Interview with Allena Gabosch

Interview with Allena Gabosch – Sex Activist, Relationship Coach and Educator

Allena Gabosch, Executive Director of both the Center For Sex Positive Culture and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture from their creation until retiring January 1, 2015” (in:

How important was it for you to have been the executive director of the center and foundation for positive sexuality?

Being part of creating the Center and the Foundation and being the executive director for 16 years transformed my life. I was blessed by being part of one of the largest organizations of its kind. I met some incredible people (including several partners) and had the opportunity to truly make a difference in the world of sex positivity.

In your writing, “My Sex Positive Beginnings”, you go through different times of your sexuality, first as an adventurer and after as enjoying a more positive sexuality. How were these two different phases important for you and your sexuality?

I’ve never thought about this. My early sexual adventures, while much of the time were fun and exciting were also filled with my insecurities and fears about sex. I am a child of the hippie generation so there was this expectation that free love meant saying yes all the time. Most of the time that worked, however there were times, when I look back, that I wish I would have said “no”. The best part of my early years, were that I discovered my bisexuality and my polyamorous self. While I didn’t know the word polyamory, the concept of loving more than one person openly and ethically resonated with me.

I would also ask you how were you introduced to BDSM, how did you first learn about it and how do you continue to learn more about it.

Well, back in the 70’s it wasn’t called BDSM. There were a lot of euphemisms for it (D/s, S/M, Kink, English, Bondage etc). I’ve always been attracted to the edgier side of sex so when I read about bondage I thought it sounded like fun. So, in 1974, at the age of 21 when I was working in an office in Portland Oregon, I saw an ad in a swingers magazine (which was a way lots of people met kinky and sex partners those days) from a guy who wanted to tie women up. It sounded awesome so I wrote him a letter and we arranged a date. There was no community nor did I have any concept of safety when I arranged to meet him at my office, on a Saturday when no one else was in the building. He was probably in his late 40’s. I don’t remember much about the initial conversation, however I was soon tied up very firmly and that’s when I realized that I was completely helpless. I started to cry because all of a sudden I thought that I could die here and no one would find me until Monday. To his credit he stopped immediately, asked me what was wrong and when I told him, he untied me and left. Because of that, I didn’t explore any type of BDSM until the late 80’s when I met Jake.

Jake and I were lovers and one day we shared fantasies. It turned out that we both had fantasies involving kinky things. And we started enacting those fantasies a lot. We both were kinkd of switchy so we’d take turns doing things to each other. In hindsight, we were lucky we didn’t hurt each other badly because we didn’t have any idea of safety, just that what we did was sexy and hot.

It wasn’t until 1990, when I met Steve (who I eventually married) that I found out there was a community of people who did kinky stuff AND did it for the most part safely and consciously. What a great discovery. I’ve never looked back. I’ve been part of the BDSM community ever since. I’ve been teaching BDSM since 1992 in colleges and at conferences. I still play and learn at conferences and workshops and parties. In fact, I just got home this week from a conference in Rome where I presented. I talk and interact with people from all over the world, and we teach each other how to be conscious, safe and happy kinky people.

You are a former Producer of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and still an erotic coach. How has it been, the experience with eroticism first as a producer and now as an erotic trainer? What have you learnt from it all and how important as it been for you?

These are two very separate things. The Seattle Erotic Art Festival is about celebrating all forms of erotic art. We are one of the most successful Erotic Art Festivals in the world, selling a higher percentage of art that any other art festival that specializes in erotic art. Being part of this has made me much more aware of the various types of erotic art out there. I’ve got to meet some of the most amazing artists from around the world. I’m in awe of the bravery of artists from countries that do not support sex positive work.

What is the erotic trainer work about? And how can eroticism open the doors to an improved sexuality?

My coaching is about teaching people about how to be in good relationships. How to stay connected both physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s important that healthy relationships and healthy sexuality contain all three, the physical, the mental and the emotional. Erotic connections can make that possible.

She is a past board member of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and a former commissioner with the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities.” (in: How fundamental was it for you to have been commissary for the sexual minorities?

I loved being a commissioner because it gave me a chance to advocate for the LGBT communities and to have frank and open conversations about sex with people who normally do not discuss sexuality.

Nowadays you deliver conferences and speaks in universities on BDSM, polyamory and relations. How enriching was your work while comissary for your present work as a speaker?

I started teaching and speaking about sexuality years before I became a commissioner. I love speaking at universities and at conferences.

Aging and BDSM; Sex Week: “Sex, Intimacy, & Relationships” Workshop with Allena Gabosch, Solo Poly, Beyond Polyamory, The Good The Bad and The Poly. How can one learn about improving relations and sexuality from these poliamor, BDSM, sexuality and relationship workshops?

All my classes involve teaching about healthy sexuality and also imparting knowledge that not everyone does it the same way. We get to be the sexual beings we chose. I give people tips on how to have a good relationship based on many things I’ve learned over the years.

How fundamental is it for you to be able to approach these topics, open minds and arrange opportunities so that other people may experience a more positive sexuality?

I have a personal mission statement. That is to bring joy to sexuality and to make a difference in the world. I do this by teaching my workshops, coaching and speaking at universities.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia


Corpo e Censura

Na televisão aparecem filmes, séries, de bombeiros entre outros de medicina onde podem aparecer pessoas a esvair-se em sangue baleadas, e vítimas de coisas horrendas. Resultado de tiroteios, acidentes ou algo assim. Imagens que passam sem qualquer problema, muitas vezes nos canais públicos, em horário nobre. Imagens de séries de bombeiros ainda vá. Mas de facto não existir problema em exibir-se estas imagens mas depois séries e filmes que se focam em medicina e no corpo censurarem por completo  partes do corpo como as mamas, a vulva, o pénis. É totalmente descabido e um sinal de que ainda há muito para combater no que ao preconceito em relação ao corpo diz respeito. Deve-se realçar este problema que este tipo de censura existe para que continue a haver preconceitos e complexos em relação ao corpo e continue a haver dificuldade em olhar-se para a vagina, vulva, pénis com falta de naturalidade, ainda que o pénis pertença ao corpo masculino que é mais valorizado, ainda assim, não passa nestes programas. Parecendo que seja algo sobrenatural algo errado. Não se perce e sendo estes filmes e séries relacionados com a medicina, com o corpo, com a saúde é bastante curioso que em documentários sobre sexualidade, e séries sobre medicina a censura está sempre presente. Eu considero que isto devia ser discutido, debatido, e esta censura totalmente combatida.

Texto: Pedro Marques

Interview with Dr. SerenaGaia, aka Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

Q 1: You wrote the book Ecosexuality with Lindsay Hagamen. What took you to write side by side with Lindsay Hagamen and 30 other specialists and explore the themes of sex, ecology and social change?

A 1: In my view, ecology, sex, and love are interrelated. When we take care of our inner alchemy, we practice love for our own personal ecosystem, our bodymind. This care creates abundance of love in our lives, that we can then share with others, including humans, nature, animals. This creates a healthy ecology around us, that reverberates in our inner being and radiates outside. This radiation is conducive of a sense of connectedness with others, we can practice intimacy, sensuality, communication, trust. This can lead to happy and fulfilled personal lives that also include the forms of sexual and amorous expression that we prefer and are open to consensually practice with others or with ourselves.

Q 2: How can this book and Ecosexuality be the turning point in sexuality, ecology and society?

What have you learnt while exploring these three themes just as with the gathering of the 30 specialists testimonies?

A 2: The book Ecosexuality was a very significant learning experience for me. I learned to put out the word of my intention to co-create the collection and trust that the perfect co-editor would appear. That’s how Lindsay Hagamen and I connected. Then I learned to value her contributions, perspectives, and stamina, and to really allow the process of co-creation and collaborative writing to unfold until we both felt completely satisfied. I also learned to appreciate contributions from others, to communicate with the group in an inclusive, encouraging manner, to keep the flame of hope alive, and to help along those who had a bit of trouble staying apace an in tune with the project. It was a great experience in really practicing #EcosexualLove. It involved the social skill of collaboration, the ecological skill of appreciating all elements in a system, and the sexual skill of perceiving the vital energy and imaginativeness that traversed all of us as we were re-inventing and expanding the concept of sex in a more ecological manner.

I do believe the ecosexual movement is very important. I practice #EcosexualLove and invite everyone to do so. I believe it’s important also to interconnect these three aspects of cultural discourse. Ecosexuality is one way to do it that coexists with many others. It’s important to think of love as an art that we can learn and practice in infinite ways with respect and consideration for others, including sexual ones. We can learn from nature, for example, from plants, who are very proud of their beautiful and perfumed genitals, flowers, and put them on display for everyone. And I hope we all evolve toward a world and humanity that is more amorous, and inclusive, and imaginative in the practices of love.

