Does Sex Positivity Begin With Female Orgasm? - Blood + Milk
sex positivity

Does Sex Positivity Begin With Female Orgasm?

Is male sexual pleasure more admissible than female sexual pleasure? This was my first question when a robotic dildo designed for women was barred from the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Nevermind that a sex robot designed for men took pride of place at the same show. Yet Alex Fine, a credentialed sexologist and co-founder of Dame Products, believes there’s a bigger conversation to be had—we need to start talking about sex, period.

“We’ve met so many roadblocks when it comes to marketing our products. We’d been working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to run a campaign on the New York subway. The project had been ongoing for six months when they changed their policies at the last second and pulled the campaign. They said they couldn’t work with companies that were sexually orientated.”

Yet there were already advertisements running on the subway for medication to increase low libidos. “It feels as if wanting to have sex is OK, but wanting to enjoy it is something different as if it’s salacious and prurient, and working with us could tarnish a company’s reputation. I know it’s unconscious bias, but that bias is always different and you never really get to the truth. We always seem to deal with a proxy. Some people just don’t see the difference between male and female sexual pleasure, and others don’t want to talk about sex at all.”

Separating the Sexes

The investors willing to put money into companies that design sex toys, or who have the money to do so, are generally men, says Alex. “Of course men are more likely to invest in their version of the sexual experience. A lot of people only understand their own experience. It’s all they know. And that’s why we should be talking about sex as a whole rather than just looking at it through a gendered lens.”

That said; there’s been a notable increase in efforts to mute the conversation around female sexual pleasure since Me Too. “It feels like we need to talk about women’s physical experience more than ever to help men gauge what’s appropriate and what’s not, yet so many people say it’s just too risky now.”

Cultural taboos arguably increase a tendency towards sexual aggression, and in order for society to be more balanced, it needs to be less rigid in its definition of sexuality. That’s why conversations lead to freedom from shame for everyone—women, the LGBTQ community, and men. Ultimately, it seems, the route to equal orgasm opportunity may also be the route to social justice, helping more people to embrace diversity and gain access to essential sex education.

Closing the Pleasure Gap

A study tells us that more than 91 percent of cis-men “usually” orgasm during sex, yet only 39 percent of cis-women said the same. Dame aims to redress the balance. “Only four percent of women say their route to orgasm is through internal penetration, yet the way we see women getting aroused in movies is through penetration. That’s why we wanted to design products that we could run to the bathroom and try out—alone. It means we create something of value.”

Enhancing female sexual pleasure can only serve to enhance the male experience too. “There’s something so inherently powerful about experiencing pleasure in your body, and knowing that you can give yourself this pleasure. The experience grows you as a person. If you know your body, you know your power so you can negotiate relationships and respond to the world better.”

“Years from now I imagine who designs the toys will matter less, but right now we need to understand that different people have different experiences, and it’s not just about your genitals. I ask people if they’d want to live in a world that’s sexless. Of course, they say no, there’s something about their sex lives that’s really important to them.”

Let’s Talk About Sex

If we can’t explore and express our own personal desires, are we repressing a part of ourselves? Alex says that answering this question is “step one” for Dame, while female empowerment follows suit. “Sex is so much bigger than gender, and talking about it openly with friends or lovers takes relationships to the next level; it allows someone to really see you.”

“Sex also takes us into a different state of being. We act in ways we would never act normally, but it’s OK to do so when the circumstances are right. I think that’s what owning your sexuality means—that and being comfortable with how your sexuality changes throughout life.”

This is why Alex wants you to be curious, and to ask yourself if you’re happy with your sex life. “Carve out time to learn about your anatomy and what pleasures you,” she says. “Read about it, get a vibrator, be intentional, and most of all be patient.” It’ll be worth the wait.

 

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