Female Sexual Empowerment



Sexual Equality is Gender Equality


Women have equal rights, don’t they? We can work, we can vote, we can even drive cars (in most countries…), but one area that scores low on equality, is sexual pleasure. So many women I know have asked the questions, 'how do I orgasm?', and 'can women orgasm?', which is not surprising as an analysis of 33 studies over the course of 80 years has shown that only 25% of people with vaginas, orgasm regularly. Around 50% orgasm sometimes, 20% rarely do and 5% have never experienced one. Let’s compare that to people with penises, who tend to orgasm around 90% of the time, so what’s going on? Is the female orgasm really a myth, or is something else the problem?



'Only Men Like Sex'


We've been taught that sex is all about male pleasure. Our idea of 'sexy', is based on male pleasure, our sex education is about male pleasure and even women's contraceptives have been designed for maximum male pleasure, just look at this ad for an IUD from 2016 in Indonesia:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWnuLKZ-K3k


This advert was based on a prevalent myth between Indonesian men, that you can feel an IUD during sex, so it's less pleasurable for your partner to use one. There's no talk of how effective the IUD is, how it affects women's hormones, or makes her feel, it's all about male pleasure. Contraceptives are often compared by their impact on male pleasure. Although being one of the only contraceptives that prevent STIs, condoms are widely contested by men because 'condoms make sex worse'.

I cannot count the number of men I’ve met who complain about condoms; “ooh they’re too small for me!”, or “ooh I can’t feel anything with one on”. Seriously?

1. There are so many sizes of condom that I highly doubt you can’t fit one and telling me that doesn’t impress me.

2. I cannot believe that a small amount of rubber detracts so much from the sensation of thousands of nerve ends, mental stimulation, and overall experience of having sex that you’d rather risk STI than use one.



Sexual Research is Based on Men


Men are periodically used as the benchmark in what is researched and produced for the sex market. Men make up the buying power, but also they make up the majority of all scientific research into sex and reproduction - even into female studies! It wasn’t really until the 1950s that research was put into understanding the female orgasm, and even then it was highly controversial.


Girls are taught to be chaste, innocent, pure, as this is how we will attract a husband. Yet even when we’re in a relationship, many women still don’t know how to express their sexual needs, because we’re not taught to!

Society has made sex a man’s issue. Even when it comes to modern-day ‘female sexual empowerment’, much of it is still about male pleasure. When I google, ‘how to give a good blowjob’, I get 977.000.000 results, but when I google, ‘female masturbation techniques’, I only get 9.230.000 results. The topic of sexual desire and the right to pleasure is still an issue that many are scared or embarrassed to talk about.

Girls are taught to be chaste, innocent, pure, as this is how we will attract a husband. Yet even when we’re in a relationship, many women still don’t know how to express their sexual needs, because we’re not taught to! It’s not about being modest and innocent, it’s about society telling us that women do not deserve pleasure.


Sexual empowerment is more than just encouraging women to buy sex toys, get on tinder, and have casual sex. It’s about asking women to stand up for their right to be considered, respected, and included in the discussion of pleasure.

Although it might seem like women have sexual equality, we simply do not. This is why we need sexual empowerment. Sexual empowerment is more than just encouraging women to buy sex toys, get on tinder, and have casual sex. It’s about asking women to stand up for their right to be considered, respected, and included in the discussion of pleasure.

Without female sexual empowerment, we essentially say; a woman’s pleasure is secondary to male pleasure, and in the worst cases we say; a woman’s pain is not something to worry about.



Pain During Sex


Pain during sex is incredibly common for women, up to 75% of women have experienced pain at some point during a sexual experience. It has become so normalised that little to nothing is done to help solve the issues that cause pain, (often times it can be something quite easily fixed).

As a society, we do undermine women's pain and tell women they're being 'dramatic' when they complain, yet when it comes to male discomfort, companies and researchers spend millions on finding new ways to make sex more enjoyable. That’s why we have hundreds of variations for condoms, but little to no variation in female contraceptives.


