A day off in lockdown while living in London can only mean one thing - my butt on the couch, Netflix on the TV. I’m watching Ginny and Georgia and (spoiler) Ginny loses her virginity to a good looking guy who has absolutely no idea how to pleasure her.
Does this sound familiar? If you’re a heterosexual woman, I’m guessing that your first sexual experience did not result in pleasure (and if it did, you’re the lucky one). It was probably awkward and mechanical and over in five minutes.
Maybe you were left feeling both relieved you’d done it and confused, because it wasn’t as good as it looks on TV or in all those sexy books you’d secretly read. But perhaps above all you were happy, because the person you’d had sex with seemed happy.
This is just one of many reasons the world we live in sucks. Young girls aren’t taught about the importance of pleasure, so they are reliant on the adults or more experienced friends in their lives - or of course, the internet - to educate them.
And if they have to rely on the internet, they will learn how to make eccentric noises so the other person thinks they are enjoying themselves, and that blow jobs are a must when having sex with men, and that rough sex is expected (none of these are true).
What the internet won’t teach them is that most humans with vaginas rely on foreplay and clitoral stimulation to experience pleasure, that you probably won't orgasm if you’re not in the right frame of mind, and that if you're vagina isn't wet, it might hurt a little.
And most importantly, if these girls are reliant on the internet for their sexual education, they won’t be taught about the importance of consent. They’ll think once they say yes, they can’t say no, because the other person will be hurt or angry or upset. And of course, according to the internet, sex is about pleasing the other person, not yourself - especially if you’re a woman.
So what is the solution? Education. Schools need to teach kids about sexual pleasure and consent, not just about the anatomy. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will happen unless society becomes more comfortable with the idea that pleasure is important for women. So unbelievably important.
Because women deserve incredible, heart-racing, toe-curling sexual pleasure.* The kind of sex that makes bodies tremble and minds go blank. The kind of sex that dissolves your insecurities, because you’re too busy thinking about how good it feels, to worry about how the other person may be seeing you.
Women deserve to feel powerful, in control and deliciously sexy, no matter the shape of our bodies or the colour of our skin. We deserve to feel satisfied and satiated and free from the shackles that come with the need to prioritise the pleasures of men.
I was lucky. When I was 16 my mother told me “if while you’re having sex, you’re thinking about kittens or biscuits, you’re not having good sex.”
She taught me that my pleasure matters. I was able to have conversations with boyfriends about what I needed from sex, which means thankfully I’ve had (and continue to have) a lot of great sex - life is too short for bad sex.
So if you’re a teacher or a parent or even an older sibling to a younger sister, please make sure the young girls in your life know the importance of pleasure and consent. They deserve both.
*and of course men and non-binary humans also deserve great sex.