I recently came across a blog post on Tumblr wherein the author wrote about how sex-positivity is “not feminist” and how it inherently oppresses and exploits women who express their sexuality.
To that, I respectfully disagree with a hearty “hell no.”
When we, women who wear the feminist merit badge, say things like,
“When women do X they only exploit themselves,” we assume that it matters how anyone else feels about our actions. Our goal as feminists, as human beings, is not to act according to what others deem appropriate but to be the people we truly are, and to pursue happiness in a world that only tells us we are wrong.
Sex provides essentially free (price of prophylactics may vary) entertainment, loads of pleasure, and a generally quick and easy release of happy-making chemicals. Of course, there are some people in the world who do not like sex. There are people who experience absolutely zero sexual impulses, attraction, and will never feel comfortable with the idea of another person’s body against their own. Whether you find yourself on the asexual end of the spectrum, the five-times-a-day-isn’t-nearly-enough end, or somewhere in the land of limbo where you don’t even know about what in the world might sexually excite you, I say:
you are entirely, completely, 100% normal.
If you like boys, or girls, or no one, or your own reflection gives you a raging libido, or you only get the juices flowing after watching certain types of pornography, you are normal. There are countless others in the world with that same turn-on. What revs you up is both unique to each individual and also very likely to be completely ordinary. I mean, I’ve seen a video of one woman vacuuming her clit until she orgasms. Some women climax from being spanked on their ass (and some from being spanked on their labia), and some only from very, very gentle licking for an hour and a half. Then there are those of us who never orgasm at all. Some never want to.
And it is all perfectly, wonderfully, ridiculously normal.
There is a vast spectrum of sexuality out there, and with so many different variations, there are even more questions. While Planned Parenthood is amazing, and your OBGYN is extremely knowledgeable, there are some things you might just feel more comfortable asking one of your friends. Of course, not all of us have that friend that we can ask about vaginal discharge or where to find the best porn, or how to approach a possible threesome. After being a professional Sex Educator for two years, not to mention a Birth Doula, I only have a handful of pals I can call up and freely discuss those kinds of topics with. Friends like that are few and far between, but they do exist. We are out there, hiding in completely non-discrete places, doing completely normal things like buying young adult fiction, drinking a few too many gin and tonics at terrible bars, and spending a significant amount of our paychecks at Trader Joe’s. We are not easy to spot because, like I said, we are ridiculously average.
So, here’s where I come in. I am nothing out of the ordinary, but I have a few years’ experience and professional skills under my belt. I know my way around a dildo. I have a favorite book on the G spot (“Female Ejaculation and The G Spot” by Deborah Sundahl, in case you were wondering). There is a trunk at the end of my bed filled with both amazing and horrifyingly gross and ineffective sex toys, and I’ve been to my share of BDSM parties, plus a few bondage skill share groups. I spent a year of my life learning about and living a polyamorous lifestyle.
What I’m saying is: I’m just like you, I could be sitting next to you in that coffee shop (I might even be the one serving you the coffee), but I also just happen to have acquired some knowledge that is, unfortunately, not as common as we’d all like it to be.
With that, I’d like to introduce my column: Pillow Talk. I will be answering YOUR questions, in the same way I would for my clients or my friends. I am no doctor but I am an open ear, and it is my hope to create a space for open communication between open-minded individuals. Whether you’re looking for smut, relationship/love advice, a vibe recommendation, or anything involving human anatomy, I’m your gal. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will find it through research or I’ll get some help from one of my amazing friends/colleagues. My resources are becoming your resources with this column. My honesty and support are yours, and my inbox is now open for questions.
Until we meet again,
To submit your questions, title your email “Q&A” and send it to email@example.com.
Please write your question as you would write a letter to a friend, and keep in mind only the text of your question and your signature will be shared- NEVER your personal information (real name, email address, etc.). Emails should be signed off with whatever name you would like used, whether that is an alias, your real name, or a nickname (ie: Sexless in Seattle, Anonymous, Alex, etc. Puns highly encouraged.).