Tag Archives: pleasure

Many women watch porn thinking it’s normal sex. It’s not

Many women watch porn thinking it’s normal sex. It’s not

2020-02-24

How did you learn to have sex?

Not the biology of sex, or learning to put a condom over a banana, but how to actually do it.

Maybe you worked it out bit by bit with a partner. Maybe you talked about it with friends and got tips and tricks from them. Or maybe you watched porn.

If you’re under 35, it’s almost certain you’ve watched porn at least once, with surveys such as triple j’s annual check-in with young people finding 93 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women do.

“Adolescents are really wanting to seek out some information about: What’s normal? What should I do? How does this work?” says Sarah Ashton, associate researcher at Monash University.

The conversations around porn usage usually focus on men. But according to Dr Ashton, the founder and director of Sexual Health and Intimacy Psychological Services, young women are increasingly watching porn, either searching for it themselves online or being shown it by friends and boyfriends.

And a lot of young women are watching porn to find out information about sex that they can’t get any other way because talking about it is so taboo.

But with concerns that porn is becoming increasingly violent and debates about whether it’s addictive or not, is there a problem if women are getting off to pornography now and then?

What porn is doing for the women who watch it

Dr Ashton says for some women she’s spoken to in her research, porn was useful, helping them feel better about their own bodies and helping them explore their own sexuality more.

“It kind of normalised body diversity, it’s normalised different types of sexual acts, and sexual behaviour,” she says.

And she says some women told her they did learn about positions and got ideas of things to try in their own sex lives they might not have otherwise been exposed to.

But even when women reported they enjoyed porn, there were still worrying trends.

“When it came to pleasure, most women didn’t prioritise their own pleasure. And within the dynamics of their relationships, that was not something that wasn’t spoken about or prioritised with their partner,” Dr Ashton says.

“I think the biggest thing that stood out for me is that women didn’t know how to ask for what they wanted [with sex].”

Senior lecturer at RMIT Meagan Tyler says porn is increasingly seen as a “textbook” for sex and that’s creating problems.

“Porn’s the thing that everyone’s looking at like it’s normal, but it’s not normal, we know it’s not normal, it’s completely manufactured,” she says.

“[Porn] contains a lot of violence against women. It’s terribly racist. If you look at mainstream porn, it’s terribly misogynist.

“[Yet] pornography equals sex has become just such a cultural staple.”

Dr Ashton says in her research the women who enjoyed porn said they were put off if they thought anyone involved in the production wasn’t giving full consent.

Some said they tried to source “ethical porn“, but few were prepared to pay, preferring accessing porn for free online.

It’s not easy to verify how the porn you’re watching was made, especially if you’re not paying anyone for it. And Dr Ashton says some people “turn off” their ethics and moral thoughts when they’re engaged with porn.

“It may not be something that people are aware that the content that you’re actually consuming when you masturbate, and when you’re experiencing sexual pleasure, that’s actually pairing with a reward in your brain that will reinforce what you’re aroused to, and the sort of things that you associate with your sexuality, it actually has quite a profound impact,” she says.

Dr Tyler says while there is a lot of variation in porn, with producers catering to all sorts of kinks and subgenres, the vast majority is made with a straight male audience in mind.

This skews the content so that even when it’s ostensibly lesbian sex being shown, it’s being shown for a male viewer.

She says porn has been so normalised in our society that some people find it more embarrassing to say they don’t use it than admitting to accessing it, and the demand for “ethical” porn is part of that normalisation.

“Why is [there a] desperation for there to be an ethical porn, rather than the question of what would sexuality look like without pornography now?” she says.

“It’s not food, it’s not water, it’s not air, it’s not exercise.

“In a post-Me Too era, if we’re really talking about sharing equal sexual relations between men and women, I cannot see the pornography industry is part of that.

“You can’t say you’re pro-Me Too, and you’re pro women’s consent, and then still go and masturbate to material that fundamentally subordinates women.”

More open talk about sex could help

Both Dr Tyler and Dr Ashton believe more open conversations and better sexual education is needed so young people don’t feel they have to turn to porn to learn how to have and enjoy sex.

“We just need to equip people with knowledge and with access to information and support services, so that they can figure out how to be embracing their sexuality in a way that works with them, and having pleasurable, happy, consensual relationship,” Dr Ashton says.

Does Sexual Wellbeing Lead to Better Life And Leadership Skills? This Sextech Company Wants To Find Out

Does Sexual Wellbeing Lead to Better Life And Leadership Skills? This Sextech Company Wants To Find Out

2019-11-26

The connection between sexual well-being and mental and physical health has been recently attracting more interest. Sexual wellness brands -many of which endure constant advertising censoring– advocate to position sexual health and wellness as part of the health conversation, to make it more accessible to all.

A rich body of research confirms that sexual satisfaction affects relationship satisfaction, which is key to earning potential. For example, in one longitudinal Harvard study, the data revealed that fulfilling relationships are the key to happiness, health and longevity. And not only that: Those with the most fulfilling relationships earned an average of $141,000 a year more at their highest earning point. 

This study, however, was focused exclusively on male subjects, and it inspired a recent study conducted by sexual wellness company Womanizer (WOW Tech) in partnership with The What Collective, a women-centered organization founded by dot com entrepreneurs Gina Pell and Amy Parker. The former co-founders of Splendora (acq. by JOYUS) recently hosted a gathering called The What Summit at the secretive and exclusive Skywalker Ranch. The survey was completed by over 200 high-earning attending women. 80% of respondents were ages 35-64 and in director, management and C-suite positions. 

The preliminary results showed some interesting insights: More than 50% of respondents perceived that having a healthy fulfilling sex and relational life would positively impact all other aspect of their lives, including their careers.

