Origins

The people behind the site

This site is a team effort, with staff consisting of Tana Lee, being the instigator, and Ted Stein as the at-first-reticent-web-developer-but-now-totally-on-board partner in creation. The goal here is to create a space for artists and thinkers to safely, and hopefully honestly, explore erotic equality. What does sexuallity based on mutual respect look like? We really want to know!

We created Progressive Erotica with the hopes of exploring sexuality in a way that is healthy, new, and beautiful. We hope this site, through examples of progressive erotica and the lifestyle issues addressed in the articles, will positively affect our own lives, as well as the world around us.

What started this?

A life long desire for equality. The short story is that somewhere around 2006 Tana Lee visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and finding her way into the Asian Art wing came face to face with larger-than-life size Nepalese and Indian statues of these beautiful men and women. After looking at them for quite some time, and then coming back another day just to see them again, she finally realized what was so arresting about them. This was the first time she could remember ever seeing women portrayed as simultaneously Happy + Sexy.

At first Tana Lee thought maybe she just hadn't been noticing the Happy + Sexy women in her cultural setting of billboards, galleries, TV shows, movies, adverts and magazines. But after some time of looking intentionally for Happy + Sexy women (and noticing that men portrayed fare no better) and not finding them, she decided it wasn't an anomaly of perception and was instead a pervasive attitude. 

So she took another step, this time into the commercial, independent and radical bookstores in New York City. Tana Lee bought erotica "by and for women", she bought "feminist porn", and still found very little that would classify as Happy + Sexy. Instead, she began to formulate a generalization that most erotic imagery and literature in American culture is reflective of Dominator Culture, especially in terms of domination, submission and power play.

A web search ensued. How to find erotica that emblems Happy + Sexy? Through research and long phone conversations with friends, Tana Lee came up with the phrase Progressive Erotica as a way of expressing what she was looking for. In November of 2009 there were no search results for the phrase and the domain was unregistered, so in keeping with a lesson learned in the Burning Man culture, if you're looking for something and you can't find it, it's your job to create it. Thus, ProgressiveErotica dot com.

Business goals

As the instigator, Tana Lee is hoping that PE dot com becomes a sustainable enterprise through voluntary membership subscriptions, individuals and organizations sharing skills and support, and donor contributions. With skill and determination, hopefully this site will enable not only a team of professionals to create and maintain the site, but also to monetarily reward the artists and thinks who contribute.