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Policing Pornography, Desire, and Women’s Sexual Agency in a Post-Me Too Era

In the post-MeToo era, where sexual norms are rapidly changing, expectations and laws surrounding sex in the workplace, on campus, and in social activities are being redefined. The uncertainty and fear surrounding sexual encounters have ushered in a historic moment of sexual regression. Young people are having sex at record levels, sometimes referred to as the "purite generation," and complaints about the disappearance of sex in film are part of this new sex panic.

Mary Katharine Tramontana speaks about the trend of academics and journalists calling for policing of sexual behavior and its explicit representation into a categorization of "good" (gentle, monogamous) and "bad" (BDSM, non-monogamous) moralism. These attempt to conform individual desire to a particular ideology, which has parallels with past concepts, including fascist notions of politically correct sex, militant sexual prohibitions of the feminist sex wars of the 1970s and 1980s, and more recent attempts to discipline desire through conversion therapy.

Mary Katharine Tramontana, an American writer, poet and photographer living in Berlin, is known for her work on feminist sexual politics, queerness and culture. Her work has appeared in renowned media outlets such as The New York Times, Esquire, Playboy, The Guardian and more. She researches how people can shape their lifestyles differently. Tramontana has collaborated with institutions such as the Reina Sofía and the Spanish Film Archive in Madrid, the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, and the Gay Museum and the Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin. She holds an MA in Literature, Language and Culture from the Free University of Berlin and previously worked as a sexuality research assistant at the Kinsey Institute.

A conversation with author Mary Katharine Tramontana:

"Sex Panic: Policing Pornography, Desire, and Women's Sexual Agency in a Post-Me Too Era"

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