This is a response to the article below:
Everyday Erotic: Young Women Embrace Nudity in Pictures As Beautiful, Not Pornographic
I am so amazed at what Anne wrote about me. At every sentence I thought: Yes, yes! That's exactly how I think and feel. She brought to clarity that abstract notion I have inside me.
Straight lines and curves by Pavel Kiselev.
I am in love with this photograph. It isn't difficult to see why, if you are familiar with my ffffound! account. I love women, art, and cats. See how artfully this image is composed. It is not so unusual that I like to juxtapose pictures of cats and women, when the feminine figure so reflects the feline form. And vice versa.
Recently my grandma gave me a book, Maps To Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth. I haven't actually started on it yet, but one of my best girlfriends, Drei, picked it up when she slept over last week, and opened it to a random page. She read this aloud to me:
"But most of the sex all around us—in advertising, entertainment, furtive encounters in the dark—tends to be external and superficial, more in the head than in the body. This chronic abuse of sexuality is as noxious and destructive as true sexual experience is healing, whole-making. We talk and think a lot about sex, but mostly we don't do it well."
That was a lightbulb moment. Most especially the last sentence. Today's media is criticized for having too much sex (and violence). Drei and I discussed it subsequently, this attitude of postmodern (or postpostmodern?) society towards sex. It tends to be dichotomized. Sex is either trashy, or taboo. It's out-there, in-the-open, in-your-face... or it's hidden away in a box and never ever spoken of. A woman is either a madonna or a whore. Same old story. Why? I believe this unhealthy attitude towards sex is a major factor in heinous crimes, irresponsible promiscuity, and general unhappiness.
Growing up in a Catholic family, in a predominantly Catholic country, I did get suspicious of myself. I'd think: Hmmm, my high school teachers would probably disapprove. But honestly, my conscience is happy. Yes, I enjoy sex in art. Yes, there are a lot of pictures of naked women on my ffffound! account, to put it bluntly. I think they are beautiful! :)
It is not my problem if people find malice in it. I am not shoving it in their faces, after all. Do I have to be perverse, to be able to enjoy images of nudity? If I am in touch with my sensual side, does that make me vulgar? Do I have to be lesbian, to enjoy pictures of naked women? No, on all counts. (Not that I think there's anything wrong with homosexuality. A topic for another time.)
What is decent... what is appropriate... what it controversial... most of this is relative to culture. I remain respectful of others' feelings. I think that is important. I do not need to step on other people's sensibilities, in order to uphold my own. My stand here still boils down to one of my basic precepts:
Do education, not propaganda.
Banning or villifying sex is not a solution. Neither is flooding the media with copious amounts of it.
Being an integral part of humanity, and an essential aspect of love... I call for a healthy and holistic understanding, and celebration, of sexuality.
Anne here. I hope that you will read Feanne's comments, not only through the lens of the subject at hand, but also as part of a larger process, one that resonates with today's 20-year olds, on the topic of life management.
I write about Feanne as an example, and she grabs a page for her own response. These young women have a lot to say, and they're not shy about expressing themselves.
Granted, Feanne is a level-11 performer on the high-bar of life. But she's symptomatic about how business operates in the New World. Feanne is confident and ready to express herself in a totally authentic way about issues of self, sexuality, branding, and consumption.
I chatted last night with a close buddy who is a genuine, top of the pyramid, superstar in the advertising, global branding world. He said that the Internet is just the facilitator for human minds. What was private, is now public. I agree with his premise, but . . .
I said "No, guy's brains flex from nude women one moment to action figures the next always. The male brain runs on autopilot, mixing sexy images with ordinary, non-sexy ones. The Internet definitely facilitates the self-expression. Some women's brains are like men's when it comes to sex -- mine for one -- but women compartmentalize sexuality much more, at least publicly. Some of the differences are actual brain differences. Culturally, we have huge differences."
Feanne's approach is new, in its public embrace of sexuality and her becoming a producer, a generator of erotic imagery for women.
Understanding Feanne is an important piece of understanding the new, young consumer . . . and the new older Smart Sensuality woman.
When it comes to her sexuality, Feanne is not looking to brands to direct her sense of sexual self. In all honesty, she and her friends are way ahead of corporate America, in directing the evolution of New Eroticism.
New Eroticism vs What's Sexy Now?
The key distinguishing factor between "New Eroticism" and "What's Sexy Now?", my old sex trend, is the woman herself driving the trend. "What's Sexy Now? "looked to brands like Victoria's Secret to drive a woman's sense of sexuality. "What's Sexy Now?" was a question, one directed to brand.
Woops . . . VS didn't drive the discussion from her point of view, regardless of her age.
VS became a testosterone-infused man's brand, one that is trying to course-correct today with both young women and the older ones they insulted, asking us if we were shopping for our daughters. That would be me, on three separate occasions, once with $750 of product, mostly for another client. $200 was for me; everything was in my size.
Why in the world would any lingerie store risk insulting a woman with that much lingerie at the cash register?