Why Is Society Fearful of Sexual Diversity?
While films like 'Fifty Shades Freed' and various risqué TV shows have become incredibly popular, it seems the mainstream and the majority of the public are only ready to engage with such content that is fictional and that comes in the form of heteronormative relationships.
To counteract this, a new wave of publications are intertwining sex, fashion and social politics in a way that most wouldn't even think was possible.
For example, Math Magazine is becoming very popular on social media platforms such as Instagram. The publication doesn't shy away from sensuality or showing sexual connections between people of all genders, sexual orientations and races. Whether the individual is able bodied or not, curvy, slim, tall, petite etc. the publication demonstrates that there is a place for everyone.
Unsurprisingly, the publication has been previously banned on Instagram for it's content, however, the creators aren't taken it lying down. They are fighting back and have created a new account full of eroticism that toys with the line between 'adult' and 'provocative'.
Math Magazine is just one example; Dazed Magazine recently published an article on Pornceptual, a Berlin-based publication that focuses on marginalised sub-cultures by using porn / sexually charged imagery to challenge the public perception of the individuals featured.
The issue that was highlighted was 'Porn Guerilla', editorials featuring 56 erotic artists including photographers, female adult filmmakers, LGBTQ individuals, those with disabilities etc.
More often than not, when the mainstream tackles the subject of sex, it is often from a heteronormative stand point and very rarely shines a light on such diverse communities. As such, these communities are coming together to create content that proves that sex doesn't have to be a taboo subject, that not all porn is detrimental and that it can be inclusive.
You can read more about this publication via Dazed's article.
As if it wasn't bad enough that anyone that doesn't conform to the traditional gender or sexual orientation models are labelled and made a minority, those that do still come under fire should they dare to engage in adult filmmaking, discussions around sex, are sexually open, polyamorous etc.
The question is, WHY? In this day and age when we are supposed to be more open minded and evolved, why are such large portions of society still uncomfortable with sexuality?
- Is religion to blame?
- Mainstream media's fear mongering?
- Politician's nannying and policing of sexuality?
I think there are many factors that contribute to this, including all of the above.
Also, people ultimately are still fearful of themselves. A person who is at peace with their being and knows themselves inside out will have already experimented with their sexuality.
It's through experiences that we grow to understand ourselves, others and the dynamics of life. We constrain ourselves through our own fears of what others may say or think, our own prejudices that were learnt through peer groups and family or the simple fact that we might not be who we thought we were.
Like it or not, we are constantly changing; everyday we transforming as we navigate through all sorts of scenarios and experiences, so why cling desperately to a 'you' that no longer exists?
How we go about engaging with our sexuality, is up to us. However, what we deem to be 'right or wrong' for ourselves should not be enforced on another, or used as a means to discriminate against others.
As long as all are safe, informed, comply with consent and engage with those of legal age, it's frankly no-one else's place to say who they can be with and what they should do.
It's bizarre really. The fact that many of those working in the adult industry have to justify and defend every move they make is obscene.
Now models and hosts are being targeted by extreme feminist groups that are forcing other women to conform to their model of 'womanhood' by rallying against companies and events that use grid girls, model hostesses etc. Way to 'fight the patriarchy'!
Not only those in the adult or modelling industry, but social groups such as LGBTQ communities, swingers, sex workers, fetishists etc. are still having to keep various aspects of their lives totally separate in order to avoid confrontation and other negative consequences.
While dialogue is opening up and LGBTQ communities are becoming safer than they previously were, there is still a way to go. For example, in developing countries there is still a huge stigma attached to being openly LGBTQ. People are still being attacked or even killed simply for being 'different'.
Which is why it was incredible to read that Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India's only openly gay Prince, not only came out after years of feeling trapped in a false heterosexual marriage, but is taking steps to help those who are facing similar discrimination or even persecution. Prince Manvendra is turning his 15 acre palace into a centre for vulnerable people in the LGBTQ community.
“People in India are so attached to their parents they are not able to live without them. When they try and come out parents do not understand and disown their children and throw them out of the home. The children don’t know where to go and are homeless,” he said.
“I need to rescue these people who have been rendered homeless otherwise they will die, commit suicide, or get depressed.”
“There are two aims. One is social empowerment and the other is economic empowerment,” he explains. “The idea is to teach people how to become self-reliant so they can earn their own living based on their skills and talents. There is a lot of discrimination which the community faces so we want people to feel confident.”
You can learn more about the Prince's aims here.
The bottom line? Progression is underway but it's slow and painful. We are still doing the 'two steps forward, one step back' routine and honestly, it's getting old. Really old!
If we want to see more positive changes in the world, we have to take positive steps forward and support one another. Unity and love is what conquers over division and hatred.
What side will you choose?
Written by Brenda Adiyiah for Burn the Night
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