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.
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!
Steps for making your workshop happen:
1. Come up with a concept for your workshop.
What are you interested in talking about and/or exploring with a group of people? What are you excited about right now?
2. Come up with a name for your workshop, and write a brief description of what it’s about.
What’s the point? What will participants get out of it? Come up with one or more concrete goals for the workshop.
3. Find somewhere that you can reserve space affordably (ideally for free).
If you’re in Boston, this list of supportive venues will seriously help you out. One approach is to email places, include the workshop name and description in your email, and ask if they will let you use their space for your workshop.
4. Set a date and time with the venue.
5. Tell people about your workshop!
6. Make an outline of your workshop.
7. Make handouts.
Make some resource lists, zines, a print out of a relevant blog post you wrote, etc. to pass out. Optional, but it’s nice to give people something to look at and take home.
8. Show up and make it happen!
Be friendly, actually listen to people, and have fun. It’s okay if everything doesn’t go perfectly.
I hope this is helpful! Also, for lots more tips and resources on organizing sexuality events, including free sexuality graphics, discussion outlines, good places to find sexuality info, check out the Resources for Sexuality Educators & Activists page on our website.
Nicole is hosting Pleasure Pie’s first ever Emerging Sex Positive Activist Workshop next month at Good Vibrations in Brookline, MA!
This workshop is all about sexual freedom activism and how you can find ways to help create a more sexually accepting culture that reflects your own skills and interests.
Learn how to participate in and create sex positive spaces within your own communities!
Purchase Tickets @ www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2304531
Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/557548077737319/
This August I traveled to Maryland and Virginia to be a part of two sexuality conferences, Amorous Revolt and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. It was awesome to meet so many people who are passionate about creating a more sexually accepting culture!
My friends at The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health let me use some of their table space for Pleasure Pie zines, and I am eternally grateful! It was a great opportunity to put my work out there in a community of enthusiastic, supportive sex geeks. Also, I put up the Thoughtful Penis Series on the wall behind the table, because why not? Photo from the CSPH Instagram.
Unfortunately I didn’t think to take any photos at Amorous Revolt, and I haven’t seen any posted on the internet yet. But I’ll post some if I find any!
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our Sex Positive Summer Tour fundraiser for making this all possible!!!
I know I’ve written a lot of posts that include the phrase “first ever” and its starting to sound gimmicky. But lately Pleasure Pie has given me a lot of opportunities to try things for the first time. About a week ago, I did my first ever performance!
I wasn’t really sure how I could perform a zine, but the application specifically said that they were accepting zine performances, so I trusted that I could figure it out if I was accepted. I really wasn’t expecting them to accept my application because the description I gave of my performance didn’t sound at all smutty.
But they did! I was psyched because I’ve admired the CSPH’s work for a long time. And I was nervous because it was starting to hit me that I had never performed anything before, and I wasn’t that confident about the concept I submitted to them.
So I started practicing with Eric and we quickly came up with ideas for making it funner and sexier. But those ideas required that I have a second performer. Eric isn’t a performer either, but he agreed to do it with me, so long as I don’t give him many lines.
As the event neared, I started having flashbacks to the time I did a speech about polyamory at an event at Bridgewater State University. I was invited to speak by one of the event planners, but the other people in charge didn’t seem to want me there at all. Their approach to MCing was to goof around and tell borderline sex-negative and body shaming jokes. I think they thought that even a brief speech would be boring. They pretty much told me to get off the stage as quickly as I could. So I went up and started reading from my notes, and the (large) crowd kept chattering. I was really nervous, with it being possibly the first time I ever spoke in front of a crowd, and I felt completely unwanted. I rushed through what I had to say with little to no inflection in my voice, and left the stage wondering whether any of the 100+ people in the room got anything out of it.
In planning for Smut Night I was really worried that I would freeze up again once I got in front of the crowd. I kept telling myself, “Say things with feeling! Be dramatic!” But in our practice sessions, I continued to be monotone because I couldn’t get past the fact that no one was actually watching us.
When the night of the event finally came and Eric and I found ourselves in front of a real audience (which was a thousand times more welcoming and supportive than the one at Bridgewater, by the way) we both got so much energy from the crowd. We went all out with the over the top theatrics. My hands were visibly shaking with nervous and excited energy (someone from the front row later told me they noticed). I even knocked over the mic stand by pulling the microphone too far away during a chaotic fake-make-out scene. We improvised, goofed around, and ogled each other. I told people to buy the zine way too many times. We had a lot of fun, and I think the audience could tell. A bunch of strangers told me afterward that they loved our performance. :)
Also, someone called my zine “a Puritan’s nightmare.” That was fun to hear. I just looked up the definition of Puritan and found “someone who follows a strict moral code and who believes that pleasure is wrong.” I didn’t realize how accurate that review was until now.
Thanks so much to the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health for putting on a great event and giving us the opportunity to be a part of it!
I’m looking forward to possibly expressing my dramatic inclinations in future performances. Currently brainstorming new Pleasure Pie performance ideas.