Just a small disclaimer before launching into this post:
This post is not a rainbows and butterflies post that usually graces this blog. It may contain a subject matter that is unsettling to some readers. This post is not suited for younger readers.
Female pleasure/sexuality is not something that I generally write about, and it’s not exactly a topic that I’m comfortable speaking about in person (or writing about either)- which is maybe just an added point to my post.
There has been a huge flurry of activity over the last week surrounding an interview that Emma Watson did (yes I know, I know! Harry Potter references again! Seriously ever since I first read the books for the first time last year the cast members pop up everywhere in my life!). In this interview, she mentions a website www.omgyes.com – a scientific website which deals with research into female sexuality and pleasure (I took a few minutes and actually watched their promo video. That and the outcry over Emma’s interview inspired this post). Here is a very quick (less than a minute) clip:
If you listen to the background, there are giggles from the audience, and even Emma herself hesitates while talking about it. Here is a grown woman, educated at an Ivy league university, and has spoken at the United Nations on behalf of women’s rights, yet she still hesitates when speaking about something that affects almost half the world’s population.
What I’m wondering is, why in 2016 is female sexuality, and female pleasure, such a taboo subject that we can’t speak about it without giggles, hesitation, and in my case, a face turning as red as a freshly boiled lobster?
As a female, why is it that I am embarrassed to talk about things that would give me pleasure? I know personally part of that comes from being raised in a Christian home. I’ve written about this before, but the stigma that the church places around sex and personal pleasure can be detrimental at times. While I appreciate the teachings of the Bible on this subject, and believe what is taught, I also believe that sex has a lot of shame attached to it by the church.
Reading this article about a year ago made me start to seriously consider how I viewed sex and sexual pleasures, and I started to re-evaluate my position. Yes, I still believe that sex is an intimate thing to be shared between two people, and I’m personally waiting for that one person to share it with (that may or may not mean waiting until marriage). I also think that personal sexual desires and pleasures shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of.
The men in my life who are sexually active have no objection to speaking about their experiences, while some of the women in my life refer to their sex life as “well then, ya know, shenanigans happened”. Maybe it’s all part of the male bravado and the men are really playing their experiences up, but at least they are speaking about it – openly and without shame.
Men are free to talk about their sexual interests, but as a female I feel limited on that subject. Men can openly discuss their favourite pleasure sites and magazines, but if a female opens up to talk about such things she is often scolded and looked upon as some sort of sexual deviant in some ways. Or maybe that’s just my experience.
Women are told to love their bodies and to stop body shaming other women, and slut shaming other women, yet when we are faced with the concept of personal sexual exploration, or the desire to gain more pleasure out of sex, then there is this reverse that happens – such as the headlines surrounding Emma Watson this week.
Personally, I feel that the saying you must love yourself before you can love another is true in many facets of life – not only on a personal/emotional level, but on a pleasure level as well.