Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Open Source Sexuality Project: Curious People Needed

What are your most significant sexual issues?
  • Do you ever wonder if your thoughts and behaviors are "normal?"
  • Do you wish you had more or more enthusiastic sex?
  • Do you wish you had more a more intimate connection to your partner?
  • Do you want to improve your flirting skills?
  • Are you curious about trying something that interests you, but are held back by inhibitions?
  • Do you have problems with arousal or orgasm?
  • Do you question your gender or your sexuality?
  • Do you want to improve your skills in the bedroom or just have an insatiable curiosity about all things sexual?
Many people in our society struggle with these issues. The answer to all of these issues is education. We live in a pretty miraculous age- all of the solutions to these specific issues can be found by communicating with the right people and the Interwebz makes it exceedingly easy to do so. 

Unfortunately there's no single comprehensive resource that covers all major topics and the vast grey area in between. Many resources cast sexuality in a negative light by inducing shame or guilt in an attempt to control a populous (common among strict religions, some medical pratitioners.) These groups doesn't really solve issues, they just force repression, denial, and "treatment" of supposed "illnesses" which leads to even more serious issues.

Other groups focus on one particular lifestyle or demographic (like heterosexual male exhibitionists in Sweden.) This can be great for learning about particular behaviors, but there's little cross-pollination of ideas. Sexuality is compartmentalized, so there's no opportunity to learn from people that may engage in dramatically different activities.

This project couples the crowdsourcing principles of the open source movement with the sex-positive movement.

The open source movement is a philosophical approach to the sharing of information. Historically, knowledge has been treated like fossil fuel. It was to be hoarded and tightly controlled. A select few (academics, the information industry, etc.) would provide access to knowledge for a fee. The open source movement democratizes knowledge. It treats information like an abundant renewable resource. As such, everyone has free access to knowledge. Anyone can contribute; anyone can learn. Wikipedia is the best current example of the power of open source sharing to create a robust body of knowledge.

The sex-positive movement is a philosophical approach to sexuality. It promotes open, honest expression of sexuality and pleasure as long as the activities are safe and consensual. It encourages people to explore their own sexuality to improve health and happiness. Comprehensive sexual education is one of the hallmarks of the sex-positive movement. The more we know about sexuality, the more fulfilled our lives become. Also, associating beliefs or activities with individuals humanizes the breadth and depth of human sexuality. This makes us far more accepting of people that are different from us. 

The Open Source Sexuality Project joins these two emerging social forces. Because both movements flourish when barriers are removed, it's important to set as few ground rules as possible. The project is based on a few simple guidelines:
  1. Participants must have a genuine curiosity about human sexuality.
  2. Participants must be open to discussing and learning from anyone sharing experiences between consenting adults.
  3. Given all of us have different interpretations of sexual morality, participants must be willing to suspend judgement of others. 

How Will the Project Grow?

I'm not interested in creating a movement that will change our entire society. I'm more than happy to limit growth to the truly curious that embrace both the open source as sex-positive movements. However, there is a certain threshold that is required to develop good conversations. Once this happens, the project becomes a self-sustaining entity where the cultivation and sharing of knowledge is fueled entirely by the curiosity of the participants. 

My vision for growing the project is based on reaching as many like-minded people as possible without diluting the original intent. To that end, I need 25 volunteers that are willing to plant the seeds for the project. These 25 volunteers have to be willing to do the following:
  • Register as a user on the forum (can be anonymous.)
  • Visit the forum at least twice per day for 30 days; start at least one thread per day respond to at least one thread per day.
If you would like to volunteer, there will be formal process. Simply visit the forum, register, and create a thread or two. I don't want to give directions beyond this, nor do I want to plant "seed" topics. I want the conversations to go wherever the volunteers wish to take them. 

If you know of someone that may be interested in participating but won't likely see this post, please forward them the link. My friends-of-friends network is far more diverse than my own friends network.

Preemptively, thank you to everyone that does take part in the project. Together, we can build a positive network of like-minded people that will serve to create a great resource to educate each other. I sincerely appreciate your sense of curiosity and adventurousness!


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