Let’s talk about lady orgasms. Part 1: The problem with porn

Here at Champagne Cartel we feel that we have a duty to bring you useful and amusing information about women and the world. It seems only fitting then that we get conversational around that hoary old chestnut, The Female Orgasm. We’ll be bringing you news, views and some interesting angles about our orgasms. We’d love your feedback and questions too, so if there is anything you’d like to know flick (the bean) us an email.

In part 1 we are taking a look at pornography and it’s impact on the female orgasm.

As a young girl attending an all girls Catholic school, my education about sex was basic, if not downright irresponsible. Nasty medieval looking anatomical drawings of our internal ladyparts and a heavy emphasis on pregnancy and disease. Presented of course with the Catholic fire-and-brimstone flair from a moral high horse, with constant reminders how incredibly BAD either of those things would be. The clitoris was not really mentioned at all. Sex was perfectly shameful, certainly never pleasurable.

I was taught by nuns, who for all their faults, were surprisingly outspoken in espousing many feminist and small ‘l’ liberal beliefs. They reinforced to us that we could do ANYTHING we wanted, we were encouraged to be engineers, doctors, whatever took our fancy in an academic or professional sense. We were encouraged to be independent, forge our own path in the world and be true to ourselves. But as you can imagine, their ‘women can do anything’ spiel certainly didn’t cover sweaty, mind-wracking orgasms.

And home wasn’t really any different. I’ve had lots of conversations with my friends over the years and many of us share a common theme in our childhood that conversations with our parents around sex, body parts, sexuality and bodily functions were weird and abstract, lacking in honesty and useful content. My sex education involved being presented secretly with a copy of “Where Did I Come From” which I was told not to let my siblings see. Is it any wonder I found it highly disturbing. (The pics are actually from my copy of the book I have kept as a reminder I need to be honest and truthful when the time comes to talk to my boys about their sexuality).

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Not sure what is more disturbing, the baby having an orgasm “it’s like a sneeze” or the short, fat, bald dude.

Here’s a great post from Isiah McKimmie, relationship therapist and sexologist about sex education “The sex ed we all should have been taught but weren’t”.

There is also a fun documentary making its way around ABC iView at the moment about this exact topic. Luke Warm Sex follows sexually anxious Luke McGregor as he navigates the confronting world of intimacy and endeavours to become more sexually confident.

So as you can see the reality is that many of us were brought up in this sexually repressed way. We lacked any decent education about sex and as a result felt (or still feel) ashamed and embarrassed about our bodies. We don’t even understand our needs to some degree. We lack a language to communicate about sex and our sexuality and as such we find it hard to articulate what we want.

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And then you have pornography.

For many young people mainstream pornography is the first experience they have of sex and sexuality. It’s the world’s most influential sex educator, but let’s face it, not only is it far from realistic, it doesn’t teach anyone about real sex for mutual pleasure and it sure as hell doesn’t do women any favours. Female genitals are shaved and plucked and bleached and tucked within an inch of their lives and the female porn stars appear to reach heights of pleasure from rough and at times completely ugly treatment. And although many of us grownups can see that it is a highly produced ruse with actors and fluffers and all that jazz, I’m guessing that many young people watching porn don’t have the same suspension of disbelief. Many people are growing up thinking that porn represents how people actually have sex.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that porn shouldn’t be available to consenting adults nor am I suggesting censorship (except of course to under-age viewers… but how we ensure our kids cyber safety is a whole other discussion). But, this is an industry that is predominantly run by men, for men’s pleasure. It is generally about the male fantasy and the follow-on and impact on female sexuality is huge.

I also want to make it clear that when I am speaking about pornography in this light, I am referring specifically to mainstream porn.

There is a thriving industry of feminist porn and porn targeted squarely to women which presents a different perspective. For example, Erika Lust is a pornographer who produces beautiful Indie porn films and is a vocal advocate for a new approach to pornography that embraces female sexual empowerment.

In an interview with Marie Claire she talks of why the industry has to change and why she setup her website xconfessions, “So what I realised when I started to analyse and understand the genre of pornography is that the problem is not explicit sex, the problem is actually who is doing these films. Where are all the woman? Where are all the different people with different backgrounds and ideas?”

