Sex sells: this much we know to be true. And yet, rather unsurprisingly, this commodification of the human body and misguided mentality of ownership have led to a society soaked in sexual shame and rampant misconduct. Sultry power couple Mitch Gobel and Sally Mustang have gone screens-to-sheets and back again – proffering peak Insta-voyeurism into their erotic home-life, in an attempt to redefine nudity and sex in art.
Byron Bay Insta-identities Mitch Gobel and Sally Mustang first launched their erotic enterprise Sex Is Art back in 2016. The artistic series presents as a tastefully erotic look-book, inviting viewers into obviously staged, nevertheless sexually intimate, moments within their home. The couple announced on Monday that each image will now be available as a free download package including an erotic story written from both Mustang’s and Gobel’s perspectives. Some of the packages include an additional poem, and sultry playlist – think Marcy Playground, M83, and Glass Animals – in case you wanted to set the scene for your own twist on their well-documented trysts.
Hardly strangers to baring their all on the ‘Gram, the lively couple have come under fire more than once for their wanton declarations of love online. Unaffected by a small minority of users reporting their sexually explicit posts, the couple continue to spread the message that ‘sex should not be a dirty, dismissed thing to discuss’.
Yet as much as society has witnessed desensitisation to nudity and sexual exploration (via increasingly graphic pornography, and misrepresentations in film and media) – a large percentage of sexual partners remain tight-lipped behind closed doors. By throwing the sock off their own bedroom door, Mustang and Gobel hope to ignite coital-based communication across the globe.
Through our art we believe we can influence change and conversation, not just artistically but in peoples everyday life. This is art that can appeal to almost anyone with an open mind and we hope that people can not only appreciate, but also take something away from our work and use it in their own relationships.
Their erotic tales are real – no mention of cringeworthy ‘digital penetration’ and over-stylised metaphors for sexual organs here. In my humble opinion, if E. L James can swindle a franchise with her half-baked misconceptions of BDSM, then Gobel & Mustang should be served a Star Wars-sized saga on a silver platter. The couple use real language. They describe realistic and relatable sexual exploration of their own and each other’s bodies – which, as many erotic writers fail to realise, makes the content effortlessly risqué.
But is it art? I certainly believe so. The human form has long been a vehicle for great art. Sex is an unfathomably natural and beautiful act, and by way of nature only an extension of the human form. Gobel and Mustang agree, inferring that while their form of art may be considered ‘controversial’ by some, it is merely a projection of the way in which sex has come to be misinterpreted by society.
Peoples interpretations of art are usually very varied and most great art is often considered controversial. Our writing and images are created through love, there’s obviously a very sexual aspect to the way we write, but those who can see through the physical aspect and consider the post on a whole, can see the real beauty and defined art in our work.
Personally, I think it all comes down to communication. As Jordan Raskopoulos put it ever-so-eloquently, ‘human beings are wonderful creatures, and what sets us apart is our ability to communicate complicated ideas with language and to feel empathy with our imaginations’.
A great many people hold zero qualms (what-so-freaking-ever) in modifying their restaurant orders beyond recognition, so why not tailor your own erotic feast accordingly? If we don’t use whatever means available to communicate what we want, what we like, and what we need – then, we all best be prepared for a big ol’ bowl of bland in the boudoir.
Head to Sex Is Art and take a peek. Do you think sex should be a private act? Or is it time that we shop shunning sex as a ‘dirty and dismissed thing to discuss’?