Rebel against mainstream narratives and embrace the power of self-expression through sex-positive art. We spoke with Kayla, the masterful artist and rebellious soul behind Midnight Rose Rebellion, who pushes societal norms and expectations through her captivating erotic art, with vulvas and Magic Wands dripping in pleasure. From stained glass masterpieces that drip decadence and enchant the imagination, to passionate spoken word Burlesque, Kayla and Lorrae explore how sex-positive art is an act of rebellion that challenges mainstream perceptions and creates community and a sense of belonging through self-expression that celebrates sexuality.
This interview is part of our Erotic Artistry series, spotlighting artists who embolden others to embrace their erotic expression by infusing sex-positive ethos, imagery, and messaging into their art. Through captivating conversations, we explore art’s powerful influence to shift cultural paradigms and narratives — normalizing the diversity of erotic experiences, supporting sex-positive activism, and empowering others’ sexual expression. Listen to the full podcast episode on The Pleasure Provocateur — available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your favorite podcast platform.
Creating A Sex-Positive Community
Lorrae: When we’re thinking about sex positivity, so much of the work we do is really like, “fuck the mainstream narrative and the culture. I want to create something awesome and erotic and sensual.” How have you found that playing with these erotic themes has been part of that freedom of expression and rebellion?
Kayla: I think one of the funniest things that come from it is that people will respond to me and say that they want an erotic piece of art, like my stained glass vulvas or the Magic Wand, but they’re really afraid that they’re going to shock their neighbors. And then there are other people that are like, “Oh man, I can’t even wait to hang it up and just see people’s reactions”. We see penises on walls all the time, there’s so much graffiti. So, I wanted to make beautiful pussies and vulvas and have them be dripping with magic.
Lorrae: I love it. Have you found that folks who are reaching out for pieces, are a little nervous or shy? What do you think is behind that, and how is art helping them tap into something to be more open?
Kayla: What is most exciting is that it creates a sense of community — it normalizes it, because they might want something, but the thought of requesting it out of the blue would be too much. So, if they see that I’m already making an erotic piece of art, then they can reach out to me and they’re like, “oh wow, you also like that? And all these other people like that?” and so now it’s okay to want Magic Wand or vulva art, because lots of people are interested.
Lorrae: Yeah, I feel like it’s almost this signal of like, “hey, I’m also sex positive, you’re sex positive, let’s have community”.
Destigmatizing Pleasure with the Iconic Magic Wand Vibrator
Lorrae: So, with your Magic Wand piece, I literally wrote down in my notes, “it is dripping and BEAUTIFUL”. It’s been such a powerful icon for pleasure, and it’s revolutionized how we talk about sexuality in history. Have you found that there’s been a specific response to that piece or incorporating the Magic Wand into your work?
Kayla: Yeah, it was a really positive response, which is great. I wanted that piece to be dripping as well because we are very familiar with semen, but we aren’t always familiar with the fact vulvas and vaginas can produce lots of different types of fluids, and I wanted to show that.
Lorrae: Folks with vulvas’ sexuality in particular is so hidden. Even when it comes to squirting, there’s this stigma about it being messy or getting the bed wet or somebody’s nervous to squirt and make a mess. It’s like, why is there not a conversation around that? But then cum shots and semen are just the normal expected production of a sexual encounter. Normalizing the experiences of vulvas and the vaginal responses is so huge. It deserves its spot in the limelight.
Strawberries and Sexual Expression in Nature
Lorrae: How has your art helped you with your own relationship to sensuality and eroticism?
Kayla: I’ve always been a pretty erotic person. I remember discovering my brother’s porn when I was way too young and then being so intrigued by it and by the way that it made my body feel. Then from that point on, I’ve just always liked sexy things. Sometimes I’ll make an art piece that doesn’t have anything officially to do with sex or bodies, but people will be like ‘wow, yeah, that’s sexy.’ I think it’s just part of my aesthetic now.
Lorrae: It reminds me of the flows of nature and how we can be in a farmer’s market and have the most delicious strawberry of your life, and it’s almost an erotic experience.
Kayla: Fruit in general is kind of sexy, you know? It’s round, it’s ripe, it’s firm, and it’s so flavorful and juicy. So yeah, that makes sense.
Lorrae: You incorporate a lot of nature into your work and the beauty of nature. How have you found that sensuality and nature are connected? Or tuning into our bodies and senses, and then bringing that forward in art?
