As I’ve said time and time again, I have no shame, especially when it comes to the bedroom. We’ve discussed sex, female pleasure, and bodily confidence here in this column and who better to touch on all of these topics than with a like-minded, fellow shameless individual? Zoe Ligon is a sex educator, self-proclaimed “Dildo Duchess,” and co-founder of Spectrum Boutique, an online sex toy shop based in Detroit. In a candid conversation below, she opened up to me about her biggest vulnerabilities and what sex means to her. We also reiterated what I’ve been trying to achieve with this journey ever since the very beginning: that open conversations about sex desperately need to be had.
“I want to be a catalyst for helping people wherever they’re at on their sexual journeys,” she tells me. “We’re all in different places, and I feel my job is to meet people where they’re at and help them.”
CV: What does sex mean to you?
ZL: “Sex means more than what I think you could find in a Google definition. For me, it includes includes philosophical banter and a sense of intimacy on multiple levels. Sex can be something as small and isolated as masturbating next to your friend, but can also be something big, something multi-layered and sensory. I think of sex as a feeling or a state of mind more than an act.”
There seems to be something we have in common: having no shame.
“It’s interesting that you say that. I’m not ashamed of my sexuality, but there are things I’ve done and choices I’ve made that evoked feelings of shame. These things have nothing to do with my body or sexuality but being in a relationship with someone who was abusive. I still question myself just like anyone else and my life isn’t perfect all the time. I’ve decided I like to dance with shame.
What challenges have you faced because you’ve made sex an integral part of your
“I’ve been around a lot of people who have a Madonna/Whore complex that they can’t shake and it’s not my job to fix them. Also certain things seem suspicious to me. For instance, I can’t get a home equity loan, even though I have great credit. There’s definitely an institutional blockage in the way we think as a nation about sex, partially caused by the media.
In regards to censorship, I saw you had a post removed. Can you tell me about this?
“We created this beast that is social media and we’ve all become addicted. Community guidelines aren’t all bad; we obviously don’t want child pornography on there but there’s a difference between things that are clearly very harmful and those in the ‘gray area’ of morality. It’s interesting to note that harmful opinions aren’t censored, just vaguely or questionably harmful nude images are. For instance, Neo-Nazis can use parenthesis around Jewish names to diminish their credibility as humans but since they aren’t posting nude pictures, they aren’t censored. This all speaks to the larger picture of our society.”
We share the credo of not having to be perfect that I think it makes it easier to connect with people on social media. Have you experienced this?
“It’s a losing game to take up stock in physical perfection or mental perfection. There’s nothing perfect about my personality or my mental health! And if I’m going to focus on my body, then I need to show the imperfections there too. Women really are the targets, because we are way more scrutinized, but I’m trying to be ok about whatever happens to me because I simply don’t have control over any of it. I don’t want to live in fear of getting fat, getting saggy boobs, or having my pussy work differently. We have to shift our idea of what beauty is. Why would I only show you half of my life?”
Why do you think the world needs to have more open conversations about sex?
“We need to realize that everybody else is in the same place: we all come from a place of hurt. It’s all about being comfortable with yourself on every level and sex is an easy thing to restrict and put a mandate on how people live their lives. I honestly think this is an integral part of the path to world peace and it all boils down to insecurity and fear that’s put onto us as kids. There has to be a better way to deal with abusers instead of just locking them up in prisons. In a perfect world, we would have no bad things, but I’ve seen other places take care of mental health issues differently. I wish for a more restorative and transformative method than just locking away the bad ones. Sexual education is super important for community-led accountability and justice.”
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createdAt:Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:17:52 +0000