Q 3: You have worked plenty the subject of Ecosexuality. How is this way of living sexuality any different and how can it be fundamental and enhancing, to broaden horizons and deliver sexuality in a different and most positive perspective?

A 3: Ecosexuality helps people become more aware of the connection between the metabolism of our species, humans, and the metabolism of the Earth. Our species has become too disconnected from the metabolism of the Earth. Many of us live extremely artificial lives. But as beings who are alive we source our energy from the planet that we live on. We need to activate this connection more. This brings us closer to the metabolism of our own bodies, our personal ecosystems. It brings us closer to experiencing the pleasures that our bodies can be blessed with when we behave naturally and we lose the fear of being too sexual or too amorous or too intimate or too connected with others who are also consensual and aligned with this desire for abundance in the arts of love.

Q 4: You have penned a polyamory book and spoken twice on that subject, in 2007 and again in 2010. How did this research on non-monogamous and polyamory relations came about?

A 4: Understanding the nature of amorous inclusiveness helps to spread and expand the energy of love. This practice of moderating possessiveness and jealousy is also known as compersion, or the ability to find joy in our lovers’ pleasure even when we are not the source of it. On a global level, the practice of compersion helps people meet others as “metamours,” namely beings with whom we already always share a partner we love: The Earth. On a personal level, the practice of compersion is very valuable in the arts of love, because it makes the energy of love more abundant, and this abundance eventually benefits everyone.

Q 5: In which way has all your research work been important to the deepening, knowledge and respect of polyamory relations? How did it allow you to see and make others see relations in another way?

A 5: Compersion is the spirit of polyamory. Amorous inclusiveness and open relationships cannot function without the practice of compersion. Compersion helps the energy of love to expand. Love is the ecology of life. I felt it was important for me to study and research and teach this subject.

Q 6: You have equally written about Women and Bisexuality, BiTopia, and Bisexuality and Queer Theory. What led you to dedicate yourself to these studies? Taking in consideration Bisexuality as still embraced with prejudice and rejection, how should it be studied, discussed, mainly when related to subjects you have researched?

A 6: The practice of sexual fluidity, or bisexuality, enables people to make friends with desires and fantasies that are often hidden and buried in shame and fear. As they do this, people also get to know themselves much more completely and profoundly. People really get to love and embrace their whole person, their whole being, including masculine and feminine aspects that exist with everyone of us. When this happens fully, then it is possible to love a person regardless of their gender. This is a fully human and mature form of love that allows for, in the words of as avatar of bisexuality Fritz Klein, a much desirable “one hundred percent intimacy.”

Q 7: You have been and continue to be studying about Love. You are now working on Conversations with Gaia: The Alchemy of Ecosexual Love, as Ecosexuality still gets attention as a pioneering collection. How does Love inspire you, what can we learn and how can we evolve through love?

A 7: Love is the ecology of life. A planet where it is safe to love is a planet where it is safe to live. We have to be very careful in creating cultures where love is excessively restricted and even criminalized. The energy of love has power. When it is not loved, when it is not welcome, it flees. When it flees, the empty space attracts fear. Fear is bad for everyone because it produces hatred, violence, mistrust. We instead need to cultivate the energy of love. When love feels welcome, it becomes more abundant. Then everything becomes beautiful, inspiring, generous and exciting. Humanity is going thru very challenging times. Our relationship with our planet has been strained for a while. We have taken undue advantage of this valuable partner. This is a time when the energy of love is absolutely necessary to heal this relationship and turn it into a more sustainable and responsible one.

Q 8: How did your studies about love, your predisposition and openness to love, to ecology, to sexuality, to free and respectful relations, opened your heart and mind and gave you more knowledge and life as a researcher and woman?

A 8: They gave me the experience to speak more widely. They helped me to be part of the teams that spread and expand the energy of love. They gave me access to very vast and deep knowledge of the human heart and mind and spirit.

Q 9: You study different forms of sexuality, polyamory and queer relations. How have all the books you’ve written before Ecosexuality, the seminars, talks, conventions, and studies contributed to your learning and moved you toward becoming interested in Ecosexuality?

A 9: For me the first step was leaving monosexuality behind and embrace my own sexual fluidity and practice it with an open heart. The next step was to feel compersion for the pleasures that my lovers experienced when I was not willing or not around. It was a practice of inviting my lovers’ lovers to be included in my own constellation of expanded love. Ecosexuality was a natural step to follow, because the practice of #EcosexualLove is an invitation to include the whole planet in one’s amorous life, as the lover we all share.

Q 10: How should people approach these works and learn about sexuality in an open way?

A 10: People bring their own way to approach a reading project. Once a book is published, it has a life of its own, as it were. It travels in the world and in the minds of people who will seek in it responses to questions that are on their hearts. Many will interpret these books in way much more inspiring and exciting than I had in mind.

References: A Bibliography of Dr. Serena Anderlini’s Books

Conversations with Gaia: The Alchemy of Ecosexual Love. In progress. A course and a book on the practice and theory of Ecosexual Love and how that can heal the relationship we humans have with each other and the partner we all share: The Earth.

Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love. 2015. Co-edited with Lindsay Hagamen. The first collection of writings about ecosexual practices of love. Puerto Rico: 3WayKiss.

BiTopia: Selected Proceedings from BiReCon 2010. 2011. A collection of multidisciplinary research studies on bisexuality and bisexual cultures. Journal of Bisexuality: 11: 2-3. New York: Routledge. Guest Editor.

Bisexuality and Queer Theory: Intersections, Connections, and Challenges. 2010. A volume about what David Halperin calls “a crisis in sexual definition.” Edited with Jonathan Alexander. New York: Routledge.

Gaia and the New Politics of Love. 2009. A founding text in ecosexual theory, claiming love as the ecology of life and proposing a cultural interpretation of love as the art of embracing all of life as an equal partner. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. (Second edition by 3WayKiss: 2016.)

Eros:  A Journey of Multiple Loves. 2006. A life-writing narrative, finalist at the 2007 Lambda Awards. New York: Routledge.

A Lake for the Heart/Il lago del cuore. 2005. A collection of lyrical poems by Luigi Anderlini, bilingual edition. Stony Brook, N.Y.: Gradiva. Translation and Introduction. Preface by Alberto Asor Rosa. Presented at the Italian Embassy, Washington, DC, on October 25.

Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living. 2005. New York: Routledge. Also as The Journal of Bisexuality: 4: 4 (February). Guest Editor.

Women and Bisexuality: A Global Perspective. 2003. New York: Routledge. Also as The Journal of Bisexuality: 3: 1 (June). Guest Editor.

The ‘Weak’ Subject: On Modernity, Eros and Women’s Playwriting. 1998. New York: Associated University Presses, 1998. 352p.

Translated into Italian by Federica Zampini as Due in una: soggettività ed erotismo nel teatro femminile del novecento. Rome: ManifestoLibri, 2004.

Adriana Cavarero. In Spite of Plato: A Feminist Rereading of Ancient Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Translated from Nonostante Platone. Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1990. 135p. In collaboration with Áine O’Healy.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

Interview with Koe Creation Works in Sex Positive is Sexual Educator, Activist LBTQ

Already has 20 years of experience in the work of non-violent communication and positive sex parenting. What which has acquired in experience? Through daily work is what results has managed to get the sense that the relationships are non-violent and sex-positive?

My experience with sex-positivity has been present my entire life. I grew up in a polyamorous, sex-positive family and greater polyamorous community of Seattle, Washington, USA. Polyamory and sex-positivity have shaped my thought processes, communication style and familial identity from the time I was a babe-in-arms. My parents wove non-violent communication into every interaction we had together, even when I would test their boundaries, as any child does.The ensured that I would be able to come to them with anything that I wanted to share. I have an amazingly open and strong relationship with them because of it and understanding how unique that connection is, gave the interest in helping other families and individuals develop their communication tools to create more safety and acceptance within their intimate relationships. My childhood gave me the foundation, but I work everyday to further my training and understanding of relationships, communication and desire.

What has been the biggest problem your clients have encountered and how you can solve the problems of couples and get them to have better sex?

An issue that I find prevalent for people I work with is that people aren’t truly comfortable with expressing what they want, to others or even themselves. Self awareness about your desires is necessary to be able to communicate them to your partner(s). Even when you are unaware of your desires and want to explore with someone, try new things and see how they make you feel; self awareness about how you react when you get triggered or overwhelmed is super valuable. Do you go non-verbal when something is really good? Do you need touch after being intimate? How much foreplay do you need before feeling open to sex? Knowing these things will help you be able to let your partner know exactly how to pleasure you and in turn, they can tell you what they want, need and desire!

You work also in the profession of Relationship Advocate & Performance Artist. How profession aid in the discovery of creating a better relationship?