Kayla: Well, I think nature is just out there boning all the time, like there’s pollination, there’s fruit, there’s bearing fruit. It’s so integral to everything, and it’s very weird that we somehow try to cut ourselves off from it. We think it’s only something that happens in the dark, when it’s like, nature is just doing its thing. It doesn’t have any biases or fears or shame. When you go into nature, I think it’s an antidote to shame.
Embracing Playfulness in Intimacy
Lorrae: I definitely get that feeling when I’m out camping or at a camping music festival, where you’re in the dirt and free. Maybe you’re taking a bath in a stream and there’s just something really beautifully human about it. It’s not like I want to have sex, but it’s this disinhibition where you can just be. Like, your human-y, sensual self.
Kayla: Yeah, and you get to see other people really enjoying that too and playing. Sometimes as adults, we don’t encourage play as much, but at festivals, everyone’s disconnected from the real world. We’re there to have fun and play and express ourselves, and that’s so sexy.
Lorrae: Play is so important to me, and it’s something that we so often forget in our everyday lives. We’re so consumed with work or stress, and getting those moments to play and embrace our inner child. For me it’s dancing or at a music festival, seeing confetti and bubbles or playing with body paints, and there’s all these ways to do it in a way that’s adult play — and in so many ways, sexuality is playful and connective and also an expression of that.
Kayla: Yeah, and I think that’s where things go wrong sometimes for people, because they aren’t able to play. Sex is often a hidden thing, people might not talk about it with their friends, so how are you supposed to learn? Suddenly it becomes high pressure if you can’t play.
Lorrae: Yeah, and so many folks think that it’s such a serious thing. Like you need to know all the skills and like how to hit the right spots. If you’re having fun and you’re communicating and you’re rolling around laughing with your partner, that’s gonna come naturally. Some of the best sex I’ve had hasn’t been with the person that’s read every book on sex and is like, ‘I’m the sex master’. It’s just the person that wants to have fun and be weird and be connected and laugh.
Kayla: Exactly, because in those moments of extreme vulnerability, when you’ve just done something really silly, and you’re like ‘oh no’, If you can meet that with laughter, then it’s fine. You just move on. It’s not a big deal.
Vulnerability, Authenticity, and Expanding Our Definition of Pleasure
Lorrae: How has the process been for you to come out with your art and incorporate sex into your art in a way that is vulnerable and expressive, and showing those hidden parts?
Kayla: Vulnerability is one of my favorite things because it is something that I have had to practice a lot. I was much a more defensive, prideful person when I was younger, and it put this wall up between me and other people and connection. So, for most of my adult life, I’ve been trying really, really hard to practice vulnerability, and now I’ve come to a place where I’m actually pretty good at it and I feel like I can lead the charge and be vulnerable and talk about the things that people are scared to talk about.
When I was younger, I was the only friend that would talk about masturbation and, years later, one friend wrote an article about the fact that she didn’t know how to masturbate until she had the conversation with me. And back then I had no idea. I thought we were just having a normal conversation.
Lorrae: And especially since so much of what we see in the media is one portrayal. We’re not really getting the whole picture. It’s not even about penetration, or “active sex”, it’s just about feeling pleasure, even in the times when we’re not having sex or don’t even want sex.
Kayla: Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be sex, like I know that ace people can sensually enjoy eating chocolate. There’s there’s so many ways for our bodies to access sensuality that don’t have anything to do with penetration
Lorrae: Absolutely — even the idea of getting pleasure from companionate relationships and platonic friendships. My most loving relationship is with my best friend, we call each other life partners because it’s this beautiful partnership connection honestly, to me, a romantic partner has not been able to replace. There’s beautiful ways that we can have pleasure in our relationships way beyond sex, just enjoying being the humans that we are.
Reconnecting with our Bodies Through Pleasure
Kayla: Mm-hmm, and not to always rag on capitalism, but when we’re always so focused on work, work, work, and goal-oriented things and following a certain path, it totally disconnects us from our joy and our ability to feel pleasure. I think there’s a lot of people out there that don’t realize how cool our bodies are and how good your body can make you feel if you’re in connection with it, instead of always feeling dislocated from it.
Lorrae: That brings up for me the ways that capitalism inherently disconnects us from our bodies, like being expected to work longer hours than our bodies were meant for, skipping lunch, rushing out the door in the morning without having, and not being able to take time for ourselves. That isn’t what life was meant to be — and it’s so interesting because capitalism sells with sex, but doesn’t really give us the opportunity to truly connect.
