I love sex but this doesn’t make me sexually empowered!
The use of the word, empowerment, when related to sex really annoys me.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary to empower is to “give someone the authority or power to do something”, or “to make someone stronger or more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”.
This word is correctly used when talking about empowering young girls and women to fight FGM ( female genital mutilation), get better access to healthcare or an education. I’m the first to agree that we need to give young men and women the tools and information to enjoy a good education and to safeguard their health.
However, it’s frustrating when magazines and the media constantly used the empowerment word when referring to female sexuality. This word is very rarely used when talking about men who presumably are born empowered unlike women, who have to learn to be empowered!!
The current millennial generation have access to so much information, yet the least knowledge when it comes to sex about what they want or even how to get it. Magazines and websites are crammed full of articles about how to get your man, steam-clean your vagina or you can’t orgasm if your vagina is this shape, all of which offer little useful advice about how to enjoy great sex.
Too often the word is used in advertising as a smokescreen for increasing spending by women, urging them to spend money on themselves because “you’re worth it” to coin that well known phrase, rather than needing to buy shampoo or hairspray because you need to wash or style your hair!
The same goes for sanitary products because we all love jumping out of planes when we’ve got our period, and using these products will empower us do just that, rather than curling up on the sofa with a hot water bottle and a big bar of chocolate!
In recent years we have been deluged with hundreds of feminine hygiene products, vulva make up, detox sticks and bags, vagina tightening products, perfumed condoms, poor sexual lubricants and vaginal moisturisers that women are bombarded with from well known brands, celebrities, influencers and beauty brands advertised under the guide of “Female Empowerment”.The myth that our vaginas need to be scoured, scrubbed, disinfected, detoxed, tightened and smell of roses or lavender needs to be debunked.
There is nothing empowering about any of these unecessary products, many of which we do not need and are detrimental to our intimate health and sexual pleasure, destroying our friendly bacteria and causing thrush, bacterial vaginosis and irritation.
Sadly this indutry is like a runaway train out of control, worth £billions worldwide. While this fast growing industry continues to sell these products women will continue to think they need them, especially when their favourite celebrity, beauty brand or TV doctor is touting them and while women continue to buy them, brands will continue to make huge amounts of money. This includes high street retailers now jumping onto the sexual wellness train yet clearly demonstrating they do not care about your vagina/vulva health because they are selling poor sexual lubricants. If they really cared, they would not sell these products but they are doing so because they make money.
I write about sex nearly every day, offering practical advice, and information on how to enjoy sex more, whoever you are and however you enjoy sexual pleasure.
The practical advice I offer to women and men about experiencing sexual pleasure, especially if they have sexual health problems doesn’t empower them but helps them to find ways in which to enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure through exploring their bodies and learning what feels good for them.
My article about how I’m having better sex in my late 40’s than I did in my 20’s doesn’t mention the word empowerment because I’m not sexually empowered, I just like sex!
I wrote about how I’ve just found ways in which to experience fantastic sex with my husband through communicating what we both like. We spend time exploring what feels good for both of us and tell each other what we don’t like.
So many articles about sex seem fixated on “normal sex”, leading to people thinking they’re abnormal if they aren’t having sex hourly, they can only orgasm if you stand on your head and god forbid if you use lubricant which is seen as a fix for sex rather than making sex feel amazing and more pleasureable.
There is no normal sex, it’s whatever feels pleasurable and is consensual.
Women’s groups that offer advice to empower women to enjoy sex often exclude men, when men need educating about sex too. Websites, like “How to make me come” and “OMGYes” are great as it allows a platform to divulge what feels good for women when it comes to orgasms and for women to realise we’re all different and there is no right or wrong way to enjoy orgasms.
Sadly, young women are turning to the internet to find out about sexual health issues rather than going to their GP and reading often confusing, conflicting advice, leading to them being even more confused. “Sex education”: in schools isn’t compulsory and the content doesn’t relate to the lives of children today. Until it is completely revamped to encompass not just safe sex, but consent, pleasureable sex, sexual health and that porn is not real sex, it won’t inform any children.
Magazines and websites aren’t “ empowering” women by printing this stuff, they’re just making them feel even more insecure about themselves. Both women and men could all learn so much if informative, correctly sourced articles, offering practical advice and tips about sex were printed.
My articles hopefully help women and men have the confidence to explore what feels good for them sexually and for them to tell their partners too.