05 February 2005

Here's Hoping That You Have a "Happy Ending"

In this week's "Sex Drive" column on the wired.com technology news site, Regina Lynn tours The Erotic Museum in Hollywood, CA.

One of the two of the exhibits she profiles in her column is the "The Human Body Project" -- a photo collection of the wide range of diversity present in human bodies. Here's the goals behind this project:

"
By creating a massive image database of everyday people of every race, age and size we hope to provide the public with an enduring image of mankind's actual appearance in all of it's natural and unnatural forms. The project records natural skin coloration patterns, tattoos, body modifications, common body hair distribution and other characteristics seldom represented in the media."

The second project is a video project that is currently a work in progress called "
Beautiful Agony - Facettes de la Petite Mort" - an online video collection showing the faces and shoulders of individuals masturbating. This museum project is very similar to the "Orgasm: The Faces of Ecstasy" video produced by Good Vibrations founder Joani Blank. Joani is also a Unitarian Universalist and a member of the First UU Church of Oakland, CA ... so a project like this can be considered a very "Unitarian Universalist" project.

The "Beautiful Agony project is described in Regina Lynn's column this way:

"'It's hardcore without nudity,' says site co-founder Richard Lawrence. 'A real face having a real orgasm -- it's the opposite of porn.'"

"'These two projects are in a similar spirit,'" Eric [Eric Singley - museum curator] says. "Beautiful Agony is showing us as we are, rather than as we see each other. You see the emotional transformation that takes place and comes to a resolution in a way you don't get to see when you're with someone else, or watching a film. It's another way to look at people behaving more naturally.'"

With the Unitarian Universalist emphasis on pursuing a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, one often draws on the "direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life" in this search.

To obtain direct experience, it's common to hear about Unitarian Universalists who journal, pray, and meditate to discover more about themselves.

Perhaps it's time for masturbation to be considered another pathway for insight, self-knowledge, and awareness of the spirit and the forces that create and uphold life as well?

To see a preview clip of the "Beautiful Agony" videos, check out the sample clips below:

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