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After day one at #AIDS2020, I bet you are all wondering, did I fulfill my quest? Did I find anymore pleasure mentions at the conference? Well the short answer is, ‘kinda’? Throughout the live sessions that I attended and the on-demand one that I viewed, I found some interesting potential links for pleasure integration.

What did I find today?

Live session by UNAIDS2025 AIDS targets: Setting the next generation of goals for the global AIDS response” offered some insight into the future of HIV work. Their 2030 goals include over 100 targets in prevention, treatment and enablers. This includes assumptions about new technologies/tools for prevention. Could pleasure be integrated into their tools for prevention? Pleasure could be used as a potential amplifier of effectiveness for these targets. They also discussed social enablers: access to justice, gender equality, stigma and discrimination and integration. Could pleasure be integrated here to with the inclusion of sexual rights along with consent? This integration could be aided by the uptake of WAS’s 2014 Declaration on Sexual Rights and the soon to be ratified WAS Declaration on Sexual Pleasure. Pleasure can potentially be added to these targets to provide inclusivity and a humanistic aspect of these goals.

Stay tuned for more live session tweeting

In the interactive booths, I found a mention of sexual pleasure (hip, hip, hooray!). The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council’s condom variety video detailed their diverse, colorful collection. They mentioned the use of textured condoms for your PLEASURE, and stated ‘condoms offer safety, performance and pleasure’. (One point for team pleasure!). When we see mentions like this, we need to remember to use pleasure as a way to promote these tools for protection, in a fun, sexy way.

Speaking of condoms, the UNFPA booth mentioned access to condoms in their online research reviews. However, with a cheeky skim and search feature, there was again, no mention of pleasure in terms of condom use or promotion.

I was lucky enough to attend two sessions that discussed sex work and sex workers rights. I felt it is important to attend these sessions because conference and studies can sometimes be clouded by medical terminology with a lack emphasis on human experiences. I look forward to attending more sessions on the sex work community, because in these sessions, condoms are mentioned more than once!

What’s next?

Myself and fellow members of the pleasure community still cannot quite believe that these conferences don’t relate more to anyone’s sex lives. I hope as a young women, I find more sessions that relate to my age group and target the reasons we have sex: Pleasure. The sessions I am attending are the most inclusive, but I hope that I can find more sessions that are relatable to a broader range of the population!

Don’t worry, my quest is far from over, and I can assure you there will be more pleasure positive content on the way with highlights from our own pleasure session and quotes from fellow pleasure propagandists. Stay tuned!