It’s this work hard, party harder, and then that kind of translates to the bedroom where people want to be the best or make someone come the fastest, or the hardest, or last the longest. It’s this capitalist idea and born from people trying to sell something.
Kayla: Yeah, totally. A lot of those things make us feel inadequate, like we’re not good enough. Like if we had this one thing, we would be such a better lover and we’d feel so much more confident in ourselves.
Lorrae: Even when it comes to things with toys, I love toys so much, and maybe they’re an addition to an already awesome equation, or a tool to help you get somewhere that is physically tricky to get to otherwise. It’s not a replacement. There’s really nothing that can replace human to human connection and intimacy, that vulnerability, and like we said earlier, that laughter and play.
Kayla: Yeah, for sure. Toys are great because not all people who have vulvas can come with just penetration. Like, I need a vibrator most of the time to be able to orgasm, and before I accepted that, it was this shameful thing where I’m like, ‘oh, I’m not good enough. I can’t come without a vibrator’, but now I just don’t care. And I’m like, that’s great, you know? I have this tool that helps me get off with my partner and that’s awesome. Just making space for whatever works for you and not feel ashamed about it.
Like sometimes I don’t feel comfortable in my body one day and I’m like, well, just wear a t-shirt during sex. Who cares? Like if that’s what makes you feel comfortable that day, do it. Don’t cut yourself off from pleasure because you don’t think that you’re good enough. Always make sure that you create space to have pleasure.
Lorrae: I love that. We really just need to give ourselves permission to just be. When I was on my early sexual journey, I thought that I had to be this “sex kitten” and show up in my vixen-y self — and sometimes it’s still really fun to go out and put on that role. But a lot of times, I just want to be my messy, weird self, or have period sex or “grumpy morning hung over” sex or “we just got in a fight and I’m still really mad at you” sex. Whatever it is, and just giving ourselves permission to let ourselves be the weird messy humans we are.
Kayla: Yeah, absolutely. We’re always going to be messy, so if you’re always waiting to be perfect, you’re never gonna enjoy anything.
Self Expression Through Burlesque
Lorrae: I’m so curious about your spoken word burlesque and some of the themes that you incorporate into that.
Kayla: My first ever one wasn’t even really a burlesque, it was just a spoken word. I was at a poetry reading and it was such a great setting and I wanted to do something. So, I wrote something in my head about how I had a body practice of lighting candles and looking at myself naked in the mirror to try to bring myself into love because I mean, everyone looks good by candlelight. Well, everyone looks good always. But it was a nice, cozy way for me to learn how to love myself, learn how to love my armpit hair, all these things. So, it started off with a lot of body positivity content. And then it moved on to orgasm and how when I took the pill, it completely killed my libido. I had to go through this whole process of rediscovering what turned me on and not feeling totally defeated all of the time when I couldn’t access my pleasure, which was such an important thing to me.
Lorrae: It’s so cool that you get to explore so many deep themes through burlesque. We usually see burlesque for the ways it speaks to sexuality and the presentation of sexuality, how we carry ourselves and femininity. So to be touching on these deep themes that pull at tough emotions and even core wounds sounds like a really healing journey.
Kayla: Yeah, it really was. And it’s so funny because leading up to a show, I’d be like, “oh, why did I do this? This is so stressful. Oh my gosh.” And then as soon as I got on that stage, I’d be like, ‘oh, I love this.’ It’s a way of connecting with people that is so unique, and you feel like you have the audience in your hands and you’re looking after them.
Listen to the Full Episode
In the full podcast episode on The Pleasure Provocateur, Kayla and Lorrae explore how we can empower ourselves by embracing our truth, honoring our uniqueness, and staying connected to pleasure in a world that often disconnects us from our bodies and each other.
From the irreplaceable value of vulnerability, laughter, and play in intimacy and connection, to the importance of representation and bringing visibility to our sexual expression, this thought-provoking conversation challenges our perceptions as we dive deep into the philosophy of pleasure. We explore how we can celebrate our messy, imperfect, authentic selves — and reveal how, through our own vulnerability and self-expression, we inspire others to let go of societal norms and live their own truths with self-love.
Join us for a refreshingly raw and equally inspiring conversation.
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