Doing the markets the past few weeks has been a really interesting experience, observing peoples reactions to the products I sell ( which are part of a wider range of non sex related things ) has been super eye opening.
One of the first groups to approach our stall last week were some people in their late teens/early 20’s - one of the boys approached the table gawking at the woke wands and betty plugs, he whispered something in his female friends ear, her head shot over to our table, she said ”oh my god” and the whole group scurried away, the male kept looking back over his shoulder as though he’d seen a rare but dangerous animal he wanted to touch but knew he couldn’t. Young girls tend to be extremely cautious, particularly when they see the vulva pendants, their hands trail over the crystals and when they realise its female anatomy they almost jump backwards, pretend it didn't happen and leave the stall. Women in the late forties seem to be the most receptive, they have the confidence to come up and have a look, start a conversation, we have a yarn and a laugh and I get the feeling age and experience has provided them with the “IDGAF” attitude that I so admire in older women. Men make me laugh, they seem to know what the products are before their partners do, I can hear them whispering “is that what I think it is?” And i say loudly “Yes, yes it is” - they giggle like school children, gawk a little longer and tip toe away. Two groups of people are memorable from last week, they were fascinated by the artworks and imagery and loved the fact that we were bringing shit into real time, it’s a special thing to meet people who are truly open or at the very least unafraid to be intrigued by sexuality and female empowerment. But it has been a rare interaction these past few weeks.
It disturbs me that we are ashamed of our sex, it scares me that females are afraid to look at their own anatomy, that young girls are repulsed by the sight of a vulva. It interests me that men are so obviously fascinated yet too embarrassed to express that to their friends or girlfriends. I wonder what happens to that fascination behind closed doors and it makes me think about the communication between lovers ~ often even when we are partnered with someone in life they still can know so little about us.
Its become clear to me just how taboo sex still is today and despite us existing in a society that uses bodies and sexuality to sell just about everything, where we can scroll through images of people without knowing a damn thing about them and decide if we want to fuck them or not, in a society where we can access images of sex and nudity at the click of button - we are still afraid to talk about it in real time. It has reiterated to me just how disconnected we are from the images we see on tv and in pornography and that the relationship people have with their bodies and their sexuality is still deeply confusing. I dare say, repressed. Is sex one of our biggest issues? I would argue that the dysfunctional relationship we have with our sexuality has permeated this society for centuries, look at our history, look at the current rape culture, look at the churches, the instances of sexual violence, abuse, abuses of power, sex as a weapon of war. Osho says "A man whose sex is not perverted cannot become a politician. It is impossible. All politicians as such need deep sexual therapy, otherwise their whole energy will be moving to gain more and more power. When sex is natural, you feel power, you are not seeking it. Sex is potentiality, power. You feel it showering on you, you don't seek and search for it. But when you miss it there, then a great urge arises to seek power: politics is born. Then wars, continuous violence, are born; hatred, anger, and a thousand and one types of perversions.”
When we are able to connect with our sexual power in an understanding and honest way we shine light on the parts of ourselves not many get to see, when we are able to share that part with others in honesty we normalise these things and the opportunity for secrecy and perversion becomes less and less. History shows us how confused we have been about sex, from the fluidity of Roman times to the repression of sex through the rise of Christianity - we witness this confusion and lack of continuity through art and culture. Its fascinating stuff.
And here we sit in a world saturated in sex yet our young people are still deeply confused, we are still afraid to teach our kids to say vagina or penis and crystal dildos make the public squirm... The barriers still need to be challenged and rather than frustration I feel excitement to do so.