With this issue being ‘Pleasure’ and being the internet-savvy gal that I am, I googled “women and pleasure.” I came across some pretty hilarious articles. One was titled “11 places a woman wants to be touched,” which included ears, feet, and hair (apparently we go to the hairdresser so often not because we want to maintain our beautiful locks, but because we desperately want men to stroke our hair).
In a society that portrays ‘sexy’ as thin, white, young, and submissive, while simultaneously erasing sexualities and gender identities that aren’t heteronormative, sexual empowerment is difficult. Have too much sex and you’re a slut. Don’t have sex and you’re a prude. Have sex with a woman and get sexualised for it. Have sex with a man and he’s probably going to assume you’re gonna get off from a couple of thrusts. Women are constantly sexualized, yet the idea that women have their own sexual desires is still surprising to some.
We’ve all seen porn, which shows a parallel universe where women go from zero to panting with little or no foreplay, have questionably frequent and instantaneous orgasms with little obvious effort from their partners. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for most of us, but I guess at least we’re not alone in our struggle. I’ve heard some heart breaking stories from my friends, where dudes think anal and blow jobs are the norm, but seem to have never heard of the mythical clitoris. We’ve probably all heard the stereotype that women are ‘needy’ after sex and want to cuddle and men just want to sleep, but the truth behind that is probably that we’re just not satisfied.
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After three years of being sexually active, lying there waiting for something to feel good, thinking I was broken, I realised masturbating was a thing that people with vaginas could do too. My boyfriend at the time brought me a vibrator (bless him) and my world was changed. Gradually I learned that sex could actually be pretty fun, and started being open about what I liked and disliked with my partners. Fast forward to now and my friends and I talk about what we’re into pretty openly, and I can honestly say learning about my sexuality was one of the most empowering things I’ve done.