Far from the famed Sexual Liberation Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, here we are in 2019 still having to scream that our bodies are our own. It only makes sense that so many of us choose to disregard the masses and the traditional, and remove ourselves as much from the patriarchy as humanly possible. Many of us call ourselves “sexually liberated” because we express ourselves how we want – and have sex when we want – regardless of society’s opinion. But, if you really want to be in control of your sexuality and empower the womxn around you, I’d like to suggest a few more factors to keep in mind.
Understand that You’re in Control – Whether You’re a Virgin or Have Sex Twice a Day
What you do with your body is YOUR choice…point blank…period. The choice to have sex is yours to make; the choice not to is yours as well. Institutions shouldn’t have any say in the personal decisions you make about your body: not your “abstinence only” sex ed class in school, not a congressman, not a pastor, not your partner, not your classmates, not your coworkers.
Ignore the Expectations
The media and our culture are constantly telling us who we have to be. Where we “have” to shave, what our body shapes “have” to be. Have too much sex and society calls you a slut; don’t have any and society calls you a prude. It’s a lose-lose situation, so it’s time to stop listening.
Maybe, for you, this means changing your media intake. Start following body positive, queer and POC influencers or models. Some of my favorites are @phloonie, @tessholliday, @wheelchair_rapunzel, @ihartericka, and @watchshayslay on Instagram. There’s such a diversity in womxn and we’re all beautiful; you’ve gotta revamp your idea of what an Instagram baddie is.
It’s really important to consider the porn you watch, too. If you’re not seeing yourself represented, how can you visualize being autonomous in the bedroom? Switching it up will help with your feelings of deservingness in sexual interactions. Some good places to look for more representative porn are Make Love Not Porn, Crashpad Series, Pinklabel TV, and Queerporn TV.
Know Your O, and Tell ‘Em How to Get There
Your partner is not a mind reader (but wouldn’t that be nice). Statistics show sex is better for all parties involved when there’s communication, in fact, your sexual satisfaction can increase by 54 percent once you get to talking. Maybe you think that conversing during sex would be awkward, but communication can be sexy! Talking about what you want to do to your partner’s body, what you want done to yours, and what feels good, is a huge audible turn on. And communication doesn’t have to be with words, it’s hot to physically show your partner what you like as well.
And how can you tell ‘em how you want it if you don’t know? Setting aside time to explore your body on your own is always a good idea. Investing in body-safe sexual pleasure products and some lube can help you discover just how you like to orgasm.
Hold Off on Judgement
Sexually liberated womxn NEVER judge their sisters in liberation. The world is harsh enough, and if we can’t support each other, who will? If your more traditional family has something to say about your cousins’ crop top — speak up! If you hear male friends talking about a female classmate’s reputation — speak up!
If you want more real life examples, statistics and information about standing up in everyday interactions, you should read the Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennet. It’s the holy grail handbook to confronting sexism on a daily basis.
Be Proactive n’ Prepared
Being sexually liberated means never associating sex with guilt. Being prepared means carrying condoms (wink, wink, we got you covered!) and being tested regularly. Many schools, universities, and Planned Parenthood offices offer free or affordable birth control and STI testing, and now there are apps that do, too. You can try Nurx (which also sells at-home STI tests and PrEP) or The Pill Club. Being prepared also means staying educated. Learn about anatomy, about the types of sex you’ve never had, about the marginalization of sex workers — learn it all. Sex positive podcasts, like Pillow Talk, Sex Ed in Color and Sex Ed with DB, and sex positive books, like The Ethical Slut and Come as You Are, should be your new best friends.
And, most important of all, accept yourself and all the womxn you know. It’s the only way we move forward.
About the author
A sophomore at New York University currently studying Gender and Sexuality Studies, Tara Jones (@tara.michaela on Instagram) hopes to get her Masters in Human Sexuality and go into either sex therapy or sex education. She wants to bring attention to how injustice manifests in sexual interactions and the orgasm gap. In Tara’s free time, she runs a small business designing and creating swimwear (@bytaraj on Instagram).
#liberation #incontrol #sexpositive #feminism #sexuallyliberated