When it comes to Relationship Advocacy; growing up in a polyamorous family naturally has made me an advocate for people curious about non-monogamy; polyamory is familial to me, first an my personal relationship structure, second. As a performance artist, I am naturally inclined to seek an audience and enjoy speaking in front of others. This has lead naturally to me leading workshops and publicly presenting as a part of my career.

You are LGBT activist. For you what are the most urgent struggles? Worldwide there are advances and retreats on LGBTQ rights, you see this process? As a sex educator, advocated by positive sex, what does it mean for you to get involved in the fight for the rights of LGBTQ persons? Give them other living conditions and struggle for acceptance and end of prejudices?

LGBTQ Activism has been as the core of my work since I was a teenager. When I came out at thirteen, I began looking for community and fortunately was in Seattle, Washington, USA, a city where there were a myriad of resources available to me. I began working multiple organization doing peer to peer education and started building what would eventually become my career path all before truly understanding what I wanted to do was sex education and how intrinsic my LGBTQ would be in such.

I think that the primary struggle for the LGBTQ community right now in the fight for equality is recognizing those that have been silenced and disempowered to make the image of LGBTQ people palatable to the heterosexual majority. The face of “Gay People” are white, affluent, monogamous people with able-bodies who are predominantly cisgendered. Transgender women of color are still at the highest risk of murder across the world and with a recorded death rate of 25 transgender people in the US in 2017, we all need to begin to look more closely at what is being propagated by both the media and interpersonally about LGBTQ people. We are here to be the cute, stereotypical gay comic relief in your romantic comedy for you to make money off of while people are being murdered with no media coverage or recourse for their murderers.

The BDSM already has had more space and greater acceptance, it is still a taboo subject. How can treat the BDSM and show that it is a perfectly acceptable and positive practice? What BDSM, Polyamory, his activism and all your work in offspring of positive gender, sexuality and education has been positive for your life and the lives of others?

The primary thing I make sure to teach in regards to BDSM is the consensual nature of it. BDSM is not abuse, nor is it something that makes you a deviant. BDSM is an avenue for self discovery, deep connection with other people and a greater understanding of how to quantify what do and do not want out of sensual and sexual experiences. Everything that people do to and with one another in the context of BDSM is well thought out, negotiated and is something both parties are extremely excited about!

In most dominant parts of society, there are narratives which tell us there is a correct way to do things. This kind of ideology creates a pyramid, everyone is trying to attain an ideal which is actually only sustainable and joyous for a small subsection of the population. In my work, I invite people to think instead about a rich and bountiful field; there are all different kinds of flora and fauna which are providing a balance of give and take to the environment. No one thing is dominating any other instead the strength and richness of the ecosystem is due to the variety of its components.

Think what would the world be like if we each were able to lean into the kinds of relationships which truly worked for each of us? It takes work; self knowledge and compassionate communication are a must; I also advise folks to not have attachments to static outcomes but instead hold a curiosity about what you can learn from each connection you have in your life and what it means to create and share love. How many different ways do you know to create love? I know hundreds, and  I am working on sharing each one of them with the world, through my family, my relationships and my work.

Thank you so much for your time!

Project For The Pleasure Genesis
Interview: Pedro Marques
Translation and Correction: Mário Martins



Interview With Paulita Pappel

Interview With Paulita Pappel. Pornographer. Performer. Filmmaker. Film curator @pffberlin. Feminist. Founder of

You recently participated in a movie by Erika Lust about feminine ejaculation. How important is it for you to work with feminine ejaculation in alternative/feminine pornography? As a porno that breaks the pornographic “chauvinism”, what can we learn from this film on feminine ejaculation?

I decided to direct a film celebrating female ejaculation with the intention of exploring the so-called porn clichés and turn them around on the axis of gender. It is a standard in normative heterosexual scripts that the climax of the sexual action is set on the cumshot of a penis, I took a similar narrative but placed the climax on the ejaculation of a vulva. I think we can use film to create new scripts that can be inspiring and can expand our horizons and possibilities when having sex. Female Ejaculation is also an example of the sexism in the medical discourse, as it is still discussed what it really is. I wanted to honour it as a symbol of female* pleasure.

You speak about post-pornography and you are a curator. You have a feminist connection from the get-go. What can we learn about post-pornography and your work as a curator? How can they make pornography more positive?

I believe diversity is crucial in all formats of artistic expression. This is especially urgent in pornography in a sex-negative society, where there is a lack of sexual education. Post-pornography explores different gender and sexual representation, and so it offers a more inclusive perspective. As a curator, I know that there exist many different genres of porn, the problem is the accessibility of diverse porn to a wider audience.

You said in an article that you used to see pornography and prostitution as tools for the patriarchy to oppress women. As a worker in post-pornography, and as a porno actress, how do you see porn? How has your opinion changed, having worked on German porn and on Erika Lust’s feminist porn?

My views on porn were influenced by a sexist and sex-negative society, that does not see sex and sexuality as the free and self-determined choice of individuals. The cliché that all pornography is denigrating to women is rooted in the sexist assumption that the sexuality of women is passive and that women are always the victims of sex. This is just not true. Furthermore, sexist and racist standards in the porn industry are the symptom of a sexist and racist society, not the cause. Working in as a sex worker and as a curator has widened my perspective and I know now that porn is manifold, and can be a tool of sexual liberation. I see porn as a political act.

You’re a sexually curious woman and pornography has allowed you to be more in sync with your sexuality. In which way was this step crucial for you and what you did you learn from it? You said once you thought it was wrong to be connected with pornography. How did you break that barrier and came to work in pornography?

It was a very long process that is still ongoing to deconstruct my own internalized prejudices and liberate myself of fear and shame. The work in porn has taught me better communication skills and has brought me closer to my own needs and desires. I started working in porn in a queer feminist, DIY context, which was a great way in and I’m thankful for having had that privilege. Respecting and listening to sex workers is key to understand and break down barriers, everyone should inform and educate themselves before judging on the topic.

Lustery is a page you created and it is where you promote a more real pornography, where you steer clear from the fake pornography that is degrading to women. What importance does it have to women that follow it and for those who still don’t know your work?

I would not say that Lustery is a more real pornography. All pornography is real, there are different genres just like in film. Lustery is a documentary pornography, meaning it documents a sexual dialogue between real people instead of staging a performance with fictive characters. All of these genres are legit pornography, there’s no bad and good, just different. The documentary character of Lustery does not reproduce sexist imagery as it does not follow imposed normative sexual scripts. There are no rules in what should happen sexually, so there are for example no fake orgasms and we encourage always the women to take control of the recording, thus promoting a female perspective.

Is having an alternative space to make and receive realist porn movies important to you and to those who work with you?

Pornography is stigmatized, marginalized and discriminated in society. So are most of the people that work in the industry, especially women* identified people. I think it is very important to act in solidarity with all sex workers and create safe and ethical working spaces. This is very important to me and I learn every day more about how to achieve it. Small porn producers have more difficulties in distributing their work, so I also believe it is very important to support each other in creating visibility for all different genres of pornography.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Borges Correia

Entrevista a Sónia Araújo, Psicóloga, Sexóloga, Terapeuta Sexual, Formadora

É técnica – Psicóloga numa Equipa Multidisciplinar Especializada de Assistência a Vitimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos da Região Centro desde Dezembro de 2012. De que modo foi importante e essencial ter trabalhado com a equipa neste projecto de assistência a seres humanos vítimas de tráfico? Como psicóloga, de que maneira foi importante ter dado assistência a seres humanos que vivem situações indignas e de terror?

R: A minha experiência enquanto psicóloga na EME Centro (Equipa Multidisciplinar Especializada de Assistência a Vítimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos da Região Centro) tem sido muito enriquecedora a vários níveis. Por um lado, permite-me contactar directamente com pessoas que foram vítimas de um crime que atenta contra os direitos humanos fundamentais, pelo que toda a assistência que prestamos, mesmo a mais básica (alimentação, alojamento, vestuário, entre outras) representa uma mais valia com um impacto gigantesco na vida destas vítimas. É portanto muito gratificante poder trabalhar numa equipa cujos resultados em termos de melhoria das vítimas são extremamente visíveis e impactantes, quer a curto, quer a longo prazo. Por outro lado, as histórias de vida destas vítimas relatam situações de extrema vulnerabilidade, a variados e múltiplos níveis, quer em termos sociais, familiares, financeiros, psicológicos, pelo que há muito a fazer em termos de apoio a prestar. Assim, este trabalho é muitíssimo gratificante.

