In the course of a lifetime there are moments in which the world disappoints us. It is often just an annoyance, the feeling that it would be better if things were different. Sometimes, however, that feeling becomes an urgent need to change those things: to stop waiting for someone else to take care of that, and work hard to create a better world now.
Changing the world surely is not easy. Of course you cannot achieve that on your own, nor without a solid plan. What can be done, then, is to draw up a manifesto: a series of guiding principles you commit to follow assiduously and purposefully. History teaches us that if you put your heart into it and your fight is just, many others will join. And this, together, is how you really change the world.
THE SEXUAL EXPLORERS MANIFESTO
Milano – January 1st, 2018
Anyone who has ever honestly looked into their soul will appreciate the invaluable importance of sexual satisfaction. Once basic necessities like food, rest and shelter are met, realizing your sensuality and affectivity needs allows you to reach the highest personal wellness. Science and philosophy have even shown how any other desire is but the channeling of those needs – and experience confirms that: finding the persons who enable us to serenely express our nature as sexual beings and to turn our erotic fantasies into reality does move most other preoccupations and problems to the background.
Further proof of all of this are the effects of the lack of sexual satisfaction. Freud was the first to formalize how frustrated libido begot all sort of neurosis, and his observation remains valid today more than ever. In fact, you don’t need to be a refined psychologist to notice how an unresolved sex life – deriving in turn from an insufficient or totally lacking education to affectivity – lies at the foundation of issues small and large, ranging from the individual to the largest social scale. Distressed couples, gender-based violence, discriminations, abuse of power, cultural conflicts, even entire international crises can be traced back with remarkable ease to a big underlying erotic unhappiness, exacerbated by the hypersexualization of the information that constantly bombards us.
Likewise, it is clear how so much dissatisfaction comes above all from an interpretation of sexuality based on moralistic instead of ethical rules. The vast majority of families, schools, society, media and fiction perpetuate a conception of identities, of affective relations, of sex and of eroticism that negates the very nature of human behavior in the name of ancient norms or superstitions which have no reason to exist in our age anymore. Although progress was made even at an institutional level – for example about homosexuality acceptance – the prevalent attitude remains an obstinate attempt to make real sexuality conform to a convenient, imaginary notion rife with taboos, instead of more simply acknowledging the complexity of such a fundamental and varied dimension of the human being. The frustration arises from this very irreconcilable conflict, which cannot be solved but can be abandoned.
As a matter of fact, countless cases teach us that subscribing to the conventions about sexuality is far from obligatory, just as much as suffering from them isn’t. The respect due to those who choose to live according to so-called “traditional” canons notwithstanding, nothing prevents us from relinquishing them to seek our happiness. Attaining it defuses and solves not only one’s personal problems but also their reflections on those around us. To pursue a conscious and serene sexuality therefore is an ethical and social duty, as much as teaching to those interested how to find their own path. For there is no doubt sexuality is an exquisitely individual matter, which everyone lives in different and fluid ways that make defining one universal form impossible.
Besides a series of common principles to safeguard health and respect for us, our partners and for any third party, every other element of one’s road toward their satisfaction is eminently personal. Learning to identify them in the boundless territory of pleasure is part of pleasure itself, and makes every one of us a sexual explorer. Here is what we believe in.
Everyone has a sex life and the right to live it with satisfaction
Every culture more or less rigidly defines for which persons having a sexual dimension is “appropriate” and who can instead be derided, criticized, looked with suspicion or repressed just because they feel the natural call to live their sexuality. Some examples are seniors, disabled persons, those who do not fit common aesthetic canons, adolescents – or even those who are identified by their social role, such as parent, priest, and so on. However, overcoming these conventions and acknowledging this right is essential both for the well-being of the people in question and because this allows to understand the causes of their distress and address them for the benefit of the whole society.
Sexuality isn’t limited to physical genital stimulation, and even that isn’t limited to intercourse
Different belief systems interpret the concept of “sex” itself differently, limiting it in the most restrictive cases to heterosexual coitus for reproduction purposes only. Since the sole valid way to approach any subject is being objective, however, it is essential to acknowledge that the human body can find erotic countless stimulations – even if not localized on common erogenous zones and even of types not usually thought as “sexual”. Also, imagination, fantasy and individual experience may lead to sexual pleasure by very personal but no less effective mind paths. When dealing with sexuality, this calls for considering every source of pleasure with the same dignity.
Sexuality is fluid and ever evolving
Although sex is traditionally presented by culture and media as monolithic and unchangeable, simply observing human behavior shows reality to be different. In fact, it is evident how age, experience or simple curiosity lead to developing erotic interests that may vary with time, overlap or replace past ones. This is a normal approach, actually healthier than entrenching on the compulsive repetition of a rigid pattern.
The only limits to sexual expression are consent and health
The human mind has the ability to find arousing such an extent of different stimuli and fantasies that, when it comes to sex, it is meaningless to talk about “normality” except in its statistic sense of a more or less common form. Judging other people’s sexual preferences on the basis of one’s own or of pruderies lacking concrete grounds isn’t just devoid of any benefit, but a cause for unnecessary distress. Therefore, everyone must be freely allowed to live their sexuality as they wish. Since the ultimate goal is collective wellness, the only cases when it is desirable to impose a limit to such right of expression are those where it decreases the well-being of that person or those around them by endangering their psycho-physical health or abusing their consent.
Legitimate behaviors follow the SSC principle – short for Safe (reasoned to avoid every kind of damage to persons and things), Sane (sensible, rational and within the limits set by the law, physiology, etc.), Consensual (within the able and informed consent of everyone involved).
