Shakina Cooley is a mother and entrepreneur. The founder of In the Aftermath, a blogger, a Bedroom Kandi consultant, and a relationship sexuality coach.

After dealing with a divorce and feeling that she was all alone, she decided to go into coaching. In order to further assist recently divorced and separated women, she founded a company In the aftermath in 2018. Shakina has been sharing her insight on relationships and sex for over 9 years!

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Alice:  Shakina Cooley is a mother and entrepreneur. The founder of In the aftermath, a blogger, a Bedroom Kandi consultant, and a relationship sexuality coach. After dealing with a divorce and feeling that she was all alone, she decided to go into coaching. In order to further assist recently divorced and separated women, she founded a company In the aftermath in 2018. Shakina has been sharing her insight on relationships and sex for over 9 years and we are so excited to have you on the podcast today. Welcome.

Shakina Cooley: I am excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Alice: Yeah, definitely. We just start things off with some more fun questions. Okay, what is your favorite word in the dictionary?

Shakina: I am going to go with audacious just because I feel like that is something that I have become more of in recent years and I think all women should. I am going to go with that.

Alice: That is awesome. I love that word. Audacious. We all should, you are right. What is your favorite thing to cook?

Shakina: Now that I actually know how to, lasagna.

Alice: That sounds really good.

Shakina: Now that I know how. I love pasta, but I can never get lasagna. Now I have got it so that is going to be my favorite.

Alice: That sounds good and really hard, getting all the layers right.

Shakina: I have done it a couple of times now.

Alice: Perfect.

Shakina: I think it is pretty good.

Alice: Okay, if you could have any other job than your own, what would it be?

Shakina: Are we talking of day jobs? Because I have to say that what I am doing right now would be exactly what I would want to do full-time so that I do not even have to worry about the day job.

Alice: Yeah. Can you talk us through what exactly are you doing? What is that dream job that you already have?

Shakina: That I already have that I want to do full time?

Alice:  Yeah, but what is In the aftermath? Let us know what it is.

Shakina: It is actually just an LLC that I started because I wanted to help other recently divorced and separated women. Basically, I started once I decided that I wanted to go into coaching. In the aftermath, what I hope that it will turn into, is kind of like a one-stop-shop for women going through divorce or separation because I did not have that when I going through my divorce. It is going to be first-time homebuyers’ information, counseling, help with credit, all of those things. Just kind of like a one-stop-shop. That is what I wanted it to turn into eventually. That is where that whole thing came from.

Alice:  That is amazing. You also have this other side of you that is a Kandi consultant and a sexuality coach. Can you talk a little bit about starting that?

Shakina: That whole thing is kind of funny. Actually, I have been interested in sexuality and what all goes into the floor for probably as long as I can remember. I actually started writing erotic stories way back in middle school. I am sorry, Mom. But I got into it so I started writing erotic stories. Then once I got to college, I started taking psychology classes. Psychology of human [inaudible] was my absolute favorite. I decided at that point, you know what, I love this. I think I am really going to do this. It was a way for me to help other women as well and couples. I am a hopeless romantic. I love love. The things I can do to help couples stay together. I am all for it.

Alice: That is wonderful. Sexuality can have such taboo connotations. Shakina, did I lose you?

Shakina: You are Frozen.

Alice:  I see you as frozen too. There, you are back. I will just ask that again. I know like sexuality could have such taboo connotations and a jubilance where a woman’s health period company. Just talking about periods is something that is kind of unheard of. How do you approach the subjects about sex and taboo?

Shakina: Honestly, I just go hand in hand. Just tackle everything head-on because I feel like that is what you got to do in order to get rid of all the negative connotations and all those things. I just kind of go for it. I know sometimes people may read things that I posted and they are like “Oh, she said that?” But I think that it is a great way for you to get the conversation going and the more that you talk about it the less it will be taboo.

Alice:  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It is something that we need to talk about and that is why I love your Instagram which everyone should check, Shakina talks sex, which is amazing. She is breaking barriers every day with what you post. Which I think is awesome.

Shakina: It is definitely the goal.

Alice: What should we take away as women, about sex? What do you want to impart to us about it?

Shakina: The way that I feel about it is that I think every woman should know that pleasure is our birthright. It is not something that you should shy away from. I know we get told all the time about negative things about our bodies and things that we should not do and should not say and blah blah blah. I think that sex is something that is natural. It is something that we all desire. I think that it is something that if you talk about it, if you embrace it, then you will understand that it is my right to have pleasure.

Alice: Yes.

Shakina: I think we all deserve to know that. That is what I think we should take away from sex.

Alice: Yeah.

Shakina: Own it.

Alice:  I think that is awesome. We should own it. Kind of like your word that you said at the top of this, audacity. We have to have the audacity to go for that.

