The Allure of the Forbidden with Peter Banki, Ph.D and Sarah Roffey (11:30-1pm)

Within contemporary sex-positive culture there is currently a push to make and enforce rules about how people should behave in order to ensure community safety and consent. We believe this tendency is bound up with the wish to normalise sex-positive practices and grant them mainstream acceptance and credibility.

All of that is very good. But with rules comes also the temptation to transgress. In this workshop we will talk about that, share it, look at the forbidden thoughts that get us off and the trouble you can get into if you act on them. We will talk about our forbidden fantasies and what happens when we play them out.


Peter Kimberly Banki, Ph.D founded the School of Really Good Sex in 2015. Prior to that he curated Xplore - Festival of the Art of Lust in Sydney from 2011-2013. He says: “when you are intimate with someone, you see who they are. And that’s when it’s really exciting. Much more than their competence or whatever, it’s their being. Sex opens up and shows you a being at their most open and vulnerable, whatever their role.”

Peter has an extensive background in Iyengar yoga, dance and the martial arts (Capoeira Angola). His somatic and movement practice forms the basis of his work in the sex-positive field.

Peter has also been a scholar and teacher of European philosophy and literature for much of his adult life. Philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Georges Bataille, Anne Dufourmantelle and Jean-Luc Nancy have most inspired him in his thinking about sexuality and eroticism. He holds a Ph.D in German studies from New York University (September, 2009). His book The Forgiveness To Come: the Holocaust and the Hyper-Ethical came out recently with Fordham University Press. He is currently affiliated with the Philosophy Research Initiative at Western Sydney University. Articles about Peter's work on The Festival of Really Good Sex have been featured in many news outlets, including The Guardian, Archer Magazine, ABC Radio National and He has also been interviewed about the Festival of Death and Dying, which he also founded and directs, on ABC Radio and the Sydney Morning Herald. His work on apology and forgiveness has been featured on 2SER and on the philosophers’ zone on ABC Radio National.

A selection of Peter's academic publications can be found at


Sarah Roffey is a faculty member of the School of Really Good Sex and has been involved with us since 2011. She says that the school has given her opportunities especially to push herself out of her comfort zone, which for her has less to do with sexuality and more to do with confronting shyness: talking to people, being in front of people and running workshops.

She has qualifications in Gender and Cultural Studies and Social work. She is one of the founders of OFF THE WALL INC and also one of the founders and facilitators of Sydney’s Critical Perspectives on Madness Reading Group. She has experience facilitating therapeutic and educational groups and workshops, including on sex and madness. She is informed in her work by her own experiences of distress and other states of mind and is interested in challenging dominant approaches to what is often termed 'mental illness'. Sarah is interested in the intersections between the body, writing, literature, erotica, sexuality, madness and the exploration of diverse experiences.