Por outro lado, a nossa equipa aposta muito ao nível da prevenção, pelo que temos sensibilizado e informado milhares de pessoas na região centro acerca do fenómeno do Tráfico de Seres Humanos, quer através do desenvolvimento de ações para diversos públicos-alvo (desde técnicos, a órgãos de polícia criminal, profissionais de saúde, docentes, jovens, populações vulneráveis como jovens institucionalizados ou doentes psiquiátricos, desempregados ou sem-abrigo), quer através de inúmeras campanhas de sensibilização realizadas.

Há ainda a sublinhar que esta equipa é responsável pela criação e manutenção da Rede Regional do Centro de Apoio e Protecção a Vítimas de Tráfico de Seres Humanos, que conta já com 40 entidades da Região Centro, que trabalham em equipa no sentido de prestar um apoio eficaz e eficiente às vítimas de tráfico que nos são sinalizadas.

Foi co-autora do guia “Conceber: guia para profissionais e pessoas com problemas de fertilidade”; como foi a sua experiência de co-autoria deste guia sobre um assunto tão pertinente e delicado? O que é ainda necessário ensinar-se, discutir-se e debater-se? De que forma veio este livro mudar a situação de conhecimento dos profissionais e como veio colmatar as dúvidas, preconceitos e falta de informação correcta?

R: Este guia foi um importante marco no assumir e debate do problema da infertilidade em Portugal. Creio que o seu impacto foi importante, quer para as pessoas que vivem esta situação, quer para os próprios profissionais de saúde, pois foi um trabalho exaustivo de actualização de conteúdos correctos do ponto de vista científico, mas também institucional, providenciando informação muito útil em termos de tratamentos e locais especializados para os obter. Por outro lado, os conteúdos do Guia permitem também desmistificar o assunto e encará-lo de forma a poder procurar soluções práticas, ao invés da paralisação que atinge as pessoas que internalizam o problema com questões de culpa e ineficácia.

Como técnica-psicóloga trabalhou no proecto Sex Trivial, um jogo pedagógico em formato digital cuja finalidade é testar e enriquecer os conhecimentos, bem como trabalhar os sentimentos, atitudes e competências individuais face à sexualidade. De que forma foi enriquecedor ter co-desenvolvido este guia, e de que forma tem este jogo sido positivo e capaz de melhorar as competências, sentimentos e atitudes face à sexualidade?

R: Este jogo foi desenvolvido no sentido de permitir trabalhar os conteúdos da Educação Sexual com jovens adolescentes, em grupo e de forma pedagógica. Tivémos sempre como preocupação trabalhar não apenas conteúdos, mas sobretudo desenvolver sentimentos e atitudes positivas e favoráveis face à sexualidade, bem como comportamentos assertivos, que se traduzam numa vivência saudável e responsável da sexualidade. Foi portanto um desafio muito enriquecedor, na medida em que nos obrigou a ser criativas na criação de situações de jogo que permitissem aos jovens adquirir conhecimentos e treinar situações quotidianas que muitas vezes representam comportamentos de risco a nível sexual, já que as atitudes a ter não costumam ser abordadas num contexto formal de ensino.

É autora do Programa de Educação Sexual para o Ensino Profissional do Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP), ao abrigo do Programa Melhores Escolhas, Melhor Saúde (MEMS) da APF. Qual a importância, para si, de ensinar educação sexual e de preparar estes profissionais para uma área, tão importante e essencial na vida de cada um, como a sexualidade?

R: É sabido que grande parte da população que frequenta o ensino profissional em Portugal (desde jovens até adultos de meia idade) é sexualmente activa, pelo que apostar na sua educação sexual é fundamental, para prevenir comportamentos de risco que aumentam as infecções sexualmente transmissíveis e o número de gravidezes indesejadas e/ou de interrupções voluntárias da gravidez. Desta forma, construir um Programa tão abrangente e diversificado foi um enorme desafio que abracei com muito entusiasmo, pois acredito que pode ser uma ferramenta fundamental para os formadores que não tiveram outro tipo de formação no âmbito da sexualidade poderem colocar em prática em contexto de sala. O programa está estruturado inclusivamente tendo em conta que existem até contextos em que os formandos possam não saber ler ou escrever, pelo que as actividades que o programa contempla são, para além de muito práticas e activas, muito pedagógicas, no sentido em que foram desenhadas com o propósito de atingir determinados objectivos específicos, o que passa pela abordagem de conteúdos determinantes. Ao estar estruturado dessa forma, acredito que possa de facto ser uma ferramenta prática que os formadores podem ter como aliado para a inclusão (fundamental e urgente) da educação sexual no contexto do ensino profissional. O programa contém cerca de 60 horas de actividades, divididas em vários temas fundamentais ao nível da sexualidade e saúde sexual e reprodutiva, cuja aplicação é flexível, cabendo aos formadores a decisão do que abordar e quando o fazer.

É igualmente autora do Manual de Sugestões de Actividades Digitais ON_Sex, ao abrigo do Programa Projecto Direitos Sexuais e Jovens Vulneráveis (APF/Gulbenkian), cujo objectivo consiste na promoção, num ambiente digital, da cidadania activa e da defesa dos direitos sexuais dos jovens. De que forma pode este projecto sobre os direitos sexuais de jovens vulneráveis representar um ponto-chave na vida destes jovens? Qual a importância do público-alvo deste projecto serem jovens vulneráveis?

R: A elaboração deste Manual foi também um projecto que me deu imenso prazer elaborar, pois acredito que o ambiente digital possa ter inúmeras vantagens do ponto de vista pedagógico, quando utilizado de forma consciente e responsável. A necessidade de elaborar este material prende-se com o facto do ambiente digital ser cada vez mais utilizado por crianças e jovens, sendo que os riscos que esta utilização comporta – sobretudo em matérias de sexualidade – são inquestionáveis, mas não incontornáveis. Como tal, esta ferramenta aproveita o que há de melhor em termos de ambiente digital para a promoção de uma sexualidade consciente e responsável, direccionando os jovens para conteúdos pedagógicos, mas também lúdicos, que permitam abordar estas questões. Cada actividade está construída com objectivos específicos a atingir e contém um conjunto de considerações/orientações para os formadores que a irão desenvolver, no sentido de instrumentalizar a sua utilização.

Trabalhou durante 16 anos na APF/Centro, como psicóloga, terapeuta sexual e formadora; considera que este seu percurso foi enriquecedor? Considera ter sido preponderante a sua prestação de serviço na Associação para o Planeamento da Família?

R: O meu percurso profissional começou na APF, em 2001. Na altura, eu era licenciada em Ciências da Educação e, como tinha feito estágio curricular no ministério da educação, ao nível da promoção da educação sexual em meio escolar, a APF recebeu-me como formadora e, mais tarde, como coordenadora do projecto de educação sexual nas escolas da região centro. Foi para mim uma grande aprendizagem, pois tive oportunidade de apoiar o desenvolvimento de programas de educação sexual para diversos públicos da comunidade educativa: alunos, pais e encarregados de educação, assistentes operacionais e docentes. Entretanto, licenciei-me em psicologia clínica, pelo que comecei também a trabalhar no aconselhamento a jovens em saúde sexual e reprodutiva. Este contacto permitiu-me ter uma visão mais abrangente e também mais incisiva acerca dos comportamentos e atitudes dos jovens face à sexualidade, o que, por outro lado, me permitiu ter bagagem para investir na elaboração de jogos e programas pedagógicos neste âmbito.

Finalmente, a formação que fiz em sexologia clínica certificou-me enquanto terapeuta sexual, pelo que, aliado ao facto de ser psicóloga clínica, comecei a fazer consultas de psicologia e sexologia clínica, também na APF.

Considero portanto que a APF tem sido desde sempre o contexto que me permitiu desenvolver os meus interesses e competências, possibilitando que o meu percurso profissional enquanto formadora, autora de materiais pedagógicos e terapeuta pudesse desenvolver-se.
Obrigado pelo seu tempo, votos de bom trabalho.

Eu é que agradeço, foi um gosto!

Projecto Vamos Falar de Sexualidade

Entrevista: Pedro Marques

Correcção: António Chagas Dias
31 de Outubro de 2017


Interview to sex writer Kate Sloan

You refer that holistic, magic, changing sex started in 2012 in an attic and that you invested in your studies as sex journalist and has been working with a colleague in the podcast For you, how changing has it been and what have you learned and taught through your texts and lectures? In which way was it enriching to have chosen this path of learning about sexuality and teaching the way to an open mind and positive sexuality?

On a broad level, learning about sexuality has taught me a lot about empathy. When you truly and deeply adopt a sex-positive attitude – that is to say, the attitude that any risk-conscious and consensual sex act is acceptable and valid – it opens your mind to the idea that people can be diametrically opposite to you in many ways and still be good people. I think the whole world could use a dose of empathy, even if that comes in the form of thinking, “You know, that person is into a kink that I can’t imagine finding hot, but they’re doing it safely and consensually so I think that’s great!”

