summer 16: Just Pleasure℠

Just Pleasure: Revolutionary Approaches to the Erotic

June 7 – August 30, 2016 (13 week class)

I find more and more women-identified-women brave enough to risk sharing the erotic’s electrical charge without having to look away, and without distorting the enormously powerful and creative nature of that exchange. Recognizing the power of the erotic within our lives can give us the energy to pursue genuine change within our world.

Audre Lorde “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”

What would decolonizing sex(ualities) feel like? Liberating ourselves, one orgasm at a time. Just kidding, but only a little. Because somatic wisdom. Because orgasmic justice. This course offers a survivor-centered space to unlearn pornographic propaganda, rape culture, and this society’s hyper-sexualization. We’ll address such concepts as the erotic as sacred, demisexuality, pansexuality, queerness, asexuality, celibacy, objectification, and sex work. We’ll move beyond both theological moralizing about sex and the limitations of ‘sex-positive’ reactions. Ultimately, the course seeks to encourage critical consciousness-raising at the service of erotic self-determination and the divine ecstasy of freedom.

Who: Open to any and all self-identified women and gender non-conforming folks

Optional assignments may include the following: Creating healing plans, exercises from Healing Sex, learning your ancestor’s approaches to the erotic, writing literotica, making your own personal somatic experiments

Weekly Schedule

  1. Introduction to course
  2. The Botany of Desire (video) & Cantos de la Tierra flower essence elixir workshop
  3. The Uses of the Erotic The Erotic as Power Audre Lorde
  4. Female Chauvinist Pigs Ariel Levy
  5. Why Sexuality is Work Silvia Federici
  6. The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm Anne Koedt
  7. Learning Good Consent zine
  8. Learning Good Consent zine continued
  9. Consciousness-raising session on sex
  10. The Price of Pleasure (video)
  11. The Spirit of Intimacy Sobonfu Some
  12. Fucked Zine
  13. Celebration & Closing

Curricular Note: It’s gonna get real, so please consider attending with intention and care. To make it plain, this work is deeply rooted and can potentially bring up A LOT of stuff. We’ll be very flexible with the schedule as our (un)learning processes unfold, centralizing self- and community-care.

Supplementary resources:

Support zine

Getting Off Pornography and the End of Masculinity Robert Jensen 

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma Staci Haines

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others Laura van Dernoot Lipsky & Connie Burk

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness Peter Levine, Ph.D.

I Heart Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide Dorian Solot & Marshall Miller

The Multi-Orgasmic Woman Mantak Chia & Rachel Abrams, M.D.

Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood Naomi Wolf

I happened to stumble upon Liberation Spring- by chance, a friend invited me on the very first day of the summer gathering. It was a pleasant surprise and I found myself eager to return. These weekly gatherings were perhaps the core of my summer, which was essential in redirecting my energies, uncovering layers of feelings, unsilencing myself, and returning to my body. A return to my body and the present- that is my greatest appreciation. It was also extremely relieving to find myself in a community of women that could cultivate a brave space to share our hxstories, experiences, and voices; as the youngest in the group, I gained an extensive amount of knowledge to aid me in my own journey to feel diving in my being. I felt affirmed in my lived past, my unstable present, and my hopeful present. If I were to recommend Liberation Spring to a friend, I would pass on my experience of community, liberation, and empowerment- if one is looking to expand their horizons with a group of radical women through thought, conversation, lived experiences, and food, to honor our ancestral knowledge, affirm our stories, and liberate our minds from the exclusionary, normative education/history that has been fed to us, Liberation Spring offers a beautiful chance to do so.

I have most enjoyed the space that you have fostered for all of us to come in with our full selves and share; the fact that it is a popular education space where there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ was truly comforting for my soul. I also appreciate the facilitation style, it felt like there was room for all of us to share. I am just really grateful for all of the knowledge that you left me with as well as the time and support throughout the summer! –Ozichi Onaeze Emeziem