- BBC News World
“Sexual confidence should belong to every woman if she knows how to find it.”
That is the premise of a series of BBC programs presented by American comedian Kemah Bob, who embarked on a journey towards sexual confidence with a group of activists who are dedicated to promote sex education from different platforms, mainly online.
While there are multiple reasons why we may lack confidence in that aspect of our lives, many times it is something that “comes and goes.”
“Before we even talk about sex, we need to find out how we feel about our body,” said the presenter.
So one of the key questions is: how do we feel more positive about our body?
Megan Jayne Crabbe has more than a million followers on Instagram and tries to use the social platform to help those who are uncomfortable with their body.
She admits that from a very young age she had trouble accepting her image.
“At 10 years old I was already dieting. Between the ages of 14 and 16 I suffered from anorexia and, after recovering from that, I returned to the culture of diets and to pursue that image that tells us that we have to be beautiful and happy. They were years of yo-yo dieting, of gaining and losing (weight). “
But when he was 21 years old, he discovered on the internet a group of people of different sizes and characteristics who were talking about the “body positivity“.
“And they said: ‘We don’t hate each other and you don’t have to hate yourself either, you don’t have to diet, allow yourself to like who you are, you are more than a body.’ And that for me was revolutionary.”
Thus began her personal process of acceptance of her body that, among many things, has led her to be alert to harmful content that are disseminated in various ways, including social networks.
It is unrealistic for Crabbe that overnight people experience “enormous love” for their bodies after “a life in which they have been told their bodies are not good enough.”
The important thing is to work on the belief that “all bodies, including yours, deserve better than how they have been treated by society.”
“I have always felt that when it comes to sexual partners, if you are not in a relationship where you can have open communication about how you feel in front of your body, that for me is a Red flag because everything in a sexual relationship should lead to honest communication. ”
“You should be able to talk to your partner about how you feel, if there is something in particular that makes you feel insecureMaybe you need a little more attention and affection in that part or maybe less. “
“It is essential” – he said – “that we treat our bodies with the love and respect they deserve.”
Step 2: conversation
Activist and writer Sangeeta Pillai grew up in a community where “sex was not talked about.”
For this reason, she decided to found the feminist platform Soul Sutras.
“There are many things that South Asian women don’t talk about,” she says. For example: sex, periods, mental health. “All of that is important.”
“Women like me, in my community, in my culture, it is difficult for us to talk about these issues among ourselves and Soul Sutras seeks to create a safe space so we can talk about the taboos that exist. ”
“I grew up in a very traditional Indian family, to say that I was the first woman to have a (formal) job.”
For Pillai, it is essential that first of all “we talk to ourselves about sex.”
“We must tell ourselves that we are beautiful, powerful. We have to see ourselves in front of the mirror and say: ‘Look at me i’m amazing‘. This is how I think we should start. ”
Then we can talk to friends, she says. “Maybe start normalizing sex because it’s normal. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be here.”
It is key, he points out, that women do not feel that they should talk about sex secretly, with shame, but that they do it naturally.
“That way, I think we change things, to feel normal.”
And, as Bob reflects, “Shame and shame are such powerful emotions that they can destroy our trust“.
“Shame was created to keep us in our shoes, so we wouldn’t ask awkward questions,” says Pillai, for whom shame is a very physical emotion.
“Where does it come from? Not from me, when I was born I didn’t feel ashamed. Society introduced it to me.”
It is important to express our wishes to our partner, because doing so makes it more likely that they will be satisfied.
In doing so, he recommends, it is important not to use a confrontational tone.
“If you start the conversation, for example, watching TV or drinking something, you can say something like: ‘You know what? I read in a magazine or in a book something we could try next time‘. Put it on your side because at the end of the day, most couples want us to orgasm and be happy. ”
“Make it part of the journey rather than making it the problem. If the two of you have fun on that journey, it will be wonderful.”
Step 3: consent
One of the missions of the writer and sexual health activist Rukiat Ashawe is to educate young people about sexuality, taking into account a wide range of perspectives that includes, for example, what the law says, tells them about what is coercion, what is rape and the implications of sending content of a sexual nature (sexting).
Discuss with them when and how to consent to have a sexual relationship.
“The consent can be withdrawn at any timeYou can be totally naked, have moved on, but if the person says no, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ then it’s a no and I think a lot of people don’t understand that. “
And it’s not just about hearing the word “no,” but about the other person’s body language.
“If someone walks away, they push your hands away from their body, if you start to (have to) convince that person to go on, that’s the moment when it becomes coercion.”
For Ashawe, some great sex is planned.
“When you talk about what you are going to do, you set your limits in advance, you get consent about what you can do.”
Do not think that preparing the sexual experience be an anticlimax and neither that communicating with the couple kills the moment.
“When someone asks you: ‘Can I do this, can I do that?’ shows that he respects you and that your pleasure matters to him, “he says.
“When you know your body, what gives you pleasure, what you like, what you don’t, that gives you confidence (…) that knowledge empowers you and it gives you security to navigate what is consent. ”
Bloggers Florence Bark and Reed Amber, creators of the “positive sex” platform Come Curious, believe that being open and talking about sex will spread valuable knowledge and will alleviate some anxieties surrounding the subject.
And one of the topics to talk about is female pleasure.
“If we don’t talk about pleasure and how to get it in a good wayWe’re not having the consent conversation, “Bark says.
In many parts of the world, Amber reflects, pleasure is still taboo.
“Sex doesn’t end when ejaculation occurs, it ends when they have both gotten pleasure“indicates Bark.
The activist acknowledges that starting the conversation about what brings us pleasure with our partner is not always easy, but it is important to address it.
In addition, it is part of the exploratory process: “For example: ‘Do you like it when I touch you here or there?’ It is learning to communicate and with that you will feel more comfortable to express what you like“.
Sex education is the key, says Hannah Witton, one of the most recognized figures of so-called “positive sexuality” in the UK.
Witton became popular with millenials talking about sex, relationships, and the dilemmas of twentysomethings.
For the blogger it is important that women understand your own sexuality And they use educational tools, that they read about how desire works, that excitement works, that they know the organs, that they see that there are different types of bodies.
And for women who view porn in a healthy way as part of their sexual dynamic, but who feel shame, Witton invites them not to feel sorry. “There is nothing wrong with you.”
It is very important that if you have any concerns about your sexual health or about your sexual relationship with your partner, you consult a doctor or a specialist who will know how to guide you. Asking for help is key for your well-being.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.