After gracing the covers of every magazine, walking the most prestigious runways and carving an impressive acting career, Cara Delevingne is venturing into new water and entering the expansive realm of Planet Sex. In the six-part BBC documentary, Delevingne explores the different avenues of sex, from the empowering to the taboo, in the hopes of understanding the human mind and condition. Whether it’s donating her orgasm to science in Germany, making art from her vagina in Japan, hitting up a women-only sex club, taking a masturbation masterclass, and visiting an “ethical” porn set, Delevingne shares a vulnerable and candid journey of self sexual exploration, to define what makes us all human.
Let’s dive in, let’s talk about sex. Planet Sex!
Let’s go in, head first!
We love it. The world of sex is expansive, but what were some of the key inspirations that sparked this investigation?
I think I’ve always been curious, as soon as I realised that society had any say on my own sexuality, I guess. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I really started exploring the subject. I’ve always been so entranced and curious about sexuality, but also about psychology and why people do things – especially depending on where you’re from or your religious beliefs. It’s a subject that is, really, the basis of all humanity in connection, not just about sexuality. It’s the most real currency in terms of how we are to each other and the human need for connection. We all desire and need to connect to one another because we’re all human. For me, I’ve always lived my life under that preface of wanting to explore what other people think and feel and what adversity they’ve come up against and how they change or what they feel deep down. That’s always been something I’m curious about because I’ve always had internal conflicts about certain things and not felt sure in myself. But, the more I explore that subject, the more I realise that what I kind of dealt with was normal.
Totally. And as a model and actor, you’re in front of the camera and being someone else’s muse and soaking in their psychology and creativity. What was the process like for Planet Sex, being vulnerable and putting yourself out there in a very human fashion?
I’ve been in front of the cameras so much, but this was definitely the hardest thing for me, being myself. I’ve never been in front of a camera as myself. Well, not as myself but just being myself. And I found that incredibly hard. It was so awkward in the beginning. I was sweating. I was moving around. I couldn’t stop talking about random shit. I’ve spent so long masking myself to be something else for other people and, with that being my job, I had forgotten how to be myself. That gave me a kind of mask and a buffer for this world that I live in, in terms of people saying whatever they wanted and stuff like that, so that kind of helped. But also in regards to this subject, it made me realise what a journey I had to go on in myself, which was really helpful.
In the docuseries, you travel around the world and meet people from different walks of life. What were some of the poignant experiences that shifted the emotional, psychological or sexual awakening within yourself?
I guess all of it was, in a way. I felt like a kid again. I felt like a teenager. I felt like so many years had passed in-between me coming out and never really coming out because I never sat down with my family and said, ‘I’m coming out.’ It was just me being the way I was, being in a relationship with a woman. From then to now, it had been so long and there’s been so much that I still hadn’t realised. I would point jokes at the fact that I was homophobic slightly, like not really, but slightly. How deep down I was actually like, if I take away that laughter and that defensiveness, why is it that I still feel internalised homophobia? What is that about? Why? And why are there so many insecurities I had in terms of gender? Being genderfluid and being queer gendered, but my pronouns being ‘her’, is that still okay? I do love being a woman, but I want to play with gender and how I think that gender should be fun. In terms of the female orgasm or the orgasm gap in itself, female sexuality, how much there is to explore and how people should be allowed to be open about these things? Especially the orgasm gap, how that, as a subject, has not moved anywhere since however long we’re talking about here… Everything has kind of changed in terms of our conversations on gender, conversation on sexuality. But, our conversation on the orgasm, women are still having less orgasms – apart from with toys – than they were back in the sixties. So, it’s terrible. There are just a lot of things, but for myself in general, I think I just discovered how much there is to learn and even after the show, now that I’ve finished, I definitely feel more educated. But, there is still so much to explore because there are no rules in this subject.
You touch upon the queer experience and how it was somewhat taken away from you in the media. It is an intimate process, going through that within yourself. What do you think the queer audience can take away from this documentary? And what advice would you give from your experiences as a big sister or like a mother figure for the queers?
Or a daddy!
Or a daddy! Exactly.
Mostly, I think I didn’t realise how much I could rely on the community in terms of being even open to it, without even meeting anyone in it, I felt already helped. I think when you’re 16 and you’re 50, when you’re 25, I just think that everyone is queer. We’re all humans, we’re all queer at the end of the day. But obviously, you don’t have to identify yourself as that, but I think that no one is 100% straight. That could be the wrong thing to say, because I think everyone can be obviously inclined totally towards one sex, but until you try anything, how dare anyone say that if you’re anywhere in-between, or if you just don’t know what the future may hold, that you have to kind of label yourself and you have to be on this kind of spectrum. Exploration is the most important thing and connection is, for humans, what we are made for. So no matter who you connect with, it doesn’t have to be sexual, it can be anyone, to never feel bad about that fact. Follow your heart and do what naturally comes to you and that should lead to happiness. As long as it makes you happy, that’s the most important thing. Obviously, people can be 100% straight, just like people can be born gay. Of course you can be. I just think people shouldn’t be so quick to judge or to say things.
I think it’s one of those things where you can be 100% straight, but then if you take that stance, then don’t be so affected and hurt by someone else exploring the other side of things. You can have your own island but don’t destroy someone else’s.
I was with someone the other day and I was like, ‘If you think you’re 100% straight, okay, fine. But if you had to have sex with the man, who would it be?’ And before I even finished he said, ‘Brad Pitt!’ And I was like, ‘You said that way too fast!’
There’s a 5%!
Is there not a 2% in there? I was like… Come on. If Brad Pitt offered to give you a blowjob, would you really say no?
Exactly. What kind of changes do you hope to see in the attitudes and behaviours of people within the industry you work in? What conversations do you want to be ignited from this documentary?
I think representation has come a long way. For me, you know, the extreme hate is also something that is so damaging. Extreme hate on any level in this world is terrible. I also think that conversation is the most important thing. People don’t have to like what I say. People don’t have to like the show, but I think to have an open conversation and to be able to watch the show and ask themselves those questions, to have an open dialog, to watch it with their family, to talk about it with their friends and just go, ‘Maybe there is something.’ That’s what I want, is for people to be open-minded, to really just go, ‘Why is it that because my parents taught me that, that’s what I believe? Why do I adhere to these set rules that I’ve been told my entire life? Why do we have to do those things?’ Because there is no reason for it. That’s kind of what I want and what I want moving forward for the world is just to go back to being kids and having imagination and thinking anything is possible.
Planet Sex With Cara Delevingne airs 1 December on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer at 10pm.