When the editors at Dispatch approached me about making photographs about sex, I thought about how rarely we see sex portrayed without stigma or exploitation. I welcomed the opportunity to do something a little different than my typical work, but also to promote concepts that I believe in: that sex is worth discussing, that it’s an important part of the human experience, and that we need to show sex as consensual, enjoyable, and normal. One of the biggest challenges of the shoot was how to portray the broad spectrum of sex in one image- our sexuality is entirely individual: inhabited in every type of body and expressed in a million different ways. Instead, I decided to focus on broader themes of sex: passion, exploration, intimacy, and equality. And, sex is a fun topic. I mean, I’ve definitely never been knee-deep in ocean water photographing two people smooching.
For the shoot I got to work with sex educator Dana Fadel- we talked a lot about how to create images that showed healthy perspectives of sexuality. Our two subjects, who are indeed a couple, joined us in that discussion and were willing to some very brave cold temperatures. The images are running in this month’s issue of Dispatch- free to pick up around Portland.
All images © Greta Rybus