If you’re following the sexual liberation movement and women’s plight for equality, you probably see the deep link between sexual freedom and radical world-changing. Women don’t need to run the world, but it’s about damn time they have a seat at the table to do so. And sexual liberation is a huge part of helping us get there.
But the practice of actually doing this? Well, it’s not so easy. On a global level, we can see the benefits of the sexual liberation movement, but when it comes to hanging out with ourselves in the bedroom, it’s a different story. Sure, we need to change the world, but can it wait after I get the baby weight off and turn the lights off? Do I have to orgasm to create a better tomorrow? It’s ok if I just don’t want to have sex, too, right? It is possible to both want to be the empowered sexual superhero of divine feminine energy and feel trapped by the world around us that’s still sending old messages.
The never-ending battle between who we are and who we want to be can be confusing. So let’s get concrete with this. What are some simple steps you can do to get in touch with our sexuality and join the sexual liberation movement?
1. Validate yourself.
It’s worth taking the time to simply validate that this journey of joining the sexual liberation movement is hard. We’ve been born and raised in a land where women are systematically hurt for their gender. Even if you’re not in the 1 in 6 women who are a victim of sexual harassment in your life, you’re still part of the world where that happens. You’ve been in a world where that is allowed to continue your whole life.
The media you watch, the way girls are taught to be “ladylike”, the injustice of not having pockets in our clothing- oppression is everywhere. I mean, come on, you were raised in a world where women are systemically encouraged to both love themselves and fix everything about themselves in one fell swoop.
That’s a discouraging cacophony of information you’re around, and it can create a lot of uncomfortable cognitive dissonance. Is my femininity a good thing or a bad thing? Am I supposed to take care of myself or prioritize others’ feelings? Are these heels tasteful or slutty? That’s an emotional load to carry just for showing up in the world as a woman every day.
2. Practice Being Present.
The problem with carrying too much of an emotional load for our womanhood is that it’s hard staying present in the moment. Our brains have some finite capacity when it comes to processing. It’s hard to both remember what you’ve been told and feel truly present in the moment. The sexual liberation movement requires women to function clearly from the here and now- not the past.
While the partner you’re with may be one of the elusive “good ones”, it would make sense if your brain was still connecting the dots between why he’s not a “bad guy”. You may constantly be looking for proof that he listens to you, cares enough to ask how you’re feeling, or loves you unconditionally. In fact, our psyches can sometimes make us hypervigilant for this love. We may even become the “nag” to get what we need. The past will simply repeat itself unless we’re willing to do things differently.
The solution here is to practice just finding your present self. And proactively, you can build this through meditation or mindfulness practices. Working with a therapist, deep breathing, journaling, or meditation- any of these can help you check in with how you’re feeling in the moment.
3. Listen to your body.
When you’re able to truly check into the present moment, you’ll be able to pay attention to how your body is feeling. Things you may have been too busy to notice before may show up. You may notice how sexual excitement feels like tickles under your ribs or how your body naturally leans in when you feel eager to sexually engage.
Take time when your body is feeling to check out where it’s happening in your body. Notice the temperature, sensation, or reactions you may have dismissed before. Then play with it! Ask any good primary school teacher; the best way to learn is to play. And in this context, that means it’s ok to play with your body sexually. The sexual liberation movement encourages active self-discovery through masturbation.
It may also be a good idea to try out some sex toys, especially if you can find some awesome sex toys for women made by women. As the sexual liberation movement grows, there’s also a growing number of sex toys for women looking to truly hear what a woman’s body wants. From sucking to penetrating to pulsating, there’s a variety of sensations you can get to know on your own terms. Get to know some of them and play around.
4. Share it Honestly.
When we pay attention to our bodies, we become the living agents of change in the sexual liberation movement. We’re now the directors of our ship. We decide where we want to go, how long we want to be there, and who we want to go there with. Share as much as you can with your partner.
If they struggle to hear you, or you’re struggling to be honest, work together to talk about what’s standing in your way. The sexual freedom that comes from the sexual liberation movement starts one difficult conversation at a time.
Once we talk the talk about how we want our bodies to feel, we need to walk the walk. Confidently show your partner how you like being pleasured, where you like being touched, and how you reach orgasm. You can show them on your body or theirs if applicable. By being concrete with what “nipple play” means or where we put the sex toys, we’re giving ourselves sexual liberation. Essentially, the sexual liberation movement takes a step forward every time you direct a man to your clitoris.
5. Set Limits in Live Time.
Another important element of the sexual liberation movement is being able to set boundaries for how we want to be treated- and that starts in the physical sense. If we don’t like the way something is feeling in our body, it’s important we share that information. We need to be our own advocates. Holding other people accountable for hurting us starts with holding ourselves accountable for telling them when it hurts.
In practice, this means connecting with your body when you’re connecting sexually with your partner and giving live feedback. When a caress feels nice, let them know. When they touch a part of you that feels numb, let them know. When you get tired of a certain strategy or maneuver they’re trying, let them know. Sexual liberation means giving feedback in the moment and as directly as possible.
Finally, the sexual liberation movement simply wouldn’t be a success if we didn’t share our joy with other women. There is nothing more vulnerable than sharing what makes you happy. Our deepest joys are often wrapped up and kept in our diaries or to our best friends only. But the sexual liberation movement needs your help on a much larger scale. So call on your inner Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex in the City, and let people know!
When we share our successes with our bodies and how good it can feel to be a woman, we take a step forward for womankind. By proudly sharing what it’s like to enjoy sex, play with a kink, or learn something new about our bodies, we’re normalizing the conversation about female sexual empowerment.
The sexual liberation movement requires women to bravely share newfound sexual freedom with others or it’s only a movement of one. There’s a new generation of women out there now, and they deserve to hear different stories than the ones we heard growing up.