An Interview with Gorjus Doc, aka Dr. Tasha Ramsey
If you've ever seen a sexual anatomy diagram, I am willing to bet that it was based on a white person. As much as the sex-positive movement strives to combat oppression, it is still largely made up of middle class white people, and we aren't always as aware of intersectional oppression as we should be.
More than half of American Indian and Alaska Native women (56%) experience sexual assault. The vast majority (96%) are assaulted by a non-Native perpetrator. For centuries, colonizers / the US government have stripped Indigenous folks of power and resources — and continue to do so today. This disempowerment and exploitation makes Native folks especially vulnerable to sexual and relationship abuse (as well as poverty, health issues, pollution, and ongoing land insecurity).
In other words, the system is really fucked up and people are getting hurt. So, what can we do?
There is no universal definition of what it means to be financially accessible. What is accessible for one person might be very different from what is accessible for another.
I’ve talked to sex-positive event organizers who see a sliding scale ticket price that starts at $15 as being very financially accessible. My feeling is that even a scale that starts at $1 can be exclusionary for some people. If you’re broke and you’re figuring out where you’re going to spend money in a day, you might have $3 to spend on lunch, and if $1 of that is required for admission to an event that you are really interested in attending, then you're forced to decide between having some crackers (or whatever you can find for $2) and going to the event, or having a bagel (or another $3 lunch) and skipping it.
Banning abortion means forced birth. Forced birth is abuse. It is at odds with the basic human rights of bodily autonomy and self-determination. In many cases, it is even life threatening.
If you, like us, are feeling outraged, powerless, horrified, and/or brokenhearted by the news of last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe Vs. Wade, here are some things you can do to work to make things better. No one of us can fix this alone, but if many of us do something, we can collectively dig ourselves out of the very bleak place that we are finding our country in right now.
When there’s a lot of bad news happening in the world, it can feel like the only appropriate reaction is despair. And if you’re not visibly upset, you’re seen as either under-informed, numb from the overwhelming amount of bad in the world, or, worst of all, an unfeeling monster. But those aren’t the only options! Being faced with tragedy is never easy, but there are steps you can take to avoid complete devastation, compassion fatigue, and burnout (which does not lend itself to working toward positive change in the world!).
Employees from Good Vibrations, the feminist sex toy store located in Brookline and Cambridge, Massachusetts have been on strike to demand safer working conditions during the pandemic.
Good Vibrations has long been a supporter of Pleasure Pie, from hiring us for workshops to buying our zines and other creations to sell in their stores, and even featuring us as a partner for their GiVe program, through which they raised hundreds of dollars for Pleasure Pie. We are grateful to have such a supportive sex toy store in our city. We also cannot justify ignoring the current issues within their company just because we have benefited from their support over the years.
I interviewed Aria Carpenter, one of the leaders of the strike.
An Interview with Gazan Sex Educator Mohammed Alkrunz
While I was living in Jerusalem and trying to find sexuality-related initiatives in the area (for this zine), I came across the website of an organization called the International Youth Alliance For Family Planning (IYAFP for short). They’re a youth-run (ages 15 to 30) nonprofit that advocates for sex ed and sexual rights around the world.
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)?
What can we do in response to the Orlando, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and police officer shootings?
Tonight’s Sex Positive Boston discussion was a brainstorming session about what we all can do (individually and/or collectively) in response to Orlando, the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, targetted killings of police officers, other recent incidents of police brutality, and racism and oppression in general. We did our best to think creatively about how we can contribute to positive change in light of these dark circumstances. There is no one right answer, and we are not here to tell you what approach is right for you!
By Nicole Mazzeo
For two months this winter, I took time off from Pleasure Pie projects to reflect and do some self care. I wanted to check in with myself and my community to make sure that my activism (by “activism,” I mean everything I do with Pleasure Pie, including zine making, having events, giving workshops, writing, etc.) is as effective as possible, and that it’s not unintentionally harmful in any way (and if it is, fix that).
If your creations are physical items (zines, books, illustrations, art pieces, worksheets, stickers, etc.)
By Nicole Mazzeo
You, too can put on a workshop! You don’t need to be an official “educator” or have certification (or even a college degree).
You do need passion for the subject and willingness to put time and effort into it. And you should know a good amount about the topic you’re going to cover. I recommend reading things on the internet (or, you know, books) – and fact checking anything you want to use. You can do it!
By Nicole Mazzeo
[The “Sparknotes” version is at the bottom, for people with limited time/attention spans.]
I’m not talking about respect for a person’s right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, or respect for a fetus’s right to life (no comment on either of those right now). I’m talking about respect for people who you disagree with. Your “opponents.”
Have you ever heard a pro-choice advocate talk about “pro-lifers”? Or a pro-life advocate talk about … “pro-abortion-ers”? (Or whatever anti-abortion people call pro-choice people.)
If so, it’s likely that you’ve heard this done in a way that paints the disagreeing party as bumbling idiots. Not just bumbling idiots, but conniving, deceitful, bumbling idiots with really bad intentions.