I don’t know about you, but my sex education in school was terrible!
Pleasure was NOT a word that ever passed the lips and wet moustache of my terrifying science teacher.
He just wheeled out an old 80s TV on legs and showed us a video of a woman having a baby. My saucer-eyed class mates and I and then had a “fun” workshop which involved putting a condom on a banana.
The clit may have been mentioned, but in between the giggles and naughty kids flinging femidoms around the room, it was lost.
For many of us, sex education has often been poor because our society often marginalizes women’s pleasure in lieu of men’s, so it’s no surprise at all that there are so many women who are unsure of how to want and enjoy sex.
It’s because we women are taught to be passive receivers of sexuality, not creators.
Sex is done to us, on us, in us- we’re always the object, not the subject.
However, in the age of #metoo, we’re finding that infact, our sexual pleasure IS important.
Leigh Weingus writes that in a study published in Sexuality & Culture earlier this year it was found that “women who did prioritize their own pleasure were much less likely to engage in unwanted sexual acts than those who didn’t.
“The belief that sex is all about fulfilling male desire may set women up to engage in undesired sex for the sole purpose of pleasing a partner,” explained study author Heather Hensman Kettrey. “If a young woman’s desire is not sufficient justification for engaging in sexual activity, then her lack of desire in a given situation will not be sufficient justification for refusing sexual activity.” Taken from “Prioritizing Female Pleasure Has Never Been More Important. Here’s Why”
So, the way forwards is for us women to start taking responsibility for our own pleasure*.
- learning about it
- practising it
- letting others know how to enhance it.
In the face of this, being a sexually empowered woman is a rebellious act.
And you’re in good company.
Getting in touch with your sexual self is a journey.
I’m not saying it’s easy. But honestly, it’s one of the best ones you’ll ever make.
Q: So, how to take responsibility for your sexual pleasure?
A: Begin by finding a community to help
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
I’d say it takes a community of like minded women to help you get to grips with your sexuality.
To find them, sign up for as many spaces where you can get (decent) sex tips as you can.
Not junk food Cosmo articles that tell you how to pleasure your lover. But real sites that are honest about female pleasure.
Check out their facebook groups, twitter feed, instagrams, newsletters, hashtags…. just surround yourself with sex positive messaging!
Places like OMGyes are an amazing good starting point- they have some great free videos on their Facebook page to get you thinking about pleasure. Love Matter’s work on the Pleasure Portal is also a really interesting campaign about pleasure and sex education.
One great resource is the Scarlet Ladies. They run London-based events for women, from choosing a sex toy to how to do a strip tease, and are a community of women breaking down the stigma and shame attached to female sexuality.
Another is the Sh! Women’s Store– they’re a London based erotic emporium with classes about anything from spanking to blow jobs. A great resource and they’ve got loads online too!
Another great space for sex tips is Youtube. I found an amazing youtuber called Adina Rivers who talks about sex tips. I really like the way she talks about sex. It helped me remind myself of when I used to be excited about sex and saw it as a skill to learn, not a foregone conclusion.
There’s also Hannah Witton– she’s aimed at a younger crowd, however her funny and chirpy videos are really educational.
The Modern Tantra blog is also great- take a look at her 12 step programme for better sex.
Also check out the resources page for more ideas- the information *is* out there, it’s just not as mainstream as we’d like.
Tips also of note:
Give yourself time: the path to sexual empowerment likely won’t happen overnight, it’ll be a series of lightbulb moments over a long period. Keep immersing yourself in the community, keep reading- you’ll know when you’re there.
Be kind to yourself: don’t be mad at yourself if you don’t get things straight away, if some things still shock you or don’t sit right with you. It’s YOUR journey, take it at your own pace, and most of all, don’t judge yourself.
More reading ideas:
- Read more about the impact of being desired and not knowing *how* to desire in this great article by Irene Fehr “What I learned from my sexless marriage”.
- How to discover/rekindle your sexual identity?
- The three biggest myths about sex that could be killing your sex drive
Surrounding yourself with a sex positive and well-informed community is like putting your sexuality into a well-guarded bank vault- good security against those pesky libido robbers and against future bad sex. It’s a win-win.
What do you think- what has helped you explore/take responsibility for your sexuality?
**More later on how we shouldn’t always take responsibility for everything and we need to change the world to fit our own ideas of sexuality, but for now- one step at a time*