One of the most fascinating aspects of SEX-ED + project is that everything is moulded on humans.
People’s reaction range from incredulous (who would do that!) to technical (how do you do it?) to sometimes totally inappropriate. It still seems inconceivable for some that a project can focus on genitals from a scientific/educational perspective and that going “down and dirty in someone else basement” can mean covering one’s body with gooey stuff while drinking tea -and nothing more.
Models come from very different horizons. Some are friends who want to help. Others were met at conferences or spontaneously volunteered. For certain people, it took months of back and forth before it actually happened.
People are met beforehand; they can ask every question they want about me, my background, the project. One person even reached out to my sport buddies to check if I was safe. And it’s all good, as I can’t ask for people to be naked and possibly vulnerable in my presence and not submit myself to a certain scrutiny. After the first encounter, I explain that I’ll not follow up but let them come back to me at their own pace. Some people are reluctant to say no and I wouldn’t want anyone to be part of the process without an enthusiastic, heartfelt and well thought YES!
Test for a new project
Every moulding session is different and is apprehended as an intimate encounter, where consent is central.
Before anything, the procedure is explained in detail. I explain the materials used, the risks, the technique, the process, how long it will take, when I’ll be around and what the model is expected to do.
Because this is an important thing: I am not doing the process. People make their own imprint. This means that I never see nor touch people’s naked bodies.
Why? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to do it myself? Yes, absolutely! I have more technical knowledge and would do a perfect imprint in one shot.
Concrete casting a few hours after moulding.
But it’s not about being quick and efficient. I’d rather explain to the person how to do it. Have them try, while accompanying them gently. Give them agency in the process. We are so often disempowered when it comes to our bodies and sexualities that this seems like a perfect moment to take control. Even if it means doing several takes because they were flawed.
For some people, it means little. But at other times, it is a really unique and empowering experience, the first time having agency over one’s genitals, touching and exploring oneself rather than being touched and explored by others.
But what about erect penises? In that case, people come with their partner(s). We do the flaccid state so everyone has an idea of how to proceed. And I leave the house to get a coffee and do a crossword, waiting for a text. It’s as sexy as it gets.
Believe it or not, this is the easiest part of the process! Models are on site for a maximum of 2 hours, add 2 or 3 extra hours to do the positives and clean up… The hard part comes after…but that’s going to come in another blog post!
If they want to (they usually do), models get their body reproduction as a thank you gift.
Header picture by Magrit Coppé from GAMS.be
The post Documenting Genital Diversity: The How (part 1) first appear on SEX-ED +.