You see, numbers are tricky, data is tricky. More importantly, data is dehumanising. Add sexuality and intimacy to this and the waters get even murkier. Maybe it’s good to leave a few things unaffected by too much data. Maybe we do not want to talk about data and sexuality. Maybe we instead want to talk about why data around gender and sexuality must not be recorded, and instead, maybe focus on why we should honour every kind of sexual preference which is within the purview of the safe and consensual.
Lawrence may have given Elena a world and a voice. But it was she who chose to delve into the unknown world of sexuality. It was she who chose to see the beauty and the richness of pleasure within communities of sex workers, soldiers, the elite, all alike. She alone chose to discern as well as reconcile love, as we commonly seem to know it, with a life in which she is capable of many loves.
What do we create for ourselves in that moment of acute awareness? Do we create empowerment, love, care, self-expression; or do we manipulate it to create abuse, distrust and disharmony? For, what is spirituality if not the uplifting of the human spirit? If sexuality is the medium for someone, what’s the problem?