What turns you on? Why do you use a condom? How do you define your gender? From Spain to Germany, Brazil and the US, the documentary series [SSEX BBOX]  poses honest questions about sex and sexuality and asks for blunt, no-fuss answers in return. The culmination of these stories is a refreshing challenge to the pre-disposed definitions around sexuality. [SSEX BBOX]'s short videos and new magazine are tearing open binary-ridden boxes and letting real life spill out.
[SSEX BBOX] began as a social justice film project two years ago to create awareness and accessibility around sexuality issues worldwide. The project's odd spelling is a play on the four cities being explored: San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Barcelona and Berlin, which were primarily chosen due to the locations of project leaders, but also for their unique cultural perspectives. Brazilian director Priscilla Bertucci says exposing the differences between the sex-positive cities is one of her favorite aspects of the project, noting the challenge of sexism present in Latin counties and the inherent gendering in the Latin languages, in which every noun is assigned to be either male or female. Bertucci loves that [SSEX BBOX] will facilitate discussions between these countries and hopes the information trade will help make positive changes in all cities.
A gem from the must-see-twice [SSEX BBOX] photo collection
Film crews in all locations have been interviewing everyone from sex educators, kinks and queers, to anyone interested in sharing their opinions on topics like relationships, sexual orientation, anal, sex work, and polyamory. The mission of the project is to explore sex without shame, fear, or hesitation. A voice in one video asks, "What would a sexually healthy society look like? Are you sexually satisfied?" San Franciscans may raise their hands and cheer but it's easy to forget that these questions may not fare so well outside of our sex-friendly Bay; all the more reason we should be asking.
[SSEX BBOX] is still in the filming stages, but a preliminary collection of videos are already on their site as a precursor to what will become a full-on 15-episode series beginning in January 2012. In the mean time, the project has decided put out a series of pocket-sized zines, the first of which is themed, "Genderly Phrased " and is meant to explore the vast world of gender definitions beyond the all-too standard masculine and feminine.
The freshly published [SSEX BBOX] magazine
"Maybe you exude androgyny, or pull from seahorse energy, or a series of colors," says Bertucci, explaining that gender is meant to be subjective and personal.
It's a steamy read (if you can tear yourself away from the stunning cover) with lots more bonus visuals and personal essays from people around the world confidently exploring outside the lines. Another issue is expected to print in October and it's not too late to submit your own story, or your mother's.
[SSEX BBOX] [CRUSH] ZINE-RELEASE PARTY
Thurs/14, 8 p.m., $7
3158 Mission, SF