The Sexual Freedom Project: Use it or not

Revisiting what Eneko said about generational differences in how we talk about sex, saying, for example, that the use of pornography is always a choice — use it or not.

What was your sex education growing up? Was it easy or hard to talk with your parents about sex?

Is accessibility to pornography important to you? Do you think is pornography serves society? Or helps with sex education?

Please share your thoughts with us — make your own video, write us a poem or an essay, or make us an original work of art. If your work is featured on the site, we’ll send you a free t-shirt!

Check out hundreds of Sexual Freedom Project videos, and our new Manifesto for The New Age of Sexual Freedom.

Video by Tiye Massey.

TRANSCRIPT by David Kreps

Eneko: Hello?

Food vendor: Hello, how are you?

Eneko: Lamb with rice… no, give me chicken rice please. Yeah.

VenusPlusX: So, tell me about sex education in Spain.

Eneko: *laughs*

Sex education in Spain is really bad because it’s still, I think it’s still the Spanish culure is following the Christian, the Christianists. So, for old people it’s really difficult to talk about the sex. Young people is opening, and I think that… they are not afriad to talk about sex. My parents? No, we don’t used to talk about that. I mean, it’s something that we know that we do. But, we avoid to talk about that. Pornography is something that you can use if you want. I mean pornography must be in the society. It’s nothing bad. You can use it or you can not use it. Depends, I mean if you have a … plenty sex life maybe you don’t want to use it. But if you you have some need, then you can. I think that pornography was controlled for men, and… not  the girls [who] were not in a good position [as] men’s pornography maybe. But, I know that somewhere in Spain, a lot of women directors are doing really good  pornography. With different rules, with different goals, and with different style. I mean, the pornography was controlled for the mens, but in the future they’re going to share …control. And I think they’re going to make pornography for men and for women. Because the brains of the men and the women [are] different, so I think we [get] excited with different things. So, it’s normal that …
different kinds of pornographies.

Net Neutrality and Internet Freedom: A voice for the voiceless

In preserving all human rights, especially those having to do with privacy of person and sexual freedom, free access to the unfettered communications of the Internet is crucial. The Internet is the circulatory system of the body politic, and the world’s only hope for true pluralism.

Any and all attempts to restrict or dismember the Internet and its uses must be met by an army of us willing to lay down our lives to make sure these attempts fail. Think of young Bradley Manning, who thought that transparency to bring alleged government corruption to the attention of a whistleblower was something he was willing to go to prison for. Very unfortunately, he has been in solitary confinement and suffered other loathsome, cruel, and unusual punishment at the hands of the U.S. government (latest updates, plus).

The hackerverse is populated with tens of thousands of young people like Bradley who are the world’s free speech heroes. They are not letting lawmakers interfere with Internet freedom with flawed legislation such as SOPA, PIPA, or the White House’s proposed Online Privacy Bill of Rights, or let stand any restrictions on constitutional freedoms on religious grounds. (Here is more information on the Stop Online Piracy Act/SOPA, the Protect IP Act/PIPA, and more.)

Most important, the freeway of the Internet is the only mechanism whereby the voiceless have a voice, and for that reason alone, all of us must keep a watchful eye on anything that would interfere with the free flow of information.

The reasons that politicians try to interfere with Internet freedom are not very pretty, and are often stupid. For example, christianists in Congress want to invade the privacy of everyone who views pornography. Others would like to see all pornography removed from the Internet.

Ironically, that very industry, pornography, made possible the early exponential growth of the Internet that turned out to have been instrumental in fueling the rapid expansion of the technology throughout the world. These self-appointed politicians think that all adults shouldn’t be allowed to view porn, but again ironically, these very politicians represent their own personal statistical cohort group in the American South, the so-called “Bible Belt,” a population which watches the most pornography and breeds America’s backward abstinence-only sex education leading to the highest rates of STDs and teen pregnancy. The Bible Belt has the highest divorce rates in the country, too, despite its “religiosity.” That has to tell us they are doing something wrong, but it doesn’t penetrate because their minds because they are so busy condemning the rest of us.  Sad, sad, and sadder.

