Reviews | Sexual positivity, pornography and feminism

For the publisher:

Re “Sexual feminism is falling out of fashion”, by Michelle Goldberg (column, September 25):

Ms. Goldberg says, “It is no longer radical, or even really necessary, to claim that women enjoy sex. I do not agree. I was 26 the first time I heard a woman speak publicly about female pleasure. In a world where women face danger, this is always courageous and important.

Today, many women are setting up businesses that deal with women’s sexual well-being and tackle the discrimination they face. A feminism affirming pleasure is not over. We are just getting started.

While it is true that the positive sexual feminism of the 1980s was a response to anti-pornographic feminism, sexual positivity takes a different form. Hanime Sexual positivity is that I am me and you are you, and that our experiences and desires are valid – in the context of consenting adults. It’s a matter of consent. Acceptance. Freedom from shame. To be able to make authentic choices. Sexual positivity embraces the choice not to have sex.

Jackie rotman
new York
The millennial writer is the founder and CEO of the Center for Intimacy Justice, a non-profit organization focused on women’s sexual equality.

For the publisher:

I really enjoyed Michelle Goldberg’s column. This gave a perspective consistent with the experiences I witnessed in 2013 as an employee of Hanime nonprofit teen porn addiction recovery organization.

This younger generation is starting to realize how much porn has shaped their outlook on sex, and how unhealthy and out of touch those outlooks are. The one thing that I will never forget about the work I have done in this organization are the countless disturbing and heartbreaking stories of young people who have told how others – both adults and their peers – them. sexually assaulted them by putting on them the pornography they had just viewed. I have come to understand how harmful and misogynistic pornography can be.

Good for the young generation of today for having seen these misdeeds and for having denounced them. Their future will be better by doing so. I hope they will turn the tide for their own good and for the sake of women and girls around the world.

Heather cox
Eagle Mountain, Utah

For the publisher:

Michelle Goldberg’s column lacks a lot of what sexual positivity was. While some feminists have seen value (or at least potential) in porn, it was never a prerequisite for exploring ways to have the sex you wanted, without being tainted by power relations. , conventions, dramas or myths.

Sex-positive feminists argued that sex could be different things to the same people at different times: a loving language, a lonely pleasure, an erotic thrill, a form of play, an itch. And all of these possibilities were OK, as long as they weren’t secret; open and respectful negotiations and contracts between partners are essential.

I don’t think this view of sexual positivity is dead or dying. It’s just not very visible, because it’s hard work, and because most women have never identified as feminists or as HIV positive. Most have remained conventional and insecure, and most still worry about any non-judgmental sex ideology, especially polyamory.

Deborah J. Kayman
new York

For the publisher:

I take issue with Sara Clemence’s guest essay Opinion, “Let’s be better tourists” (nytimes.com, September 29).

First, given our busy social and political environment, how can she gleefully bring all Americans together for any sort of criticism? Second – and this underscores my first point – my experience does not reflect his.

My wife, I and another couple travel frequently to the UK and Europe, and I have yet to meet more than a handful of loud or rude Americans. I’m sure there are Yankees who behave as badly abroad as they do at home. But even calling them the majority sounds rude.

There is no doubt that Ms. Clémence behaves with Poppinse decorum while she rubs shoulders with fashionistas. But beyond his model, who to seek advice?

She and I must haunt different boroughs. I lost a lot of sleep on our last trip to Paris, and the thugs all night were screaming mostly French and Germans; I did not hear English. And when it comes to caring travel companions, I will prefer personal hygiene to everyday haute couture.

Ms. Clémence begins by lambasting the Americans for their behavior and ends up berating us for not meeting her standards for our routes. I will thank her for not teaching me how to lead my own trip.

While I share some of Ms. Clemence’s sentiments, I don’t like to be put in the same basket as all Americans and called “terrible tourists”.

Bob campbell
Noblesville, Ind.

For the publisher:

It is ludicrous to suggest that going in a group is a more locally sensitive way of traveling. Virtually all tour operators will take you exactly to the most touristic places, as that is what most people want and expect.

Tour groups bring crowds of people at a time rather than naturally spaced out. They make it practically impossible for a natural, personal and authentic interaction with a local. They also direct people to the already most touristy and cliché, and most culturally remote, shops, sites and restaurants in the local community.

Tour groups make their participants consumers of views and experiences, rather than providing authentic experiences.

Nick canfield
Brooklyn

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