World Art Erotica Curator & Community Director
Mojo currently hosts “Intersecting Identity Play - Sex & Free Speech Conversation Workshop”. These groups are based on free speech conversation guidelines developed at Hedonisia Hawaii. Participants are able to speak openly about sex as it relates to issues surrounding race, orientation, gender, and culture without fear of being "called out" as sexist, racist, etc.
Mojo identifies as a Queer, BIPOC, 1st Amendment Liberal, Ex-Muslim, new immigrant, natural disaster refugee who loves politically incorrect humor and having fun with labels. 😉
He studied Sociology and Women’s Studies at York University. After university, his first major trip was to Israel on a soul-seeking mission. He was one of the first people with a Muslim name to apply to volunteer at a kibbutz.
Mojo continued traveling the world seeking cultural experiences and exchanges and living in various intentional communities. His travels took him to Japan, the Netherlands, India, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, and Thailand.
He lived and worked in various small jobs; as an English teacher in Japan, a taxi driver in Toronto, and in nightclubs in Germany. The lack of freedom required for traditional jobs was constraining to him. So he has always been working on his own quirky entrepreneur projects.
While living in Japan, he heard about a hedonistic spiritual community in India run by a feminist guru who was known as Osho. He traveled there and spent 4 years gaining knowledge and insight into different models of community living. He has since incorporated these models into the design and foundation of Hedonisia Hawaii.
Mojo started his effort is to promote positive cultural and historical images and teachings on the subject of human sexuality. This was how World Art Erotica was born in 1992.
He created this site as a response to the negativity surrounding sexuality that exists in much of the world. People from every culture and race in history have enjoyed making love. It is okay to be a hedonist. It is okay to make love. It is okay to have fun.
Mojo has tried to live a life of pleasurable activism while working on projects that benefit people and the planet. He started off life in the opposite camp, as a devotee of Islam which, like Christianity, promotes the idea of delaying fun and pleasure, until death.
Human beings gravitate naturally toward pleasure. We do what feels good and often feeling good is good for us. Evolution suggests that pleasure is intricately involved in our very survival. Otherwise, we simply would not have such a propensity for pleasure. However, the so-called moralists try, in the name of religion, to impose guilt and repression on our natural state of being.
Islam is especially dogmatic in this respect. This wasn't for me so I quit being a Muslim. Then I began to have some fun! Wild, sensual, ecstatic and romantic. I made love across the planet. But I never hurt anyone. Nor did I try to impose my way on others. However, I discovered in my travels that Paradise truly can be found on earth.
Making love is the essence of Paradise. It is the bringing together of all the senses (including the sixth sense), into an explosion of pleasure.
My journey into sexuality in the modern world began in my sophomore year at York University in Toronto, Canada. Young, idealistic, and a Sociology major; I wanted to save the world. I loved taking on assignments on controversial topics: Recreational drugs, feminism, homosexuality, AIDS, prostitution, racism.
One of my major essays was called Pornography; where do we draw the line? As part of this assignment, I had to go around campus showing female staff and students a series of sexually explicit pictures cut from various "men's" magazines and then to ask them whether they felt these images were erotic or pornographic.
Many of the females found the pictures degrading and exploitative with no redeeming features whatsoever. But there was also deep inconsistency. One woman's definition of 'patriarchal porn' was another woman's fantasy.
During the course of my assignment, I noticed the not too subtle difference between men and women when it came to their enjoyment of erotic\pornographic images. I delved deeper into the subject. (My major was Sociology so what else could I do.) I read the feminists; Susan Brownmiller, Andrea Dworkin, Gloria Steinem and so on. "Give us Erotica" they cried. "Not Pornography." But then they often went all fuzzy when it came to defining exactly what was erotica.
I surveyed females on campus and asked them to describe what they saw as "erotica". No two answers were the same. Yet feminist writers and many females I spoke to were almost universal in their condemnation of pornography per se and the male commercialization of sexuality in general.
The male counter-reaction was often just as harsh. "These women who want to ban sex films are just prudes who just can't face the sight of an erect penis"; "feminists are anti-sex and anti-men"; "they see only lesbian depictions of sex as erotic; anything else is pornographic"; "Some "wimmin" seem to think that if a guy reads Penthouse then he has to go out right afterward and rape". And so the war of the sexes raged on. For me doing that essay was a turning point in my life. This issue was just too interesting to let go.
The smell of food can make us hungry. Should the sight of sex make us horny? With men, it seems to do just that. A man can bring himself to orgasm in two minutes flat by merely masturbating and watching a naughty movie. However, it is simply not the same with a woman. (At least not in two minutes) As women are quick to state, a little more is required. It is not enough just to show naked bodies pumping away at each other. There needs to be some sort of story under all the skin and sweat. Preferably something exotic, esoteric, and romantic. And then anything goes.
Over the years, I slowly began to build up a collection of erotic art and literature from the various countries of my travels. I would often show samples to my female friends. Almost without exception, they were fascinated by these decidedly different interpretations of erotica.
As an unemployed Sociology major, I had the time to go deeper into my investigations. And so I did. I journeyed to the netherworld of the Netherlands, the notorious city of Amsterdam. Near the red light district, was my destination, The Venus Tempel Sex Museum. Though the name was rather tacky (as were many of the exhibits), this "museum" was nonetheless quite an eye-opener. It had one of the largest collections of historical and cultural erotica in the world and so, it was the perfect place to observe the reactions of visitors from around the world.
I stood outside the museum for many long days in the cold, wet, dreary, (again!) Damstraat of central Amsterdam, feeling like a bedraggled voyeur but nobly pursuing my calling. With my damp, soggy notebook in hand, I would collect statistics and observe the nuances of the visitors. I discovered that 42% of the visitors there were women. I thought this figure was especially impressive when I compared it to the almost negligible number of women who frequent the more traditional sex shops and other sex-oriented establishments.
I saw some of the most surprising things: time after time when couples walked by the museum it was the female who dragged in her protesting boyfriend or husband by the arm! Many women also went in singly or in pairs. Once inside, they would gaze in open admiration at the exhibits and read most of the explanation captions with obvious interest. There was nothing furtive about their behavior. On the contrary, both the female and male visitors would often giggle and laugh and generally have a good time.
I began to see that there was an alternative to the images of sexuality put out by the male-dominated pornographic industry. Historical and cultural erotica, whether art and philosophy from the Kama Sutra, statues, and carvings of Dionysian revelry from Ancient Greece and Rome or sumptuous 19th-century erotic French paintings; they provide the depth, context, and romance that male pornography often lacks.
Pornography is like junk food. It is quick and fast but over the long term, not very satisfying. Erotica is like a gourmet meal in that it satisfies the brain and possibly the heart as well as the visual appeal.
That was where I began to see that sexuality can be worked with, in an ethical way that brings benefits to society rather than costs. And so the idea of the World Art Erotica was born.
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