Nienke started with ‘Sexual Healing’ during her graduation at Design Academy Eindhoven. It is a research project into a new approach for overcoming ‘sexual dysfunctions’ that women can experience after a traumatic experience. Think about painful intercourse, shame, problems with penetration, difficulties with getting in the ‘mood’ or orgasms.
Explore what feels good
The current approach of sexual dysfunctions is clinical and often takes place on the treatment table, even though sexuality is something very personal. Practitioners don’t work collaborate enough, and look mostly at the physical side of the problem. Therefor it remains a frustrating issue and we want to solve that!
Personal VS Clinical
While our sex life is a highly personal thing, the treatment of trauma-induced female sexual problems such as pelvic muscle blockage is often clinical, focuses on physical issues, and takes penetration as its ultimate goal. Nienke Helder recognises the frustration this causes and has worked with (para)medical experts and women who have experienced this to design a therapy from a different point of view: focusing on finding pleasure.
Sexual Healing is a set of sensory objects to be used away from a clinical environment. It invites women to explore what feels good to help relieve fear and pain and (re)gain a sense of security about what their bodies enjoy.
My interest in this theme originated from my own experience with sexual dysfunctions. How I finally overcame my problems, made it into a challenging theme as a designer. Because everyone has a different experience of sexuality, nuance and flexibility is essential. Besides that, the theme carries a strong taboo.
How could I contribute to solving these issues?
After approaching all my former practitioners, the idea arose to make a range of objects with the aim of finding (back) a sense of security and relaxation.
Because who doesn’t ‘just’ want to enjoy sex?