When human touch becomes lethal, what happens to our bodies, our sex and our art? How have people on the margins survived and thrived in 2020? And how have the big events of the year affected our sex lives? These are some of the questions the magazine aims to answer. The pandemic is addressed, of course, but there’s so much more to 2020 than Covid. Although it would be impossible to encapsulate all the major events that took place in the year, the artists featured in the magazine go deeper. The political nature of bodies is more pronounced than ever. Focusing on a variety of issues ranging from isolation to queerness, feminism, and digital sex – the magazine looks beyond the gloominess of 2020. The artists selected by Pornceptual have created work that takes pride in the strengths of the communities represented. The final result is a true testament to the unstoppable resilience of marginalized sexualities.
The French ballroom legend Kiddy Smile is featured on the cover. In an exclusive interview, Smile discusses how he and other performers are overcoming new challenges, in connection with the issue’s larger focus on nightlife’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Queer and sex-positive nightlife — which hinges on large gatherings of sweating bodies who often exchange bodily fluids in typically cramped, indoor spaces — were the first to shut down and will probably be the very last to come back. For Pornceptual and countless other queer collectives who relied on live events as their main source of income, innovation and evolution have been necessary for survival. In this sense, Pornceptual’s shift in focus from parties to the magazine has been key in helping them endure this crisis.
To add to these challenges, increased social media censorship is a constant threat to Pornceptual’s online presence. This concern is echoed by many of the artists featured in the magazine. But Pornceptual refuses to let these voices be silenced. Going back to print allows the project to protect the voices of their artistic communities and carry on advocating for non-hegemonic sexualities.
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