Pillow Talk is a new video series about the quirks of intimate relationships. It was made in Jerusalem by budding filmmakers Ezra Ani and Micah Smith, who are from Baltimore and Los Angeles, respectively. Since I'm currently staying in Jerusalem, I was curious to hear about a local art project that explores romance, gender, and sexuality, so I decided to ask them some questions!
I recently was asked some questions about Pleasure Pie and the Sex Letters Project. Here are my answers! - Nicole
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
A: I've always made zines. As a kid I would make DIY magazines where I interviewed our family pets and gave updates on household happenings. Then when I was in college I started to become fascinated by sex-positivity. I had had some bad experiences with sex, and I was really under-informed about sexuality. So, in an attempt to get over my anxieties and embarrassment about sex, and to learn more about it, I started reading about it online — a lot. I read about sex-positivity, sex education, and gender equality, and took some college classes on human sexuality and LGBT topics.
I own very few sex toys.
Historically, I've found sex toys somewhat intimidating. I bought my first sex toy in my late teens — a large, cheap purple jelly vibrator from Spencer's Gifts at the mall (the only place I knew to find sex toys). I didn't really enjoy using it. The vibrations made my genitals go numb after a few minutes, and it was too big and rigid to feel good inside my vagina.
We've made some creations on the themes of sexual empowerment and anti-oppression that we want to share with the world! Feel free to print as many of these as you'd like and distribute them wherever. Enjoy!
These colorful bookmarks with phrases about consent and sexual empowerment are great for event goodie bags, gifts for bookish friends, etc.
So, you want to start a sex-positive student group at your school? That's great — here are some tips!
2017 was a tough year for the United States. Like many of you, we here at Pleasure Pie asked ourselves, "WTF should we do?" as things spiraled downward on a national level. Should we drop the sex-positivity stuff and do more direct political engagement? Should we stick to what we know, and push for a culture of consent and healthy sexual expression at a time when the need for this is even more visible than usual (with the "locker room talk" and allegations of sexual assault against so many politicians and celebrities)?
By Anonymous Pleasure Pie Contributor
A little under a year ago, I started dating a guy (I’ll call him my “partner”) who was especially adamant about me enthusiastically consenting to every sexual thing we did.
It wasn’t that he was asking for verbal consent more often than my other partners. It was that he pretty much begged me to never do anything sexual with him that I didn’t fully want to be doing.
By Nicole Mazzeo
I went to San Francisco recently and one of my favorite parts was seeing where I could find zines. Here are the places I went!
Written by Lori S., Pleasure Pie contributor. Graphics by Nicole Mazzeo.
Look, I’m not trying to romanticize this crap. Pain sucks. Sometimes, when it feels like I’ve been jinxed with the ability to pee sulfuric acid, or my clitoris is in no-chill, angry-like-the-Bride-in-Kill-Bill mode, I curse whatever vengeful deity is messing with my genitals.
But as much as I’d love to completely indulge in hyper-cynicism, I have to admit that dealing with pelvic pain has, in some ways, made my life better. And yes, that includes my sex life.
I know. Bear with me.
In November, we made this “Oh God, Oh God, Trump Is Our Next President” zine making station at the local theater company Company One’s production of the feminist play REVOLT. Here are some photos of the zines people made.
I made these self care themed resistance stickers the morning I found out that Trump won the election (back in November).
I wanted a project that would help me channel my upset feelings into something constructive. Since the election results were so upsetting to me, I imagined that a lot of other people would be similarly rattled. I worried that people might have an intense emotional reaction to the election results, and then become frustrated and jaded, which could lead to inaction in the long term. My hope for these stickers was to encourage people to take care of their emotional selves in a way that would make them more able to resist Trump’s impact long term.
guy we went to
high school with –
was he a friend of yours? –
I was struck by this recommendation while reading Survivor Theatre Project’s email newsletter this morning. I’ve often assumed that in order to fully process trauma, a person has to have some kind of emotional breakdown, and then build themself back up (like in the movies). But what do you do when that breakdown never comes? That’s why I love what the newsletter said about the many ways that grief can look:
What might respecting sex workers look like? I'll give some examples!
1. If you date someone who does sex work, you respect and value their body and autonomy as much as you would anyone else. You don’t assume that they’re comfortable with rough sex, certain sex acts, casual sex, etc. You don’t view people’s bodies as being less wonderful if they’ve been sexual with a lot of people.