Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah: Let’s talk about sex

I’m loving the #CostofShame story-telling project based around the new film Subjectified (trailer above). The documentary, created by Melissa Tapper Goldman, features in-depth, candid interviews with nine young women about their sex lives. 

Throughout this month, you’re invited to push back against our culture of sexual shame by sharing stories of your own sexual histories, values, confusions, and turning points. The Do Tell site explains:

Please share a story about your sexual self, up to 350 words. Why? Because we live in a sex-saturated culture with precious little honest and authentic discussion of sexuality. Because speaking our truths, with all their complications and imperfections and beauty, challenges a culture of shame that impacts us every day. Because our voices and our histories matter.

Watching the nine diverse women in the film reflect on their sexual experiences and the factors–from family to religion to media to peer pressure–that have influenced them, I sorta had to remind myself that this kind of frank discussion of sex is super rare to see in the mainstream culture. I mean, hearing women talk honestly about their sex lives is one of those things–kinda like hearing boys talk about their friendships–that tends to happen far more in real life (at least among the women I know) than in the public discourse.

I was also struck by the contrast between the nuanced and thoughtful ways the women in the film reflected on their sexual histories–which definitely included very positive to very negative experiences–and the simplistic narratives around youth sexuality–especially female sexuality–in the broader culture. As I’ve written before, my biggest problem (of many) with the protectionist attitudes of abstinence-only advocates like Ross Douthat is how disconnected their black-and-white approach to sex is from the real world, where young people are exploring their sexualities, because that’s what human beings do, and figuring it out as they go along.

And just imagine how much easier that’d be if they weren’t navigating a culture that’s simultaneously sex-saturated and profoundly sex-negative. One can only dream.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this article, it really hit home with me and I can’t wait to see the film :)

    http://itisnotmyshametobear.blogspot.com/

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