The Deficit in SexEd Addressed By Wellness Brands

When it comes to sexuality only 3% of respondents said they had learned at school or with their families. The majority cited the following sources of sex education: peers and friends (34%), magazines and books (28%), and the Internet (10%). In fact, 77% of women who received some sex education stated that it never mentioned that sex should be pleasurable and 70% say there was no discussion about consent. Additionally, 62% state that they have experienced shame around sex and sexuality.

Global expenditure on wellness products and services is on the rise, highly driven by women, and the women’s empowerment movement has added to the conversation issues such as the orgasm gap between men and women, and the right to body autonomy and pleasure of women. This context creates an opportunity for Sextech and Femtech businesses to create innovative solutions to educate and offer resources in underserved categories for people of all ages. Both industries have been estimated at $30 and $25 billion, respectively.

Stephanie Keating, Head of Marketing of WOW Tech, which comprises Womanizer and We-Vibe, said: “Womanizer partnered with The What Summit to facilitate conversations amongst women about pleasure and all that it brings our lives. For many women, experiencing self-pleasure builds confidence, comfort, and agency – yet 75% of us were not taught that sex should be pleasurable. Traditional sex education has failed us. For too many women, pleasure is associated with shame. That limits us in so many other aspects of our lives. The conversations that Womanizer and our experts are having with women free us to talk to each other about this essential part of our lives.  

Personal Fulfillment As A Source Of Confidence And Wellbeing

When asked about the impact of their personal sexual wellness in other areas of life, the majority of women believed that feeling fulfilled positively impacted how they showed up in other areas of their lives. Specifically, 51% stated that this translated into a positive impact on their professional lives. Many respondents pointed to the correlation between fulfillment and “confidence”, “lowered stress”, increased overall “happiness and motivation”, feeling “empowered” and “powerful”, and the positive correlation with overall “well-being”.

Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality, relationship therapist and author, says “Sexual wellness impacts body image, confidence, … These factors can put a strain on our mental health. If you are not connecting with your partner, it is going to affect your day to day life. Additionally, being able to ask for what you want is a skill that translates into other areas of life.”

Sexologist and relationship expert,  Dr. Jessica O’Rielly, PhD, said: “Sexual fulfillment, relationship fulfillment and life fulfillment are all positively correlated. It follows that investing in your relationships and sex life (however you define it) and fulfilling those needs leads to greater self-assurance, improved mood, increased motivation and even greater assertion skills — all of which can benefit your career.”

Educators, researchers, entrepreneurs… The business of sexual wellness is a growing one and the merger of Womanizer and We-Vibe, which is about to become the largest sexual wellness toy manufacturer, approaching $100 million in sales, wants to push forward a healthier narrative around sexuality: “ Our flagship products were created to help women achieve personal sexual fulfillment and their pleasure potential. WOW Tech’s mission is to be the premier provider of sexual health and wellness products — products that enable people all over the world to increase the satisfaction of their personal and sexual well-being,” concludes Keating.

Estrella JaramilloContributor ForbesWomenWomen’s Health Advocate and Entrepreneur.

Am I immoral because I’m attracted to my husband?

Am I immoral because I’m attracted to my husband?

2019-09-19

By Shahid Wafa Published: May 15, 2016

During a conversation with a female friend, she let me in on a strange secret. She said,

“Once, my husband doubted my morality,”

I remained silent, mostly out of curiosity. She continued and said,

“It happened when I tried to get intimate with him; not with a stranger but with him, my own husband.”

“What exactly do you mean?” I asked bewildered.

“He hadn’t come home from work and I was missing him. Aroused, I approached him, thinking he’d appreciate that. In return he gave me a stern look and said, what is wrong with you? Why are you behaving so immorally?”

This was expressed with a dejected and forlorn look on her face. Naturally, this would affect any wife.

Surprised by her story, I tried to convince her that Pakistani men were neither this judgmental nor as narrow-minded.

“No that’s not the case. A man may approach his wife whenever he wants, because he is the husband, but when his wife wants to exercise the same right, she is immediately labelled as immoral,” she replied angrily.

“Perhaps, your husband has some sort of psychological knot in his head.”

I responded, in an effort to try and figure out the reason behind his strange behaviour.

“If this sort of mentality is prevalent in all men, then it’s safe to say that the entire male population in our society has psychological issues – not just my husband.” she added.

I was honestly beginning to get a bit impatient and bothered by her generalised accusations. How was she finding it so easy to blame all men for her husband’s fault?

“What do you mean?” I asked out of politeness.

“Just so you should know Mr Shahid, newly wed brides are instructed by elder females in the family to show deliberate ‘self-control’ during intimacy, especially in the early days of marriage. Now isn’t that an example of unfair moral policing? The slightest expression of natural desire towards one’s own husband is enough to declare a woman as morally corrupt. Isn’t that completely absurd?

Women are also human beings and have feelings, just as men do. They also need comfort and pleasure like any other human, regardless of their gender. How can anyone associate this with one’s morality and character? It makes no sense.” She added.

After listening to her, I figured there may be some truth in what she told me. It really couldn’t have been based on imagination.

So, in order to evaluate her accusations and stereotypes, I asked an elderly man whether it should or is considered ‘incorrect’ for a wife to initiate intimacy with her husband.

“How can it be wrong? She has every right to. There really is no objectionable element in such behaviour, but during these 40 years of my marriage, my wife has never done this. Not even once.”

Concluded the elderly man with great pride.

That satisfaction on his face validated my colleague’s heartfelt allegations.

To further probe into this warped mind-set, I discussed the matter with one of my friends. He handed me an old book on morals, traditions and ethics and advised me to read the chapter “Azdwaaaji Zindagi kay Adaab” (Ethics of married life). I didn’t even know such a book existed!