Will this opposition ever abandon their egocentric greed for personal and institutional power? Will they ever choose to live and let live? Or will they be content to be known for all time as just another bunch of ignorant and backward yokels who arrogantly assume the name of god in vain, as they try and fail to put freedom in a corner under their control?

Help us watch these people like hawks and make sure they keep their creepy hands off our inter webs.

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of position papers Dan Massey and I are creating and will soon index on our home page. They briefly explore the evolution of our points of view about a range of issues related to sex, gender, and racial freedom. Your feedback is always welcome.

Creative Commons image: Source

Creative Commons image: Source


The Sexual Freedom Project: Dress For Success

(También en Español)

How frequently and how harshly are we judged because of our appearance? How does your dress affect credibility, even as women are pressured to be sexually alluring at all times? Have you ever thought about the root of this double standard? Do you think pornography plays a role in shaping expectations? in inhibiting women’s sexual freedom?

Please share your thoughts with us in whatever creative way you like: make a video, write a song, a poem or an essay or a work of art. If we feature your contribution, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.

Video by Tiye Massey.

Censorship in Egypt: From online porn to hugging on television

(También en Español)

News of Note: Intimate scenes to be banned from Egyptian public TV

(AGI) Cairo – A group of Islamic supervisors of the Egyptian Public Broadcaster will be in charge of removing ‘immoral ‘ footage from films the network has in its archives. The ban will apply to scenes featuring hugging, kissing and belly dancing. As reported by the daily Kuwait al-Anba, which quotes sources from inside the Network, such a decision could bring about either the removal of important scenes from movies that are an integral part of Egypt’s cinema or their complete ban from any TV programming.

Anyone that bans hugging from television really needs to get their priorities straight. I didn’t even realize it was possible for a culture to be so sex-phobic that they would consider the most rudimentary forms of human touching “immoral.”

While slightly less shocking (yet still completely counterproductive), the fate of online Pornography in Egypt is also looking grim.

When are people going to realize that a society thrives when people are free? Telling someone that they cannot do something they enjoy does not deter them from doing it, just look at any form of prohibition, or abstinence only education, it just doesn’t work.

I get it, they’re censoring sex because their religious views shun human sexuality, but that’s unacceptable in a free world. Simply put: Intimacy (hugging included) is an inherent need for all human beings and it is disgusting and embarrassing to see countries on this earth treating themselves this way. What is it going to take for all of us to acknowledge and accept sexuality as an essential part of everyday life?

The Sexual Freedom Project: Porn Education

(También en Español)

Is there such a thing as good porn and bad porn? What about hetero-male-produced porn vs women-, LGBT- amateur-produced porn which is just as enticing? Will universal replete sex ed in our schools change the face of the male-dominated porn industry, which mostly objectifies and exploits women?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think or make your own video or blog to share. We will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt or slap bracelet to thank you.

Video edited by Tiye Massey.

Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich All Promise To Ban Porn

(También en Español)

News of Note: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich All Promise To Ban Porn

The top three Republican presidential candidates pledged a war on porn today which means that they have promised more action to ban porn than to create jobs.

The conservative group Morality In Media is head over heels today after all three top Republican candidates promised to go war against the distribution of porn. In a written statement, Rick Santorum said, “Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

Not to be outdone, Mitt Romney gave a statement to the group that said, “(I)t is imperative that we cultivate the promotion of fundamental family values. This can be accomplished with increased parental involvement and enhanced supervision of our children. It includes strict enforcement of our nation’s obscenity laws, as well as the promotion of parental software controls that guard our children from Internet pornography.”

Then we have Newt Gingrich, who wasn’t satisfied with a written statement. In a face to face meeting, Gingrich told Morality In Media that, “Yes, I will appoint an Attorney General who will enforce these laws.” The existing laws that each of these candidates were referring to are federal laws that they and Morality In Media feel make the distribution of pornography illegal.

Pornography prohibition? There is absolutely no way that will work. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry that covers the whole globe. This very moment, tens of thousands of people are looking at porn online. It’s far from uncommon for the conservative and the repressed to get involved with the very sexual acts they claim to oppose. How can anyone even listen to these hypocrites?

