Hello, lovely readers! Yesterday was the first day of spring. And with spring in the air, folks’ thoughts tend to turn to friskiness.
As a person who helps those who are struggling with body, sexuality and gender issues, one of the things that is clear is that there are not nearly enough images in the media of people demonstrating something other than standard, mainstream sexuality. While images of gay couples are becoming more and more common, the vast, vast majority of images in the media that depict sexuality show people who are white, able-bodied, straight, thin, and performing traditional masculinity or femininity based on their biological sex only.
With that in mind, and with the caveat that clicking these links will take you very firmly into Not Safe For Work territory, I wanted to share two links that I discovered this week that made me want to celebrate.
First, a Buzzfeed link, of all things. Last week, this collection of boudoir images caught my eye. Not because I particularly enjoy looking at boudoir images: they are usually the most vapid and objectifying form of traditional feminine sexuality that I can imagine. But these, advertised only as “impossibly sexy,” also contain a multitude of body types and skin colors, without making any mention of either. This mainstream presentation of larger women – and smaller ones! – as equally sexy was lovely to see, and sparked a conversation elsewhere.
In the course of that conversation, another friend pointed me to a Tumblr (this one is really not safe for work) containing words, images, and thoughts about all different kinds of sexuality and gender: queer, disabled, trans, asexual, cross-dressing, happily kinky – basically the whole gamut. Named Sex Is Not The Enemy, the Tumblr seeks to bust open what people think about what is sexy, and more importantly, to bring sexuality – which is, after all, a huge part of what it means to be human – out of the shadows and shame and into the light – for everyone.
Highlights for me: a picture of a beautiful, proud, post-mastectomy naked woman; a set of paired photographs of people of varying body types posing to look beautiful, then posing unflatteringly on purpose; this adorable shot of an old gay couple (one of them is 100!) celebrating the anniversary of Stonewall.
A note that many of these images are far more graphic than the ones I’ve described, and may be in danger of changing the way you think about how people love. You have been warned.
Happy Spring, everyone.