The Media is a Liar: Props to Melissa Fabello at Everyday Feminism

So, I attend this Free Thinking Feminist discussion group here in Indy. A topic is decided on and people throw up some links to light reading on the topic, and then we get some beer and talk and get off topic, and it's just plain good fun. Thanks to ab fab, scientist/actress/feminist Alicia for turning me on to it.

The media - about female sexual response, of course. Porn, particularly.

Well, this upcoming topic is - you guessed it - sex. Mac, one of the awesome free thinking feminist, put up a few links for us all to look at, and one caught my attention. It's called "Your First Time: A Sexual Guide for Girls," at Everyday Feminism. It's a good read. I suggest you check out the whole thing.  It's a brief but practical discussion of what young people should be exposed to when it comes to sex education. It's largely standard fare for a liberal, thoughtful take on teaching young folk about sex (masturbate, communicate, etc.), but it had one particular section that I thought was particularly noteworthy:

2. Question Your Media Consumption

Growing up, I had a really good understanding of my body. I started masturbating at an early age, and by the time I hit puberty, I knew that this totally-awesome-wow feeling was associated with sex. I felt wise beyond my years. And excited for what was to come.
And then I noticed something.
Pretty much everything that mainstream media – from television and movies to the clips I’d sneak from the Playboy channel, back when ‘A’ and ‘B’ channels existed – told me was that I was doing it wrong.
That my body didn’t belong to me.
That the way that I derived pleasure wasn’t normal.
That I, apparently, needed to make some really contorted facial expressions and loud noises in order to communicate to my partner that I was enjoying myself.
And suddenly, I was kind of freaked out.
Sex, I thought, was nothing like how I imagined it. And I had a whole new script to learn – fast! – before I even attempted to be sexual with another person.
Because, as far as I could tell, that other person would be far less interested in what worked for me and instead would just be waiting for me to act out the expectations that they, too, had received from the media.
Well, shit.
And it wasn’t until I was older, until I’d already had one (two, three, four, five) sexual partners that I realized that I had been right all along, and that those expectations didn’t have to apply to me or my partners.
I realized eventually that I should be looking for partners who were more concerned with my pleasure and enjoyment than with my ability to fuck like a porn star.
Because as it turns out: The media is a liar.
Penetration isn’t where women tend to derive the most pleasure. Semen doesn’t have to be splattered all over my face. I can expect my partners to perform oral sex on me for more than three minutes.
Holy wow.
So check yourself. And understand that just because you saw it on TV (or heard it in a song) doesn’t mean that it’s true.

I like that she highlights the weirdly confusing, dichotomous situation of being a sexual female in this world. I can absolutely relate almost exactly to her experience, and I imagine a lot of other women can relate too - even if just in part. She was a girl that understood her own body and her own orgasm, but ended up ignoring her well-earned knowledge to kinda fit in with what she believed was expected of her. What kind of toxic sexual culture are we ladies brewed in that allows us to willfully ignore what our bodies know; forgoing pleasure and orgasm for years and sometimes lifetimes - and just just accepting it as the way things are.

Let's stop facilitating an environment where it's easy to just accept it, and let's start speaking up. Get with the Orgasm Equality Movement, baby! Maybe, with some honesty and some work, each new generation of girls will benefit from an increasingly sensible, realistic sexual culture, and I give the writer of this article, Melissa A. Fabello big props for her steps in that direction.

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