I’ve been talking a lot about sex and intimacy lately. This recent outlet of thoughts and feelings is a reflection of my personal account with my gender: the society-dubbed female, and this construct’s relationship to sexuality.
I’m at a point where I can look back on the scope of my life, and clearly see where things were damaging. There were probably several aspects that were equal culprits, but for this passage I’m diving into my experience as a female: an animal born by chance with one style of reproductive organs, placed in a pink blanket, and given dolls when I was clearly able to communicate that I’d rather play with dinosaurs.
I was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s pretty awesome in a lot of ways. I stick around because I genuinely like it. As I grew here, one can also bare witness to the soil which fed me.
It’s probably unnecessary to say this, but my city is more or less dripping with sexuality. The concept of sex, the coveted forbidden fruit, is plastered on every facet and so over-hyped, that it becomes blasé to its locals. So, I’ve been numb to all that shit since I was seven or eight.
From there, it is important to note that in 99% of the things I was exposed to in the city, sexual or otherwise, were being marketed to a male audience, with the traditional female archetype used as the tool of persuasion. Females were and are still all over the place. From my perspective as a kid, women were clearly a powerful icon indeed, yet I could also feel that something was off about this. Even as a child, I knew this was a false power.
The female form was the undisputed champion in representing sexuality. Women are sexualized EVERYWHERE here. The reality that I can’t unsee now, is that in truth, no one gives a shit about the female relation to this sexual headspace… or their experience of it. It isn’t spoken, but it is felt none-the-less, that whatever is being sold, isn’t being sold to us. It’s being sold by us… and therefore, isn’t ours. In the realm of sex, I grew up silently believing that I was the product.
Throughout my early years of sexual activity I assumed a performative roll in intimate situations, as though my experience of the account was inconsequential. I site this in my post from a few weeks ago [The Tell of Arousal], where I started piecing together my own head space regarding my current body of work (the sex stuff).
After thinking a lot about why I defaulted to this strange role in regard to intimacy, I see that it had a lot to do with social norms and the expectations of the society around me. On a deep bedrock level, I now realize I was sold that sex wasn’t for me, it was about me. What’s crazy, is that I didn’t even realize that I had this relationship with my own intimacy. My upbringing defined my perspective so completely it took me most of my life to zoom out and see around it.
While responding to this weight from my past, I’ve started writing (like I’m doing right now). My relationship with sexuality is less rage inciting and traumatic if I can at least try to make it relatable through the things I create. So, with art acting as the tried and true ointment its always been, I’m creating SHE BON among other things.
The SHE BON project is about the expectation vs the reality of arousal. This, which I’ve just told you about is at its epicenter.
In the past, my arousal was merely an abstraction. It was a concept that again, was created for the sake of my partner to heighten their enjoyment of sex. Creating big obvious electronic and mechanical indicators of my excitement is my way of making a joke out of this truth from my past. Yes, it is somewhat mocking. It’s suppose to be. But I’m mocking myself.
I’ve encountered dudes who have worn my arousal on their sleeve like its theirs to own- so I’m taking it back. My arousal is mine. Even if you had some part in it, I am feeling it for me, not for you. <3
I don’t want to put anyone on the defensive, but I do want to get people thinking… and more important, talking to one another. Social conditioning gives us a whole shit circus of false preconceptions, many of which are never checked because they’re things no one talks about. Just like the forbidden fruit: no one bothers telling you it was never an apple.