How did you meet Shere Hite?
I first met Shere Hite for a portrait in the German edition of Elle magazine in 1991. She and I met at the Hilton Hotel, Avenue de Suffren in Paris. By that time, Shere Hite had just left the United States to settle in Europe, where she saw herself like „A Daughter in Exile“ as shown in her autobiography published in 2000. Shere Hite’s studies had started a sexual revolution and gave women the right to pleasure. Her sexological work changed the social structure of our patriarchal system. But instead of being honored for her groundbreaking RESEARCH into sexuality Shere Hite faced intense attacks from the American press. When she received death threats and feared for her safety, she decided to leave the country. In 1995, Shere Hite gave up her American citizenship and became a German.
I saw a fragile woman who was scared and very beautiful. She seemed like a nervous deer running away from her hunters.
How would you describe her?
Shere Hite was a free-minded spirit and had the look of a movie star. When she walked into the room she filled it with light, she was an icon of femininity.
Did she swear?
Shere Hite rarely used swear words. I don’t remember one. But when she had the feeling that you were not listening or you were going into stereotypes of thinking, she
would find words to engage you and to shake you up. This wasn’t always comfortable but it sparked and deepened genuine discussion.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine had asked me to make a portrait story of Shere Hite. We went to the famous Fontaine de l’Observatoire and the photograph, later, was
selected for the magazine cover. As this work was supposed to capture Shere Hite’s personality, we thought it would be a good idea to try another portrait of her together with Jeanne d’Arc. Equipped with a small ladder, we jumped into my car for a visit to Jeanne d’Arc’s sculpture in the 13th arrondissement. The ladder, however, turned out to be too short. But we were lucky because the owner of a nearby coffee shop brought us one with the perfect height. Shere made an attempt to climb up first and then she hesitated, as it was quite high up. So I proposed to try and quickly climbed the ladder leading up to the statue. I will never forget the amazing feeling of standing next to Jeanne d’Arc. The very moment I was up there, a police car came by but did not stop. At least not at first. A couple of minutes and a long U-turn later it came back. So I left the dizzy heights to explain that the owner of the coffee shop had no part in our endeavor. In the end, the police was really nice and let us go without any warning, thinking we were just two sculpture climbing tourists in Paris.
The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study on Female Sexuality marked the beginning. Her book dubbed the Hate Report by Playboy magazine was first published in the mid-70s and has sold almost 50 million copies worldwide. At the end of the day: Shere Hite’s accomplishments?
Shere Hite started a culture revolution. She holds the key for creating a happy and healthy society. Shere Hite knew that “SEXUALITY IS THE CENTRAL KEY TO WOMEN’S FREEDOM. AND MALE OWNERSHIP OF WOMEN’S SEXUALITY IS WHAT MAKES PATRIARCHY POSSIBLE”. The new feminist movements are all
based on her pioneering work! However, most of the younger people don’t know the origins anymore. There is information censorship between women’s generations and their knowledge, too. And knowledge is control! Therefore, most of the feminist movements are hijacked by political forces, which don’t understand women and are just using them all over again! Any kind of vulgarization of sex won’t do any good to us and will only continue to serve the fantasies of men.
Have you ever filled out Shere Hite’s “infamous” questionnaire?
If Sheer Hite were in her teen years today would she have started „Fridays for Sex Reports“?
If Sheer Hite would still be alive she would probably refer to her work of the 70s and 80s. She knew that a new sexuality is needed to create a healthy planetary system, world peace included.
Shere Hite’s legacy?
Giving women the right to pleasure!
Is a penis important or not?
Yes, it is important, just like the vulva is an important part of our human bodies. We should not be ashamed of our sexuality and our genitals; they are a gift to us. We should learn everything about them and use them to express our feelings and deepest desires for each other. But for this, we need a new definition of sex. Love is not about penetration.