We’re being flooded by porn and sex. Yet Millennials are having less sex than any previous generation. The pressure to perform is enormous. Sex is everywhere and you have to do it right. It’s smothering eroticism.
Yes, please! is an ode to erotic stories and fantasies. We want to challenge and nurture people’s erotic fantasies. If porn is about the flesh and prudishness is about anxiety, then eroticism is about freedom. Your fantasies and erotic identity give you oxygen to experience more than just performance or fear. It requires you be vulnerable and that is very difficult in our fast and individualistic lives.
We communicate till we’re blue in the face and have more means for it than ever before, but does it mean we’re also communicating better? Sure, having sex is fine, but really allowing that person in, rather not thank you.
There’s a serious lack of eroticism. Embrace your fantasies, because it determines a big chunk of your life energy.
With Yes, please! we present an ode to eroticism in words, images, podcast and performance.
When Lucas was 14 his mother gave him My Secret Garden a book by Nancy Friday. It was a compilation of women’s erotic fantasies which Nancy collected in the 70’s after months of research. Nancy wanted to break open the constricted image society had of the sexual inner world of women. She also hoped to show women that they should not experience any shame and that they were not alone.
The book caused a shock wave both in society and the academic world. Who knew women were thinking and feeling all of this! Friday’s work also had a profound impact on young Lucas and it encouraged him to discover and discuss his own sexuality and fantasies. Thanks to the book he experienced a newfound freedom: he felt he did not have to be ashamed because everyone fantasizes and that is healthy and good. But as he grew older Lucas discovered that definitely not everyone dares to speak about fantasies and that many people are embarrassed about them or even deny they fantasize.
It’s been 50 years since Nancy’s book and since then almost no one really researched erotic fantasies. Science tends to focus on the clinical aspect of sexology or on traumatic aspects, but shows little to no interest in the fantasies. We think that’s absurd. What’s more we feel there’s a need for openness about and around erotic fantasies.
We live in a time in which the pressure and emphasis is on doing things right. You are expected to know all aspects of your life, to develop and control it. But that’s impossible and it leads to stress, burn outs, anxiety and a renewed sense of shame.
The speed and pressure to perform in life on the one hand and the continuing increase of individualism on the other, means many people find it hard to be and rarely dare to be vulnerable. Sure, having sex is fine, but really allowing that person in, rather not thank you. We have more means of communication available than ever before, but the question is if we communicate more and better. In a pornified world there is more prudishness and anxiety than ever before, while eroticism is lacking.
And we think that’s a shame. Because where porn is about the flesh and prudishness is about anxiety, then eroticism is about freedom. Your fantasies and erotic identity give you oxygen to experience more than just performance or fear. But there’s a taboo on eroticism because it requires vulnerability, admission and permission. Your erotic fantasies should not cause you shame, but rather freedom. That you can be you, in who you are and how you think.
With this project we hope to break the taboo and examine the differences between the older and millennial generation. We want people to better develop their erotic identity by freely sharing stories and fantasies and discovering what tickles their senses.
Just as Nancy did 50 years ago, we want to build a large archive of testimonials of personal erotic fantasies. Not just women, but also men, trans and anyone who wants to participate, regardless of heritage, gender, race or age. For now we’ll collect interviews in Dutch and English. For the purpose of this artistic research, and to reach as many people as we possibly can, we built a sound studio on wheels: Bolleke.