Issue 12: Sexuality Tomorrow
Sex is shrouded in such mystery and secrecy, that an honest conversation about it is nothing short of miraculous. This issue, entitled Sexuality Tomorrow, co-curated by journalists in conjunction with porn actress and adult film director Nica Noelle, discusses sex freely and openly. Sex means something different to everyone, far from the ideas that Hollywood and Madison Avenue feed us. Within these articles, essays, stories and artwork, you will discover how therapists, writers, artists, adult performers and the ordinary citizen feel about this essential, ever controversial part of life.
Our view of sex was deeply transformed in the 1960’s by the pioneering research of William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Dr. Velleda Ceccolli, in her essay “Masters of Sex,” tells the story of these two brilliant renegades who worked and thought outside the box. Masters and Johnson were rebels who not only overcame the cultural climate they had grown up and lived in, but managed to study human sexuality in ways that no one else would have dared. They literally mapped the erogenous areas of both female and male bodies,recording the orgasms of over 10,000 people in an effort to understand what it is that actually “turns us on.” The impact of their work has been enormous, educating people by shattering myths. They opened our minds to the complexity of sex and led us to a sexual revolution that changed the world forever.
Dr. Michael Picucci writes in “Sexuality and Sacred Sex,” “sex is about sharing and exchanging energies that originate more from our souls than just our heads or our genitals. It is about uniting our longing for wholeness and connection, yearnings that are naturally sacred and spiritual. It is about pleasuring and being pleasured in whatever consensual form that takes.” In a second essay, “Graceful Guidelines for Sexual Healing,” Dr. Picucci proposes five steps that illuminate and focus a healing journey that is central to attaining life mastery, the awareness of being alive sensual pleasure and contentment.
Similarly, Robyn Vogel discusses Tantra practices that aim to support our ability to form a deeply loving connection with ourselves and each other, and join together with another in sacred presence. As a counterpoint, Nica Noelle’s review of porn star Asa Akira’s memoir, “Insatiable,” shows how sex can become an obsession devoid of depth and meaning, but full of pleasure and adventure.
Lawyer and adult film star Ben Peck proudly honors his “sluttiness” on philosophical grounds, citing the work of John Stuart Mill, one of the 19th-century’s leading philosophical voices. For Peck, “our voluntary sexual choices– are completely beyond social control. And as long as sexual encounters involve voluntary, ‘free combination’ among individuals, society has no right to control or condemn them.”
Neil McArthur, in his very practical essay, “Should We Have Sex Just Because Our Partner Wants To?,” writes about a non-pharmaceutical solution to the problem of desire discrepancy in relationships. As he explains, we may not realize that curing the problem can be cheap, available without a prescription, and it nearly always works immediately.
Many of the essays in this issue represent the writers’ personal journeys that deepened their understanding of what sex means to them, especially its transformative qualities.
In my personal essay, “Scenes from a Bed,” I discuss the many experiences that being in bed facilitates, from a sense of refuge to feelings of anxiety or night terror. “In bed, we lose ourselves and find ourselves all at the same time.” I recall my own transformational experiences in bed, reminding readers that it isn’t just a mattress. A bed is comfort, pleasure, and awakening.
In his book, “In Bed With Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master,” Tim Teeman attempts to untangle the novelist’s personal and intellectual relationship to sexuality–his own and more generally. The book traces Vidal’s first love, his relationship with partner Howard Austen, his enjoyment of hustlers, why he never took on a public, campaigning role around sexuality, his ambivalence towards his own sexuality, and what he felt about the importance society places on sexuality generally. We are proud to offer an excerpt of this engaging new book here on Sexuality Tomorrow.
Had Vidal come of age now, perhaps he would have hired a contemporary version of hustlers, the Professional Cuddler. In “The Cuddler,” an anonymous writer charts his extraordinary story to quiet his sexual demons by meeting with a paid cuddler who does nothing but hold him lovingly.
Juri Kylián’s choreography escapes definition. He has incorporated folk, classical, modern and jazz into his work, as well as experimented with the interaction of voice and movement. He deals with the big questions in life: What is life? What is it to be human? He accomplishes this staggering feat by speaking through the body and its expressive ability. Dance editor Dr. Velleda Ceccoli reviews his work with her eye on its sexual and sensual elements.
In other reviews, adult film director Nica Noelle gets intimate with director Dana Vespoli, now shooting her own features for the highly respected studio, Evil Angel. Through Noelle’s expert probing, Vespoli reveals herself to be not only incredibly sexy, but an honest and passionate artist as well.
“Nymphomanic” by Danish director Lars von Trier, first premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival at its full length of five and a half hours. Morgan Luna reviews this controversial work, which follows the myriad sex-ploits of a middle-aged woman with a dark past.
Stanley Siegel, LCSW