“You talk about sex as if it is something normal.”
My sister said this to me, a while ago, after we had spent an evening talking about sex. As if it is something normal. I knew what she meant, of course. In our family, when we grew up, sex wasn’t talked about. It was something you did when you were married, in order to have children, nothing else.
I love talking about sex. I particularly love talking about sex as if it is something normal. Not whispering secretly, giggling and blushing, but openly and without fuss. Because sex is a normal part of every day life. Even if you are a strict, conservative Christian, you are going to have sex at some point. Your parents will have had sex. It isn’t gross, or dirty or something we should only do with the lights out.
Sadly a lot of people believe that sex should be hidden away in corners. We should not be allowed to speak about it, especially not on the internet. Under the guise of “but the children!” our rights are taken away and we are silenced. Nowhere more so than in the US, but we are seeing our fair share of censoring in the UK as well. And of course with all the social media platforms shutting down anything that is even remotely related to sex, we all feel the sting.
This should not stop us talking about sex. And I know it won’t. Sex education is so important. And not only sex education. I have found it incredibly helpful to talk to other women about their sexual experiences. I have learned so much from other women. Not only what is “normal” and what isn’t (hint: if it feels good an no one is harmed, it’s okay), but also that sex doesn’t have to be such a serious business. We can laugh, fool around, giggle a little about things that go wrong.
The attack on sex workers, and really on any conversation surrounding sex, is yet another ploy for the patriarchy to keep women in their place. Let’s make no mistake: men don’t want us talking about sex. They don’t want us to be sexually empowered. They hate it when we educate each other, when we life each other up and when we share stories about the shitty things men have done to us.
As long as we rely on men for our sexual education, they get to determine what is normal and acceptable in sex. Which is how we got to have such BS myths, such as “women can’t orgasm”. Or that penetrative sex is the only proper sex act, and the rest is just foreplay. Men have dominated the sexual narrative for a very long time, and that serves the patriarchy just fine.
In the last years, decades, women have become more vocal. We have started to talk to each other, and the result has been the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement. Movements that threaten the patriarchy, which just wants us to shut up and be compliant. Make no mistake: the ban on sex on the internet is not “for the children”. It’s to shut us women up. It is, once again, aimed at taking away our power, our autonomy over our own bodies, our own lives.
I will not stop talking about sex. Even if I can’t do it on the internet anymore, I will talk about it in real life. With my kids. With my friends. With my sisters. We cannot afford to be silenced once again, pushed to the edges and ignored. Oh, men will try really hard to push us back in our place, but it’s not going to happen. We are a force to be reckoned with and you can’t shut us up.
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