menstruation. Stop by or stay all day and peruse our marketplace of amazing vendors: everything from vulva tonics to vibrators.
What would most people be surprised to learn about their reproductive and sexual health?
The history is fascinating to us. How birth control was linked to the eugenics movement, how women were kicked out of the medical fields. Plus, so often these subjects are talked about in a vacuum—so very important to remember they are interconnected and that pleasure is part of the equation! And that we can get a lot of info about our overall ecosystems from the signals our bodies are giving us.
A number of men were at Cycles + Sex in NYC, both as speakers and attendees. What do you think this says about shifting gender dynamics?
We were very excited about this. We really believe that this info is vital for everyone that came from a uterus (so everyone). Especially as gender becomes more openly fluid, we want to be able to provide a place where everyone is part of the conversation.
How does your work with Medi Club and The Big Quiet influence your work with Cycles + Sex?
All of it is mindful leadership and consciousness work. It's bringing people together to uncover information about themselves and then use it to exist more powerfully in the world. Being a female leader at Medi Club and The Big Quiet has pushed me so much into my own power and courage to say what I think even when my voice is shaky. CYCLES + SEX is an expression of that.
What haven’t we asked you that you’d like to share?
More than anything, I hope people realize that there is so much for us to uncover so that we can exist fully empowered and armed with information. Never stop asking questions, continue to be brave. We have an awesome Instagram account where you can learn dope things about your body! Follow @cyclesandsex. Also, if you don't live in LA or can't make it to the event, we have a podcast on our website (cyclesandsex.com/podcast) where you can listen to all panels and speakers for free after the event! Our New York panels are up there already.