Another advocate of female sexuality is world-renowned Mrs Naughty, an Australian blogger and creator of female porn sites. I think she is really great. Her website is a fantastic resource for “news relating to women’s erotica and porn in general, censorship and feminism, along with any other items that grab my attention.”

And one more woman who wants to change the way the world has sex is Cindy Gallop. Cindy is a “sex-tech” entrepreneur, feminist and activist who wants to inspire open and healthy conversations about sex and pornography.

In 2009, via a rousing TEDtalk, Cindy launched MakeLoveNotPorn. MakeLoveNotPorn aims to shake up our sex perceptions, challenge the status quo and encourage an open, honest, healthy dialogue around sexuality.  She has also launched a user-generated video sharing channel that aims to normalise real sex and the conversations we have around it. makelovenotporn.tv is “of the people, by the people, and for the people who believe that the sex we have in our everyday life is the hottest sex there is.”

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Cindy Gallop at TED

Cindy says, “As with every other entertainment industry – Hollywood, television, publishing – porn is dominated by men at the top, misguidedly focused only on men as the audience. As a result, most mainstream porn reflects a male-centric worldview in all sorts of ways. Mainstream porn’s entire purpose is to get the man off – which, with porn acting as default sex education in the absence of discussion of real world sex – results in men and women growing up believing the entire purpose of sex is to get the man off.

….the sheer shame, embarrassment and guilt that we are made to feel around anything to do with sex, and consequently about watching porn, is damaging people most.”

So where to from here?

While some of you no doubt are awesomely confident sex-goddesses, I reckon there is room for women to be more sexually empowered. Ridding ourselves of shame, embarrassment and guilt. Developing a language for ourselves around sex. More self-pleasure so we know what we want and like (#happyface). And all of us embracing our sexuality and being confident and okay to ask for what we want.

 

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That’s all pretty big stuff so let’s start with baby steps.

Your project, should you wish to accept it, is to take a good hard look at yourself.

Your vajayjay, that is. Your ladyparts. The vulva. The clitoris. The labia. Grab a mirror and have a really close look at everything.

Why on earth would you do that? Well Isiah McKimmie answers that question here. By getting to know yourself, by becoming more familiar, by taking the weirdness out of your relationship with your body, you are loving yourself more. And you are taking a first step towards your own sexual empowerment.

Here’s to that!

Stay tuned for more orgasms…..

Would you try this exercise? Do you think you would find it confronting in any way?
Are you all over this sex stuff and feel completely confident?

 

Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.

8 Comments

  • I have a big problem with how porn portrays female orgasms. I once heard something on the radio or a doco (can’t remember) where young women believed something was wrong with them because they couldn’t orgasm during sexual intercourse. They thought it should be easy enough just by having sex where the guy kind of jabs at their vagina with his penis because that’s what it looks like in a lot of porn footage! Also, someone once talked about how sex doesn’t have to end just because the man reaches climax. If a woman hasn’t quite had her orgasm, you can keep going until she gets there!! It’s not all about the man being ‘done’!!

    • Oh so true!! That’s exactly what we’re talking about. I have read a lot of case studies like that when researching this story. Thanks for stopping by to comment gorgeous! X

  • I love that you are taking on this topic! I definitely grew up with the message that sex is something that “boys will want to do to you”, with no acknowledgement that it might be something I want too. I was just talking to a friend today about feeling traumatised by the “where do I come from: “education”, and, knowing what its taken me 20 years to learn, feel at best apprehension, but mostly sadness for girls growing up in the age of internet-porn.
    Knowledge is power.

  • I LOVE this!!! I want more, more, more!!!! This has articulated so many thoughts I’ve always had!! I just knew that someone out there somewhere must think the way I do!?!?

    My first experience with porn was at 14. German porn. Involving a large mans fist and a tiny woman’s derrière!!! My first thought was ‘holy Christ… if that’s what sex involves? Count me out!” I was horrified and so completely confused!?

    Feminist porn? Ahem… Excuse me while I go and check that out!!!

    • Fantastic to hear that we have been able to connect that way Rachael! God how completely disturbing that was your first encounter with porn OUCH!!!!! We’ve a lot more to come on these topics so stay tuned. And if you would like to know anything specific, please give us a hoy at info@champagnecartel.com CHEERS Gillian

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