Sometimes I wonder if these candidates (and people like them) are systematically turning our basic human instincts against us. Maybe they’re just hateful monsters who actually believe the dribble they spew, but I like to imagine US presidential candidates would have a higher level of intelligence than these bigots.

Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer

(También en Español)

News of Note: Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer

Iran’s supreme court has upheld the death

sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites.

Saeed Malekpour was picked up by plainclothes officers in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.

A year after his arrest, the 35-year-old appeared in a state television programme confessing to a series of crimes in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran, which handed down death penalty.

Malekpour later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had been made under duress.

According to Malekpour’s family, he is a permanent resident of Canada and is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

Giving someone the death penalty is a big deal. Giving someone the death penalty for being related to a pornographic website is absurd. The fact that Saeed simply wrote image-uploading software and was not running or participating with actual pornography makes this incident absolutely insane.

Porn Sites go .XXX

You may have heard of the new .xxx domain names being created for porn sites. They finally went live this Tuesday and the controversy hasn’t stopped.

“By applying for a .xxx site, webmasters, adult performers, studios, and others become part of a “sponsored community,” agreeing to operate legally and within agreed-upon business standards. Each .xxx site will be scanned daily with McAfee protection tools, which ICM (the registry that is responsible for handing out the .xxx domains) says will help make them among the Web’s safest destinations.

But as you might expect, not everyone is pleased with the move.

Some religious organizations have argued against the new .xxx names, saying that creating them amounts to an endorsement of porn.

“The establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease, the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities,” said Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, when ICANN (the international not-for-profit that coordinates Web addresses) was voting on the plan.” (On Tuesday, porn sites set to go .XXX)

At first I was all for porn sites getting new .xxx domain names; they sound cool, they are totally honest and up front about their content, everything sounds good. The more I thought about it though, the more I have to stay on the fence about the issue. I’m sure many adult websites will buy the .xxx domain names and simply have them re-direct to their already established sites. We already have many safe search options, parental controls, and blacklists available for people who don’t want to see adult content. If traditional domains (.com) are more familiar and less likely to be automatically blocked, I don’t see the incentive for only using a .xxx domain. The thing to remember here is, .xxx domains are entirely voluntary;  so what happens if they ever become mandatory?

Think of the Internet like a country without borders, one global community. If we start dividing it up based on certain criteria, and governing each section with various rules, that removes control from the user and gives it to a higher authority. If we give an authority the ability to impose restrictions, we create the unnecessary potential for abuse. As long as these domains remain voluntary I have no problem at all.

Creative Commons image source: quinn.anya

A Transhuman Views the Singularity Summit 2011

Last weekend (10/15-16/2011) it was my pleasure to attend Singularity Summit 2011, an event presented annually by the Singularity Institute since 2006. As much as Arse Elektronika celebrated the freedom of citizen science and engineering in pursuit of more fun and joy for everybody, so Singularity Summit celebrated actual and potential financial success and public welfare enhancement from emerging technologies.

Noisebridge—Mecca for Hackers

It seems to me, as an activist and advocate for real time living, based on transhuman ideals, including especially intergender forms of self-expression, that both these events were worthy explorations of important social territory; however, the logistic and organizational differences were striking and illuminated an undesirable dichotomy in the community of Transhumanists.

Arse Elektronika was held in various San Francisco hangouts and groovy venues,  including the Chez Poulet gallery, Carol Queen’s Center for Sex and Culture, and Noisebridge, a well-known cooperative hacker lab. A four day ticket cost $50. While there were certainly people talking about having sex with machines, there were also a lot of people who are more interested in the idea of building machines people would want to have sex with. Their machines become proxies for their erotic organs. Very transhuman. Very sexy. Very real.

