Are you interested in BDSM and not sure where to start (and living in the Boston area)? Here's a list of suggestions!
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)?
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.
“Condoms will break, but I can assure you that vows of abstinence will break more easily than condoms.”
I made this plate for an event that a local nonprofit called The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health had this month to celebrate their fifth birthday. They had an art exhibit called A Place at the Table to honor the history of sex educators who helped move our culture in the direction of sexual acceptance. The installation was inspired by feminist artist Judy Chicago’s exhibit, The Dinner Party.
Chicago pioneered the Feminist Art Movement in the 70’s, and she created The Dinner Party to pay tribute to influential women throughout history. The Dinner Party was originally banned as pornographic and Chicago had to fight to exhibit her work. Through emulating Chicago’s concept, A Place at the Table intends to acknowledge the historical relevance of her contribution to eliminating sexual shame.
On Abstinence Vows
By Nicole Mazzeo
“Condoms will break, but I can assure you that vows of abstinence will break more easily than condoms.” -Joycelyn Elders
As a teenager, I believed that strict abstinence was my ownly acceptable option. This led me to internalize a lot of shame around the fact that I sometimes masturbated, was turned on by taboo things, and had sexual feelings at all. When I finally gave myself permission to experiment sexually, anytime I tried to engage sexually with a partner my mind would flood with anxious thoughts about whether I was doing it “right”, deadlines I had missed, etc. – anything and everything I could possibly be anxious about came to mind when I tried to be sexual. I usually couldn’t relax enough (physically or emotionally) to feel much sexual pleasure, and orgasms were often unattainable.
For the past six years, I’ve been on a journey of reclaiming my sexuality and my right to pleasure.
My experience of sexual repression has led me to care deeply about encouraging young people to make their own choices about sex. People of all ages deserve to have power over their own bodies and their own sexual expression. Educators and caregivers have the responsibility to support young people in their efforts to find healthy, fulfilling ways of relating to the sexual aspects of who they are (unless they find that sexuality is not a part of their experience – then they deserve support in embracing their non-sexual identity). Rather than pressuring young people to make vows of abstinence, let’s give them all their options, and all the information they need to make responsible decisions about sexual expression.
Jocelyn Elders is the former US Surgeon General who was fired by President Clinton in 1994 for her controversial remarks about contraception, masturbation, and abortion, among other things. She is currently a professor in Arkansas.
This piece was made by gluing magazine clippings to a ceramic plate. The text was written with a typewriter, glued to repurposed cardboard, and then glued to the plate.
Photos from A Place at the Table
Come write a letter to your teenage self saying everything you wish you knew about sex (and bodies, relationships, gender, etc.) as a teenager. Then we’ll have an open mic where you can read your letter (if you want to).
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: The Democracy Center in Cambridge
Cost: Sliding scale $3-$25
Click here to buy your ticket! :)
After we have some time to write our letters, anyone who wants to share their letter is welcome to read it aloud, open mic style (you can also ask someone to read your letter for you, if you want).
We will provide pens and paper, but you’re welcome to bring a laptop if you’d like to type your letter.
We would love it if you want to submit your letter to The Sex Letters Project blog! Then other people can read your letter, maybe identify with what you said, and possibly even learn something from it. Submissions can be anonymous or credited, it’s up to you. If you choose to write your letter by hand, we are happy to type it up for you to submit it to the blog. If you’d rather not submit your letter, that’s totally cool too. :)
Admission to this event is on a sliding scale from $3 to $25. You are welcome to pay whatever you’d like in that range. Admission includes a copy of our zine, Sex Letters Volume One.
There will be snacks! (The more you pay for admission, the better the snacks will be ;)
All are welcome. Feel free to invite people!
Pleasure Pie strives to create safer spaces. We will share what that means to each of us and come up with some guidelines during this event, but for now you can check out these safer space guidelines by a local co-op, The Fort, to get a sense of what this can look like.
This will be in the Library room in The Democracy Center. It is private and cozy. Unfortunately, the building isn’t wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if stairs are a hindrance to you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night was the much-awaited Pleasure Pie Launch Party! Honestly, I was pretty nervous about the event. It didn’t occur to me until a few days before the night of the party that I had never put on an event before (other than purely social holiday or birthday parties). Fortunately, my very supportive love partner and similarly supportive sister agreed to help with making copies and preparing food (respectively). Though they just agreed to help me complete these tasks, they actually ended up doing them pretty much single-handedly, while I ran around doing a million seemingly crucial things that I can’t even remember now.
But it all came together (THANK YOU Melissa and Eric!) and it was a really good time! There were so many awesome people in one room, so how could it not be great?
The zine making station was a hit, and people made some amazing stuff! I loved one person’s zine so much that I suggested repeatedly that she let me sell it for her with my Pleasure Pie merch. So you might have the opportunity to see this zine that I can’t stop raving about sometime soon.
(Update: You can now buy this zine here!)
The open mic was really great. I think of Pleasure Pie as a way for me to share the lessons that I’ve found helpful in my journey to reclaim my sexuality and overcome sexual shame, and it was really moving to hear about the things that have been important to others in their own journeys. Thank you all for being awesome!
We ended the night with sex trivia, which was as ton of fun. It was an interesting mix of activists, bloggers, poets, sex educators, and people who just came with their sex geek friends, so there were a lot of very interesting conversations (and team names). And I love giving presents, so I was psyched to hand out prizes to the winning team (go Butt Plugs / The 5%)!
I’m thinking about planning another Sex Letters open mic in the coming months. Let me know if you would be interested in reading a letter!
Come celebrate and see what Pleasure Pie is all about!
Saturday, September 6th, 2014
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Democracy Center 45 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138
There will be a Sex Letters open mic! Bring a letter to read, or just show up and hear people read their letters. If you are interested in reading (do it!), you can find submission guidelines here.
There will be a zine making station! Whether you’ve never made a zine before or have dozens of zines published, this is for you. Materials and guidance (if wanted) will be provided.
There will be sex trivia! And what’s trivia without prizes???
There will be Pleasure Pie creations! Zines, post cards, quizzes, etc. Bring cash!
There will be snacks! Yum. If you enjoy bringing something, by all means, bring something. If not, bring you!
I can’t wait to see you there!
[RSVP on the Facebook event page]