“Knowing what you want from sexuality is part of knowing what you want form life. Your personal desires flow from just one emotional spigot. If you’re cut off from your sexual desires, you’re likely to find it much harder to know what you want in other areas of your life, whether we’re talking about academics, career pursuits, or academics.” Jaclyn Friedman
Jaclyn Friedman’s talk “Beyond Consent: The Radical Possibilities of Sexuality as an Antidote to Sexualization” was probably the most relevant to this project of all the workshops at Momentum Con (with the exception of my Minx-epiphany!) It really helped me to understand how an extremely personal project like this can help with the overall feminist project.
Ms. Friedman discussed some of the ways in which society sexualizes us, that is, values us only as sexual objects, and even then, within a very narrow range. In order to be valued by American culture, we must be white, middle class, able bodied, gender-conforming, etc. Women are subject to good old virgin whore limitations, and there are all kinds of terrible implications if you fail to conform in these ways.
She suggested that in finding ways to access our authentic sexual expression, as opposed to the ones foisted on us by society, we can begin to subvert and dismantle those oppressive norms. She also took care to say that adventuring is not the only way to authentically explore sexuality. This rings true in terms of my happy homebody Sweetie.
In an attack of convention shyness, I decided that I needed something to read and bought What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety, and I’m glad I did. It’s geared towards younger women, but since in a lot of ways I am just starting out I think it’ll make a nice book-companion for me. Plus! Writing exercises!