Women and sexuality (great article!) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 11-23-2009, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought of that bomb of a thread about normalizing sexual exploration (self) earlier while reading this. It's a fantastic read about women's internalized oppression and how we de-sexualize and punish ourselves, each other and most importantly... our daughters. What messages are we sending? It's a great discussion prompt: curious to hear opinions.

http://www.empowher.com/news/herarti...ality?page=0,0

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#2 of 11 Old 11-23-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I loved this article and have always believed that our society puts a stigma on sex. The one quote about teaching our children that sex can be wonderful does not mean we are encouraging it but we are accepting of it. Allowing our children to learn about emotionally and physically healthy sex empowers our daughters to know themselves and know their partners in a mature and responsible way.

Sure as parents it's sometimes not easy realizing our teens are sexually active but it's a part of their growing up. I have always taught my girls that sex can be wonderful when it is a decision that both partners make together. Communication is essential as young adults navigate their way in a physical relationship. A couple years ago I told my now 17 yr old that you are not ready to have sex until both partners feel comfortable enough to talk about it freely, what they find is enjoyable and what they do not enjoy. It has to be a mutual decision based on the needs of both partners and not because of pressure.

It's a fact that many teens do have sex and I for one have always wanted my daugthers to do it only when both partners were ready. As I look back both of my daughters understand love, relationships and sex and I believe that as they become adults they will continue exjoying wonderful relationships with their partners without the stigma society places on sexual activity.
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#3 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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It's completely the opposite of my experience. I'd think it's because I'm a lesbian who came out young, but actually, I think the more you involve uninvolved people in your sexuality (noticing people on the street), the less satisfiying actual intimate relationships are.

Boundaries are not unsexy. My modest mom certainly told me that sex was wonderful and masturbation was normal. My kids will hear the same thing.

They'll receive no approval for putting boys or girls, men or women down for their sexuality.

In my years as a AIDS educator, those sex positive messages were part and parcel of the work.

But my sex life is private. I will respect the privacy of theirs unless it appears to me to be self or other damaging in some way, the same as any other behavior.
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#4 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
It's completely the opposite of my experience. I'd think it's because I'm a lesbian who came out young, but actually, I think the more you involve uninvolved people in your sexuality (noticing people on the street), the less satisfiying actual intimate relationships are.
I totally didn't get that from the article... and I also find that to be a sweeping generalization. At least, if I'm reading it correctly.
Let me get clarification: are you saying that people who publicly display affection (or, noticing people who kiss) are not satisfied in their own relationship?

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#5 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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No, I'm saying people who cruise other people and discuss it with their daughters are likely not as satisfied as people who do not.

I don't have a study on it, though.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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I like this from page 7:
Quote:
One definition of "passion" is involvement. If women are passionate during sex, they cannot be easily distracted.... But when women are taught to limit their sexuality to safe ... ladylike expression, they keep themselves separate from their passion. This maintains the illusion that their sexual feelings originate outside themselves, beyond their control, making them vulnerable to frustrating "circumstances."

Believing such things helps relieve women of responsibility for their own sexuality.
This described/describes my experience. I've been learning to value my sexuality.

Quote:
Your mom probably hid her sexuality from you; this surely made it more difficult for you to develop a mature sexual outlook. ... you have been more vulnerable to society's mixed messages and dehumanizing myths about female sexuality.
This is certainly true for me.

And this is my goal:
Quote:
...healthy adult sexuality is worth it: a dependable source of rich, nurturing, intimate, fun experiences during which you can feel powerful and womanly.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#7 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
I like this from page 7:
This described/describes my experience. I've been learning to value my sexuality.
Me too.
I have recently transcended some huge issues I had with my sexuality and it has... completely changed me. I say "recently" but it's been nearly two years now. A lot of it had to do with what this article spoke of. I feel... amazing! It's totally changed my outlook on myself, sex, intimacy, love, everything. I can't really put a finger on what happened except that I managed to break down those walls that I had put over myself, learned where my trigger points are and how to defuse them (with help from my therapist and some major communication skills). Still working on the finer points, but overall I'm a new woman - and I feel like a teenager again. I feel like spreading the word: love yourself and your sexuality!

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#8 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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I totally get where you're coming from littleteapot...at least I think I do....it sounds like you've had a "coming out" experience about your heterosexuality. It can be very empowering and no small amount of fun.

Congrats on finding your joy.
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#9 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally get where you're coming from littleteapot...at least I think I do....it sounds like you've had a "coming out" experience about your heterosexuality. It can be very empowering and no small amount of fun.

Congrats on finding your joy.

Thank you! But... I'm not a heterosexual.
My husband is my exception, not my rule: true love conquers all.

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#10 of 11 Old 11-24-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Ahh...perhaps re-coming out or picking up the parts that got left out the first time.
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#11 of 11 Old 11-29-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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What a fabulous article! Thank you! I am getting more and more involved in trying to figure out how to help my daughter feel like a whole, successful, happy woman. She is turning 10 next week and just starting puberty. Her dad is always talking about how he is fat (I think he finally looks healthy and attractive in his size) so Harriet is worried about her weight and size. I have asked him to quit joking about it but he really doesn't get it. I like having good examples of what to say and how to encourage good thoughts about herself.

It's also great for me, I'm a survivor of abuse and still learning how to own my sexuality, and I have a wonderful partner who is really open and enjoys taking time and snuggling etc. which makes me feel safe to really explore what I want and how I feel. This article really helps me frame some of my abstract thoughts and feelings.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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