written by Beth Ashley, Nina Trenner
photography Beth Ashley, Anisah Osman Britton
Welcome to our new series #THENEWNEW x Our People. This is where we highlight the incredible stories of people from our community and they share what they want to see in #THENEWNEW world. From activists, founders and artists to members of our team, we can’t wait for you to meet the new faces of Vinokilo.
Beth is a writer and journalist focused on sex, relationships and identity.
Here is our interview with her:
What do you want to share with the world?
I want to live in a future where communicating with loved ones, or even just acquaintances, about the world of sex, love, and it’s intersections with identity, is normalised. I’m passionate about speaking about these subjects and have wrote many pieces on sex, not because I’m crude or attention-seeking (like my trolls will tell you) but because I believe it’s fundamental. Speaking about these subjects out loud removes the shame that many of us – especially women and queer people – have been conditioned to attach to discussions of sex. It gets rid of the word I hate most – “taboo” – and allows us to be ourselves and embrace vulnerability and self-discovery without fear. Sex-positive literature and the community that has formed from it saved me in a time where I needed it most, and I want to live in a world where sex positivity is almost redundant as a label, because it’s just normal.
What do you want to see in the new new world?
More art, more sex-talk, more equality.
What book would you share with the world?
If I’m choosing a book that exists in the present, I want everyone to read Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski. It’s a life changing read about sex and relationships and taking charge of your own experiences of intimacy. I have to stop myself from mentioning it in every single article I write! If I can choose a currently-non-existent book, I’d share my book with the world. I want nothing more than to write something wonderfully comforting, engaging, and long-form, and share it with everyone.
What film would you share with the world?
I’m pretty sure the entire world already knows about this film, and while it’s not actually my top fave film, Call Me By Your Name is just one of those movies that brings me intense warmth and comfort. It’s such a beautiful exploration of love and longing, and the pain you endure when it’s not there anymore. It’s one of those films that just utterly ruined me. I didn’t expect to like it so I stuck it on as background noise while I cleaned the house, and then I had to put the duster down because my eyes were stuck to the screen and I was overcome with emotions.
What podcast would you share with the world?
I was a big fan of Sofie Hagen’s “secret dinosaur cult” when it was running, and it’s still brilliant to go back and listen to as none of the content is news-pegged or anything. It’s all pretty timeless! The whole podcast is centred around the concept of daddy issues… and dinosaurs. It sounds absolutely crazy describing it, but you just have to trust me that it’s hilarious. Especially if you’re a person who’s ever been told you have said “daddy issues”.
What song would you share with the world?
Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac is probably my all time favourite song, and I’m always up for sharing a rant on what a disgrace it is that it was cut from the iconic ‘Rumours’ album. It’s Stevie Nick’s final goodbye and a bit of a ‘f*ck you’ to ex-boyfriend Lindsay Buckingham, and I think they should have kept it on the album. The lyrics in this song are wonderful; utterly haunting and probably cutting to be on the receiving end of, but beautiful.
Who is someone you think we should know?
Ben Pechey (they/them – @benpechey) is the personification of ‘joy’. They are the ultimate Instagram fashion icon who I learn so much from, especially on their podcast The Happy Place, which is perfect for listening to on a brisk walk. They have the most welcoming, colourful and cheery social media presence and their personal style is beautiful. I once interviewed them for a piece on how queer people connect to their identity through clothing and I’ve never had anyone speak to me about fashion with such passion and intelligence in my life!
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I have this shirt I bought last year in one of those quirky little hippie shops that usually just sells incense sticks, crystals dream catchers and about 5 items of cotton clothing (my favourite shops to visit). It’s about 5 sizes too big and has this incredibly loud paisley pattern on it. I look like someone’s embarassing dad but it’s so comfy and I love how it makes me feel.
Stay tuned for the next story and don’t forget to explore #THENEWNEW website.