Every sexual choice must be respected
The logical consequence of the above items is that everyone has the right to see respected their sexual choices and the vulnerability that comes with such an intimate dimension. Thus, any form of judgment and discrimination for said choices is to be condemned, whether they are expressed in the preference for a partner, in the way one’s identity is presented, in the practices performed or else.
The right to privacy is inviolable
The right to have one’s privacy respected becomes even more important outside of the strictly sexual sphere, where every person must be considered exclusively for the qualities they express in that specific context. To be privy to somebody’s sexual life must play no influence whatsoever, for example on their professional evaluation.
The principle by which what you do in an erotic context shall not interfere with other environments extends to the right of maintaining, if you wish so, a separate identity for this purpose without being forced to publicly state your personal data.
Protecting health is fundamental
As repeated above, any sexual activity must respect one’s health and their partners’. This means paying special attention to the well-being of mind and body, but also more trivially to adopt safer sex measures to prevent possible sexually transmitted diseases. Given the dangerous consequences of such infections, it is everyone’s responsibility to get an education and to educate about their characteristics, prevention, treatment and about less risky alternative practices. Essential above all is to keep your health conditions monitored through complete and regular testing, as much as offering and insisting on recent certifications when you decide to enjoy sex involving any fluid exchange with new partners. Keeping healthy is a necessity and a mutual gift that has no reason to cause embarrassment.
Sexual happiness is worth more than any shyness
Due to several historical, cultural and economic reasons, sex is often represented in outrageous, ridiculing or guilty terms. Growing up surrounded by such disinformation conditions many persons to live their own sexuality as a burden or something to be ashamed of, but the sole effect of that attitude is to cause malaise. Thus, the first step of sexual exploration is to reject negative stereotypes and nurture the intellectual honesty required to recognize what your pleasure consists of. The same candor must be exercised when talking about these subjects with other people, especially when describing your preferences to your partner: to preventively mutilate your own satisfaction out of fear of being ill-judged by the person you want to share the utmost intimacy with is a nonsense.
Partners are not sexual objects
Although many representations of sex suggest the idea that a partner is a tool for obtaining pleasure, the plain truth is that we are all persons with feelings, emotions and desires that deserve to be respected. This remains true even in erotic domination games, so it is better to remind that to make any sexual activity ethical – and more pleasurable – it must be approached together with the other person, without diminishing them to the role of a sex toy.
Sexuality must be talked about with an appropriate language
Restoring dignity to sex also involves talking about it using correct terms. Stop using baby talk, euphemisms, stuffy paraphrases and linguistic artifices then, for they wrongly suggest there is something to hide and they only create confusion. Using avoidable jargon (for example: hir, poz, GW…) similarly and needlessly complicates communication with people who don’t know it, aren’t required to, and much less to adopt it.
Sex is also a personal growth tool
Besides the pleasure it provides, sex always represents an opportunity to better know ourselves, our partners, our psychology and more. The freedom of exploration within conscious sexual contexts allows to safely experiment with alternative identities and situations. Nurturing curiosity and an analytical approach towards other interpretations of sexuality exposes us to countless concepts, subcultures and notions you don’t necessarily have to embrace, but which enrich and expand the mind anyway.
All of this makes sex, when done intelligently, an enabler for individual evolution that also offers many occasions for intellectual and even spiritual pleasure.
Knowledge is pleasure
The single most defining factor for sexual pleasure is the knowledge of yourself and of what you are doing. Just like with any natural and yet complex activity – like swimming or singing – instinct is merely the initial impulse for sex: after that competence comes into play, learned through study and practice. Information allows to overcome prejudices and wrong beliefs; it makes possible to live relationships safely and parenthood in a conscious way; it opens access to unexpected techniques and pleasures; it helps to live ethical relations and to fully respect your partners; it offers the tools to face possible objective difficulties in a positive manner instead of getting overwhelmed by them. Furthermore, the path itself of education to sexuality can be experienced in a fun way, possibly sharing it with a partner.
The only advice is to choose reliable sources and educators and, especially when dealing with elaborate practices, to study them thoroughly before experimenting.
Discovery never ends
Thanks to personal fluidity and the extension of the field there is literally always something new to discover about sex. Even when they find their ideal erotic dimension, sexual explorers can indefinitely keep learning and fuel their curiosity.
We are all sexual educators
Each one of us is, in their own way, a sexual explorer, but we all also have the ethical duty to behave as educators to help others find their happiness. Recirculating knowledge means contributing to everyone’s wellness. The important thing is to only share verified information you are completely certain about: you can at least offer your personal experience, spreading the notion that there is nothing bad in talking openly about something we all very often think about anyway.
Sex is a private matter, but it has social and political value
The very existence of this manifesto proves that sexuality is a much broader and multifaceted phenomenon than commonly represented. While everyone lives their exploration in private, it does reflect on their entire world, including each person they come in contact with. To be more or less satisfied, more or less healthy, more or less ethical, respected, informed, resolved, sincere, integrated or free hugely changes the way we relate to others even outside of the erotic sphere. Sharing the wellness that derives from a serene sexuality influences society with exquisitely political effects.
This is the reason why there exist groups, associations, entities and places dedicated to share, compare and popularize these topics: using such resources doesn’t take anything away from one’s path, but enriches it as much as the ones of all the other explorers using them – truly for everyone’s good.
ARE YOU A SEXUAL EXPLORER TOO?
If you identify with the Sexual Explorers Manifesto, if you agree on its principles, please help to share them!
Some things you can do are:
- Sharing this page
- Translating the Manifesto into other languages (or making the current translation better)
The Sexual Explorers Manifesto was originally published on the www.ayzad.com website, where it is available at [https://ayzad.com/manifesto]. You can freely share its text, on condition of keeping it whole (including this note and the Creative Commons license), not modifying it and attributing it to the original author. The text cannot be used for commercial purposes without prior written authorizazion by the author.
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