Sexuality is a very important aspect of many women’s well-being. It contributes to their experiences and affects how they perceive their power, as explained in research from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC. Pathway shows, and we concur, that when women consider their sexuality as a source of power, they can also become emancipated in other aspects of their lives and feel like they can shape and control their destinies.
Sexually Empowered or Sexually Objectified?
Living in a cis-male-centered world where women are objectified and denied bodily autonomy can make it very hard for whoever identifies as a woman to establish a healthy relationship with their own body and sexuality. Many women may feel like they’re watching themselves from a male-gaze perspective as characters of a story where they’re not the protagonists but only the objects of pleasure. This internalized unconscious bias has a huge impact on women’s lives and freedom to express themselves.
We thought that sexual liberation came to rescue us from the purity myth and guide us towards joyous sexual exploration and empowerment. However, as soon as women started to feel more emancipated, society reframed sexual empowerment as sexual availability for men, tampering with women’s self-perception and desires.
“Say yes. Be cool. Indulge in casual sex. Show off your body. Perform for the eyes of people watching you (mostly men!)” – that’s the narrative that society labeled as sexual empowerment and started to feed to women and men. Although there’s nothing wrong with casual sex and exercising your feminine sexual power to make men fall on your feet, we believe that sexual empowerment comes from within.
We know that the oppression of women and the LGBTQ community’s sexuality, the shame around masturbation and female pleasure, and the moralism surrounding virginity and STIs are well ingrained in our society. Still, we firmly believe that every woman can re-write her story and heal her sex life. In fact, no one can empower you but YOU.
Many people, including family, friends, and partners, may try to disempower you and invalidate your sexual desires, but you have the power to break the chains of oppression and live your sexuality in a healthy and playful way, as it’s supposed to be. Never ever ever give that power away!
What Does it Mean to be Sexually Empowered?
Sexual empowerment may mean different things to different people.
Maybe a good place to start is to ask yourself whether or not you want to have sex, when, where, how, and with whom. It sounds easy, but it gets very complicated when we consider all the mixed messages and visuals that women are exposed to every day. Blurred lines, confused ideas about body image, consent, and what good sex looks and feels like can easily get on your way.
Our advice is to get back into your body and connect yourself with your sensations, feelings, and emotions. By re-discovering yourself, you’ll also be able to understand what your boundaries are and feel finally truly empowered to say yes or no without fear of judgment, change idea as many times as you want before, during, and after sex without facing any consequences and voice your needs and wants without shame.
As we said earlier, sexual empowerment begins from within and is a lifelong journey. Surely, some guidance would help, and that’s probably why sex educator Amy Jo Goddard created a super helpful 9-step guide to sexual empowerment. The guide can offer a roadmap for women to navigate their sexual experiences, get rid of the guilt and shame, reconnect with their sexual energy and develop their erotic authenticity and love language.
What is a pleasure and sex doula?
The term Sexuality Doula was coined in 2014 by the legendary Ev’yan Whitney. The term ‘doula’ comes from ancient Greek, meaning ‘a woman who serves.’ Today, doulas provide guidance, physical and emotional support through major life changes, like birth, death, abortion, and even adoption. Ev’yan thought that sexuality shouldn’t be any different. So, she started to use the term Sexuality Doula to describe her work which consists of offering advice, education, and companionship to all those women who want to heal their sexuality and rekindle with their sexual power.
Pleasure and sex doula’s work may sometimes overlap with sex therapy, but it’s worth remembering that doulas are non-medical support and that their goal is not to fix issues in the bedroom but to help women achieve sexual liberation and empowerment from within. A better sex life is just a pleasant secondary effect of a doula’s work.
It all starts with the body and the pleasure. A sex doula will encourage their clients to hold space for their pleasure, put it at the top of their priority list and take the time to experience it in their daily lives. Women are socially and culturally expected to disregard their pleasure and desires, but thanks to a sex doula, they can dive into them, use all their senses to explore them, and indulge in physical and emotional sensations.
There’s also a deeper work that tackles the sexual shame, guilt, fear, trauma, and abuse that many women have experienced as a consequence of living in a male-centered society. A sex doula will help these women set free from expectations, unachievable standards, and distorted ideas around their sexuality and identities and help them own and voice their wants and desires in and out of the bedroom.
From mindful masturbation to sensual selfies and dance rituals to release sexual tensions, doulas use a holistic approach to guide women in realizing that, no matter what they’ve been told, what others think or say, and even what they do, they still are sexual beings. This realization reconnects women with their inner power and makes them feel whole again.
Don’t let anyone tell your sexual story for you! This is your journey to sexual empowerment and freedom. It’s your act of rebellion and defiance against our male-dominated world.
At Fusion Movement, we say: take up all the space you want, explore, play, and freely express your wildest sexual being.
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