Far from the famed Sexual Liberation Movement of the 60s and 70s, 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 women around you, Id like to suggest a few more factors to keep in mind.
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 shouldnt 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. Its 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. Theres such a diversity in women and we're all beautiful; you've gotta revamp your idea of what an Instagram baddie is.
Blogger and Advocate Alex Day, aka Wheelchair Rapunzel
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, ethical porn are Make Love Not Porn, Crashpad Series, Pinklabel TV, and Queerporn TV.
Know Your O, and Tell Them How To Get There
Your partner is not a mind reader (wouldn't that be nice). Statistics show sex is better for all parties involved when theres 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 partners 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, its hot to physically show your partner what you like as well.
And how can you tell them 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 sex essential products, like condoms and lube, can help you discover just how you like to orgasm.
Hold Off on Judgement
Sexually liberated women NEVER judge their sisters in liberation. The world is harsh enough, and if we cant 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 classmates 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 And Prepared
Being sexually liberated means never associating sex with guilt. Being prepared means carrying condoms 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 TBD Health (at-home STI test) 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 and Sex Ed in Color and sex positive books, like The Ethical Slut and Come as You Are, are all fantastic resources
And, most important of all, accept yourself and all the women 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).