Sam Te Kani is a sex journalist and panellist at the Same Same But Different Writer’s festival. He talks to express about Scif-fi and sex!
When did you first get into writing?
I spent my teen years making abortive efforts until finally, something stuck; turns out I’m good at and also thoroughly enjoy a) sex writing, b) critical essay stuff on cinema and popular culture, and c) erotic science fiction. The last one has been the hardest to get off the ground because my stories so far have been a little too risky for the publications I normally approach to run with.
At the Same Same But Different Writers Festival Sci-Fi/Fantasy panel. What fascinates you about this genre?
Science fiction as a genre functions as this future-imaginary and basically dictates how we see ourselves moving forward. It binds us to projected narratives we have about ourselves as a species and as a society. I would rather be active in this process of storying ourselves into the future than passively enacting someone else’s conjectural theses.
You are also on the SSBD Sex panel. When did your journey with sex journalism begin?
I used to write this sex blog back when sex blogging was still this fresh thing, and everyone and anyone was sniffing out fresh independent writer’s voices by hitting up the sex bloggers. I started getting asked to be a part of different people’s various projects as a kind of in-house ‘sexpert’. From there I actually segued into having a little Vice web-series called Sex With Sam, which was ‘journalism’ in the loosest sense, but positioned me as this homo-guru. Basically I’ve monetised my slut-life!
You previously worked for Vice and now your sex journalism is continuing with the NZAF. What has been the most fascinating story you have worked on so far?
A couple who committed completely to a BDSM lifestyle. I think we exist in this Insta-climate where kink aesthetics have been appropriated as fashion, so it’s refreshing to find someone who’s eschewed fashion for this plunge into radical authorship of their own lives.
If I have any agenda at all it’s to chip away at normative nonsense and promote the kind of authenticity and agency that would make people interrogate their premises and overhaul their entire relation to this trash-fire we call late-stage capitalism. I guess sex journalism and erotic science fiction are pretty circuitous approaches to this, but hey I’ve got the time.