On Thursday last week I was randomly browsing through my Instagram feed when I came across a story posted by Hidden Pockets. In the story they invited people to join their Friday conversation on art and sexuality. I had been searching for a place where people meet to discuss such topics, but I was a little nervous to reach out. I faced my fear and sent a message to hidden pockets Instagram account. I immediately felt welcomed by their kind response sharing the address where the conversation would take place the following day.
As I entered the room I immediately felt my previous worries go away. On the floor among carpets and pillows sat a small group of people in a circle, each with a cup of tea. Altogether we were eleven people, ten women and one man. While each person presented themselves and shared a little bit about their feminist beliefs it was so clear to me that this is a safe space where we can have a safe conversation without the worries of someone shaming or interrupting us for talking about our experiences surrounding art and sexuality.
Before I continue with how this Friday conversation carried on I just want to get clear about the concept of sexuality. For what exactly does sexuality means? Well, the short and very general answer is that sexuality can mean different things to different people. And how we experience and express our own sexuality is very individual. That means that there is no wrong or right answer. A variety of different sexual orientations, which basically refers to who you are attracted to, exist. You might identify as being gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, queer or a lesbian, the spectrum is broad. Or perhaps you choose to not identify with a label at all. What your preferences are might even change over time. And that is perfectly ok.
As sexuality can be such a vast matter we touched by a diverse range of topics during the conversation. All from; how to talk about sexuality, art and how we experience it in our personal life, to body image and the right to wear the clothes one want. We also shared thoughts about how to communicate with people that disagree with our feminist beliefs. Since the overall topic of the conversation that Friday was on art and sexuality I would further like to focus on that part.
Because sexuality is so closely linked with our feelings and senses art can be a powerful tool to express, experience and get in touch with our sexuality. One example is how dance and music can give us an arena where we can learn to know our bodies. Different forms of art can give us the opportunity to have conversations on sexuality without the need for words. We can communicate with music just by listening, we can connect with our bodies by moving, and we can interact with our eyes by painting.
I realised during the conversation how important and powerful these small groups of people can be. Sharing experiences in a safe and comfortable space with strangers made me feel more empowered than I could imagine. I believe that to create change in someone’s life it must happen from within. Listening to other women talk about their beliefs and being able to express yourself without judgement might give you that extra confidence you need to take the conversation further. My mind has been wandering ever since and the things we talked about have made me think. That’s the beauty about conversations it doesn’t end when the talking stops.
Sexuality can be such an important part of who you are. Learning to accept yourself and coming to terms with your sexuality has the possibility to provide a very liberating experience. As one of the ladies in the group so precisely put it; “our bodies can be art”, and I couldn’t agree more, so let’s explore them.
Author : One of our participants from from Friday Conversation.