Kaufmann Concert Hall

Singularity Summit was held in the 92nd Street Y in midtown Manhattan, in a richly paneled auditorium that seated a bit over 900 people. Golden letters above the stage proclaimed “DAVID, MOSES, ISAIAH” and were flanked in equal grandeur by “WASHINGTON” and “JEFFERSON.” A two day ticket cost $560, including two light buffet meals each day. The great men of the day (Ray Kurzweil, John Thiel, et al.) put in appearances long enough to give rah-rah speeches and promptly went back to real work. The ideals of social justice were served by an outstanding presentation from Jaan Tallinn, a founder of Skype and Kazaa. I cannot recall any discussion of sex, except when I was explaining the VenusPlusX vision to some innocent bystander. Very transhumanist. Very male, wealth-oriented, and NYC. Another reality.

The difference in privilege represented by these two communities would be overwhelming when applied to social issues, except that most of the world doesn’t seem to care much about the opinions of either one of them. One community is empowered by vast “new money” from development of innovative technologies that have made valuable improvements to the lives of billions. The other community is empowered by grasping and trying to live the truth as they feel in their innermost being and by “having nothing left to lose.” Yet each represents something that is missing from the other vision. And while neither group would wish to live and be the other, there is an essential common thread of unified purpose that can transcend fear and bring unity to the collective purpose of enabling and accelerating the emergence of the New Age.

The mega-capitalists who came to Singularity Summit present themselves as a highly ethical group, well aware of their responsibilities to the earth and its peoples for the wise stewardship and utilization of their wealth. Let us expect that each will genuinely and personally commit to uphold and support rational short and long-term enhancements to technology and society. Let us further expect that they will forego opportunities for egocentric, exploitative, and bullying behavior, even though this might give them greater apparent power and prestige.

Many social objections to the innovative visions of Transhumanists, including much work described at the Singularity Summit, will only be overcome by changing public attitudes towards adventure and risk taking for the improvement of the human condition. Grassroots activists and friends of sex, such as the folk from Arse Elektronika and a host of other organizations and activities, are undermining social attitudes of erotic repression, changing hearts and minds and supporting the transformation of religion, government, and business required to free humanity from its unfortunate and inhibiting past.

As a transhuman observing the behavior of these groups seeking transcendence through technology and the commercialization of technology, it seems to me that both groups are missing essential elements by focusing on the “scientific” and “materialistic” to the exclusion of other ways of knowing, understanding, and living that represent a much greater stream of the collective human consciousness.

To the comfortable capitalists, society is a great machine that produces ideas, creative geniuses, and lots of workers building good things for other workers and buying good things from other workers. Investors who appreciate the opportunities born of invention will take risks that uplift the common good. But there is an intuitive side of human socialization that may provide answers to problems not amenable to frontal assault through material technology. There are intellectual factors of communication and education, which this conference tried to address, as well as spiritual factors of human motivation, which this conference ignored.

To the sexy socialists, society is a system that assures fairness and equality of opportunity to every person. It is expected that the gifted and unusually successful children of such a community will give back to the society a measure of help and assistance as they are able. Though these pioneers may be driven by the desire to give people more and better orgasms, and intuitively understand the benefits, they have yet to understand the new age frontier in which erotic techné can combine with spiritual techné to make erotic joy even better and truly spiritually uplifting.

The time has come to begin the unification of these two disparate approaches to social organization and liberation of the future. Investment and serious development of erotogenic technologies can only occur by overcoming the social stigma that attach to anything suggesting hedonism. VenusPlusX proclaims a new vision of the future to humanity—a future in which physical, mental, and spiritual joy are all accepted as worthy human pursuits and gifts from god, finally to be unified in the individual happy person. To quote the gospel according to Goldilocks:

  • Eros without agape is too hot.
  • Agape without eros is too cold.
  • Eros and agape together are just right!

Only by beginning human liberation with sincere erotic transcendence can a new and secure foundation for human development be laid. This needn’t involve conflict, nor any misconceived battle between human and divine, or between body, mind, and spirit. We can all agree: erotic sensation and the joy of orgasm are fundamental and desirable aspects of human experience. For those who dare, combining this power, this divine gift, with the quest for personal growth and personality integration will lead to full participation of the individual in the supreme harmonies of life.

A sane and happy people will embrace the promise of the future with open arms and a whole heart. And through spiritually deployed erotic technology the chains will fall away from all lesser forms of human achievement.