Psychologist Dr. Sarah McClelland coined the term ‘intimate justice’ - the idea that sex has both political and personal implications. It questions how social conditions, like racial and gender-based stereotypes, impact what individuals feel they deserve in their intimate lives.
In her work she found that young women were more likely to use their partner’s pleasure as a measure of their own satisfaction. Young men, however, were more likely to measure their satisfaction by their own orgasm.
Young women also defined ‘bad sex’ differently. In the largest survey conducted on American sexual behavior, young women reported pain in sexual experiences 30% of the time. They also used words like depressing, humiliating and degrading to describe them. Young men never used that language.
When we think of sex, we view it from a male perspective- it’s over when he finishes. Where is the conversation about how women have sex? Why do we socialize girls to put their partner’s orgasm before their own?
When we teach girls to prioritize their pleasure in sexual experiences, we empower them to make safer, wiser and more enjoyable decisions when it comes to their own bodies. Decisions that come from a place of personal truth rather than social expectation or pressure.
And I believe that as a consequence, young and grown men alike will experience sex in a more fulfilling and authentic light. As a conscious and reciprocal exchange far exceeding what has been dictated to them through the porn industry.
But that’s just if you ask me.
Art by @filippaedghill