Last month, another pleasure-focused company launched a marketing campaign advocating orgasm as a human rights issue, Human Rights. It is a powerful phrase that probably shouldn’t be thrown around for a marketing gimmick when 35% of women worldwide, according to UN Women, are sexually assaulted. At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the 30 countries. Orgasm as a human rights issue? In the pleasure product industry, it’s common to hear all about how vibrators and dildos can help stimulate g-spots to deliver mind-blowing orgasms. We’re no exception at B Swish. Instead of rattling off some more industry jargon, I want to talk about something a little more serious.
While it is fun to talk about orgasms, pleasure and sex, framing it as a human rights issue minimizes the real issues faced by women and can do damaging work to the equal rights movement. Sex positivity and female empowerment aren’t marketing gimmicks at B Swish. We take these issues seriously and wouldn’t throw around something that so many girls and women are brutally robbed of every day, every hour, every minute and every second.
We are in the business of sex and pleasure, so the industry traditionally puts orgasm at the forefront as the sole objective of sexual encounter. While orgasm is one of the most euphoric experiences—sometimes higher than any substance-induced high— there is so much else that goes hand in hand with it along the way. At B Swish, we are in the business of sexual pleasure as a vehicle for confidence, empowerment, wellness and satisfaction. Lately, this has me thinking a lot about honesty. Specifically, I’ve been wondering about how honesty is related to the experience of orgasm for women.
For this post, we asked Amara Purlle to write about how getting stark naked with ourselves before anyone else could lead to not just stronger orgasm but also can stronger human connection.
Happy new year, dearest Swishers!
Happy new year, dearest Swishers! And happy new you, who dis?? It’s 2018, so let’s not waste any time. We seem to have found ourselves in the Age of Honest Discussion and I, for one, red-carpet welcome it wholeheartedly. To borrow from the poet David Whyte, “Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are.” Or, to borrow from myself of a few months ago, there’s no room for B.S. when you’re chasing the Big O. The sad and crazy truth is that we’ve spent decades, if not centuries, unpacking a lot of cultural baggage that’s been foisted upon the female of the species. We’ve taken to viewing sex, and often ourselves, through warped glasses that aren’t necessarily rose-colored or body-positive. Let’s fix that, shall we?
Body of Work
Think about the times you get naked out of necessity, like when you take a shower. It’s part and parcel of your daily upkeep and you’re probably not framing the act of becoming nude before a shower in any meaningful way. But the next time you do disrobe, take a few minutes to stand in front of a full-length mirror. Have a moment of self-acceptance and really study yourself. How vulnerable do you feel? If the idea of vulnerability scares you, start integrating a practice of body-positive awareness in tandem with your day-to-day mindfulness.
If you don’t already, keep a journal and record the ways your relationship with your body progresses. Look back on it once in a while and see how far you’ve come. Gradual, primal shifts happen with written exercise because it declutters the mind and leads to the root of what blocks us from being fully present. If you’re in the minority of those who feel 100% about themselves, great! Reinforcing what works for you keeps you present and gives your prospective suitor the lowdown on how you get down.
The Best Policy
Would you believe honesty and transparency are aphrodisiacs? The vulnerability inherent in your honesty gives way to your agency and empowerment, which results in greater seismic bedroom activity. The invitation we extend to engage in sex is also inherently vulnerable. When we surrender our most guarded selves, we invite a more intense sexual experience. Penetration is certainly the most mainstream example, but most positions combine this familiar duality of romance and physical intrusion. Part of the conversation we have with ourselves should also involve a question about where boundaries lie.
Embracing vulnerability as empowerment goes hand-in-hand with any bare-bones exploration of our sexual desires, and is the acceptance of one’s own sexual boundaries. If missionary is one’s most sexually desired position, and the only thing one is truly comfortable with, then it’s more important to accept those boundaries than to venture outside of them for the sake of a partner. You do you.
And never underestimate the potency of open communication when it comes to busting even a casual move. I once had a friend with benefits who would very directly ask me during foreplay what he needed to do to get me to climax. I always appreciated his candor, and it made our encounters together a little more intense than just a passive quickie.
To Thine Own Self
The power of vulnerability in sex also comes from simultaneously opening ourselves (emotionally) to a potentially profound connection with another person. Those same reserves of vulnerability could have us checking in with ourselves at the wrong time.
I had lunch with a good friend recently, L, who has graciously volunteered her story. L found herself in what started as a playful fling, soon escalating to something a little more meaningful. She claimed the sex was consistently great every time, especially when they got to establishing a rhythm. But a little while later she started to routinely go inside her head during sex and spent more time and energy wondering whether her partner was enjoying the sex she was giving to focus on what she herself was experiencing. She disconnected from embracing her desires because she lost track of what they were. She also admitted to this pattern occurring with prior partners. For the sake of self-preservation, and fewer fake orgasms, she finally confronted that her outward (and very convincing) displays of confidence masked a lingering, tiny doubt over whether she was good enough.
She wasn’t even worried about being good enough in bed for herself. She was worried she suddenly might not be good enough for the guy who readily wanted to have sex with her. It was just a tiny bit of self-doubt. But a small doubt is still a doubt, and for L, it was Mood Killer #1. I thought I’d seen her at her most vulnerable. But L’s right: when you hide from yourself, you deprive yourself.
Coming to Clarity
Mark Twain had a point, too: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” The brain is our largest sexual organ, which means you can be as honest as you like while being present, and fully engage in the immediacy of your intimacy. This has to be the year we take ownership and pride in all of our aspects. Being kind to ourselves might include tough love, but all of that love is founded on integrity and honesty. Proceed at a pace that allows room for full discovery and exploration, first with yourself and then with your bedfellow(s).
The short of it is this: The more honest we are about what we need and what we ask of ourselves, the better the sex and the stronger the connections we forge. We deserve the sex we want, and honesty and vulnerability are the most effective ways to achieve that. Open up when you’re ready. Be brave about it. Thorough transformation starts with us, and with our fearlessness. Your sex life will reflect that, and you will too. After all, even a small transformation is still a transformation.