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Can We Claim Our Own Female Sexual Desires?

Can We Claim Our Own Female Sexual Desires?

The cover of Newsweek magazine shows a woman wearing a blindfold. It shouts the news that spankings have gone “mainstream” and working women have hot sexual fantasies of being dominated. What if women could claim their fantasies as their own without making excuses for it?

Take a minute, and imagine an actual real live mainstream woman, not a character in a book, talking openly about her desires for sexual submission and spankings? What if that woman was a CEO, nurse, mother and a wife? What would we think then?

What if we learned that she not only read about it, but she did it? That’s right, and it wasn’t about her love and devotion to a man and his desires? What if it was just connected to sex and her own desires and she went out and explored it? And then, what if she wasn’t punished and shamed for her desire? What if this woman wanted what many men want and get every day? How do we really feel about that?

For me, this is where the lies we tell ourselves about sex start and end. And the craziness begins.

The cover story of Newsweek, written brilliantly by Katie Roiphe boils down to one salient point when she talks about all of the heroines of fictionalized female submission desires such as Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Gray.

“Itís important for a mainstream heroine appealing to mainstream readers: she indulges in the slightly out-there fantasy of whipping and humiliation without actually taking responsibility for any off-kilter desires. She can enjoy his punishments and leather whips and mild humiliations without ever having to say that she sought them out or chose them. It’s not that she wants to be whipped, it’s that she willingly endures it out of love for, and maybe in an effort to save, a handsome man. This little trick of the mind, of course, is one of the central aspects of sexual submission: you can experience it without claiming responsibility, without committing to actually wanting it, which has a natural appeal to both our puritan past and our post-ironic present.”

Women are still very bashful about owning our own desires. I believe that to be true. I coach women who are struggling with their sexuality everyday. So many of them are terrified and ashamed of their own desires. The very idea of a real live mainstream woman owning her desire still makes our hair stand on end.

Desire in and of itself is a big one for women. We don’t want to admit that being desired turns us on. What is more delicious than being the object of desire? And in the world of dominance and submission, the submissive is often the one tied up and the focus of all attention. That is pretty yummy for a lot of women. I know it’s pretty yummy for me. But I cop to the fantasy, and told all in my memoir Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner (Rodale). I have given up hiding.

Perhaps Marta Meana said it best when she said that for most women, “Desire is the real female orgasm.”

As women, we want to be the most desired fruit in the salad. We want our significant other – or simply admiring eyes – to reflect back to us their desire for us and this gives us more pleasure that most of us would like to admit to. It’s not very politically correct now, is it? Not any more politically correct than enjoying giving up our power and spankings.

We keep wanting sex to be politically correct. It’s not, and it never will be. I want to be swept off my feet by a suitor that just cannot breathe without me. This is a very real sexual desire for countless women. So many women want to be whisked away against our will because his desire is so intense that he just must have her!

And that turns on our feminine soul in such a hot deep place that the heroine falls in love. The end. This story is told again and again, marketed directly to women, to our core fantasy and purchased in truck loads by countless women in countless Walmarts across the country every day. And yet, we are bashful about it. Aren’t we?

Perhaps women are finally admitting the fantasy and giving up being embarrassed by it. Maybe we are finally in a place of knowing that we have power, and therefore we are in charge of when we decide to give it up for a while. I might be bold enough to declare that this is finally the purest form of feminism and totally being in our power – when we can claim all of our desires.

Sexuality and Desire didn’t read the playbook. The way our desire works is as encoded in our DNA as the color of our eyes, and sweeping it under the covers and the dark corners only hurts us.

I am happy to boldly claim my freedom without excuses or shame. And for me, sometimes that includes blindfolds and silk ties.

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Learn more about Pamela Madsen by visiting her websites: BeingShameless.Com and The Fertility Advocate.

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless†(Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites BeingShameless.com and her daily blog, thefertilityadvocate.com, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.

39 comments

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12:31PM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Whatever makes the person happy for them and their partner,who really cares what other people think?Sex should be the business of you and your partner,and no one else anyway.I like to experiment and role play.I am not into really bad torture,unloving behaviour,or humiliation,but I like to be kinky at times.And yes,I like being spanked during sex at times.Not beaten,but spanking....sometimes .whatever.

12:22AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

I don't think it's the admission of the fantasy. I think the problem with the article was the implication that women couldn't handle the pressures of being independent and in charge so they crave the need of being dominated. I had a cow with that implication.
I'm not comfortable with people saying that being desired is hardwired into females brains. I like being dominated, but I also enjoy dominating. Sometimes I feel like a nut... Which means some men also want to be desired.

11:06PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Nice pic & hot

5:00PM PDT on May 20, 2012

empowering post

5:10PM PDT on May 13, 2012

NOW THAT I AM OLDER I ENJOY SEX MORE THAN I EVER HAVE!!!!!
I BELIEVE THAT IT FEELS JUST AS GOOD TO PLEASE YOUR PARTNER AS IT DOES TO TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT TO PLEASE YOU.

I LOVE TO HAVE FUN AND LAUGH WHILE I AM HAVING SEX. WHY DO MOST PEOPLE ACT AS IF SEX IS SO SERIOUS AND EVERYTHING HAS TO BE DONE JUST RIGHT OR YOU ARENT HAPPY.

SEX IS FUN AND FEELS GOOD. I ONLY DISCOVERED THIS AFTER A LOT OF YEARS.

IF YOU ARE YOUNG DONT WAIT. HAVE FUN LAUGH ENJOY TALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11:29AM PDT on May 12, 2012

Hmm

6:15PM PDT on May 4, 2012

"I am happy to boldly claim my freedom without excuses or shame. And for me, sometimes that includes blindfolds and silk ties."
Love it!!! #noshame

4:41PM PDT on May 1, 2012

If a woman does not know how to clearly define to her lover what pleases her then she certainly will more than likely be left "High & Dry" No pun intended! Women , just as men in order to be wonderful lovers and in order for this to happen , both need to not only do that that makes each other sexually fulfilled but simply not be afraid to ask your lover what it is that pleases them. For me personally ...And I don't mind saying so and for the very reason that I would NEVER want any woman to walk away from this article or post, thinking that she has to submit to ANYTHING that would cause her pain or degradation. i.e. Porn, I see no purpose for it at all. As if a man has to watch others doing the do, then he sure isn't into you. That just turns a rich venue of powerful intimacy and lovemaking, into a sexual exploitation adventure, of raw sex. And that sex can be found anywhere. So if one is truly wanting an ethereal experience of real lovemaking, remove yourself from a position of taking pleasure, to that of giving pleasure.

1:29AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

lol. I've been saying for a LONG time - about 2 decades - that women should be able to have sexual fantasies and be free from negative judgement.

When we view porn, much of that is men's fantasy, and no one questions it. I think often, as women, we have fantasies of the opposite of what we are... As strong women, we want to be subdued... As I tell my hubby, sex me like you mean it... It's not that I want to be raped. That is a huge NO-NO. The raw sexual desire of being taken like he really wants me is thrilling.

On the other hand, the shy lady with the corner office may want to be a lioness in bed. Nothing wrong with her taking charge of that portion of her life.

We all have that fantasy, whether we want to be that sexy teacher, or be "put in place" by the sexy teacher, we have them, even if we don't want to divulge that. Some fantasies are better left as fantasies. Other ones ought to be expressed to make it over the hurdle we came to cross during our trials and tribulations during the relationship.

Use them the right way, we have a full and healthy sex life, which is always a blessing in every intimate relationship.

9:34PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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