Earlier this year I collaborated with U.S. based designer Andrew Schatz. I asked Mr. Schatz to create genital artwork that would break down barriers towards a sex positive world. The brief was simple. Art that enabled people to have conversations with themselves and others in response to human sexuality without feeling embarrassed or shamed. I wanted to make it OK for people to discuss sexual problems they be experiencing and to empower sexual wellness. The result of Andrews work was an amazing array of genitalia in the form of cartooned outlines. The reaction to the artwork has been varied, often producing a level of shame and closeting.
As a sex educator one of my jobs is to free people from sexual shame. To do this I must be open and frank in my dialogue with individuals, community and the world. I am radical and progressive when it comes to the promotion and facets of human sexuality. It is my role to nudge and support societies resilient edge, politically, academically and culturally.
So, what’s my gripe?
It’s time that genitals stop being repressed, censored and shamed. It’s OK to see genitals in many forms. Genitals are deeply rooted in the human psyche. Genitals are a significant part of our lives. Genitals provide an enormous amount of pleasure to ourselves, each other (sexually and erotically). Without genitals, many of us would not be here today – they help produce and deliver life into the world. Genitals allow us to eliminate waste. Genitals can be affected by emotional pain and discomfort. Genitals are part of culture and art, for example Freddy Krave’s amazing work in delivering a sense of normality to being naked and exposing our genitals. Spencer Tunicks work. Genitals are political – check out the ‘no more cutting project’ here, or ‘free the nipple’ campaign here. Genitals are in movies and porn – check out the movie ‘Shame‘ starring Michael Fassbende here. Should I go on!
For too long now we have told generation after generation that your genitals are taboo therefore they are shameful. It’s NOT OK to feel shame or become embarrassed or closeted about our genitals. Why cover them up in public and social media/communication/material? What are we hiding? Why is there so much modesty when it comes to our genitals and bodies? What’s so offensive? My genitals are part of me just as they are part of you. In fact, by covering up genitals we continue to support a taboo that is unhealthy. For some native African cultures nudity, has been the norm and genitals are just seen. See history of nudity here.
Taboo is an adjective, “prescribed by society as improper or unacceptable, prohibited or excluded from use or practice”.
I want to be able to make it healthy and normal for genital appearances in all their forms throughout marketing, art, social media and health communication. This is not about exhibitionism or sexualisation. It’s purely about the shame attached to our genitals. A culture of ‘oh’ you can’t show that? It’s wrong! It’s disgusting! I believe strongly that every human body is equal and naturally beautiful even more so when it comes to our genitals. Large, small, flappy, petite, tight you name it we are all different.
Many would agree that we are over sexualised in society today throughout media – I see this differently. Instead, we have conditioned ourselves to sexualise every aspect of our genitals. I believe this has produced a culture of covering up, a culture of taboo. Genitals don’t need to be sexualised in every living aspect. Janet Jackson only knows too well about this shame, see her nip slip here. If we all started to change our perceptions about our bodies/genitals and stopped being so closeted I am sure we would be able to create a healthier society. Genitals and nip slips may even become a taboo of the past.
Its time to support genital awareness, come out and free your genitals today. #freeyourgenitals #FYG
T-Shirts/other marketing material will be coming soon and available from Polysoma.
Please feel free to use/share this artwork to support the FYG Project and attribute it to Polysoma.
Designed by Andrew Schatz.
#freeyourgenitals artwork by Polysoma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.