History of GSP
The Graphic Sex Project (GSP) is designed to help people have better sex by helping them talk about it! GSP began as an icebreaker activity in a women’s discussion group called Women Uncorked. In the group, people who identify as women were invited to make a “graph” of a positive sexual experience using little colored cubes, sticker dots, and markers. Then the group would talk about what feelings, thoughts, realizations, and desires came up while they were doing the activity. The conversation was stimulating… revealing… deeply personal, and very spicy! — the night was a hit, and GSP was born.
Who would have thought that playing with little blocks could be so… constructive? People shared desires they didn’t even know they had. One woman’s graph revealed that she liked a little pain with her pleasure (turns out a lot of people do). Another woman realized that she really wanted more time spent stripping and teasing before touching began. That night showed that making a graph is a powerful way to get a new perspective on what you want, and what you actually get, in the bedroom. Plus, the graphs are great conversation starters to share with partners — a handy visual aid!
The graphs were so illuminating — a bigger collection would be great. How about a live, interactive installation to collect more? First stop was Art-o-matic — a six-week long art festival in DC. Here, visitors could make a graph and slide it into a specially-designed, furry red light box to take a picture of their creation to share with partners. The collection grew to more than 300 graphs.
Many installation events followed:
Catharsis on the Mall
Art All Night
White Cloud Gallery
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit
As well as private parties and rogue street events
Jennifer Beman thinks people should talk about sex more — to bring it out of the shadows and the realm of taboo. Normalizing the conversation, and making it more playful and natural, is key. When you know what you want, it’s easier to say what you want. When you can say what you want, you are more likely to get it … and less likely to get what you don’t want. She thinks too many people feel isolated in their sexual experience and desires. There is way too much shame. People wonder if they are “normal,” if they are the only one who feels this way or does this thing. The graphs give people a window into the sex lives of other people. They “desexualize” sex to make it more accessible. Maybe you like to edge close to orgasm, over and over, and you’ve never told your partner. Or maybe deep kisses get you going like nothing else. Whether you like it gentle or rough, fast or slow, deep or shallow, the Project is a way for people to see the amazing diversity of how we express our sexual selves, and come to a place of greater acceptance for our own unique sexual expression.
The installation — now interactive website — is a tool that can help people to have good, honest, and revealing conversations about sex. Future plans include developing AI that could interpret the many anonymous graphs and use the data to increase our understanding of human sexuality, and what people actually do.
Live installations of the Project continue. Contact us for information about having the Graphic Sex Project at your event. It’s a fun and entertaining crowd-pleaser for adult and sex-positive events, and a great educational tool for sex positivity.