Career & Education
Subtle Ways We Discredit Female Sexuality
This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Novel Erotics. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Throughout time, female sexuality has been regarded as immoral, uncouth, or even nonexistent. In a lot of ways, we are very grateful to live in the time that we do. One of those reasons being that present American society is taking steps to realize gender equality on several different levels.
However, there is much to be done. Even in this modern day, there are those that use the double standard of “sluts” to diminish female sexual prowess while simultaneously praising that of males. This is news to no one. The part that might be surprising is that we still so often makes decisions in our everyday lives that make it harder for women to move forward in this quest for sexual equality. You think it’s just Wolf of Wall Street wannabes that are objectifying women? Think again. Sometimes even the most outspoken feminists can find themselves using outdated or anti-female language out of habit. How can we prevent this? By learning about what these obstacles are, and how we can stifle them.
A significant part of this whole patriarchal mechanism is that we sometimes don’t realize that the words we use every day are problematic. We don’t realize that the tiny phrases we use in conversation–sometimes even with our friends–can make them feel badly in ways that resonate, and resonate hard.
Some words that encourage female sexual freedom:
- As in, “You seem very happy with the sexual experience that you had!”)
- Not “girl,” “woman.” Full-grown adult woman.
Some words or phrases that can perpetuate female sexuality as an invalid concept:
- FYI this perpetuates rape culture and blaming rape victims even if you think it’s just funny.
- You might believe that this is okay when describing clothing cuts or an amount of cleavage that’s exposed, but it’s still hurtful, demeaning, and implies that there is an absolute standard to which women should be held. AKA, by saying this, you are saying that someone appears “too sexual,” which isn’t a thing. Another way to say what you want to say might be as follows: “That outfit looks great, but might not be appropriate for dinner with grandma.”
- “I mean, I personally would not have…”
- Spoiler: each person is different. Everyone makes her own decisions , meaning you have no right to judge someone based on your values. If solicited, give your opinion in a respectful manner that honors your friend’s request for an understanding point of view.
- Blue Balls
- THIS IS NEVER A REASON TO CONTINUE SEXUAL ACTIVITY; Just putting that out there. Anyway, men make this out to seem like a “personal experience that women just wouldn’t get,” so we have to comply and “take care of it.” This places male sexual needs ahead of women’s and also discredits women’s equal stance in a consensual act.
Certainly, passing judgment on others and judging women for their sexual experiences is a hard “no.” But what happens when we, as women, begin to guilt ourselves into oblivion? Just as bad as making other women feel bad, we can harbor negative self-image when we absorb antiquated societal notions about with whom we “should” and “should not” be intimate.
The best solutions? First off, educate yourself. Know on an intellectual level that women have been put down for their sexual activity forever, so feeling guilt for an inexplicable reason might stem from those deep-rooted undertones. Next, take inventory of your own values. Are you feeling blue after a hookup because you’re just not into the hookup culture? That could very well be, but that is for you and only you to decide! All that matters is that you feel happy with your choices and your sexuality.
Stop Hating on Terms like “Shaming” or “Triggering.”
People continue to make jokes about trigger warnings and putting the verb “shaming” after a noun. Those terms have gotten a bad wrap, but overuse and making fun takes away terms that help women describe actual traumatic experiences. So thanks a lot of haters, you just took away two useful ways for women to describe their exceptionally negative experiences, to say the least.
What we can do is, sure, acknowledge that there’s a stigma attached to these words. We can’t quite take that back now. And when we’re listening to friends or even strangers that come to us to describe a bad situation, we can 1) use active listening to fully take it in 2) try to empathize as much as possible 3) let people use their own terms to describe what happened. And if someone says they felt like they were “shamed” by someone, let your instinct be to take that seriously.
Lack of Choices in Female Erotica
You would think that with all the romance novels with sexy men on the cover, there would be a broad range of media to cater to an entire gender. Think again! A lot of those novels are all the same and don’t necessarily take into account that many, MANY women are—SURPRISE—quite intelligent. This is an industry problem, but one that we can help. We need innovators that are committed to creating unique and stimulating media for women.
A company in particular that does this very well is Novel Erotics. Each “book” is filled with a bunch of themed sexy items and a ~sexy~ story on the same theme.
Hotel Affair, for example, comes with things like bubble bath, candles, and a blindfold to create a super visceral way to recreate the given story. The candles all smell wonderful and natural, and could also be used to drip wax on a partner. Each book is different and just as creative as the last.
It all comes down to this: lift each other up, stay educated, and be aware of the ways in which we are helping or hurting one another. Being a woman is challenging enough without having to consider the opinions of others on our personal, intimate actions. Your life is your own, so own it!
And now, you can win your OWN Novel Erotics Gift Set! Enter today for a chance to win.
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Resources: Novel Erotics