Ignacio Rivera, aka Papi Coxxx, is a gender-fluid, two spirit, polyamorous, kinky, black-boricua queer on a mission: the de-mystification, de-colonization and de-fetishization of queer and trans people’s sexuality. In the service of which, Rivera is prepared to go a long way — and sometimes even all the way — in their teaching and performance (“they” is Rivera’s preferred pronoun).
Before an upcoming visit to Toronto to teach two courses with local sexuality emporium (and Feminist Porn Award-ers) Good for Her, Rivera looks forward to the classes and to spreading their pro-sex, anti-racist message.
Reached in New York, Rivera enthusiastically describes their classes for Good for Her as being about “openness and intentional journey on our own paths. We hold our truths about sex and desire as secrets, and yet the media pushes their version in our faces constantly. We might not have the tools, in private, to get to these imaginary places that we desire but see only in movies or even porn.”
“We’re so excited to have Ignacio here to teach,” says Carlyle Jansen, owner of Good for Her, “and also especially to screen Mommy Is Coming. It won a prize at the Feminist Porn Awards last year [in 2012], and we’ve been trying to arrange it ever since, really.” The film, directed by celebrated lesbian filmmaker Cheryl Dunye, stars Rivera as a gender-bent Lothario who romances both a young woman and her mother in the dimly lit sex spaces of Berlin. The film straddles the line between feature film and pornography, much as Rivera values (and thrives) in their work in in-between spaces.
Sex education led by, and focused on, people of colour is key for Rivera in their teaching and practice. “In these public discussions about sex, desire and kink,” Rivera says, “black, brown and POC bodies are either not discussed and not represented or completely fetishized and hyper-sexualized. It feels urgent. It’s so important to me that people of colour who have the privilege — especially women of colour, people with disabilities and trans and queer people — are at the forefront, discussing these issues.”
Rivera uses a sex-positive, investigative model to help participants discover which options, themes and models work best for them in their sexual lives and then encourages them to sally forth and give it a try. So if it seems warm in Toronto this weekend? It might not be climate change at all. Could be it’s just that Ignacio Rivera’s been in town, heating things up.