If you thought times seemed tough back when women couldn’t bare their ankles and were chastised for having sex, take a good look at the society we live in now, because it’s honestly not that different. Our society, no matter how modernized and lenient it appears, still holds a big stigma against sex, the idea of sex positivity and feminism.
Sex is a huge part of our world but there is still this overwhelming need for it to be hidden in media and scrutinized for being brash and vulgar, while also using it as an exploitative tool everywhere we look. After all, “sex sells”. The issue is that it’s not being used in the right ways.
That being said, there are rights and wrongs to every situation, and taking a look at media, it’s pretty easy to see some of the wrongs. Fashion and lifestyle magazines are consistent with having our favourite stars posing on their covers in little to nothing. They become an object of desire, just a body, instead of a person with a personality and soul. The problem is that people aren’t getting the bigger picture and decide to blow things way out of proportion.
The most recent example: Emma Watson poses for Vanity Fair and the media goes straight to attack mode because she’s supposed to be a feminist and here she is showing off her body. In response, Watson states in an interview with Reuters that “feminism is about giving women choice, feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality,” and goes on to shut people down by saying “I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”
Society holds in its palms a brutal double standard, and it’s almost always aimed toward women. They are expected to be classy ladies with morals and self-worth, then ripped apart for being prudish and shamed for being a “slut” when inevitably broken down by people’s contradictory expectations. Apparently women should be proud of themselves but shouldn’t be showing off, displaying themselves, or actually expressing their pride.
Feminism is a lot more than what people think it is. It’s not a dominance of women over men and it doesn’t solely pertain to straight, white, cis women. It’s about all women and anyone who identifies as a women, regardless of race or religion.
A similar problem can be seen for men, but instead the expectations are flipped. They need to be manly men who go out, get laid and play sports. If they don’t, their manliness is automatically called into question and they are assumed to be gay… and even if they are, why is that such a big deal? Gay isn’t a dirty word and sexuality and gender shouldn’t be things to hide and shouldn’t warrant negative connotation.
There is also a problem that, out in the mainstream media, sex is still a somewhat taboo topic. Even though we have Cosmopolitan for our how-to’s and the occasional advice guide, kids and people in general are left to their own devices to figure out anything about sex and how it works, since education systems are in shambles across North America (ie. Ontario’s 18 year gap from updating their sexual education campaign).
In light of sex positivity and the need for some kind of education, adult browser PornHub launched it’s new Sexual Wellness Centre website in early February and it is actually amazing. People joke that kids always figure things out from porn, so why not make a space where they can get doctor, therapist and other medical expert-approved information about a bunch of topics ranging from basic anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, basic reproductive health and advice and information for non-straight relationships as well. The site also goes into talking about sexual consent, its importance and holds Q&A sessions where you can talk to medical professionals, specifically the lead of the project, Dr. Laurie Betito.
Coming from a website that is strictly dedicated to porn, the new Sexual Wellness Centre is an opportunity to give PornHubs estimated seven million viewers per day a place to seek real, helpful information.
Sex in 2017 doesn’t have to be portrayed the way it was in the year 1700. People are more educated and are continually seeking more education on topics pertaining to sex. It also helps a lot when the things they are reading and watching aren’t bashing women and men for their preferences and lifestyles.
Sex is healthy and good. I think as long as everything is consensual between any and all members, it’s nobody else’s business than those involved. So go out and explore yourself, just remember to be safe.
For more information of sexual health and positivity, visit PornHub.com/sex.