The feminist sex influencer rethinks a sensual and inventive lexicon and sees herself as an ambassador of a sexual revolution of the 2020s.
“What if we reinvented language to move sexualities”? It is with this question that Mots du Q is presented, the latest work as playful as it is educational by Camille Aumont Carnel, published by Robert (which thus launches its collection “To say, is to act”). Put like this, the business does not seem very complicated in the era where social networks have taken up the issue of sexuality and, better still, female pleasure. However, with her lexicon, Camille Aumont Carnel, 26 years old, goes well beyond the existing language: she enhances her remarks with linguistic variations by comparing French with English or Spanish – she grew up in several countries such as Niger, Madagascar or Spain – societal themes such as patriarchy, intersectional feminism or inclusive writing.
“Put words on realities”
“I have a very particular relationship with language,” she explains to Libération. I grew up with the Spanish language where the vulgar, the swear, was thought to be both masculine and feminine, which is not the case in French.” Also, in addition to dissecting and playing with idioms, she lists old-fashioned or used expressions (“having a boner” or “having a pussy on fire”) or integrates invented portmanteau words, translating phenomena in her own way (“ walking with trembling legs” after orgasm, “doing a Pollock” or splashing the walls by suddenly removing one’s tampon, “getting dick wet”, “post orgasm glow”, “getting fucked or sanded one’s clit”, etc.). The words that are missing are, moreover, the most exciting. We find terms such as “orgasm”, “don’t give a damn” or “telemasturbate” to designate masturbation in the middle of a teleworking day. “I allow myself to put words to realities that absolutely must be made visible linguistically,” says Camille Aumont Carnel. And with that, pop culture is not left out (we immediately think of the phenomenon that is the singer Aya Nakamura whose author uses the famous “en catchana”, which means doggy style).
The one who is an ambassador for the romantic dating app Bumble or collaborated with Etam for their line of menstrual panties, is one of those people who, on social networks, have opened the field to a new form of freedom of speech on sexuality. In 2018, she created her Instagram account, @jemenbatsleclito, followed today by 686,000 people. “I belong to this feminist wave characterized by the use of social networks as organizational and communication tools. It’s all about the relationship with language, the play on words. I’m thinking of collectives and accounts like Gang du Clito, Clit Revolution, Merci Beaucul, Lecul Nu, etc. In France, I am absolutely part of this post-#MeToo sexual revolution using hashtags.” And then, the time came to free ourselves a bit from the virtual sphere – where censorship (shadow ban) is rife when it comes to content dedicated to sex – to turn to other mediums: books, podcasts, TV appearances…
“Provoking the next sexual revolution”
We thus note its passage in the programs Health Magazine on France 5 – from September to June 2022 – and Quelle Epoque! on France 2 with the “Sex Club” column. “Television is, for me, a way of being able to reach people over 40, who are less present on Instagram,” specifies the young woman. We add an appearance on the stage of the L’Européen theater, in Paris, in October 2021, where she spoke with the public on the major questions of sex. And after two first works (Je m’en bas le clito in 2019 by Kiwi then #AdoSexo in 2022 by Albin Michel), she puts it back with this dictionary where her own experience (“the sex life of Camille”) is mixes with the analyzes of sociolinguist Noémie Marignier (“Noémie’s point of view”).
“The Words of Q allow me to institutionalize the way in which an entire generation talks about sexuality,” explains Camille Aumont Carnel. And to add (even to proclaim): “With this work, I also seek to provoke the next sexual revolution, rather than waiting for its arrival.” She also discusses astrology and mythologies, quotes Gloria Steinem and bell hooks, and delves a bit into love. “Fall in love” ? On this entry that was difficult for her to write, she slips: “I prefer that we remember the way we say it in Spanish, enamorada, because love should not make us fall; should not be, from the outset, something painful.”
Camille Aumont Carnel, Words of the Q, Joyful Manifesto of Sexualities, Le Robert, 400 pp., €19.90.
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