Wickedly Inspirational Women: Heather Moni - Lingerie model.

What is your memory of getting your first sex toy? Were you 17-years old and sneaking to the back section of your local lingerie/sex shop; picking up all sorts of silicone curiosities, in various colours, shapes and sizes, wondering “why does that bit vibrate?” and “that bit goes WHERE!?” Maybe you shared the experience with a partner, exploring the erotica-filled aisles together as a form of foreplay, before going home to unlock a new level of sexual exploration with your newly purchased, partnered play toys. Or did you feel more comfortable browsing from the comfort of your own home; eagerly waiting for the postman to arrive, hoping that packaging really is discrete as they propose it to be on the website? Perhaps you’ve never ventured into the world of sex toys; maybe you’re still waiting to dip your toe in the waters, before you take the plunge, or maybe it’s just never appealed to you. You prefer to relax around the pool than go for a dive in it. That’s fine too.

For our latest Wickedly Inspirational Woman, getting her first sex toy was a real catalyctic moment that drove her journey her journey of self-discovery. Heather Moni received her first dildo as a gift from a friend on her 18th birthday; whether it was a sincere present to set Heather on the path of personal pleasure, or a light-hearted coming-of-age gag gift, she has certainly taken quite a journey in the past 21 years to reach where she stands today. 39 years young and almost half a million followers on Instagram (476.2k at the time of writing, between her primary and ‘off-duty’ account) Heather Monique Quinn is evidently an adored “Mexican-American All Natural Published” model, brand ambassador and artist. She first crossed paths with Something Wicked, when she became a featured Darkest Fox Vixen; a model for the US-based luxury lingerie boutique which stocks our products. Tagged in a set of Darkest Fox posts, we first laid eyes on Heather dressed in our Nina Demi Bra set, modelling it on the streets of Southern California; looking unapologetically bad-ass and wonderfully wicked. Just as every woman dressed in Something Wicked should feel.

Heather Moni – whether it be lingerie modelling, lifestyle modelling, dance or so much more – appears to ooze the confidence that many of us often only dream of having. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can find your killer confidence too. While sure, part of that comes with dressing up in empowerment-inducing lingerie on the regular, but ultimately it comes from a long journey of unreserved self-love, curating confidence and embracing your sexual side. As you’ll go on to read, she is defying the unspoken rules of ageism and dominating in an industry primarily full of “spring chickens”; published in countless magazines and online platforms. We vocally advocate that women have no expiration dates; if anything they get more enjoyable as they gracefully age – like cheese, fine wine, and leather.

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Keep on reading to meet Heather Moni, learn about her journey of empowerment, and her thoughts on how we can uplift and empower other women, and liberate the conversations about female sexuality and self-love...

Tell us a bit about yourself; what’s your name, age, where do you live?

My name is Heather Monique Quinn, but I go by Heather Monique or Heather Moni. I'm 39 years young and proud! I was born in 1981, the same year as Natalie Portman, Britney Spears and Beyonce. I'm from Riverside, California but I currently live in Sacramento, California.

What do you do? And what led you to this?

I'm a model, brand ambassador, influencer, content creator and artist. I have an MBA in Marketing and my full time job is creating a brand for myself. My creative pursuits started as a hobby but quickly evolved into a career in the modeling and photography industry.

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Can you tell us 5 words to describe yourselves?

1) Bold - I stand out.

2) Fearless - I rise to a challenge.

3) Artistic - Creativity flows through my veins.

4) Sensual - I'm in touch with my sexuality and femininity.

5) Clever - I'm crafty and quick-witted.

At 39 years young, what have you learned about yourself, your sexuality and being in touch with your sexual side throughout your life so far?

Over the years, I've learned to love myself! I've also learned to be confident in my own skin. It's important for people to live the lives that make them happy. Living to please others is a common way of life that many people struggle with. I think that the public is intrigued and inspired when they see someone living for themselves and not caring if it's out of social norms. Another lesson that life has taught me is to embrace my sexuality. In my youth, I was taught to suppress that part of myself and it had many negative effects on me. Once I embraced that part of myself, I felt happy and liberated.

How do you feel when you wear lingerie as opposed to underwear?

I always feel comfortable in my undies but I feel comfortable, sexy, empowered and dominant in my lingerie.