The early times of your work as a sex writer and lecturer were dedicated to sex toys. As a sex writer, how do you think this work about sex toys and related openness to masturbation can contribute to a higher level of pleasure?

It’s often said that you can’t fully love someone else until you learn to love yourself, and I think that’s true sexually as well: you won’t reach your full pleasure potential in partnered sex until and unless you figure out your own body through masturbation. That’s not to say everyone has to masturbate or use sex toys – some people genuinely aren’t into that, and that’s fine! – but you’ll have a much better sense of what to ask for from a partner, and how to access pleasure in general, if you masturbate.

I think masturbation is especially powerful for people who have been raised as women, because our culture constantly tells us to put others first and to take care of other people (especially men) before we take care of ourselves. Masturbation is an avenue through which we can reclaim some of our power over our own bodies and our right to pleasure.

Your university entrance essay was abou handjobs and massage-parlour. According to this study and to what you have been developing in your work about sexuality how can we men learn to know our body better so we can masturbate better? (Correction: my studies in university weren’t on massage-parlor handjobs; it was only my university entrance essay that was about that. I studied journalism in university.)

I think men – and, honestly, most people – tend to stumble upon one masturbation method that works really well for them and then stick with it. While it’s great when you find a technique that brings you pleasure, getting locked into patterns can limit your ability to feel pleasure from other things: the touch of a partner, for example, or even just masturbation that isn’t explicitly orgasm-focused.

On the advice of a friend who studied sexological bodywork, I’ve recently been trying to mix up my masturbation routine so I’m not just replicating the same pattern every time. I’ve been experimenting with different techniques, positions, toys, breathing patterns, fantasies, and speeds. While this experimentation can initially feel frustrating, I think it’s starting to open me up to other avenues of pleasure, which is definitely a good thing!

A major part of your work is focused on pornography and you also refer you started writing about eroticism when you were about 9 years old. You wrote a text in which you show how eroticism can be excellent to mental health. How do you think eroticism and mental health are related and how does this relation has contributed for your overview on sexuality?

In living with bipolar disorder and social anxiety disorder, I’ve learned that there are a few things which can reliably affect my mood for better or for worse. These don’t outright cure my mood issues – nothing really can, because my mental health conditions will probably be with me for life – but they can sway them one way or the other. For example, listening to music I love, spending time with friends, working on creative projects, and going to comedy shows can all lift my mood, whereas ruminating on past relationships, staying up too late, skipping meals, and isolating myself all tend to worsen my mood.

I’ve found that eroticism is one thing that can improve my mood, I guess just because I love sex and find it interesting. I don’t know that this would work for everyone, or even for most people, but it works for me. Good sex with a trusted partner can snap me out of negative thought loops and kind of reset my neurotransmitters. If I have good sex in the middle of a depressive or anxious episode, it won’t entirely lift me out of that episode, but it’ll lift my mood enough that maybe I can implement some other self-care behaviors and get back on track toward a steadier mood.

I’ve also written about how spanking, in particular, helps with my mental health. There’s some scientific evidence that this happens for actual neurological reasons: pain releases endorphins, and BDSM can put participants in a psychological state known as “flow,” which is associated with improvements in mood and temperament. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done on this before we can say definitively that kink is good for your mental health, but for me, it certainly is.

What led you to work about pornography and how can it be gratifying and seen in a positive way?

I find porn interesting for the same reasons I find television, cinema, and literature interesting: it all says something about our culture. It holds a mirror up to our cultural ideals and tropes, and is worth examining for that reason, among others.

I also think porn can hold up a mirror to your own innermost desires and interests. There have been many times when I’ve found a particular porn scene hot and been confused as to why. Maybe it contained a kink I hadn’t yet acknowledged was a kink of mine; maybe it starred a performer whose gender presentation differed from the people I’d typically been attracted to before; maybe it used language I hadn’t realized I found arousing. You can learn a lot about yourself, and the cultural stigmas in which you’ve been steeped, by watching porn critically.

You said in this interview that sometimes you have problems having your work valued. How do you face this lack of appreciation of your research work and writing, where you try to solve and talk about important sexual issues?

Some people think sex is a trivial issue. They see it as being ultimately about pleasure, a diversion from the “real, important issues.” When I encounter people with this viewpoint, I like to explain why they’re wrong. Sexuality influences almost everything we do as humans, whether we like it or not. Our sexual drive – like our drives for social connection, accomplishment, and basic bodily needs – affects many of the choices we make, sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

On a geopolitical scale, a lot of historical and cultural movements (good and bad) have been influenced by humans’ desire to either express or suppress sexuality. In his book O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm, journalist Jonathan Margolis argues that testosterone might be the most influential chemical in human history, owing in part to how our sex drives affect what we do. I think he’s right!

As a writer who focuses on eroticism, pornography, sexual toys, masturbation, …, what more do you consider we can learn about these themes and what doors can be opened through greater openness of minds and attention?

Like I said earlier, I think you can learn a lot about empathy by studying the spectrum of human sexuality. Becoming more empathetic is always, always a worthy goal!

I also think that the more you know about your own sexuality, the less ashamed you become in general. For many of us, our core sexual desires are huge sources of shame, whether acknowledged or unacknowledged – and holding onto shame that intense can really limit your ability to be bold, brave, and self-actualized. When you constantly work on acknowledging and unlearning your shame – sexual and otherwise – you free up resources within yourself, increasing your ability to do great things and help other people do the same. That’s what I think, anyway!


Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Jú Matias

Entrevista a Anna B. Volk

Entrevista a Anna B. Volk, Investigadora e Escritora de Artigos Porno

O que aprendeu e concluiu sobre a presença massiva da pornografia o mencionada nas questões das relações de género e questões económicas? Teve mais facilidade em encontrar respostas e compreendêlas em relação às questões de género por ter sido feminista e abraçar as questões das mulheres?

ABV A sociedade não fala de pornografia porque não consegue situar a pornografia em esfera alguma. Claramente não ésomente” cinema; também não é prostituição. Não é arte mas pode ser arte, e é arte sem poder ser arte. A pornografia é aquele espaço no canto da sala com o qual não sabemos o que fazer e que acaba passando desapercebido a menos que alguém o reclame. Ultimamente, até como resultado de um novo movimento de atuação feminina em redes sociais, queses como sex work e pornografia têm figurado mais em discussões, sejam essas acadêmicas ou não. É como se finalmente compreendessem que ignorar a pornografia não fará com que ela desapareça, então é melhor tratar dela e tirar dela o que ela pode oferecer – que são essas discussões sobre relações sociais na atualidade, por exemplo.

Me incomoda, no entanto, que muitas dessas discussões ainda estejam encerradas nos anos

70, ou num pseudo-ativismo feminista que se recusa a abaixar os cartazes e a ouvir quem de verdade participa dessas queses sobre pornografia e sex work, por exemplo. Meu afastamento do movimento feminista na verdade é uma recusa em participar de diálogos com textos fechados de pensadoras como Andrea Dworkin, por exemplo, que era avessa à questão da pornografia e que não pode mais rever seu trabalho. Ou ainda repetir que “pornografia é a teoria, estupro é a ptica” quando, em 2017, as questões econômicas funcionam de maneira diferente de 1974 quando Robin Morgan falou aquilo. Não me interessa um feminismo de cineclube, que invoque nomes para sessões nas quais a mulher ainda é o alvo. Preciso de um feminismo que olhe em volta e entenda a questão da pornografia, da prostituição, do aborto como queses socioeconômicas atuais, e que precisam ser discutidas tendo em vista a melhoria da situação da mulher contemponea sem queila em uma nova fogueira de Inquisição na qual o fogo se mantém aceso porque repete discursos que expiraram há tempos.

De que forma é que os estudos sobre porno e os filmes podem ser vistos como um trabalho credível? Como se podem quebrar desconfortos, descrenças e preconceitos?

ABV Há 20 anos, quando eu comecei a pesquisar literatura homossexual masculina e AIDS o que imediatamente me fez receber o rótulo de lésbica, independentemente da minha sexualidade – eu ouvi de uma professora universitária que ela teria medo de ficar sozinha em sala comigo porque eu certamente abusaria dela sexualmente. Hoje, na mesma universidade, vejo em sala alunas de graduação falando abertamente de sua homossexualidade. Da mesma

maneira que o mundo acadêmico não estava preparado para lidar com a questão homoerótica vinte anos atrás, ainda engatinha no que tange à questão da pornografia. Os estudos acadêmicos sobre pornografia encontram muitos obstáculos porque ninguém admite saber do que está se falando. É como se o público que assiste a filme s pors não frequentasse a universidade o que é um disparate. Toda questão sexual ainda é um pouco tabu dentro do mundo acadêmico porque vem carregada de várias camadas de préconceitos sobre o pesquisador, como acontecia nos estudos gays e lésbicos no início dos anos 90. Ainda não se trata a pornografia como uma disciplina (e não uso aqui o conceito de disciplina de Foucault, mas disciplina enquanto corpus de estudo), apesar de ela apontar para uma face das relações de gênero, de raça, de relações econômicas, de classe e de relações sociais importantíssimas para discussões dos estudos culturais, por exemplo.

