What is World Sexual Health Day?
Every year, the World Health Organisation celebrates ‘World Sexual Health Day’ with a theme. This year we are focused on “Sexual Pleasure in Times of COVID-19”. Sexual pleasure – especially with women – is a generalised unspoken topic.
In high school, we all dreaded the “sex education” class where the teacher would stand in front of the 13-year-old students with a banana and a condom. Okay, maybe not exactly like that - sometimes they used a cucumber - but the primary topic of sex education was based on men’s pleasure, where sex was for the male to feel good and the female to assist in achieving that pleasure.
So why was this the case?
In the Victorian Era, the discussion of female pleasure was rejected; perhaps non-existent. The female body was merely an instrument for men’s enjoyment. Women started to seek treatment because they lacked satisfaction from sex and later were diagnosed with “hysteria”. This ‘illness’ was treated by massaging the external and internal pelvis, which resulted in the female orgasm. This form of female pleasure was seen as treatment for hysteria, otherwise known as “hysterical paroxysm” and not an orgasm. Joseph Mortimer Granville, the creator of the vibrator, created the vibrator for the “treatment of hysteria” so doctors could relieve their hands.
Now let’s jump forward 50 or so years to 1940, where American Scientist Alfred Kinsey released a report acknowledging and recognising the female orgasm. His reports demonstrated that 40% of women used masturbation to experience pleasure. The idea of women masturbating was unacceptable at this point in time. However, this report created conversations about female pleasure.
So, we have now accepted that female pleasure and female orgasms are… well, REAL. Why is having the conversations about it so hard? When talking about something so intimate with your partner, it can be hard saying “I don’t like that”. Males and females can feel embarrassed when it comes to these discussions, however, something we continue to forget is everyone is different. Not everyone is going to enjoy the same things you do. Having an open conversation about sex and pleasure will enable you to satisfy and BE satisfied. Masturbating and experimenting is how you determine what you like and what you don’t like. Because masturbating has only recently become normalised for women, some men struggle to comprehend the idea of women being able to please themselves independently.
It has been reported that masturbation generates a greater sex life. The reason for this is because it allows the individual to experience their own body and determine what it is they like. In order to have a conversation about sex with a partner, you must understand your own body; this is the concept and reason for masturbation. An extremely personal and intimate action between you and yourself about understanding what you enjoy.
Female pleasure and sex is a large topic to cover. The Business Collection aims to become a guide for many women to explore their bodies, their relationships and be able to have open discussions with partners and friends about pleasure.
Written by Hannah Asbury