Awaken My Love: Preview

A ripe fruit, teeming with sweet juices, waiting to be spilled–for this preview, we’ll have to hold you in suspense for a little longer than usual.

Do you remember the first time you felt yourself opening? As young people, it’s hard to forget the first time you were aroused and who or what was responsible for this confusing new sensation. Largely, the overarching sentiment has been one of necessary shame. Push those feelings away, and keep it quiet. Calm down. Sex is never to be celebrated–especially if you’re a woman, or attracted to someone your Sunday School teacher says you aren’t supposed to be.

Collected here below are some of our favorite story submissions recounting our youthful sexual awakenings. There is unadulterated power in the ability to laugh at what we were once ashamed of, and in the very act of declaring these feelings are your own. The images themselves reflect the nature of what inspired our awakenings, with a transparency that points to the idea that these are, after all, only a constructed fantasy.

We can’t wait to surprise you with these photos in print. I’m sure your imaginations can do them no shame…

-Erin

“The sex scene in the notebook created something strange in my underwear and I was so confused I asked my mom what it was, oops”, Syd Martin  “Literally everything in Love & Basketball, but specifically when they talk about Quincy’s ass and the camera focuses in on his butt while he’s on the court DAMN”, Anonymous  “Kim Possible and Shego fights made me realize that I am attracted to other females and also hate sex”, Anonymous  “Li Shang!! The whole I’ll Make a Man Out of You scene STRUCK ME TO MY QUIVERING CORE. As soon as he took off his shirt to start training his army oml. His sculpted abs. His arms. His lips. Truly a beautiful human being”, Serena Bastian  “The first time I saw Cameron Diaz as Tina in the movie The Mask. Basically every scene with her in it made me feel fuuuuuunnnyyyy. I think I was 8. But her white and black striped outfit and her tiny sequined dress STILL gets me every time”, Jordan Jones  “It was TOTALLY Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom on the beach at the end of POTC3 when he takes off her boot and kisses her bare knee so worshipfully??? and Elizabeth fucking Swann tilts her head back in the setting sun and faces the sea smiling and sated and basking in it with her eyes closed like…………..hecking heck. She looks like Pirate King of the entire fucking world in that moment, and sitting in the theater, my heart was in my throat. Like, I get it, Will Turner. I’d die for her too. And the intimacy of him kneeling before her while she looked towards the horizon…to this day I am still processing the fact that I didn’t know which person I wanted to be more in that scene. (Queer culture is being in love with both Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner.) And LIKE do I want to kiss the knee or do I want my knee kissed b/c both the actors being attractive only accounts for about 40% of why that scene affected me so much–it was the specific power dynamic and the respect in that scene that gave me the funny feelings”, Kaley Kiermayr

“The sex scene in the notebook created something strange in my underwear and I was so confused I asked my mom what it was, oops”, Syd Martin

“Literally everything in Love & Basketball, but specifically when they talk about Quincy’s ass and the camera focuses in on his butt while he’s on the court DAMN”, Anonymous

“Kim Possible and Shego fights made me realize that I am attracted to other females and also hate sex”, Anonymous

“Li Shang!! The whole I’ll Make a Man Out of You scene STRUCK ME TO MY QUIVERING CORE. As soon as he took off his shirt to start training his army oml. His sculpted abs. His arms. His lips. Truly a beautiful human being”, Serena Bastian

“The first time I saw Cameron Diaz as Tina in the movie The Mask. Basically every scene with her in it made me feel fuuuuuunnnyyyy. I think I was 8. But her white and black striped outfit and her tiny sequined dress STILL gets me every time”, Jordan Jones

“It was TOTALLY Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom on the beach at the end of POTC3 when he takes off her boot and kisses her bare knee so worshipfully??? and Elizabeth fucking Swann tilts her head back in the setting sun and faces the sea smiling and sated and basking in it with her eyes closed like…………..hecking heck. She looks like Pirate King of the entire fucking world in that moment, and sitting in the theater, my heart was in my throat. Like, I get it, Will Turner. I’d die for her too. And the intimacy of him kneeling before her while she looked towards the horizon…to this day I am still processing the fact that I didn’t know which person I wanted to be more in that scene. (Queer culture is being in love with both Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner.) And LIKE do I want to kiss the knee or do I want my knee kissed b/c both the actors being attractive only accounts for about 40% of why that scene affected me so much–it was the specific power dynamic and the respect in that scene that gave me the funny feelings”, Kaley Kiermayr

Photographer: Jeanette Nevarez

HMUA: Maiya Evans

Models: Karina Gamboa, Kiani Dover, Eva Frederick, Will Kachi, Luis Lantigua, Mostefa Sheikhi, Brennen Cooke

The Audacity