02. Diversifying & Demystifying Intimacy.
With younger generations leading the way and holding more fluid concepts of gender, identity and sexuality, new ways of understanding and experiencing intimacy are emerging into the public light.
The cultural and moral pillars that used to be immovable and unquestionable are now becoming more flexible and ambiguous, taboos are being visibilized, and traditional ideas of how things should be like are being challenged and rewritten by a courageous generation that is not afraid of raising their voice, needs and wishes.
Some traditional institutions and more conventional parts of society are pushing back against these changes. This tension between perspectives can generate a good amount of friction, but it is also leading to an exciting and constantly changing conversation around sex and intimacy that can open up for a massive shift towards embracing more open, honest, and diverse viewpoints.
Intimacy Education Beyond Sex-Ed.
An important aspect of breaking taboos around intimacy is telling both old and new stories that can inspire and provoke us to rethink our traditional ideas and concepts around sex, love, pleasure and relationships in order to create wider and more inclusive viewpoints around this topic
Sex education for the youth has been traditionally seen as inadequate and not doing enough to teach people more than just putting on a condom, but also to help with better understandings of our personal and collective emotional experiences.
For instance, Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ show can explain and portray complex issues to curious teenagers better than schools can by showcasing stories, reflections and problematics that they can relate to. Intimacy education is not only about sex. It is also about having healthier relationships with others and yourself, emotional and mental hygiene, and a better understanding of your own pleasure and boundaries.
As we move forward, our societies will need to design new narratives around intimacy beyond sex, especially for an empowered youth (and adults) interested in vocalizing in their own words the role that intimacy plays in their lives and taking responsibility for their own pleasure and intimate wellbeing.
Transgender Youth's Narratives.
There is a big difference on how sex education is taught throughout the world right now, but it is clear that there is room for improvement. For example, the current paradigm does not address transgender narratives, especially in the context of sex. According to this Australian research, which cites “(sex ed) is not giving a clear representation of the experience of transgender people and minimizes their experiences of pain and unhappiness.”
Relational Intelligence By Esther Perel.
Esther Perel is a renowned author, therapist and couple physiologist and creates a focus on relational intelligence, rather than pure Sex Ed. Through podcasts, YouTube workshops and articles she allows people to strengthen this aspect of relational intelligence. She highlights the importance for adults to take care of their relationships and acknowledges that intimacy has a transformative power for the quality of our lives.
Inclusive Conversations Tackling Stereotypical Barriers.
Words matter and we need to rethink the language used for intimacy, going beyond ‘just sex’ or by including usually not considered minority groups. This discussion about inclusive intimacy, as well as rethinking the language used to talk about it, is not only happening within education but can also be seen in other parts of society, businesses and entertainment. By using fewer stereotypes, being more inclusive in how we portray the human body and all its diversity, and by focusing on how we use language in our conversations, we are able to tackle the stigmas that exist around ‘intimacy’, especially those silenced from society. Lastly, technology is being used to tackle stereotypical barriers, by allowing us to experience the body and thoughts of another person, and therefore increase our empathy towards their experience.
Peech is a sexshop with large windows and products in transparent containers, located in the Nørrebro neighbourhood in Copenhagen. It is a platform focused on sex positivism, ethical porn, exploration, liberation, and pleasure, and offers education and intimacy literacy.
The Machine To Be Another.
The Machine To Be Another is a concept created by BeAnotherLab studio. The project portraits two people swapping their bodies through the use of VR to see and experience one’s body through the viewpoint of another contributing to promoting a greater tolerance, empathy and diversity among society.
- What if we start rethinking sex education and teach relationships 2.0?
- What if H&M starts offering sex toys jewellery?
- What if sexual fluidity was the status quo?