Sex is constantly around us, it permeates every part of our daily lives. Each day we are bombarded by adverts that use sex to sell even the most innocuous of products. “Sex sells” the old adage tells us, and although there is some truth to this, there is also a dark undertone to that statement.
Sex is a very human thing, essential to our survival as a species, but unlike the animal kingdom, it is highly pleasurable. The enjoyment of sex is experienced by almost all of us, albeit those with a physical or psychological reason that prohibits it. Yet the discussion about said pleasure is restricted. Only one gender is allowed to speak openly, without fear of scorn or repudiation. This is the paradox of being a woman; sexy and alluring, yet also the motherly life giver. It ensures women remain unsure of how to tread when discussing their sexuality, and the reason the #ITalkSex campaign is so exigent to me. Speaking about ones sex’s life as a woman isn’t seen as appropriate, particularly in a world where antiquated views still judge a mother who chooses to work. Imagine if a woman actually spoke about how much she enjoyed sex freely? Such a woman would not be able to be accommodated within society, because that would humanise her, and no good could come of that!
I do not for one moment think men have it easy when discussing their sexuality, but it is already presumed and expected this dialogue will happen. Women are judged by a completely different and disproportionate set of rules. It is this unjust playing field that leads to women not speaking up for themselves on matters regarding sex, because quite frankly, we are insidiously taught that our bodies don’t exist for us. Our bodies with all their beauty and strength are for public consumption, and any attention they garner should be appreciated, and never rejected, in fear coming across as rude or ungrateful. This myth begins to dispel when a woman speaks about what is and isn’t acceptable for her own body, in regards to behaviour towards it and sexual intimacy. In the news, the discussion about women-only carriages on trains has resurfaced, yet, they have existed for years in Japan and Mexico. I applaud the women who have had the courage to report sexual assaults more frequently, to make the government aware that this problem requires immediate attention. It saddens me to say that these incidents are uncomfortably common, and a potential part of our daily lives. Our bodies are not for you, they are for us, and we will tell you what is right and what is wrong for them.
I feel very humbled and privileged to be part of something so simple, but crucially important to beginning a far more open and honest discourse on female sexuality. Our voices, every single one of them deserve to be heard when we want to share our experiences, good and bad. It is especially vital for women who live in countries where they are forced to curtail, and emotionally imprison themselves due to oppressive societies. My name is Rudo, and #ITalkSex because they can’t, we can, and we should.