Written By Renee Daly
First and foremost, let’s acknowledge that this has the potential to be a controversial topic, from defining feminism—and the many extents and variations in thinking, both historically and today—to defining our sex-lives, sexual practices, proclivities, and everything in between. As a disclaimer of sorts, we will focus on feminism as equality and empowerment, embracing the true essence of sexuality, and the part this can play in our sex-lives as we engender our personal and collective sexual revolution.
SUPPRESSION, SHAME, AND SEXUALITY
From the suppression of the Divine or Sacred Feminine thousands of years ago and archaic notions, such as “the majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled by sexual feeling of any kind” in the Victorian era, to the women’s sexual liberation movement in the 1960’s, we have come to the subsequent distortion of that freedom in today’s “slut-shaming” and “rape culture”.
Not only are women potentially confused by the legacies inadvertently left by their ancestors, but we are judged by the still prevalent stigmas of patriarchal societies and cultures. If a woman finds herself sexually empowered despite all of this, she is often uncomfortable expressing it due to underlying repercussions for doing so.
These are just a few ways that shame can permeate the relationship we have with our bodies, our self-confidence, our abilities to explore and express ourselves in all ways, and, by extension, much of our lives, as explained by Amy Jo Goddard in Owning your Sexual Power as featured on TEDx Talks.
A quick Google search defines sexuality as “capacity for sexual feeling,” “a person’s sexual orientation or preference,” and “sexual activity.” Now, let’s go beyond the token meanings of the word and explore what sexuality really is.
As one Tantrica states, “Sexuality is the raw, instinctual part of self that is to be explored and unveiled. Sexuality is something you get to befriend on your own, with yourself. It’s a journey of getting to know YOU. Your deepest desires, your raw feminine and masculine natures, your potential, your wildness.” A misconception of sexuality (and Tantra) is that it is only related to sex. I hear you saying … Uhhh, wait, I thought this article WAS about sex? Bear with us, it is about sex, and a taste beyond.
TAKE DOMINION OVER YOUR BODY
The key to knowing yourself is exploring yourself: unashamedly discovering all aspects of yourself. This is a rite of passage—a truly rewarding one at that. There is no rush, and no pressure. You are not letting down the “team” of feminists if you’re not “there” yet. Develop it, nurture it, and of course, have a lot of fun with it. The term ‘sexual objectification’ gets used a lot these days, and for obvious reasons. As women of today, we are breaking free of this. And as with any revolution, it starts deeply within ourselves.
BE “VOCAL” ABOUT IT
Speak to your partner(s) about your sexual and other needs. This is what equality and empowerment translates to in terms of relationships, whether they be connections or encounters. Two (or more—whatever delights you—no judgments here) consenting adults can encourage vulnerability, intimacy, and help to free the inhibitions within each other.
When we say get vocal, this includes showing or guiding your partner. There doesn’t have to be pause for a deep discussion in the moment, nor does there have to be “dirty talk”, if that doesn’t interest you. A whispered request, a subtle nudge of direction, or a shift of position, fully taking charge from time to time (while maintaining positive validation) will do the trick. Find what looks and feels right to you. This also extends to saying what you don’t want.
Remember to reciprocate, as this is a two-way street. You don’t want to tip the scales in the complete opposite direction. You don’t have to be the one who initiates all the sex, nor have all the ideas and directives. The nature of patriarchal societies is that we often spend much of our time “taking-charge” in many aspects of our lives. Perhaps the bedroom (or lounge, or kitchen table, the possibilities are endless, really) can be where our desires dictate complete surrender or even submission. Having said that, whoever you are engaging with sexually, and whatever fantasy or “taboo” you are playing out, always honor yourself first and foremost.
Magic happens when you connect with and embody your feminine power. Your lover will tune into you and celebrate all of you. Equality and empowerment between the sheets flow over into every facet of your life. Your dominion and self-expression will shine from within, inspiring others around you. And before long the collective revolution, too, will reach its peak, changing our world for the better.
A little dated with the reference to gender and marital status, yet timely and relevant all the same, is this quote from Shulamith Firestone, in the book The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution:
“A revolutionary in every bedroom cannot fail to shake up the status quo. And if it is your wife that is revolting, you can’t just split to the suburbs. Feminism, when it truly achieves its goals, will crack through the most basic structures of our society.”