Sexuality and Censorship

October 14th, 2006

Censorship is defined in the dictionary as an official with the power to examine movies, books, television programming and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, politically objectionable, etc.  There is some general agreement about what constitutes sexual obscenity and objectionable sexual content.  I have in the course of my work been faced with situations and people who have very different views of appropriate sexuality. I have had conversations about issues like censorship with these same people and listened openly to their fight to have their content not be banned or even made illegal, which the government has threatened.

My company Good Clean Love and my work in teaching about Making Love Sustainable have been driven by the goal of normalizing our relationship to sexuality.  My talks focus on building and sustaining relationships that become a container for exploring and awakening passion and sexuality throughout life.  Our culture is caught between extremes in our relationship to human sexuality.

I often lived this dichotomy when I would travel between a natural product show and an adult lingerie show. At the natural products show, I was the “love/sex girl” where my task was about communicating the health benefits of enjoying a regular sex life.  At the adult show, I was the “natural girl”  selling the health benefits of good, clean products. Both educational efforts were challenging- but what I most marvelled at was the fact that in one venue, just saying the word sex was provocative and in the other, the exhibitionism was so intense that I was often overwhelmed and embarrassed.

I have worked very hard to build a language that can bridge these worlds. So many words and images have been so thoroughly co-opted by the pornography industry that most people who don’t participate in our sex industry, have almost no language that feels comfortable for their own sexuality.   So it was shocking to me to be censored the other day. I applied to PRWEB.com to post news of my work and company presentations and was told that my reference to “adult topics and products” disallowed me from their service. My products are healthy alternatives to the paraben and petrochemical-laden products standard in the industry, and my messaging couldn’t be more family oriented.

More and more mainstream media outlets are addressing and working to redefine the discussion of sexuality in our culture.  Given that and my own sensibilities and awareness as the mother of four children, I am a bit shocked and dumbfounded to be caught in this line of fire. My work deserves to be heard and we need to respect the line which protects families from inappropriate and obscene materials. It’s a very narrow space that I believe deserves the careful attention of giving breadth and width to- for all of us.

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