Welcome to FLAURA’s new Sex and Intimacy Series, Live Your Best Sex Life! Where we get down, dirty and down-right honest about all things between the sheets. For too long sex, sexuality and sensuality for women has been shrouded in taboos and silent whispers. We want to grab the megaphone and start shouting from the rooftops about seeking pleasure and looking after our sexual-selves. From consent and condoms, it is time we cast aside the idea that sex will ever be like it is ‘in the movies’, and instead lift the lid on what happens in real life, juices and all.
To introduce you to our new series, we have briefly highlighted a few reasons as to why we think these conversations need to happen and how it could help us all live our best sex lives.
MIND THE ORGASM GAP
If you have a quick google, you will find a number of different facts and figures on a thing called the gendered ‘orgasm gap’, but the core message remains the same: men orgasm more than women on average (up to 30% more in some cases). Now, reaching climax is not the be all and end all of a sexual encounter. You can have plenty of fun in the bedroom without having that so-called ‘earth shattering orgasm’. However, it is hard to ignore the stark disparity between female and male sexual pleasure. But why is there an orgasm gap? Many articles, books and journals have provided their answers to this question; male selfishness, lack of (or fear of) communication, women’s body insecurities and lack of anatomical knowledge from both parties. Whatever the reason, what the gap demonstrates more than anything is women and their pleasure has long been ignored as an important objective in place of the male and his needs – something which has been deeply ingrained into our society for centuries. The orgasm gap is not going to close itself overnight. It is clear what women need is the knowledge, confidence and agency, encouraged by honest conversations, to turn the tides on traditional stigmas associated with female pleasure.
VIVA LA VULVA
One of the biggest reasons a more open and honest conversation about sex and intimacy needs to develop stems from a lack of basic anatomical knowledge. In a survey conducted last year by YouGov, found that around half of Britons could not identify or describe the function of the urethra, labia or vagina when presented with a diagram. One of the most common mistakes made by both women and men is incorrectly referring to the vulva (the external genitalia) as the vagina (the internal organ). It may seem like we are splitting metaphorical pubic hairs, but if both men and women can’t even identify the most intimate parts of the female form, how on earth can they be expected to know how to pleasure it? Women are constantly told they are a mystery, and things such as the female orgasm are no exception. But what if we stopped seeing this all as a mystery, and instead we took the time to try and understand the female form and all its complexities?
BLAME THE MEDIA
A few years ago a study in the USA discovered that only 18% of women orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. However it seems whenever we watch porn, sit through a film or even read a book, the female participant almost always seems to have an all-consuming orgasm via ‘regular’ penetrative sex. No wonder women are having less orgasms than men if they are expecting to reach climax like they do in the movies. Modern media has given us a warped sense of what real sex is; sometimes awkward, always messy, a little bit sweaty, and a whole lot more than penis-in-vagina action. We need to talk more about what it really is to have sex, so that young women growing up don’t take fantasied media representations as the standard – or worse, the goal for intimate interactions.
We are not claiming this series will make you a sexual guru, have a string of unbelievable orgasms or solve any of your sexual woes – but we hope that by lifting the lid on all things sex and sexual health, we can add to the conversation in a positive way, break down some social stigmas and help everyone on their way to living their best sex life.