In June, we're returning to explore the topic of Sexuality, in cohesion with Pride Month. We want to explore the important the role of sexuality in society and how forms self-expression and liberation.
Pride Month is celebrated every June as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots, in the fight for gay rights and became the foundations for the LGBTQIA+ movement and community we see today. The topic of sexuality today is complex, expansive and evolving.
In 2013, UK Parliament passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act which introduced civil marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales, a long overdue milestone for gay rights. Today, Programmes like Netflix’s Sex Education confrim Western societies growing acceptance of conversations around sex and sexuality, where we’re becoming more empowered to flaunt or conceal our sexuality and sexual liberations as we choose. Similarly, hit TV programme’s like Drag Race and Queer Eye, have created space in mainstream media for LGBTQIA+ members that simply did not exist a few years ago.
Meanwhile the concept of gender fluidity has taken more time to reach mainstream consciousness. Younger generations, like Gen Z are believed to be more accepting of non-binary individuals, with an acceptance of non-choerence to outdated genders norms, expectations and labels. This is often demonstrated through an individual's choice of style, dress and self-presentation and is frequently seen adopted on places like the red carpet, in advertising campaigns and on social media.
Labels aside, another aspect of sexuality is sexual liberation. Sex appeal has been a core marketing tactic for brands and businesses worldwide. For example, the infamous Dolce & Gabanna have faced heavy scrutiny for past marketing campaigns that depicted sex through only the lens of cis-male desires, sometimes even crossing over into debates about sexual violence. This, alongside movements like #MeToo has, in turn, catalysed demand for societal change, including marketing that empowers women’s sexuality.