My Sexual Debut
By Szymon Hernik
The Internet has the ability to bypass the mainstays of current power and democratize information to a huge degree. Online space is often where young people allow themselves to engage on a much personal level than in the setup of a classroom, family house, or friends' conversation.
My sexual debut is about two prolonged spaces of Szymon Hernik‘s everyday life from primary school onwards: the online and physical space. Both provide an environment that allows for navigating through and deciding for oneself but also opens up space where one is confronted without their control.
The work is a dispassionate reflection on the very stressful moments of searching blindly for information about sex online. While young people navigate the intricacies of the Internet on their own they often find it easier to share experiences that may leave them feeling uncomfortable or anxious in real life. These online searches for answers and the knowledge that the Internet helped a kid in a primary and secondary school to pass from one class to another have been the material in the process of making the work.
Weiss Suzannah (2021) Remote learning is transforming sex education for teens — and adults. Available from http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/polity4.htm (accessed 27 May 2021).
Park Soyun (2021) We Bond in Simulation. Available from https://kabk.github.io/go-theses-21-soyun-park/?fbclid=IwAR0te4mTli8Jb4kcwDjt3oB8d6BR1tTS2aTJHyRrBixMz4qe0IFEOC1MdQk#fnref:22 (accessed 27 May 2021).
The UK Safer Internet Centre Understanding Consent in a Digital World (2019) https://d1afx9quaogywf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/Safer Internet Day 2019/Our Internet%2C Our Choice - A report for Safer Internet Day 2019.pdf
For the My Sexual Debut the main data was the online activity (google searches, messages with the first partner) around the times of the first sexual encounter coming from. Akin to the knowledge and tips found on online forums the important element of the work was the experience in the first schools, which is being represented by the slide presentations found in the email exchanges between teachers and classmates and the footage shot at the first parties from that period.