Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Sex Positive Renaissance

The original Italian Renaissance supposedly began around the end of the 14th century and was in many was, in response to The Dark Ages and the control of the Church in all things to do with art, science and learning. The word renaissance (rinasciemento in Italian) literally means "rebirth", and the era is best known for its renewed interest in the culture of the classical antiquity. While it eventually had far reaching consequences on all areas of science, art and learning, it had little immediate influence on the majority of the population. The initial changes were concentrated in the elite and involved a relatively small number of people. However, the efforts of those few brave souls was ultimately far reaching in it's scope and the affects of the Renaissance still shape us to this day.

I truly believe that we are in the midst of a Sexual Renaissance. And like the Renaissance of the 14th century a small number of people are ultimately going to shape the way the world looks at sexuality. This is not to be confused with the Sexual Revolution of the 60's. The Sexual Renaissance is not about revolt and protest, but rather about creation and a bringing together of like-minded individuals in response to the repressiveness of our modern society. The Medieval Renaissance was in response in many ways to the repressive Byzantine era that preceded it. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest that our current Sexual Renaissance is in response to the repressive backlash to the 60's Sexual Revolution and the fear that the AIDS crises created in our world. Some of you may feel that our world (especially this country of ours and our current administration) has gotten more and more sexually repressive and while it may seem so, I believe it's a natural response to what is really happening in the world of sexuality. Sexuality is powerful and those in power want to keep the power unto themselves. It's dangerous to allow the power to belong to the masses. And we, of the Sex Positive Movement are bringing sexual power to the masses.

And it's not as hard as it would seem. Our population is ripe for change in the realms of human sexuality. One only has to look as far as the recent commercials and shows we see on Television and the abundance of cable stations that have gotten more and more sexual (and not the premium stations like HBO, either). Spike TV the "men's channel" is a prime example and another is the Comedy channel. But even the main public stations are taking more and more risks. Check out Desperate Housewives or even the majority of the Reality shows. And of course, the CSI series (especially CSI Crime) are full of kink and sex of all persuasions. And commercials! Damn, some of them are incredibly hot. The ads for Axe deodorant "how a dirty boy gets clean" are filled with kink and sex. Have you seen the one with the plumber pulling stuff from the drain, ending with a crop? And of course the Dannon Yogurt (pool boy joey and the French maid bit) commercials in the last few years have been overly suggestive. And my favorite is the new "dominate winter" advertising campaign for the MINI Cooper. These are just a few examples of the changes that are happening within the mainstream regarding sexuality.

This is an exciting time to be an activist and educator in the world of Sexuality. The Sex Positive Movement is gathering momentum and those of us at the forefront are beginning to get noticed and not always in a bad way. My friend Teri Ciacchi has been interviewed on the Today Show and recently was interviewed by a New Zealand Television show. My partner Jennifer gets press all the time up in Vancouver, BC and I'm becoming more well-known throughout the Pacific Northwest and speaking at colleges and beyond on a regular basis. I've even been able to speak several times at a local Jesuit college (Seattle University), most recently about the movie Kinsey and even got to create a diagram of the G-Spot for a bunch of University students. And we're just three of the many who are moving our world forward toward sexual freedom and exploration. What a wonderful time for all of us. We are truly blessed to be part of this New Sexual Renaissance.


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