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The refugee crisis in Europe and Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants entering the USA has incited racism and hate. It has dehumanised immigrants, making them appear to some as one big collective threat rather than individuals in need. The incident in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015, in which a group of immigrant men allegedly sexually assaulted party goes, only perpetuates the idea that immigrants are dangerous, animalistic and uncontrollable. But maybe this doesn’t have to be the stereotype? And with a little work, it won’t be!
First of all, we need to understand that sexual culture is completely different throughout the world. What may seem obvious and normal to Westerners, might seem perverse or even sinful elsewhere. The simple rules many of us follow regarding how to engage in sexual acts with someone else respectfully, may be completely new to others.
In my native country of Sweden, sex education has been taught in schools since 1921!
Young people are taught about sex and sexuality throughout their school education, overlapping it with biology, psychology and history. And most importantly, students are taught about gay and lesbian relationships in equal amount with heterosexual relationships! For me, it’s completely shocking that this isn’t normal practice everywhere, because don’t people of different sexualities exist everywhere?
Whereas in Muslim countries, a lack of sexual education means that for instance, young women have little knowledge about periods, men are generally uneducated about the female body and these topics are seen as taboo! Therefore, when approaching desires and how to act on them, it’s hard to know where to begin. I believe that sex education is first and foremost where it comes to understanding relationships, consent, respect and of course, pleasure. Good sex education will keep you and the people around you safe, happy and full of lust! My project with my partner Pablo, The Porn Conversation, offers tools for parents to use to instigate the talk at home. Our mission is to give adults the opportunity to help kids and teens make smart and informed decisions regarding pornography!
I read a super interesting article recently, about a a Doctor teaching sex education to refugees in Germany. After working for many years in Arab and Indian communities, she was pretty understanding of the lack of education, the timidity of the men and women, and also about the verbal abuse she may receive for being “the woman who talks about sex all the time”, but she persisted! It’s proven that a bit of sex education in communities like these can reduce cases of sexual assault in the areas drastically! She wanted to demystify sex and give men and women the tools to make informed decisions, which ultimately lead to more knowledgeable, respectful and pleasurable sex!
“A lack of sexual knowledge often translates into hypersexual behavior and aggression. Men who are comfortable in their own skin and who can communicate their needs are much less likely to grab women between the legs without asking. Self-confident men can endure a “no” without feeling disparaged – something that the advanced-placement physics students often understand better than the class heartthrobs. Those who understand their own bodies understand that the bodies of others have their limits. I am in favor of clear formulations. In my classes, I persist that rape and sexual harassment are criminal acts of violence. Nobody can say that they didn’t know better.”
My most recent and ambitious XConfessions release and collaboration with Bruce LaBruce, Refugee’s Welcome, is intended to shed light on the complex lives of refugees and show that they are human, with interests, desires, intellect and ambitions. I wanted to dispel some myths and show that a refugee is a person capable of sexual intimacy just like anyone else! Many critics feel that the film is too serious, but I wanted to make a statement. I would love for my films to represent every kind of person that exists, and this is one step towards that. And hopefully, if more of us open our minds, bad, racist stereotypes will become a thing of the past!
Surely the first step we need to take towards global equality and kindness and empathy is to start treating each other like human beings, and see each other as complex, sexy, fascinating, interesting and worthy of attention and love?
In XConfessions, people from all over the world share their sexual stories and fantasies. Every month I pick two and turn them into cinematic short films. Still not a member of XConfessions? Register now! Or share your sexual fantasy, and it might become a short film