O trabalho maior do porn scholar, portanto, é desvelar que, por baixo de todo o preconceito no qual a pornografia vem submersa, existe uma gama absurda de possibilidades de espaços de discurso e debate que podem elucidar queses que estão sendo debatidas atualmente em várias áreas de conhecimento, e que talvez encontrem na pornografia uma visão tão periférica que na realidade centraliza queses em locais completamente inesperados. Eu fui questionada recentemente sobre como lidaria com a questão de vocabulário em minha tese

porque aparentemente a academia não está preparada para palavras como dupla penetração

e me espantou que em 2017 ainda se preocupem com conservadorismos linguísticos que restringem quais discursos têm acesso ao pensamento acadêmico e a quais a entrada é proibida.

A pornografia que comou a observar foi homossexual, primeiro masculina e depois feminina (feita para mulheres). O que a motivou a comar por pornografia específica para homossexuais? Através do seu trabalho de estudo e observação, qual é a importância de estes filmes se focarem nas pessoas homossexuais? Em que é que pornosbico comercial pode denegrir ou descontextualizar o que são as verdadeiras relações?

ABV O primeiro filme pornô a que eu assisti era um set up clássico de entrega de pizza, e a estética não me atraiu. Isso era 1988, aproximadamente. No mesmo dia, assisti a um gay masculino, e a veracidade foi o que me capturou os olhos. Me parecia e eu tinha 13 ou 14 anos que era mais real do que o setup falsificado do entregador de pizza: uma sede de fazenda com homens gays fazendo sexo sem preâmbulos ou desculpas me parecia muito mais plausível do que o que eu havia acabado de assistir no pornô heterossexual. Então na verdade não houve uma escolha” consciente minha: houve uma aceitação crítica maior da pornografia gay dos anos 80/90 porque me parecia menos engessada, mais orgânica apesar de eu não saber nomear essas coisas ainda.

A questão homossexual na pornografia varia muito entre o que é considerado gay e o que é considerado lésbico. Trabalha-se com intencionalidade, com finalidade, com o quê? Se define o que é pornografia gay por mostrar dois homens tendo relações sexuais, mas se na tela

aparecem duas mulheres isso é pornografia lésbica? Muitos dirão que não, que a pornografia

é feita exclusivamente para o olhar masculino e que por isso e não vai levar em consideração a questão do lesbianismo. A zona escura do pornô lésbico é que muitas vezes ele reforça o estereótipo de lesbianismo existindo somente para o prazer masculino. As relações lésbicas são geralmente retratadas na pornografia comercial como um preâmbulo para a inserção masculina no ato: elas não se sustentam em si. Em alguns casos, quando há exclusividade de mulheres em cena, o olhar que recai sobre o ato ainda é essencialmente masculino.

Há, claro, a pornografia lésbica que contraria esses princípios, por assim dizer. Estúdios como o Pink & White, da Shine Louise Houston, a Crash Pad Series, artistas como Courtney Trouble conseguem fazer uma pornografia lésbica que desvincula o masculino por completo da

cena. Curiosamente, são essas mesmas produtoras que intitulam seu material como

pornografia queer, e não lésbica: porque lésbica’ virou um rótulo para venda de uma pornografia feita para homens e que, em sua maioria, não se preocupa com a sexualidade feminina.

O olhar, o trabalho e a forma de estarem e pensarem pornografia e sexualidade destas actrizes Zoey Holloway, Dylan Ryan, Katsuni, Sovereign Syre em que é que a ajudam a mostrar uma maior positividade da pornografia e que conhecimentos adquire?

É inegável que nos últimos dez anos houve uma mudança na demografia dos performers pornográficos o que impulsionou uma nova tendência no mercado produtor e, por consequência, no mercado consumidor de pornografia. A presença da internet proporciona

um profundo debate sobre o processo de criação de identidade, performance, posicionamento

potico e questionamentos de gênero dentro e fora dessa indústria majoritariamente californiana. A ativa participação de mulheres no Vale de San Fernando, não mais somente frente às câmeras, aliada a uma mudança no perfil dos performers que entram para a indústria, de uma maior normatização do produto pornográfico e da regulamentação legislativa acerca de procedimentos para filmagem de cenas transcendeu os limites da “porta verde” e adentrou o escopo das discussões públicas sobres os elementos que comem esse universo.

O discurso das performers citadas, por exemplo, coloca a pornografia sob um novo prisma de discussão, até porque traz a história pessoal mesclada à história pública, permitindo uma perspectiva mais abrangente sobre o real papel potico do performer pornográfico, o que garante uma maior compreensão deste universo que costumava acontecer exclusivamente longe de olhos públicos, ainda que o produto fosse destinado ao consumo. Mais importante, no entanto, é a possibilidade de se ouvir uma voz que antes não era percebida por não se fazer presente: a da própria pessoa por trás da persona sexual que se apresenta às câmeras. Pela primeira vez o “objeto do desejo vira o sujeito do discurso”: e isso altera completamente o

ponto de vista de onde se observa a pornografia. A performer pornográfica hoje em dia não mais é narrada em terceira pessoa, mas em primeira, com afirmações em tempo real sobre o que acontece e como se percebe não somente dentro da discussão pornô, mas também

dentro do mundo civil. Ela não mais necessita de porta-voz: ela fala do seu lugar, através de

seu lugar, e sobre o seu lugar diretamente com o público, o que a alça a um novo patamar dentro da pluralidade de discursos sociais existentes. É uma das coisas mais preciosas acontecendo na pornografia hoje em dia: o livre posicionamento das performers na esfera social, mudando por completo a maneira como elas são percebidas pela sociedade. E, independentemente de como pensam, o fato de estarem explicitando suas posições sobre quaisquer assuntos as solidificam enquanto sujeitos dentro de um discurso que, até então, som ente as considerava objetos.

Referiu ao whackmagazine que ao ver porno se sente mais atraída pela forma como tratam

a sexualidade e a sexualidade feminina, porque é que é tão importante para si que haja uma grande preocupação pela sexualidade? O que é que o público pode ganhar com uma pornografia mais realista, cuidada, e dada às preocupações com a sexualidade?

Pornografia não é sobre sexo: é sobre sexualidade. As possíveis variações do ato sexual são finitas, e estariam extintas se a pornografia lidasse somente com o sexo. A sexualidade, no entanto, se configura de maneiras tão plurais que permite que filmemos e refilmemos um mesmo assunto de maneiras infinitamente diferentes. Quando analiso um filme pornô estou muito menos preocupada com o ato sexual em si do que com o discurso que tal ato sexual promove – mesmo que falemos somente de uma cena, uma vignette, e não de todo um filme. Não é a parte gráfica da pornografia que excita: é o que ela diz, mesmo que veladamente, sobres mesmos, sobre nossa sexualidade, nossos desejos, nossos interesses, nosso papel social, nossos pontos de vista. Não sei se isso significa uma pornografia mais cuidada, mas uma pornografia mais atenta às queses da sexualidade i ter um papel mais importante do que uma pornografia que se reduza à representação do ato sexual em si.

Como académica investigadora, de que forma os seus estudos a ajudam e permitem interpretar melhor a pornografia? Desde que começou a estudar pornografia o que é que evoluiu na instria e de que maneira os seus conhecimentos evoluíram?

Minha formação é quase toda voltada para a área de literatura e estudos culturais. Eu comecei ainda na graduação com uma bolsa de pesquisa sobre literatura homoerótica, o que me deu uma carga de leitura bastante grande voltada para queses de gênero e sexualidade e

que, sem sombra devidas, funciona como o arcabouço teórico das pesquisas que desenvolvo hoje em dia.

Mas essa indústria muda diariamente. O foco muda diariamente, as performers entram e saem da indústria, novos diretores, novos nichos. É quase impossível ficar atualizado com tudo o que acontece, e eu acabo por me ver circulando dentro dos mesmos meios que são os que me interessam enquanto material de pesquisa e me surpreendendo com tudo de novo que aparece. É muito importante para mim perceber quão mais claro e mais acessível esse discurso está hoje em dia, comparado há cinco, dez anos. Em 2013, em conversa com Cindy Gallop, fui questionada por ela sobre meu interesse por pornografia. Minha resposta explicita minha luta constante para a reestruturação social baseada na inclusão da mulher enquanto agente: É nosso último espaço para a luta, o único que ainda não exploramos. Conquistamos

a academia, a vida potica, o mercado de trabalho: tudo o que nos era negado antes do movimento feminista está hoje a nosso alcance. A única esquina que ainda não dobramos é a da pornografia. Ela ainda é entendida como se feita exclusivamente para homens, mesmo sendo consumida igualmente por homens e mulheres. Está na hora de reclamarmos nosso lugar. E dessa vez em Porn Valley. ”

Obrigado pelo seu tempo, votos de bom trabalho.

