Our latest Sexuality Superhero is Ayesha Hussain. Ayesha is the founder of The Violet, an adult cinema company with an emphasis on pornography. Ayesha is using their filmmaking to help heal their past trauma. Read their feature below now!
How did you find yourself working in sexuality?
Sex was always a really shameful part of my life growing up. I grew up in a Muslim household in the Midwest - not a lot of positivity around it in that environment. Then, when I was 13, I was raped. And sex became this overwhelming dark cloud of anger and upset that followed me around everywhere, and I eventually turned inward. Until I decided I was not going to let that define me and I was not going to hate myself because of it. I was not going to believe all of the things that society was telling me was wrong with me, was my fault, etc. And the best way I knew how to combat that was to be completely open and honest about sex. To be completely shameless. That led me to being really comfortable talking about it. Fast forward a little, after 10 years of working in the fashion industry, I finally got fed up with how shameful an industry is that uses sex to sell everything but wouldn't actually talk about it. So, I left to talk about sex. One of the most shameful topics in sex, porn, specifically. Porn was a big part of my unfurling, so I figured I owed it to myself and to the industry.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is when hetero cis men come up to me and say, "I've never watched gay porn before, and you know what, it was chill." Getting people to recognize that they can identify with the feeling of pleasure and joy instead of what someone looks or acts like, or what orientation they are. Getting large groups of people, complete strangers, to sit in a room together and watch porn.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
The stigma. Porn is even shameful to some sex companies. It's the mass hysteria du jour. We've had sex toy brands tell us that it's not aligned with their vision.
What is your most important piece of advice that has the potential to revolutionize relationships?
Be curious. Always. Resonance and Resistance are really the same thing, so if you feel resistance/defensiveness, ask questions until it resonates. It's life changing.
What has creating The Violet taught you about the business of adult cinema?
Adult cinema is a really hard industry. There are a lot of people who have incurred so many injustices, across the board. Whether casting out from society or unsafe practices at the work place, and that's just scratching the surface. AND it's a beautifully vibrant, brilliant community. Full of some of the most creative, inventive minds I've ever encountered. And pleasure, it's celebrated.
What do you want people to know about your work as a sexual activist?
I'm in this work to heal myself. I think all activists are in some way or another. The journey always starts within. And when we start within, from a true place aligned with our highest good, that has the potential to multiply. Because we are never alone, and someone else will need that same healing too. My version of healing may not look like everyone else's and that's perfectly okay. There is more than enough room for everyone and their experience.
Where can we learn more about your work?
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