Shakina: Exactly. That is what we all need.

Alice:  Talk to me about starting your sexual education. Can you talk about starting that side of the company?

Shakina: That actually is kind of crazy. When I started blogging, that is actually what I was talking about. I started out doing a blog, it was called Single in Mississippi, which was back in 2011. Pretty much what I talked about was sex and dating. I have been doing it for quite some time. Honestly, this year, during the pandemic when we were out of work for a little while. During that time, I decided that I have wanted to do this for so long. I have been afraid of what people are going to say or think if I just absolutely came out, being bold with everything. During the pandemic, I just said “Okay. I am going to go for it.” I enrolled in a Dr. Rachel Institute and I decided to get some certification.

Alice:  That is amazing. Can you talk a little bit about starting that blog? Did you run up against people once you have started this new sex education on Instagram and your Shakina talk sex? Did you run into people that were horrified by this? Can you talk a little bit about that?

Shakina: You know, it is funny. I have not really seen many people be horrified, but actually, it is quite the opposite.

Alice: Yes.

Shakina: I have actually had people who are embracing me and saying “Oh, wow. I cannot believe this. I am so grateful” or something like that. I have been overwhelmed by the feedback that I have gotten from people. My mom actually has actually been a part of it the entire time. My mom fully supports this.

Alice: Wait, please explain more. I need to know about this.

Shakina: I will talk to my mom. Like “Mom, I think I really want to write about this today” and she will say “Okay.” She actually sometimes will come to me and she will say “Have you ever talked about this? Why do not you do this topic?” She is like my biggest cheerleader. My mom and my sister, they are everything.

Alice: That is so cool. Totally breaking taboos down then.

Shakina: Yes, absolutely. I am so grateful for it.

Alice: Oh my gosh, that is amazing. Congratulations on getting your certification. That is awesome.

Shakina: I am still working on it, believe me. I am 1 step closer. I did enroll in Dr. Rachel back in May. So, hopefully, I will be getting done with this [inaudible].

Alice:  Oh, that is awesome. You are from Mississippi, how has it been during the pandemic?

Shakina: I will say that even though it is been tough dealing with everything, social distancing, masks, and blah blah blah. All of those types of things. It still has been a blessing in disguise because you get to spend more time with your family which I have been grateful for. But being able to spend more time with them and seeing the love and support from all around because churches have been giving back to people who may not have food and all those things. I think it is a blessing in disguise, .

Alice: Oh good. You guys have been able to hang out during quarantine and do some virtual learning as well?

Shakina: Virtual learning, yes. I have actually done a lot more baking, which is something I love to do. The kids of course have been very happy about that.

Alice: Like benefiting?

Shakina: Yeah.

Alice: What did you bake most recently?

Shakina: Most recently, I did a red velvet cake.

Alice: Oh my God, I am coming over.

Shakina: Come on down.

Alice:  Oh my God. That sounds so good.

Shakina: Come on down, I promise you [inaudible].

Alice: That is amazing.

Shakina: You know that we are the hospitality state.

Alice: Really? I did not know that.

Shakina: Yes, Mississippi is the hospitality state. So, here we are.

Alice: Oh, that is amazing. Oh, that is cool. I am in New York. It is a little far but someday I will make it there.

Shakina: You will make it and we will be here.

Alice: Yeah. Something that we always ask on the podcast is “What is your definition of womanhood?”

Shakina: My definition of womanhood that I would have to say is strength and femininity. It is knowing the power in your femininity is womanhood to me.

Alice: I think that is awesome that power and the audacity to try and have pleasure and I just love everything you are saying Shakina. Yeah.

Shakina: That is true as far as femininity, for sure. Because a lot of it was trying to do away with it and you think “I have got to be more like men” or feminist and all that. I am like “Embrace your femininity; they are strengthening.”

Alice:  Yes, that is so right. If you could give advice to a woman on the street just walking by, if you had a sentence or 2 to tell them, what would you say?

Shakina: As cliche as it sounds, love yourself first, and love yourself without condition.

Alice: Oh, that is wonderful and something I need to remind myself. Without condition?

Shakina: Yes, that is the important part. Without condition. I will love myself more when I do XYZ, love yourself now, right where you are.

Alice: Shakina, how can people get in contact with you for your coaching sessions?

Shakina: If they would like coaching sessions. They can always go to my Instagram; my email address is there. Or if you do not want to go there and do not have Instagram. My email address is [email protected].

Alice: Her Instagram, if you remember, is @Shakinatalkssex. Definitely check it out because it is so awesome. Shakina, is there anything else you would like to add?

Shakina: I just want to say thank you for having me today.

Alice: It was such a pleasure to have you on. It was nice meeting you.

Shakina: It was nice meeting you too.

About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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