Ana Autoestima

Ana Autoestima is the a pleasure-focused sexuality education messaging service for adult vulva-owners in Brazil. The initiative is currently being trialed in Favelinha, a favela (shanty town) community in the northern periphery of Rio de Janeiro, and is a product of a process of co-creation with local women who believe that understanding and practicing one’s pleasure is key in developing self-esteem.

The initiative was developed with support from The Pleasure Project following the Pleasure Principles.


Ana Autoestima’s objective is to reach cisgender women (18+ years old) who live in Rio’s most underserved favelas - most of whom have never had access to sex-positive information about sexuality that is relevant to their realities.


Ana’s friends (service users) live in (extreme) poverty, often don’t have access to (sufficient) health care, and have been subjected to judgement and biased information if/when they have sought out sexual health services.

Here is how Ana talks differently to them:

Program Summary

Ana Autoestima breaks the narratives of disease and unwanted pregnancy prevention by normalizing pleasure as a key motivator to consensual sexual encountersShe takes into consideration that her friends (service users) have varying levels of understanding of their bodies, their pleasure, and their sexual health. Ana therefore talks about:


  1. Sexual and non-sexual pleasure, erogenous zones, desire vs. arousal

  2. What bodies with vulvas can be like - anatomy and physiology

  3. Masturbation as a means of self-discovery and self-pleasure

  4. Orgasms - the changes bodies can go through during sexual activity to (maybe) reach different types of orgasms, and reframing orgasms from being the only goal to sex

  5. The ins and outs of how sex works, and expanding the concept of sexual intercourse from penis-in-vagina sex to include non- and other penetrative encounters, activity between people of the same sex assigned at birth, etc.

  6. Pleasure and contraceptives - how contraceptives (focusing on external and internal condoms) can be sexy!

  7. Pleasure in partnered sex, the importance of knowing what feels feels pleasurable so one can communicate about it, how to get to know one’s partner’s/partners’ body/bodies, and (sexy) consent.

Sample of Ana’s content on WhatsApp Status

“The sex-positive and pleasure-positive information we [receive] is not about how others feel about us, but about how we perceive ourselves, and how we feel about ourselves.”

Evelyn, Project Ideator & Service User

Impact Model

Project Contributors


Evelyn Nunes dos Santos

Local Pleasure Promoter & Project Ideator & Advisor


Luana Nunes dos Santos

Local Pleasure Promoter & Project Advisor


Lupita de Azevedo da Silva

Local Pleasure Promoter & Project Advisor


Laura Ramos Tomás

Project Ideator, Content Creator & Project Manager

Luciana Monteiro.jpeg

Luciana Monteiro

Photographer, Videographer & Voiceover


Geovana Zaltman Sadcovitz

Content Editor

Nina Millen.jpeg

Nina Millen

Character Illustrator

Check Ana out on Insta @ana.autoestima.br