Letter from the Editors–Why The Thought Erotic?
It was a rough week at The Thought Erotic. A story had to be pulled due to personal conflicts surrounding some people associated with it. We were not well enough informed or involved to take a stance in the conflict, and being an organization dedicated to issues of sexual safety, agency and health, we felt it necessary to disengage completely in order to uphold those values.
It was deflating. It led to a lot of questioning about the magazine—the idea of looking at and talking about sex, and not just in a look-this-is-fun way, or isn’t-this-shocking-and-taboo, or even a sexuality-is-pure-if-we’d-stop-repressing-it kind of way—but in a way that really acknowledges the messiness of sexuality, the darkness and shadows in bed with the joy and pleasure of it. In a way that explores the complexities of a subject that intersects with almost every facet of our lives; that engages our bodies, minds and spirits; that is deeply entwined in our capacity to love, connect, bond and perform intimacy; that has been subjugated and controlled with so much shame, confusion and intolerance for centuries; that is subject to so many forms of oppression (including patriarchy, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, cissexism, racism and classism—just to name a few).
And then, after the requisite soul searching such mental crises generally call for—we returned to the seed, the idea that germinated into the site, and continues to grow and change. We remembered (again) why The Thought Erotic, why a sex website, why it matters. Why? For the exact reasons that led us to question it. Because the less open and exploratory conversations we have about sex and gender and orientation and identity, the more room we leave for abuse and prejudice to hide, for shame and silence to breed.
And this what-are-we-doing line of questioning led to a decision by The Thought Erotic team to outline the vision, mission and values of the magazine. We’ve decided to share them here.
Thank you, always, for your interest and support!
Courtney Morgan & Melissa Brooks, Editors
Encouraging conversation to increase education, acceptance and agency around sexuality.
The Thought Erotic features articles and art engaging topics of sexuality to foster critical thinking and challenge oppressive ideologies—including sexism & misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, cissexism, racism and classism—to ultimately create a society where all groups, especially those currently marginalized, can experience safety, freedom and empowerment in their sexuality.
- Acceptance & Tolerance: We believe that everyone, of every sex, gender, orientation, religion, race and creed, deserves to be treated, understood and respected as a human being who matters.
- Education & Awareness: We support sexual education and believe that through open discussion, we can begin to extricate sexuality from many of the repressive and oppressive ideologies that create harmful and hateful beliefs and practices, thwarting the full and healthy expression of sexuality.
- Empowerment & Agency: We believe all people have the right and the choice to express their sexuality however they choose as long as it does no harm to others; all people have both freedom to and freedom from sexuality and any sexual practices.
- Consent: We support enthusiastic consent. We recognize that consent is a sticky subject in a society where many groups lack agency; we aim to work towards creating a cultural environment wherein all people can be empowered to freely choose the sexual expression and practices that are right for them as individuals.
- Expression & Openness: We believe it’s important for each person to be in touch with their own sexuality. We hope to incite, inspire and support sexual and creative expression, in its myriad forms.