It’s 2021 and sexual freedom is as relevant as ever. On the one hand side we have an abundance of sexually liberated platforms. There are podcasts, articles, and books openly discussing sex, sexuality, nudity, and all types of preferences. People can talk about their favorite porn sites, sexual positions, and sex toys. Sex-parties, numerous sexual wellness sites, and bondage classes are available. Events for the LGBTQI+ community, and organizations that are working towards creating safe spaces for BIPoC LGBTQI+ people are expanding. The feminist discourse is also becoming more and more intersectional.
On the other hand side sex and nudity are heavily censored on social media, especially the female body. This is evident through movements such as #freethenipple or #uncensoredme. In 70 countries LGBTQI+ relationships are still illegal. Hungary recently has passed a law prohibiting young people from informing themselves on homosexuality. Poland has created ‘LGBTQI+ free zones’ and the German Bundestag denied the ‘Self-determination Act,’ consequently, holding onto a transphobic law. Many porn-tubes still have videos of underaged people and rape videos up, and sex-workers are being exploited.
Sexual Liberation For Everyone
It is important to remember that power structures apply to sex and sexuality in the same way they do to every other aspect of life. This means that discrimination and intersectional discrimination play a big role in the sexual freedom of societies, as well as for individuals. So are we taking inclusive steps forward in terms of sexual freedom, or merely reproducing repressive power structures? The cooperation “How free is your sex?” with Einhorn is an attempt to reflect the sexual liberation of our society in order to find out how we really feel and what needs to change. We want to highlight inequalities, at the same time we want to, establish that sexual freedom is not a privilege, but something that should be accessible to everyone.
Sexually liberated?- Here’s what the experts think
The question what sexual liberation means, is of course also a very personal one. We asked a number of experts from different professions in the field for the opinions. These included, Anarella (the founder of ‘Sex School Berlin’), Cupcake ( performance artist, drag queen, and event producer), Nina Server (performer and activist), Cordelia (head of menstruation at ‘Einhorn’), Jordis Meise (marketing manager of fun factory), Jared (founder of ‘Pinky Promise’), Anna Dillinger (sex therapist), Claudia (self-healer), Patrick (queer podcaster and sex therapist), Nadine Primo (blogger), Helen Hagemeier (couple and sexual therapist), Maya (founder of ‘Beingfemale’), Charlotte Weise (Influencer), Paulita Pappel (porn producer and director), Marry (sex coach, yoni and pleasure education), Fiffy (part of the ‘berlin stripper collective’), Silky&Velvet (performer couple), Denise Kratzenberg (founder of ‘CHEEX’), Popo Fan (writer, filmmaker and activist), Malcom Lovejoy (performer), Beste Freundinnen (podcast duo).
What does sexual liberation mean– In total, the experts agree that being able to communicate needs, wishes, and boundaries are important to finding sexual freedom. Through these practices safe space can be established. It is also essential to free oneself from societal pressures, deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, and expectations. To reach sexual liberation people should be the freest version of themselves and at ease with their sexual desires.
What limits sexual liberation– The experts refer to the heteronormative society, hyper-masculinity, discrimination, objectification, fetishization, sexist representations in the media including porn that are still embedded in todays education and society as current obstacles in our sexual liberation.
What can we do to become more sexually free- One of the best ways to ensure sexual liberation is to continue to educate people on sex and sexuality in order to overcome stigmas. This could also ensure that not only certain societal niches are educated and sexually free, but instead society as a whole. Additionally, the judgement and discrimination towards sexualities and sexual preferences have to stop, as well as censorship.
Sexually Liberated?- Here’s What Our Community Thinks
Around 3000 people filled out a questionnaire how sexually free they feel. 80 % of them were women, 17% were men, and 3% define themselves outside the realm of the binary. They define themselves as genderqueer, or gender fluid, a-gender, non-binary, or do not like any ascription. The majority of participants were between 18 and 34 years old. While most were heterosexual there was also a very large amount of LGBTQI+ participants; including the sexual orientations: bisexual, pansexual, queer, gay, lesbian and asexual.
When asked if they feel sexually free 48% said yes, 15% said no, and 36% were unsure if they did.
When asked what sexual liberation means tolerance, acceptance, no shaming, no judgement, free from social norms, self-determination (of whom to have sex with, how many people to have sex with, where to have sex etc.) and masturbation were commonly given answers.
Limits to sexual freedom mentioned by 45% of participants were societal conventions, taboos and gender roles. 38% of the participants mentioned emotional stress and 17% felt limited by their partners.
To ensure sexual liberation many stated that trust, open communication, a tolerant society, sexual education and a mixture of different sex practices are key.
To see the complete report on the questionnaire and the findings download it below.
The Path to Sexual Freedom
While there are many barriers in the way we are moving towards overcoming them have now identified these obstacles. Malcom Lovejoy rounds up this conversation nicely by saying: “Our world is not free until everybody is allowed to express their personal, emotional, sexual, spiritual desires and not be judged for it. I hope we get there one day.” So do we.