From Object to Subject – The Quiet Power of Erotic Self-Witness.
Written by Sophia Schorr-Kon
The ‘selfie’ has gotten a very bad rep over these last few years, identifying a generation
that has become fixated on false image ideals and self-promotion; but I have found
there is gentle power within adapting this form of self-portraiture. Turning the camera on
myself has been an intimate way to witness my erotic nature and use it as a tool for
expression and self- development through times of transition.
My journey with Erotic Self-Witness began seven years ago, after a long-term
relationship broke down. I met someone a few months later with whom I had a very
strong physical chemistry. Because of this, and an agreement that we were not looking
for anything beyond the physical I took a chance to imagine, voice and request a
fantasy to be played out with this lover. I had never experienced this level of creativity
and confidence within my sexual interactions before and so being a photographer, it felt
very natural for me to use my creativity to enhance this playful experience.
The first time I stepped in front of my lens nude was thrilling, there was a sense of
secrecy and a frisson of the forbidden about seeing myself in this erotic state of
undress. I moved through different poses and embodied different moods from
confronting femme fatale to coy and inviting pin-up. There was something quite
transformative about not being able to see the image while I was taking it, that felt
liberating, so it became more about the feeling, it brought the erotic energy back to my
body. It was exhilarating and even though I felt a deep sense of shame around doing it,
it turned me on. I wanted to share these images with my playful lover as an elevated
form of sexy selfie, and I did, his response was electric and this exchange lit me up and
ignited something long forgotten in me. From that moment on it was a catalyst that
made me see an aspect of myself that was full of erotic charge and not only turned me
on, but it created a sense of empowered presence that made me feel more confident, it
was like coming home to an aspect of my soul self. This combination of being able to
voice my desire and embellishing a fantasy creatively to make our connection more
powerful put me on a path to having the confidence to join communities where I could
meet others to explore these playful kinks.
Since then I have continued to practice nude self-portraiture and even though it began
as a way to excite others, more and more it has become a way to embody and witness
myself through changing states of being. This practice paved the way for me to claim
my desire, embody and find the playful strength I needed to express more of my erotic
blueprint and find lovers that could match me in this space.
This self-witness practice has held me through realisations of my own sexual nature and
has opened doors to sharing experiences within the space of D/s relating and BDSM
that have been deeply healing experiences that have changed the direction of my life
and work. I believe there is a powerful connection between creativity and sexuality and
nurturing both within our intimate relationships is a valuable practice that can build trust,
heal deep wounds and keep the fire of attraction alive and inspired.
Earlier this year I crossed the threshold from keeping these images more private to
using this embodied-self-portraiture in my art practice. It is now a way for me to
transmute ideas and use my body as a creative tool and metaphor for the collective
feminine and literally move through states of feeling and creative insight. Taking the
images from private communities such as Fet-Life and Killing Kittens into the public
domain and beginning to talk about the true power of this practice has taken quite a few
years. There is, of course, a risk to sharing images of our bodies publicly and I wanted to
make sure that before I shared images under my own name I had done the work on my
own internal relationship with shame, pleasure and body acceptance. The photography
itself has been a powerful tool and has been assisted by working with intimacy coaches,
shamans and energetic healers to help me ground this erotic embodiment practice so it
is safe and is coming from a place of personal integrity and the heart.
Our erotic and carnal body is a source of much wisdom. This perspective has been
rejected by modern society and we are taught from a very young age that our bodies
are bad and the giving and receiving sexual pleasure carries a huge shadow of shame.
Making peace with our suppressed wildness and healing how we relate to our own
bodies is a powerful practice that can inform and transform the relationship we have
with ourselves, those we love and how we move in the world. Erotic self-witness is a
safe way to explore elements of ourselves privately before we share these intimate and
powerfully vulnerable parts of ourselves with lovers we trust.
Witnessing ourselves in our natural state is a form of radical acceptance and when we
see clearly lost elements of who we are, it can be life-changing. Erotic Self- Witness has
the potential polarity to strip us bare at the same time as creating a world of fantasy
depending on what we need, and feel is our medicine. I encourage you to embrace,
nourish and respect the deep whispers of your desire if you trust this place in yourself
(something we are trained to feel is dangerous), it really will transform your world. Take
your time, go gently and trust the call of your heart.