CALEEN Diedrick stood poised with an air of confidence, defining the word sexy, as she waltzed into the Observer offices last Wednesday, clad in red stiletto heels and short beige and black chiffon dress.
She has ventured into a field many would not dare go — that of teaching women how to be a ladies on the streets and tigers between the sheets.
Under the name Fervida, her classes are geared at unleashing sensuality in women, and are designed to have females access their feminine and softer, sensual sides. It's the side that is playful and girly that is attractive to a man, she says.
"It's a journey inside," Diedrick explained to All Woman. "It's having persons look at themselves, look at their concept of self and how it is that they show up in the bedroom, in the boardroom, all the different spheres of their lives. So even though the course is talking about sexual presence, it is so much bigger than that. It's having a woman take a closer look at who she considers herself to be, where it is she would have formed this notion of herself, and whether or not this notion of herself is serving her well in all her different interactions."
Diedrick is a trained transformational coach and motivational speaker. Her main area of study is psychology and sociology, working in the field of rehabilitation and behaviour modification for five years in three of the island's correctional facilities and the education system.
But her latest venture is giving women an opportunity to discover that part of themselves that is uninhibited, confident, carefree, alive, and most importantly, independent of the opinions of others.
"It's very experimental," Diedrick explained. "And by that my favourite method of teaching is immersion. Because I believe that once you go through the situation, you are better at it."
And so she will take persons through the process of getting to know their sexuality.
"So it's empowerment more than it is penetration," she explained. "I'm having the woman look at herself in a way that she hasn't before. Because I believe as women there is a whole lot of masking. And she would have lost her femininity because of life's circumstances. There would have been so much we would have had to over compensate for, especially as it pertains to the men — the one who leaves, the one who is not minding his pickney — and as a result of that we become so hard. So even though we can put ourselves together sexy, we can put on a cute little dress and a nice hot shoes or whatever else, very few of us have embodied the feminine. We are tough and we are hardened. So men will always be attracted because our body looks good and we're putting on clothes that accentuate that, and so we get his attention. But when he starts talking to you, he realises the toughness and the hardness that a lot of us Caribbean women have because of our life circumstances," she said.
The six-week classes are a fusion of rap sessions and dancing.
"Dancing, because for me it's a way of accessing your more playful side," Diedrick said. "When you are playful you are oblivious. You are not caught up with what people are saying, you don't business 'bout nobody else. It's really about you and what's happening to you at this moment."
Diedrick said she leads with dancehall music as this is a part of the female that she would like persons to access.
"It is showing a woman how it is we move to this kind of rhythm and how it is that this kind of rhythm is applicable to the bedroom, and how is it that it helps you to let go to be in the moment."
The rap sessions are geared at allowing women to see that being sensual is more a state of mind and the ability to channel that state of mind.
While quickly explaining that she is not a sex therapist, Diedrick said she is in the business of personal development, empowering women from the inside out.
"It's lifting you up from the inside out," she said. "Because once you light the spark on the inside then you don't need anything else. Your aura is shining from the inside; it's not the clothes that you wearing, it's not the degrees that you have, it's just you. It's the confidence that you get from falling in love with yourself," she said.
She said once women fall in love with themselves, then they will let go in the bedroom.
"So the course is pretty much about having a woman recognise that 'I am all that and a bag of chips and a Snickers bar," she laughed.
Diedrick had been sitting on the idea of sex classes for women for five years, but after seeing the need presenting itself in personal development workshops, decided that the time was now.
"We have been socialised to preserve a man's ego no matter what, at our own expense, and we are not satisfied and we bear it in silence and we call our girlfriends and complain," she said. "We tell them, 'boy him not doing this and him not doing whatever'. We don't recognise that we have a major role to play in the level of romance that we get."
Diedrick also wants to tap into corporate Jamaica, doing seminars with staff that will see persons talking about sex and the benefits thereof.
"We don't see what it (sex) does to your peace of mind, what it does for you physically, and what it's able to do for you spiritually," she added. "We are still so very biased with sex, because as far as we are concerned, sex is penetration and it finishes right there. You have an orgasm, you ejaculate and it's done, and that is sex. But there is so much more to it. And because we are not looking at it as a means of developing ourselves, then it is still something that we sweep underneath the carpet, we still don't want to talk about it."
On February 2, Diedrick will be hosting an open event with Chyna Whyne the stiletto guru, who will be doing the 'Stiletto Speaks' segment of the presentation at 22 Hopefield Avenue. Here, women will be taught the art of being sexy in heels.
As a transformational coach and motivational speaker, Diedrick has also implemented programmes designed to help inmates cope with their new reality and more importantly, equipping them with the necessary life skills to navigate their encounters within the prison walls and with civil society. She has implemented behaviour modification programmes for at risk youths within some of Jamaica's most trouble schools, and has done personal development and life enhancing seminars for many organisations within corporate Jamaica and government ministries.