The Hotbed Collective - bringing sexual debate to the fore
I’m writing this latest post with slightly blurred vision thanks to an excellent night out with the Hotbed Collective. Three extremely talented females, Lisa Williams from Tantrum.xyz, Cherry Healey, a BBC presenter, and Anniki Somerville from Selfish Mother did what all NCT groups do after childbirth – they met up and after a few gins got on to the endless chat of sex after kids. When to do it, should you do it, how the heck will you ever have time to do it, and will it hurt. (When you want, however you want, you’ll manage, and yes, probably a bit.) Sex is a funny topic, loaded with obvious jokes, but there is nothing funny about birth trauma, or being so damned knackered you can’t stay awake long enough to pull your partner’s pants off. The Hotbed Collective gives women a safe space to debate sex, swap information (which last night took the form of sex secrets scrawled on pink post it notes and pushed into a furry pink box) and hear different voices on the topics of all things sex, and offer support to mums who just ain’t feeling it any more.
And isn’t that fabulous. A space to progress debate in a world where there is still a gender pay gap. An arena to be open and progressive in a world where borders are being strengthened. I wrote last week about us living in a world where parents don’t know how to label their daughter’s genitals and it was my second highest trafficking piece ever – in just a week. There is a healthy appetite for honest conversation about these matters, with none of the behind-the-bike-sheds titillation or boys’ club humour that often accompanies discussions about sex. We don’t have to have our minds in the gutter to want to enjoy more orgasms, more often.
So when the Hotbed Collective holds another event, I’ll be there (and not just because of the sex toys in the goodie bags, although that was a nice surprise). But because if we can take the shame (and the giggles) away from talking about having fun in the bedroom (or over the kitchen table) then we can have some sensible conversations on how best to look after new mums. In France, post-baby physio to retune the pelvic floor is the norm. 1 in 3 UK women suffer from bladder incontinence, often brought on by having children. Sure, as prudish Brits we might blush at the thought of a work-out for our vaginas, but surely the blushes are worth it for a lifetime of being able to go on the trampoline with the kids and not being worried when we sneeze?
Use the Hotbed Collective's #BackInTheSack hashtag to join the debate