Always dutiful, your faithful Pleasure Project reporter is here in Sydney attending the “Festival on the Art of Lust”.
Its a celebration of creative sexuality with artists exploring lust and sexuality. Just to add to your envy , it’s being held in a dance centre overlooking a bay in Sydney. So as I attend workshops intended to improve our sexual skills I can gaze at the boats zipping across the bay and glimpse the sun on the opera house.
Although good safe sex is not a focus of the conference my personal mission to talk to artists can help us deliver sex education that is sexy, appealing and accessible.
So I have to admit I started the day by being too shy to attend naked yoga. Aimed at getting you comfortable with your body. Just too much too quick for this intrepid reporter.
But I did go to two workshops both aimed at how to negotiate the type of sex or play you want. This I hoped to be able to expand to increase safer sex.
So the day started with a workshop where half of us were blindfold and half not – the blindfolded people were encouraged to shout, push, avoid the touch they did not like. We explored through a series of gradually more daring exercises how to say no or how to accept the touch we liked. We focused on saying no in different ways. Shouting it, hitting back or escaping from it. It felt strange to touch strangers and sometimes have them tell you in no uncertain terms to leave them alone – but also respond positively. We could always use a safe word to make people leave us alone.
It’s rare that we have the opportunity to practise reacting to touch and fighting back. I imagine that women who have to deal with fairly constant sexual harassment, in many parts of the world, on public transport or other public spaces, might enjoy the chance to sharpen their reactions and the loudness of their “nos”.
There was also a workshop about “playfighting” – the kind of roll about puppy like play that we stop as we grow up. It was surprising great fun. Again learning to let go and fight in a fun way. We started with only our hands fighting and ended up rolling around with complete strangers giggling as we wrestled each other to the ground. And some of these Australian men are quite large and quite strong.
So all in all , it was a much more physical day than I expected, and not at all like a sexual health conference.
More from the frontline of lust, in your service, tomorrow.