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Why do you think it's important to use your platform to make other women feel empowered?

Women in general, but especially women with a public presence, should use their voice and their actions, via their public platforms, to empower other women. Historically, society has encouraged women to be distrusting of one another and compete with each other. Modern day women should be the change and write a new history of how women interact with each other, by supporting and encouraging one another.

Who are the women in your life who have helped you feel empowered, or helped you on your journey to finding sexual empowerment? It could be celebrities, role models, women in your personal life...

I have childhood memories of my mother walking around the house nude. She showed me that she was comfortable in her own skin. My friend Julia gave me my first dildo on my 18th birthday. The gesture encouraged self discovery. The Sex and the City sitcom helped me look at female sexuality from a postive viewpoint. I've learned so much from that show. I still watch reruns to this day! Sara Underwood is my model mentor and she was the first IG model to brand herself through the platform and go on to monetize her work through other platforms. I'm grateful for all the positive influences.

What is currently your favourite piece of lingerie that you own, and why?

I was given a matching lingerie set that included a bra, panties, garterbelt and stockings as a gift from my husband for our anniversary. It's currently my favourite.

Have you always been so confident and expressing about your body and sexual expression, or has it been a journey? If so, tell us a little more about it.

Yes, I've always been confident about my body. I was that girl in the high school locker room comfortably changing in front of strangers and walking around completely nude, while my classmates were waiting in line to change in a bathroom stall or were hiding behind their locker door.

However, I was not always confident with my sexual expression. That was a process that evolved over time. Mainly, after I let go of society's expectations for my life.

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What does female empowerment mean to you?

Female empowerment is the elevation, support and encouragement of women.

If you wanted women viewing your Instagram account to take away one message from your content, what would it be?

I know women that are hesitant to post selfies on social media because they are afraid that people will consider it vanity. First of all, there's nothing wrong with vanity but secondly there's a great difference between vanity and self-love. One shouldn't be ashamed or discouraged from expressing either. I want to be an example to other women on how freedom of expression can lead to self empowerment. I'm proud of the career path that I've chosen. I'm almost 40 and I'm killing it in an industry that's primarily full of spring chickens. It empowers me to deify the "unspoken rules" of ageism.

Tell us one thing about you that we wouldn’t be able to learn from looking at your Instagram accounts?

I'm legally blind in my left eye. My whole life, I've been a one eyed person. I have never known what it's like to see out of both eyes.

I know that you asked for one but I'll give you a few more . . .

I still sleep with my baby blanket "Bankie."

I wrestled on the high school co-ed wrestling team in the 125 lb weight class while also being a varsity cheerleader.

What do you do to make yourself empowered/liberated/confident?

I feel empowered when . . .

I indulge in some retail therapy

I dress up for a Girl's Night Out!

I frequent my favourite bars and restaurants I model for my photo shoots

I mentor other creatives in the industry

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As you’ve said, your full time job right now is creating a brand for yourself. What is your ultimate dream/goal for you as a brand?

My ultimate goal is for my creative work to have a lasting positive impact on others. I'd like to write a book in the near future about my experience in the photography community. Maybe, call it . . . "Memoirs of an Instagram Model."

‘Female sexuality is no longer a taboo’ Do you agree with this statement?

To me, female sexuality has never been taboo. I just wish that the rest of the world felt that way.

What can we, as a society, do to help eradicate the taboo around female sexuality?

Society should celebrate female sexuality during any given opportunity! Period parties for girls who enter womanhood is a great example. Lingerie shouldn't only be an appropriate gift for a bridal shower but should also be an acceptable gift for a woman on any occasion. Education is also important. Women need to know how much power they have in yielding their sexuality at the right time.

Pick a moment in your career so far which has been a real ‘pinch me’ moment.

A highlight of my creative career was travel shooting in Japan and getting my work published in international magazines.

What message would you give to your younger self? e.g. as a teenager?

I would say . . .

1) You are more valuable than you currently realize.

2) You have the power and control to accomplish anything you want

3) Always get a second opinion and do proper research by gathering credible information and double-checking your sources

Wanting a little more Moni in your life? Follow Heather’s socials at @heathermoni on Instagram, and @heather_moni on Twitter. Fancy booking Heather as a model, or simplify perusing her professional pictures? Check her modelling portfolio here.

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