I grew up in a culture of erotophobia—the fear of nudity, sexual images, homosexuality, and sex education. Even though these topics were taboo, I grew up seeing people get judged for being “too much.” Too emotional, too muscular, too edgy, too bossy, too weak, too feminine … the list goes on. I’ve seen people repressed from expressing their sexual identities, resulting in generational shame and trauma. Author Napoleon Hill said, “Sexual Energy is the Creative Energy of virtually all geniuses.” Yet, as a culture, we've criticized individuals for simply wanting to exist and express themselves freely. Shame is a huge part of what keeps us from creating unique, intimate, and sexual relationships with ourselves and others.
In this thesis, I challenge our perception of what sex is and hope to educate people on sexual well-being. Whether with a partner(s) or with yourself, sexual well-being means the quality of sexual relationships, and it matters because it directly affects one's confidence and overall happiness.
My mission with this project is to build sexual literacy and to remind people that our sexual energies are our creative energies and that we should have an open dialog on sex. What is Sex? is a collection of experimental posters that challenges people’s idea of what sex can be and uses sexually charged ambiguous imagery that focuses on the human body. I hope to cause an uncomfortable confrontation with whoever comes across these guerrilla-style posters and to encourage self-reflection and open discussion about what sex can be.