The recently released Netflix series called The Principles of Pleasure is all about addressing the topic of sexuality and pleasure in an educative, scientific and funny way. The three episodes bring more light into the whole world of pleasure and its connectedness to the body, the mind and our relationships.
The discipline of sex science, as it is said at the beginning of the first episode, is less than a hundred years old and sadly, it is often as neglected as sex education at school. This is why the activists, scientists and educators in the field find themselves navigating in a widely unexplored area where misconceptions and taboos are dominating. Like, did you know that the hymen does not permanently “break” after first vaginal penetration? The obsession with female innocence made us believe for a long time that the hymen is something like a marker of virginity. This and uncountable other misbeliefs reflect the negative societal attitudes towards women’s sexual autonomy. Finally, many misconceptions are being revealed and the professionals of the series do some proper research on the human body and sexuality. For all of this, they have the clear objective of knowing more about - and therefore improving - our capability of feeling pleasure. Because well, that’s what counts most, doesn’t it?
Hence, the sex professionals know one principle of pleasure very well: knowledge is power.
In the same way as misconstrued knowledge can limit female sexual pleasure, true knowledge about how our bodies work can bring us to new levels of orgasming and experiencing bodily satisfaction. Or as Dr. Emily Nagoski puts it:
The whole mission of understanding our bodies and sexualities better, fighting sexual discrimination and centering pleasure is one that sounds very familiar to me. In fact, I have been a pioneer in bringing the female gaze into the porn industry and prioritizing female pleasure in porn narratives. Thus, I am glad to be featured in The Principles of Pleasure and I'm happy to see that people from various professional backgrounds are dealing with this issue as well!
In episode three of Principles of Pleasure, I'm pointing out what has been my initial issue with most porn movies: men’s pleasure as the only pleasure that matters, while women act only as a vehicle to their sexuality. We were there to please them!
In all of this, it is of great importance to me not to leave the whole field in the hands of men. Reclaiming pornography and creating beautiful movies from a female standpoint is the mission I stand for!
My movie A Feminist Man shows par excellence what the female gaze in porn can look like: a movie about a feminist man, a man who can talk about Judith Butler AND give you real nice cunnilingus… Sounds like a wet dream, right? Movies like this one show women that porn can be something that speaks to them, something that can actually please them. Because for me, it’s clear that porn has the power to contribute to our sexual exploration and wellbeing, may it be just for yourself or for your sexual relationships.
With this mission at the core of my work, I am glad to see more and more people joining, scientists researching and activists addressing pleasure issues. This is only the beginning of the pleasure revolution!