Projecto Vamos Falar de Sexualidade

Entrevista: Pedro Marques

Correcção: Jú Matias

01 de Julho de 2017

Interview with Andrea Zanin – Queer poly gender-fluid perv. Writer, speaker

You hold several Non-Monogamy and Relationship Skills workshops;

Dominance and Submission; BDSM Play; BDSM Community; Sex Skills; We’re Here, We’re Queer!

How is it important and essential to keep researching about the BDSM existence in our society, BDSM practices, non-monogamic relationships, sexual abilities and about being queer? What can we learn and which obstacles and faculties do you intend to overcome?

The classic approach to the study of sexuality has been to focus on the idea of deviance, and to ask the question of why people deviate from the norm. And this question has not classically been asked in a friendly way the aim has been to pathologize, punish or “treat,” as though difference were a sickness. The norm itself has often evaded study or question. It’s like taking a vice squad approach to studies of sexuality. The key paradigm has been a normative vs deviant model, as opposed to a model that includes questions of coercion vs consent, or happiness and wellness, or even a harm reduction model.

It is heartening to see that in the last number of years, research has begun to take new directions, toward more of a benign intellectual curiosity. New research is asking much more interesting questions about “deviant” or marginalized sexualities questions such as, what valuable lessons can the mainstream learn from those on the margins? How do people on the sexual and relationship margins understand themselves, how do they learn and teach, how do their identities form, what are their communities’ norms and standards of behaviour, what language do they use for themselves, and what are their cultures and histories like? How do society’s institutions – marriage, the law, culture more broadly – enforce normative notions of sexuality, and how can those be shifted toward greater inclusivity?

As well, new research and theorizing has begun to turn the lens of analysis in the other direction, and to look critically at the norm itself. As such, we are seeing studies of heterosexuality as one orientation among many, as opposed to based on the assumption that it’s the only valid one; we are seeing theory and history work that questions how heterosexuality came to exist, how it operates and what its problems are. These questions are also being asked about monogamy. We’re still only at the very beginnings of seeing this approach applied to kink and BDSM, or rather, to vanilla sexuality, probably because the dividing line between “normal” and “deviant” here is a lot murkier than it is even for queer sexuality and non-monogamy; but I believe it will happen there too, or that the approach will at least be attempted. I think all of these are very promising trends, and I hope they continue to evolve so that we can get a clearer picture of human sexuality in all its complexity. We all stand to benefit, even those with less marginalized experiences.

For me, my academic work, blogging, teaching, activism and community organizing all combine. They are all ways in which I try to press forward with this progressive approach to alternative sexualities. I think practitioner perspectives are valid and worth listening to; I think that we, as communities, are able to think critically and analytically about what we do, are able to research our own histories and proclivities, and that we have an appetite for this self-understanding. I think we have been forced to waste a lot of our energy defending ourselves against people and institutions that have judged without learning about us from the source. I welcome the culture shifts we have slowly brought about, shifts which have carved out enough space that we can now devote more of our energy to this deeper and less embattled work. There is still, of course, a long way to go.

How is it to live in a polyamory relationship?

You write, research and teach. For the lady who experienced polyamory relationships and who is an expert and researcher on the theme, how is it to teach, discuss and write about this subject, yet to be more meaningful and approached?

Polyamorous and other non-monogamous relationships are radically different for each person or group doing them. Really, knowing that someone is non-monogamous tells you very little about what they actually do or desire – all it tells you is that it’s about more than a couple. For me, non-monogamy has taken many different forms over time, and I suspect they will continue to. That has included being unpartnered but dating many people; being partnered with two people in a triad for many years; being one end of a V; and these days, being partnered with only one person, but open to possibilities. The important thing, in my experience, is not to be attached to a specific form of non-monogamy, but to live it as an ethical value system that permits many possible arrangements.

I do want to clarify, though: I don’t research non-monogamy. It’s not my area of academic focus. My research is on BDSM. I have certainly done some academic reading on non-monogamy, but my writing and teaching on the topic come mostly from my personal and community experience and critical thinking, not from scholarly study.

We live in a highly monogamic world, ruled mostly by religious influence and its guidelines. How can we open our mind to polyamory, end the prejudice about LGBT, BDSM and even sexuality?

I wish I had an easy answer to this! I think it is a struggle on many fronts at once, some of them massive and others very, very small. Macro and micro. We need to change laws and policies that make our lives needlessly difficult, in every country in the world. We need to research, write and educate, to produce readily available and well-founded data about the truths of our lives, which can be used to counter myths, stereotypes and baseless fears. We need to work on language, on finding the right words to express what we are doing in all its diversity, and on getting that language out into the wider world so that we are spoken about accurately. We need to build and sustain communities and friendships with one another both within and across our differences, so that we can support each other as we live our lives and do this work. And we need to work toward changing people’s minds through individual human connections. We have already made great strides in this work, and I expect I will see much more in my lifetime.

You have been working for a few years on LGBT, BDSM, sexology, sexuality, queer and so on. How is it for you to talk, teach, discuss these ideas wether in articles, lectures or interviews? What have you learnt and how have you shared this knowledge? You have walked a long way in the teaching of these subjects. How do you perceive the evolution of these ideas, what is there left to do and how can we evolve in our sexuality and in the BDSM, LGBT way of life?

I started teaching more than 15 years ago, and it amazes me how the longer I do this work, the more there is for me still to learn. I think the conversations within our various communities have evolved greatly over time, thanks to research and writing and slow political change; we keep developing new language and greater nuance in how we understand ourselves and learn about each other. From a historical perspective, different groups have achieved different things in different places. It would be impossible to summarize briefly, and there’s a great deal of discrepancy between various groups. But suffice to say, I think the space we have carved out for ourselves as people who live our relationships and sexualities in non-normative ways in the world has, by and large, gotten bigger over time.

As such, we are seeing another wave of yet further marginalized groups begin to find their voice and create community: asexuals; genderqueer, gender-fluid and other non-binary-gendered people; queer kids and elders; intersex people; specialized groups that gather around specific kinks; the voices of people of colour and people with disabilities within kink, queer and poly communities; and other valuable voices and perspectives. I hope that, going forward, the perspectives continue to multiply and diversify, and also that we find as much common ground as we can to move our struggles forward and learn from each other.

I think we will increasingly find ways to join forces on specific projects in our given contexts that may benefit each other in a way that cuts across identities. For instance, as I understand it, there’s a great deal of conceptual overlap between ideas that are key to the asexual community and those that are fundamental to polyamory and non-monogamy. If, taking our cue from the asexual community, we stop insisting that sexual attraction is the factor that should define our intimate relationships and living situations, then suddenly monogamy becomes of less central importance. That, in turn, can help us discover (or rediscover) ways to build families and communities beyond the heterosexual nuclear family – ways that benefit everyone, including heterosexual monogamous vanilla people! Against the backdrop of rising housing costs and cost of living, and the increased prevalence of blended post-divorce families even in the hetero/monogamous world, we all need to find ways to collaborate and share resources in order to survive, as many peoples and cultures have done before us and continue to do today. I predict that in the coming twenty or thirty years, we’ll see a lot more large, non-nuclear, constantly evolving families with multiple adults and kids that rely on friendship, resource-sharing, co-housing and group commitments, and that include or leave space for the adults to have individual romantic and sexual connections, including BDSM and queer relationships. Last week I saw an ad for a financial group that has been pioneering the idea of group mortgages so that more than two adults can buy a home together. Of course that’s directly useful for some poly people, but it’s the sort of social change that can benefit everyone – queers forming chosen family, friends sharing resources, and also hetero nuclear families!

You write and are connected to feminism in a time when there is still so much inequality between men and women and where, in some places, women have no freedom, where the power over their sexuality is stolen from them, where genital organs are still cut away from them. How is it fundamental for you to approach and being there in the fight for woman rights, for an equal and satisfying sexuality?

It is complicated to articulate, but I feel like I’m part of the second wave and third wave of feminism at once. So for instance, I absolutely agree that women still have a long way to go in terms of dismantling the patriarchy and achieving equality; those challenges look different in different parts of the world, but it’s true everywhere. Meanwhile I also challenge the category of “woman,” and understand it as a social construct that can sometimes be used in ways that harm: gender essentialism, transphobia, homophobia, racism and more. And I try take an intersectional approach, which tries to de-centre white straight Western cisgender able-bodied people and look at issues from a wider range of perspectives, particularly from the points where lived realities meet, such as the struggles of Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour, people with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities and more.

