Undoubtedly we are living through a second-wave sexual revolution. A revolution of thought, of action and of feeling. In recent years the #MeToo movement has dethroned the powerful and shattered the halls of silence that allowed predators to sadistically wield their arsenal of perversity unchallenged. Silence is both a symptom and an agonist of the problem. However, our society has a history littered with attempts to muzzle victims of the patriarchal and ecclesiastical structures that sustained it. Silence was never a choice, it was an implication, and a reality. As we step out from the shadows as a society, we have a litany of brave individuals to thank for the nation gradually revealing itself as more socially-inclusive, compassionate and liberated. I think of Savita Halappanavar when I write this. I think of the victims of Terenure college. I think of Senator David Norris and Katherine Zappone. I think of my Mother, who was pregnant with me in Bessborough, where silence left her locked away from society.
All of these issues, the right to bodily autonomy, the right to protection from predators, the right to love who you want to love, regardless of their sex, and the right to be have a child outside of wedlock have one thing in common: sex, and Ireland’s archaic and often toxic relationship with the same. This was a society stained with decades of shame, sadism and social stigma attached to sexuality. I mention this because it shows how far we’ve come in so short a time, but how much further we have to go. Massive inequalities still stand in the way of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly for trans people, and we cannot afford to remain silent. The gender pay gap has still not been fully addressed and issues such as period poverty, affordable contraception and the glass ceiling persist. Today, because of the bravery of Irish people over the decades, I can write this without fear, it’s their bravery that gives us a voice today, and it is a voice we must use. The difference today is that on most of these issues silence is a choice, and we have the luxury to amplify social equality.
Motley is a vehicle for your voice, a canvas for your cognitions. Use it. I become more grateful by the day for the luxury I have in collating this magazine, with such diverse takes on every issue. This is why we’ve approached sex as a theme. Few things in life fully bind us together as individuals and sex is perhaps the most basic thing we all have in common. It is a crucial aspect of the human experience, and by extension, the student experience. Covid-19 has impacted the relationships and sex lives of young people in a way never seen before. We know that you’re probably feeling touch-starved and frustrated, which is why we’ve produced this issue.
They say that you should never kiss and tell. Motley has gone a step further. We’ve decided to ride and write (of course, not in the middle of a pandemic, no need to get jealous). When we sat down for our editorial meeting for this month’s issue, I think we all felt a mixture of healthy trepidation, cautious excitement, and journalistic responsibility about challenging the theme. I know I did. However, this “ménage à trois” of inventive values, through the process of our monthly cycle of production, ended in a collective cathartic climax. As we delved deeper into the psyche of the world’s contemporary kinks, we became looser in our thought-processes, and stiffer in our convictions. Our pens hardened, we rolled back the paper, and the cut and thrust of creativity gave way to a spasmodic journalistic petite mort, ink flowing and kleenex ready for the editing process.
Within these pages, you’ll find some jaw-dropping spreads, Motley’s massive sex survey, a plot review of Game of Bones (yes, Jack is that brave), and some excellent contributions in features and fashion.
In total honesty it’s a blessing this issue didn’t go to print, the cleanup after distribution is hard enough. We hope it’s the ideas of the magazine that stick this month, and not the pages.