CT STOOMCURSUS BODIES & CONSENT
On the 1st of December House of CT proudly presents the 3rd edition of Pornfilmnight: The Non-Heteronormative edition with Perry Gits as our curator, with a special focus on intersectionality and non-Western narratives. The night promises a thought provoking, steamy and juicy multidisciplinary art experience, bringing together cinema, performance arts & a talk show. To prepare you and ourselves for diving into sex and porn during this program, we’ve looked up the basics to create a happy and healthy sex life!
First things first, let’s talk about sex! A hot topic that is seldom discussed in society (especially in education) and perhaps even in intimate relationships. People are often too afraid, embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Turning to porn as a source of knowledge (and/or pleasure) might seem like a way out of an awkward situation. But what happens to our relationship with our bodies, others and sex when unrealistic and non-inclusive narratives dominate the porn industry? And how do we engage in ethical sex with ourselves and others?
Below just a few things that could help you to create a happy and healthy sex life.
Body positivity and body neutrality
Every day, we are reminded that no one’s body is good enough. It might be your Insta feed that features pictures of idealized body images. It could be the new diet company advert that promises a better life if you drop a few pounds. But… the truth is there is no wrong way to have a body. Unfortunately the focus on physical appearance and the lack of representation of different types of bodies in e.g. social media or the porn industry can make us believe otherwise. No wonder people can develop a negative body image. How can we transform these thoughts?
Enter social movements like body positivity and body neutrality. The basic idea behind ‘body positivity’ is that all bodies are beautiful regardless of what they look like and that people should feel good or have a positive view of their bodies based on this fact. ‘Body neutrality’ tries to reframe our relationship with our body altogether. It is not something to hate or love; it just is. Like body positivity, body neutrality pushes back on traditional beauty standards, but it goes further by challenging the idea that our value lies in appearance at all–or that we should be constantly striving to enhance or perfect ourselves.
Here some practical ways to help you along the way:
- Aim to emphasize on your well-being, not just your appearance. We are more than just our bodies and looks. So focus on your whole person. What are qualities unrelated to your body that give you and your life value?
- Celebrate body diversity and differences! Be kind and accepting of your body and others, absorb body positive messages and challenge body stigmas.
- Remove body talk from interactions with others: body talk slips into our daily conversations all the time due to cultural norms, but bodies don’t need to be the focus of social time.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Do something nice for your body (and mind).
Consent is key and sexy! Sexual consent may seem easy when people talk about it. However, it proves to be more difficult in practice. Basically, consent is actively agreeing to participate in any form of sexual activity. Things to keep in mind when thinking about consent:
- Freely given: consenting is a choice you make without pressure and manipulation.
- Reversible: anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
- Informed: you need to inform a partner/be informed by a partner if one has an STD. You get to make an informed choice to help your sexual health. Get tested yourself and/or consider taking PrEP and pep. In addition, there should not be any sneaky business or pressure to disregard safer sex practices (condoms, birth control, etc.).
- Enthusiastic: when it comes to sexual exploration, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do and also don’t expect that of others.
- Specific: saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you said yes to others (like having sex).
The power of pleasure
With all this big load of information you would almost forget that sex should be about pleasure! Of course this comes in many flavors! As much as porn videos can be a source of inspiration and knowledge it should not be your sole guidance into your journey of pleasure. Try to focus on what pleasure means to you and/or your (bed)partner(s). EverBODY works differently. No vagina, penis or sexual organ is triggered in the same. There is no step to step guide to follow for the big O! Seeking and finding pleasure is with trial and error. So be patient! Besides, pleasure is more than just sex and for some (e.g. asexual people) it doesn’t include sex at all. Luckily for us the the spectrum of pleasure is as wide as the universe. So prepare yourself for infinite joy!
Questions? The Sense Infolijn helpline can answer all your questions about sex or
you can visit their website, here, an encyclopedia on sex and the body. Their information is easy to swallow!
From New York to Instagram: The history of the body positivity movement, Sexual consent, Tips for Body Positivity: Ways to Feel Better About Our Bodies
Click here to buy your ticket for Pornfilmnight!