21st Century Sex - Why Are We STILL Embarrassed?

On the blog today, I've decided to chat about a topic that I've been wanting to speak about for the longest time, but haven't really known where to begin. As you've probably guessed from the less-than-subtle title of this post, the topic is SEX. Whether you prefer to call it horizontal jogging, bumping uglies, or sink the sausage, you've probably had a sexual experience of some form in your life, even if it merely involved watching young Leonardo DiCaprio in a movie. Yum. 

ANYWAY, sex is a fact of life. You've probably done it, your Mum's done it, hell - even your grandma's done it. You wouldn't be on this planet right now if it weren't for sex in some form. So why is sex still such a taboo topic for so many people? Why has it taken me so long to write about sex on my own blog? It's no longer the Victorian era, when a woman lifting her skirt to show her ankle was considered disgracefully provocative. We've come a long way since then, right?

Perhaps not. Ann Summers has an entire page on their website and a YouTube video with over 70,000 views dedicated to reassuring potential customers about the discreet delivery of their products. The returns labels on their packaging don't bear the Ann Summers name, instead they're addressed to the Gold Group, and on bank statements, transactions from the shop show up as AS, instead of the store's full name. That's a whole lot of effort just to cover up a bit of hanky-panky, right? Well, such discretion can be an incredibly important enabler. It allows those who don't yet feel comfortable with being open about their sexuality to buy products and indulge in uninhibited sexual exploration. 

But because Ann Summers is a massive retailer for sex toys to enhance female enjoyment, e.g vibrators, rampant 
rabbits, and dildos, is this so-called "discretion" also reinforcing that sex, in particular female pleasure, 
is something that needs to be hushed up and hidden away?

Judgemental arseholes folks have a name for women who openly enjoy sex, don't they? "Slags, sluts, and whores". I'm sure the names are familiar. But the hypocrisy of it all is utterly ridiculous. Nobody would think it odd if Bill or Jack or Paul was overheard at the pub telling his mates how much he enjoyed boning his new girlfriend (although they may roll their eyes). Yet girls enjoying sex is a different story. Consider this example: whilst I was at sixth form, the boys would stand in the hallway in the morning and discuss the latest porno that they'd been jacking off to the previous night. But you'd NEVER catch the girls having similar chats. I've no doubt that the girls were masturbating just as much as the boys (hell, I was), but anyone who brought such a topic up in conversation would have been viewed as a leper.

Don't we ladies have just as much right as the boys to have fun and enjoy our bodies, whether we're alone or with a partner?
Why do our gential organs determine the level of enjoyment we are "allowed" to have?

This is what I have to say on the matter. Ladies, you are ALLOWED to have sex and you're ALLOWED to enjoy it. You don't have to scream from the rooftops about how much you love the Edge of Heaven position (yes it's a real thing - try it), but I would encourage everyone to have a bit more sex positivity in their lives and to stop feeling so damn embarrassed about what is a perfectly normal and natural act. So, how can we become more sex positive? Three simple steps from the Everyday Feminism website will get you started.

  1. Don't make moral judgments. Anal sex might not be your thing, but Linda from accounts might absolutely love it. Neither person can take the moral high ground just because they do or do not like a certain act.
  2. Respect the personal preferences of others. Some people may simply not enjoy sex. And that's absolutely ok! Part of being sex positive is understanding that the preferences of others may not match your own and embracing that nonetheless.
  3. Encourage active experimentation. Discovering what does (and doesn’t) make you tick enables you to enjoy yourself and allows you to direct your partner towards what makes you feel good too! Win-win!

Think of it this way: dolphins have sex purely for pleasure, and nobody thinks any less of them!

Lingerie from Ann Summers (obviously)

Walk down the high street with your Ann Summers bag in hand with PRIDE. Yes, people are going to see you. No, it doesn't matter. That old lady peering at you out of the corner of her eye has had a jolly good rogering in her time as well, so who is she to judge? Just think: what if one of those people to clock you with your black bag of fun is a teenage girl who is dying to buy herself a vibrator or a nice set of lingerie but is too embarrassed to walk into the shop? Perhaps seeing you walking down the street, completely unembarrassed, would give her the confidence she needs to start embracing her sexuality too.

So long as you're an adult and your sex is safe, consensual, and enjoyable, what's the problem?

Until next time,

A x