‘Eco-sex’, I’m back! It has been some while since the last post of this column that you liked so much and so much you have requested, in fact I beg my readers forgiveness, you are right but the blog requires a lot of work and unfortunately some topics go a little to the detriment of others. From today I promise to give you at least one sexy-post a week and I start from now with Silvia Picari and her wooden sex-toys that I saw for the first time at the last edition of ‘Fa’ la cosa giusta!‘ in Milan. I immediately found Silvia’s work suitable for ‘eco-sex’, not only for the type of product but also for her person, for the ideas she expresses and for the story behind the project and the creative process. Because it is certainly unusual and original that an architect makes handcrafted erotic games, isn’t it?
Silvia undertakes this very personal human and professional path after a internship in carpentry, building furniture and staging; she learns how to work the wood, how to use the lathe but, above all, she founds a new perspective from which to rethink the designer’s work, a perspective in which creativity has free rein, from the idea to its practical realization. Feeling part of the project, getting your hands dirty and creating something unique with those same hands is for Silvia priceless.
In the huge variety of feasible products, Silvia chooses to develop a project on sex toys because she wants to create something that has a story to tell and that is at the same time a stimulus for reflections and exchanges of ideas. In short, not a mere object of consumption, but something timeless and with its own meaning that, in the case of sex toys, concerns sexuality and consequently the nature of human relationships in their most intimate sphere. “For me dealing with sexuality – Silvia explains – it has a philosophical value, in a sense. My reflection starts from the observation that our lives are continually conditioned by external influences that do not really represent us but that condition, in a more or less conscious, our choices of life and relationships with others. I think that the conditioning of the sexual sphere is decidedly the most aggressive and violent, therefore creating a positive culture of sex, working to break down stereotypes and prejudices means opening a dialogue on tolerance and respect for diversity, means cultivating love and empathy for others rather than mistrust and fear “. Speaking of sex through ‘toys’ becomes, therefore, a provoking, funny and light-hearted way of speaking about love and empathy and to reflect on certain themes ‘playing’, without embarrassment or preconception.
Silvia’s sex toys are born from a strictly handcrafted manufacturing process, it is she, personally, who creates them one by one, without copying, which means that improvisation makes each piece slightly different from the other, therefore unique; starting from working the raw wood on the lathe, then moving on to the subsequent sanding and painting phases, also handmade with certified hypoallergenic paints. The choice of wood, in addition to the pleasure of working it, is due to its being ecological and recyclable; aesthetically beautiful, “it is a living and warm material and the turning enhances the beauty of the veins“. Moreover, its solidity together with its soft warmth once smoothed, are able to offer intense and decidedly special sensations, sensations that, Silvia says, who has tried it knows what she means. In this sense, those who buy one of her sex toys do it just because they have already tried and liked it or because after so much silicon and mechanical vibrations they want to try something different and more natural to the contact with the private parts.
But these particular objects are much more than just erotic toys; the workmanship, the attention to details, the material, the craftsmanship, every aspect contributes to making them similar to the sculptures that people often choose as iconic decoration for their home. The sex toy thus assumes an unexpected function, becomes a provocative totem that offers hints of joyful reflections on sexuality when, for example, you invite friends home for dinner. Because of the nature of what it represents, the sculpture-toy can guide the conversation to a very intimate and confidential level, easily creating a strong empathic atmosphere. And this is one of the aspects that Silvia loves more of her toys, the fact that they can act as input for dialogues and constructive reflections on sexuality; “It’s incredible – observes Silvia – how the topic ‘sex’ can break down the barriers and people involved in the conversation empathize with each other. We are used to think of sex as a taboo, as something not to talk about, instead people, if put at their ease, they want to tell, share doubts and learn “.
Among the erotic games made, there are also bondage ropes and spheres, also in wood, which, equipped with a satin ribbon have the dual function of toys but also of jewels that can be worn in various ways, like a tie for example, a belt or, as a chic harness.
Back to the ethical discourse and the artisan aspect of the work, in addition to the satisfaction of creating something unique and personal, in which the action unites the craftsman with his object, bringing the production into a deeply human dimension, Silvia emphasizes the importance to enhance craftsmanship as an alternative to the serial model, the disposable one that, in addition to creating masses of passive and uncritical consumers, brings with it a whole series of devastating consequences for society and the planet. Products made to last little that become polluting waste, low-cost productions made on to the worker’s shoulders, which create exploitation, inequality and poverty.
For a more conscious model, eco-sex can also play its part. Thanks Silvia.