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)?
We decided to keep doing what we do best, and focus most of our efforts on building up the sex-positive movement, while incorporating politics whenever we had ideas for ways that we wanted to engage politically.
Here's an overview of what Pleasure Pie did this year!
We held an Anti-Trump Project Night, where people gathered around a rustic wooden table and worked on their own individual political project ideas. It was encouraging to see people working on some interesting and moving projects! Also, after the violence in Charlottesville, we held a discussion called Sex Positive Self Care for Trying Timeswhere we talked about pleasure as self care, and how to avoid becoming overcome with grief while still staying informed about the news, and possibly being politically active. We also made a Resisting Trump page on our website to compile resistance projects and resources, and led Emerging Sex Positive Activist workshops for college students and the public. Plus, we made this Respect Sex Workers pin!
Consent and Assault
We got a Pleasure Pie team together to walk at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Walk for Change, where we raised money to support their important free services for people who have experienced sexual assault (and their loved ones). We also led Yes! Yes! Yes! Consent & Pleasure workshops at colleges, published an article exploring a less-talked-about side of enthusiastic consent titled How I Started Asking *Myself* for Consent, and made this Sexual Pressure is Not Normal, Nor Is It OK pin.
Pleasure and Reducing Sexual Shame
One of the things that I'm proudest of from this year is the Self Love Masturbation Celebration, an event that we held to challenge stigma around masturbation. It featured a self love focused sensual meditation, masturbation coloring pages, a conversation about our thoughts and feelings about masturbation, a masturbation fortune teller making station, and an info table about the criminalization of masturbation in prisons. We also released the zine (it's) my pleasure, a collection of writings about people's relationships to masturbation.
We also held 11 Sex Positive Boston discussions on topics including ending relationships, pregnancy and STI prevention, sexual objectification, street harassment, intercourse, and more. Plus, we put out 12 issues of Boston's Sex Positive Newsletter to help people get involved with sexuality-related events in the area (see the January issue here), and led several Sex-Positive Zine Making workshops at zine fests, the Teasecraft kinky maker meetup, and more.
Phew! It's been a scary year. Onward to making things better in 2018!