Concurrent Panel Session Five

Abstract Title

Sex & (Self)Shaming: Exploring the Intersections of Kink, Sexual Desire and Ideology

Start Date

7-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

7-4-2018 2:50 PM

Abstract

In 2017, author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explored the connection between sex and shame in his book Everybody Lies. Through the use of Google analytics, he revealed a staggering contradiction between sexual desire and personal ideology, finding that individual kinks and desires often contradict the lifestyle choices and behaviors that most impact public perception of identity. Interrogating the pornography habits of men and women, both in the United State and globally, Stephens-Davidowitz found that, overwhelmingly, “fantasy life isn’t always politically correct.”

If in its purest form sex is an expression of our deepest desires, feelings, and expressions of self, how and why does shame so often factor into the equation? Is guilt simply the natural manifestation of being a sexual person in a sex-negative, puritanical culture, or is the taboo of our fantasies to blame? What role does the pressure of conservative and progressive ideology play in not only the shame we feel, but the pleasure we gain from engaging in or fantasizing about sexual behaviors that seem to exist in direct opposition to our personal beliefs?

From “rape play” to “race play,” what do we do when we are most turned on by the things in life we battle against? Are we obligated to interrogate the ethical implications of our sexual desire and if so to what end and to whose benefit? Are sexual desires valid just because we feel them? Or do these desires stem from lived experiences in a culture that insists on the dominance and submission of certain groups of people? By policing our sexual interests, are we only oppressing ourselves? Through a queer theory and feminist lens, this presentation will explore the complex borderland between who we are publically, and who we are when no one is watching.

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Apr 7th, 2:00 PM Apr 7th, 2:50 PM

Sex & (Self)Shaming: Exploring the Intersections of Kink, Sexual Desire and Ideology

In 2017, author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explored the connection between sex and shame in his book Everybody Lies. Through the use of Google analytics, he revealed a staggering contradiction between sexual desire and personal ideology, finding that individual kinks and desires often contradict the lifestyle choices and behaviors that most impact public perception of identity. Interrogating the pornography habits of men and women, both in the United State and globally, Stephens-Davidowitz found that, overwhelmingly, “fantasy life isn’t always politically correct.”

If in its purest form sex is an expression of our deepest desires, feelings, and expressions of self, how and why does shame so often factor into the equation? Is guilt simply the natural manifestation of being a sexual person in a sex-negative, puritanical culture, or is the taboo of our fantasies to blame? What role does the pressure of conservative and progressive ideology play in not only the shame we feel, but the pleasure we gain from engaging in or fantasizing about sexual behaviors that seem to exist in direct opposition to our personal beliefs?

From “rape play” to “race play,” what do we do when we are most turned on by the things in life we battle against? Are we obligated to interrogate the ethical implications of our sexual desire and if so to what end and to whose benefit? Are sexual desires valid just because we feel them? Or do these desires stem from lived experiences in a culture that insists on the dominance and submission of certain groups of people? By policing our sexual interests, are we only oppressing ourselves? Through a queer theory and feminist lens, this presentation will explore the complex borderland between who we are publically, and who we are when no one is watching.