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Sex Shouldn’t Come Wrapped In Brown Paper

Or, why we started PULP

Katie Tandy

wanted to start a publication about sex, sexuality, and reproductive rights because our bodies are still — ever and always and as far as any of us can peer into the goddamn future — criminalized, stigmatized, silenced and suffocated. I wanted to create a place that didn’t come wrapped in brown paper because it’s not a secret. Or something shameful.

And while my own body isn’t big — it’s messy and sweaty and prone to dance too-close to the band, arms and hips swinging madly — I’d like to think it makes me something to contend with.

And sometimes I can feel that the world hates it. The world wants to make me and everyone in it smaller, smoother, less formidable. Especially women. And every body that’s been socialized as female. They want us to smell good and slip through the grass without shaking it. But our bodies, this human body, needs nothing if not space.

I could lick the boots of my body. The taut skin of my boundaries, my long-toed feet propelling me through space — the way it rises to touch, to music, to laughter, to gusts of rain. Pinpricks of light and air coupled with goosebumps. Sighs of sharp pleasure stinging my lungs. The hissing slide of my breath, my fingernails scratching the pink burning shine of a mosquito bump.

This is not to say it hasn’t been my enemy. But perhaps like all beautiful and intimate relationships, it is a complicated dialogue, the words exchanged between my body and I. But always, always, do I worship at its feet.

For me, the body has always been a wellspring of wonder, of solace, a poultice on what can feel like purgatory; my body however is a land that when beaten back by the tides and winds and fists of the world, I can retreat to its rolling mounds. I can flee the sorrow and shadows for a while.

We’re still so. hung. up. about. sex. and of course our most marginalized communities bear the biggest brunt of that collective shame and political fallout. Why oh why are we revisiting Roe. V. Wade? Why are we compelled to strip the bodily autonomy from every person who possesses a uterus, insisting this dangerous humiliation champions the “sanctity of life”, even as we indiscriminately slaughter one another every day? Why are we forcing people to bear unwanted children, telling them all the while that life is sacred — just not their life. Or the lives of the children within their bodies. The mind boggles at the cognitive dissonance; the Cirque du Soleil can’t touch those kind of acrobatics.

I could lick the boots of my body.
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And of course, all the people who already suffer at the hands of a nation predicated in no small part on genocide, slavery, and the systemic silencing of women and minorities — well, I can hear their legs buckling under the weight of these new laws. And I hope PULP can serve as a place to fight back.

A place where people can talk about all the things they desire — and don’t — for their own bodies. A place to lay down bodily burdens or rage them out till your throat and thighs and fingers and toes are rubbed raw with purging pleasure.

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