Sexuality is “part of the revolution”
The #sexpositive series from Ooh by Je Joue
Ooh chats to sex positive performance artist (“52 Man Pickup”) Desiree Burch, award-winning comedian (2015’s Funny Women Stage Award for stand-up). Desiree has featured on NBC, E4 & this year performed the spectacular Fringe First monologue “Tar Baby”, shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award.
It is a perfect combination of intense orgasm power and sleek, minimalist design. I absolutely recommend it to anybody who likes deep rumbly vibrations.
Mary, UKOoh by Je Joue London love-in Pleasure kit
Desiree Burch in her one-woman show 52 man pick-up
What does sex positive mean to you?
‘Sex Positive’ to me means liking sex, thinking it’s nifty, not being ashamed about it (or at least, actively confronting that shame where it exposes itself), considering it as an important part of life, thinking about it and how to be your fuller self through sex, as you would with any other activity you engage in regularly and joyfully.
Why do you think that sex positive is an important idea?
I think sexuality is part of the revolution — the social evolution that we are going through. Not in a ‘free love’ kind of way, but more in an ‘understanding and accepting ourselves is understanding and accepting others’ kind of way, and seeing sexuality as radical knowledge. I think that sex positive attitudes can diminish the exploitation of sex because it diminishes the overall shame and taboo around sex that allows us to exploit it.
What changes would you like to see in the dialogue around sex?
I think that sexual education should happen at a younger age and be taught in more accepting ways. As much as it makes us squirm, all people are sexual human beings, even the young ones. The lack of information as well as the lack of dialogue that passes on important experience and wisdom leaves our young ones to repeat stupid histories of confusion and hurt around sexuality. I feel that we are really irresponsible in that way, and then later shame those for making the same mistakes we have made, when they wouldn’t have known better to begin with.
From your experiences as a dominatrix, what are the most common questions you’ve been asked?
Ha. Most people don’t ask as many questions as they want to hear stories. I typically explain what pro Dommes do, since some people may not understand how it differs from being somewhere between stripper and prostitute. But mostly, people’s eyes just glint when I mention it, because they want to know what that life would be like. Especially since it gets glamorized as getting to wear leather and beat up men, and there is more to it than that. At least, depending on who you talk to…
What part can sex toys play within the sex positive movement?
I think sex toys can help people to get to know themselves sexually and remove some of the stigma around sexual individuality. I mean, if there is a special toy made just for the specific thing you like, then you must not be alone in liking it, and there is a certain acceptance there. Also, there is sexual agency — not needing to go out and throw yourself into situations with unconscious people who may hurt your heart as they are desperately looking for something they can’t find in themselves through you. I think it is somewhat akin to a sexual meditation. I think it’s important to go deeper within so that you can do deeper with someone else.
Why do you think that some people still find toys embarrassing?
Well, it’s only recently — in the past decade or two — that you don’t have to go into a seedy-seeming store on the outskirts of town that specializes in porn videos to find a sex toy. Either that, or buying some “back massager” somewhere that clearly indicates shame in hiding what its purpose is. I think that sex toys have been lumped in with degenerate behavior, and it’s hard to erase that cultural memory. I think that masturbation has also been made to seem either pathetic or degenerate in society, so there are those who don’t want to be made to admit to being either one or the other of those limiting options. Also, toys that get used in intercourse get a bad rap because they are associated with either non-normative sexual desire or function. Also, sometimes people don’t want to have better sex because they don’t want to have to confront their shame around it. So they look askance at those who do.
What’s the most important factor for choosing a sex toy?
Buy quality. And have open conversations with the person behind the counter. Unless they are a scuzzbucket — in which case, go to another store! And if you are buying online, read the reviews!
What advice would you give people when they’re shopping for a sex toy?
Know what it’s made of and how to clean it and potentially operate it safely if it’s something outside of your run-of-the-mill, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of thing.
How can people overcome their embarrassment around sex and sex toys?
Talk to friends — they use them too! Read the stories in online forums about these toys. Read good erotica.
Lastly, what are your five tips for a great sex life?
- Practice! Practice! Practice!
- Be patient.
- Go back to loving yourself if you stray into territory that makes you feel weird.
- Don’t pressure yourself to be something you are not/do something you aren’t comfortable with.
- Experiment, and come to sex with a spirit of learning and growth if you can.
For more #sexpositive words of wisdom, visit Oohjejoue on twitter