And of course my position is that bodily self-determination is key to all of these things working together. That means respecting individuals’ choices about what to do with their own bodies. If your idea of feminism includes telling some women that they are suffering from false consciousness or are hampering the movement because they wear lipstick, do sex work, have kids, have abortions, are dykes, get married, wear a hijab, do BDSM, choose to be homemakers, make porn, smoke weed or whatever else, then even if you’re doing good work in some respects, you’re still lending your energy to the forces that are keeping other women down, and other people in general. I’m way less interested in policing women, or policing the boundaries of who counts as a woman, and way more interested in pushing for change toward greater respect for everybody’s self-determination. Bodily self-determination is intricately tied up with the idea of consent; consent is basic to respectful sexuality. The people whose consent is most egregiously disrespected most often in a patriarchal society are women and anyone who doesn’t conform to rigid norms of gender and sexuality. But men’s consent and bodily self-determination are also violated, often by other men. If the patriarchy crumbles, everybody gets a better deal. And better sex!

You have written several erotic tales, about many polyamory, BDSM and LGBT topics. What have you learnt and how fundamental have these works been for your learning and for a better teaching?

I write erotica because it’s fun and sexy. My erotica is also political, but I don’t write erotic stories primarily in order to convey a political message; I write them when a character drops into my brain and says “Hi, I have a story to tell!” and then I just write down what they show me as quickly as I can. I suppose in a way my fiction writing relates to my teaching, in that I certainly try to write about sexual acts and sexual thinking in a way that’s realistic and that reflects the way real bodies work and real people think. But I don’t write erotica for the purpose of teaching.

I often find that erotic storytelling that’s too focused on the teaching aspect can end up reading awkwardly; the characters don’t feel real, they end up being mouthpieces for the author instead of fully developed and well-rounded voices. Which is funny, because I know a lot of people don’t think that any of this is important in porn in the first place! But I do. I like erotica that makes me cry, that takes me so deeply into a character that I am emotionally invested, and where there’s a story arc that’s about more than rubbing body parts together and having an orgasm. A story that uses language, voice and tone in a way that feels authentic to the characters, that gives me a sense of place and time. All of this can be done, even in a short story. And because erotica is a written story, not a picture or a film, I really value good writing, even more than I value whether or not it’s sexually exciting to me. The story’s believability and readability comes first, and that includes accuracy about sexual details; turn-on comes second, and is more subjective; intellectual and political messaging comes third. As such, I don’t read erotica to learn from it, either, other than to learn how to write it better; a story shouldn’t read like an instruction manual.

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia

Interview with Olga Mathey

You work the eroticism and sexuality through embroidery. Where did the will to approach eroticism and sexuality from embroidery come from? And why explore different sorts, as your first project, Circus?

The relation between eroticism and embrodery came really naturaly, like a real need. Later I descovered a lot of other “feminist” artists who use this medium to speak about sexuality, tabous, whoman rights all over the world. For me, sexuality and eroticism is a subject without limites, there are as many sexualities and way of experimenting it as there are human beings. My first project was about Circus cause I wanted to explore the contorsionist and aerobatic way of sexuality. Circus is interesting because it’s a mix of dreams and nightmares, it’s shiny and freaky. It’s something always present in my work, this duality between attraction and repulsion. Now I explore the topic of pagan rituals witch contains this same duality.
It’s was a good starting point, and after that, I continued to explore my proper univers untill I left to live in Mexico for one year. Ovethere I interviewed different kind of people from all sexualities, all ages and social backgrounds, about Erotism and how it’s perceived in their culture. From there on, I got my inspiration from those relationships with my interviewee. I work principally on command, people tell me erotic stories and I embroide an erotic and intimate “object” for them. It feeds my imagination, and thereby the relation we have is not just client/artist, I have not a role of psychologist, it’s something other, something really precious.

What does the sacred Eroticism mean to you, what have you learnt about it and how can it be a positive and important aspect for sexuality?

For me there is a clear link between the religious and the sexual extase. This moment when you leave your body and your social rules. It’s like a transe you can see in religious rituals. It was present in my mind since a really long time but it took all its meaning when I was in Mexico. There, religious and pagan beliefs cohabits constantly, as does life and death. On the other hand, I perceived a strong link between feminism and relation to the earth, even in the way of living agriculture for example… All is linked and all is ritualised. It was a big learning for me and I have reclaimed that in my life and my artistic work. In my serie “Erotismo Sagrado” (Sacred Eroticism), I have hijacked famouses figures of Mexico (the guadaloupe virgin, death, lucha libre…) making them erotic. It was not to schock but to signifiate that Mexico is an erotic culture in its hot food, in its rituals, in its colors… but despite that Mexicans might seem reserved or shy over their sexuality, surely due to the overwhelming presence of the catholique religion and the education. But here in Europe, people think they are more open and free over that, but it’s often false.

In your drawings you approach the body and its nudity. What do these representations mean to you?

Well, I think it’s important to not see nudity like a tabou and not compare. To accept that we’re all different, we’re not perfect and see this difference like a power. If you look at your body in a miror like if you look a landscape for exemple, all seems different. It’s less individual, and when you accept its “imperfections” : Waw, your relations in general are so much simpler.

Which is for you the importance of having this communication channel to approach nudity?

The embrodery is an interesting medium because people are always impressed by the technic and the time one dedicate to it. Through embrodery, it’s easier to “seduce” shy people and lead them to confess sexual stories. I’m often touched because when I show my work around, people from very different backgrounds might get interested. Children are fascinated by the colors and the atmosphere (I use a lot of shinny threads), old people are impressed by the technic and finally the topic is not such a problem. And my “public” is really mixte, and that’s a thing I’m really proud of, cause I want to explode the walls.

You are a naked model for drawing classes. Naked modeling for the representation of the body, the promotion of the female way, of something natural, is all of this fundamental and important to you? What does your openness and your way of dealing with your body represent?

I have a real affection for this work. It’s interesting for my performance researches, to feel the limites of the body and to expose nudity in an other context than intimity to exorcice it. Nudity is the most natural thing we can do and however, it’s just so ridiculous how we can be puritans about it ! I live it like a ritual, this short moment when one remove one’s clothes, when one passes from the dressed state to the naked. And, for sure, this job helps me to asumate the body with its particularities and with what the beauty standards call “imperfections”.

You make reference to your work as a feminist act. How essential is it, the fight for women, their sexuality and their sexual freedom?

When I say “feminist”, indeed I talk about free women assuming fully their sexuality. Because I think the feminin sexuality has always been over interesting, while diresgarded, overshown, while hidden. Women have to reclaim their pleasure, they have to know their body, to understand their vulva and vagina. But for, to be “feminist” is wider than that. It’s more about accepting all kinds of pleasures, desirs, all sexualities, all fantasm and not squaring things or thinking in silos. And also in this way I include men. We all have feminity and masculinity in our bodies and it’s important to feel and play with it. For exemple I really like to be a woman with a curvy body but I’m really attracted by gay sexuality and sometimes I feel like a men inside but I don’t want to change my sexe, I like to cultivate those two parts, or more?

How do you get across this feminist activism and encourage women to follow that lead through your work on eroticism/sacred eroticism and sexuality?

I harvest stories and try to give them back through a constant dialogue, without any judgements.

You have studied eroticism, sacred eroticism, you compare cultures, and drawn on sexuality in your work since 2011. How did all this knowledge helped in the evolving of your sexuality and in your openness to the erotics, the sacred and pornography?

Yes, when I look back I’m a bit impressed about how I’ve evolved, I think it’s really clear when I watch my work from 2011 till this year. Then I was 21, and though sexuality or masturbation have been quite present during my life, it’s clear we evolve, and our look at it changes from 13, 21, 27, 45, 80 years, and I’m really curious to learn about the sexuality of old people. Specially when you’re a whoman, there is a lot of transformations in your body, it does of course change your sexuality.

You refer that the practice of stitching with a needle is just like penetration. You have started by pillows and underline its intimate and object-masturbation qualities. You also start from objects, sentences, costumes to “eroticize” and “sexualize” it.
In which way are these steps and acting channels aiming at a naturalization of sexuality and eroticism fundamental?

Well, through my imagination, my art and in my life I try to apply it, there are no walls. I can think about sexuality just opening my fridge. And even if I deal with serious topics, I try to make them funny light and delightful…

Thanks for your time, and all the best wishes for your work.

Project Let’s Talk About Sexuality

Interview: Pedro Marques

Translation and Correction and: Joana Correia