Heather Corinna:

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Sex, Love and Intimacy episode 37: Heather Corinna: Sex, Gender and Feminism for Young Adults

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I am driven by nature, humanity and my senses. I strive to discover, capture, describe, explore and advocate for what the natural world, our human nature and the senses give to us, and how those things manifest in the context of the modern world. It is my aim to illustrate, celebrate, participate in and protect those things which I find essential with my images, my words and my actions and to do so with a raw directness, a naked sincerity, an open enjoyment, compassion, creativity and with an eye towards social activism and question.

Beauty needs little embellishment, and she has no standards of her own. Over the years, I have had some who have sat for me for portraits say I’ve “made” them beautiful; some who have read my words say I created beauty, some familiar with my activist work say I’ve said or done something profound or rare.

I’ve done none of those things. I have seen a beauty, experience or nature that was already there and recorded it, celebrated it or did what I could to help it thrive because I cherish beauty, humanity, experience. I try to stand in service of what is of value to me and share what I see, feel, have experienced or want to experience. I strive to live in and portray the world I want to live within, even if it is not always easy to find or uphold, even if the world as a whole is not as I’d like it, knowing that all the raw materials I need to do so are there if I can keep as clear as possible of debris and static, or find the ways in which what appear to be barricades or conflicts can coexist with or illuminate what lies beneath them.

Beauty is not always pretty; the beautiful does not always glorify nor is it always pleasing to the eyes or ears. Sometimes, what is beautiful is difficult to look at; sometimes our eyes have been trained to no longer see or recognize beauty, especially when it is within ourselves or the simplest of things. Sometimes, the beautiful can even look plain, commonplace or comical. If beauty seems in any way rare or unattainable, if the imperfect no longer appears beautiful, it is likely because we have become unable to see it where it always is: in everything.

(All artists statements are required to be pretentious as hell, for the record. It's a rule.)

I am a freelance photographer, self-portrait artist, writer and author, sexuality educator and activist, currently located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. I have also worked as an early child and developmentally disabled adult educator, natural foods salesperson, graphic designer and Internet publisher. My work in various media has been both published and self-published internationally in print and online. My education and background are in education, social issues, literature and the arts. I am a graduate of the acclaimed Chicago Academy For The Arts, where I studied music, creative writing and art, and have also attended Shimer College, where I was a Humanities major with a focus on English Literature and William Blake, and the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center for 3-6.

The central areas and themes of my work are human and women's sexuality, queer, gender and women's issues, sexuality information and education, body and self-image, childhood and adolescence, body/mind union and division, human rights, media and arts and the natural world in urban context.

My written work has appeared in the anthologies Aqua Erotica, Shameless: An Intimate Erotica, The Adventures of Food, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 1, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 2, Viscera, Giggling Into the Pillow (foreword) and Girl Play (forthcoming), and in the print and Internet publications Issues (AU), Penthouse, Soapbox Girls, PIF Magazine, Scarlet Letters, Scarleteen, Technodyke, Chickclick, Maxi and Satin Slippers. My first solo book, S.E.X., an extensive young adult sexuality resource, is forthcoming from Marlowe & Co., a subsidiary of Avalon Publishing, in the spring of 2007.

My photography has been seen and shown in: On Our Backs magazine, Michelle 7, the BECAUSE conference/gallery, the Bryant-Lake Bowl, Scarlet Letters, Jane's Guide, Toys in Babeland, the 555 Gallery (Detroit, Michigan), Sex Wroker Visions (New York), the 2004 Seattle Erotic Art Festival and The Mammoth Book of Erotic Women (2005).

Articles and press mentions about me and/or my work and publications have included The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis City Pages, The Utne Reader, SIECUS, The Kinsey Institute, The Oxygen Network, The San Francisco Gate, The San Francisco Weekly, The Austin Chronicle, On Our Backs magazine, Libido magazine, The Boston Phoenix, Flare, Shift magazine, AVN, The Village Voice, Salon, Hip Mama, Estroclick, and Women Writers. For the last two years, I have also been a plaintiff for the ACLU vs. Alberto Gonzales, the case against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). In addition, I have recently founded and manage the young feminist comminity, the All Girl Army.

I am a queer woman in my mid-thirties who lives with her partner and a small pug and a scrappy calico, and spends her days as a full-time rabblerouser. I am also a vegan, a coffee junkie, a natural health practitioner, an amateur kickboxer and a musician, and in my spare time like to geek out with criminology and sociology books, episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, independent film, drag shows, camping, walking and biking, cocktails and bouts of creative mischief and happy mayhem.