We have made people associate pain during sex with a woman having a tight vagina and a man having a big penis when in reality it usually just means no foreplay, no thought of using lubricant, rough or non-consensual sex.

Sex has become something so important to male pride, that making a woman experience pain during sex can be seen as a sign of masculinity, it must mean his penis is huge, right?

How often have we heard in movies, the line; ‘I couldn’t walk after last night!'. This casual statement may seem like a weird kind of compliment but it reinforces the idea that pain during sex is normal and even something to be proud of.

We have made people associate pain during sex with a woman having a tight vagina and a man having a big penis when in reality it usually just means no foreplay, no thought of using lubricant, rough or non-consensual sex.


The idea that pain during sex is normal for women not only makes girls grow up fearing sex, but it also ignores the real threat of health issues such as endometriosis or dyspareunia, which can cause pain and discomfort during sex.


Because we have made sex such a taboo, many women do not understand their own bodies, cannot seek help, do not have anyone to talk to. Undoubtably many women suffer unnecessarily from health issues that could be treated. Sexual suppression hurts women, mentally and physically, there is no way around it.



How to Become More Sexual Empowered


When it comes to achieving sexual empowerment, much can be done as a society to achieve sexual empowerment. Governments can put more effort and money into sexual and reproductive research. Schools can educate girls and boys about sex, pleasure, and consent and the media and advertisements can increase more healthy and realistic ideas of sex.


While we wait and hope for some of that to change, here are 3 strategies you can use to increase sexual enjoyment and open communication in your own life.

Education

Make time in your week to actively seek out information about sexual health, education, and wellness. There are many amazing websites out there like; https://www.brook.org.uk/, or even services like https://www.omgyes.com/ that dive deep into the science of female pleasure. You can also follow sex-positive social media accounts such as our very own @latenightgirlchat for daily education and inspiration.

If you’d like to connect and learn from others around this topic, feel free to join our Late Night Girl Chat group here, or check out our sex education forum.


Masturbation

Learning how to pleasure yourself is so incredibly important in your sexual pleasure with others. Not only does it help you overcome the awkwardness of being touched, it tells you that you deserve pleasure and how to achieve it. You can start slow by just getting familiar with your body and see what feels good when touched, and move up to more when you’re ready. Many women can’t orgasm from penetration alone (finger penetration included), so don’t worry if it only feels good to touch your clit. Using vibrators are a good way to start as they do a lot more than our hand can do!


Communication

Lastly, communication is key. Communication is understanding how to express and verbalise your needs, desires, and rights as a human being. Learning how to communicate those, will help you in all situations of life, not just your sex life, so practice that. You can practice with friends, partners, and even coworkers, just simply stating what you need or want without making excuses is a huge step in the right direction and it will help your confidence all round. Communication should be an important part of your relationship with a partner, so make sure you’re with someone who listens and respects your voice.



Sexual Empowerment is Good for Everyone


Sexual empowerment is simply asking for everyone’s pleasure and pain to be treated equally.

Even if you are perfectly content with your sex life, sexual empowerment is for you. Even if you are deeply religious and don’t believe in sex before marriage, sexual empowerment is for you. Even if you are asexual and don’t really fancy having sex with someone, sexual empowerment is for you. Even if you are someone with a penis and having lots of lovely, satisfying sex, sexual empowerment is for you.


Sexual empowerment is simply asking for everyone’s pleasure and pain to be treated equally. When we make sex simply about men, we tell people that women are objects designed purely to satisfy men and produce children for them, no matter how painful or potentially dangerous that is for them. Sexual enjoyment is something that everyone deserves and it not only benefits the individual, but it has also shown to create longer-lasting, happier relationships, better mental health, and can even increase sperm count in men - potentially increasing fertility. Yes, you heard that right! Going down on a woman before sex can increase the volume of sperm ejaculated, so really, sexual empowerment makes us all a little happier!

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