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The Politics of Sex

The Politics of Sex

Last night, I attended an amazing event that left me feeling both incensed and deeply encouraged. The discussion, sponsored by the fantastic online magazine that I write for called Lipstick and Politics, was entitled “Sexual Intelligence and the Politics of Sex.”

The conversation was led by two sex and relationship experts and began by addressing some of the insecurities that women experience when it comes to appreciating their sexuality. Often, as women, we feel we must live up to external standards of sexuality. If we don’t reach orgasm in a particular way, for example, we often worry that there is something wrong with us. This negative self-talk, however, is destructive and unnecessary because every woman experiences her sexuality in a unique way, and that is wonderful.

The conversation then began to shift and the focus became the larger, socio-political implications of the ways in which women relate to their sexuality and their bodies. Why is it that we feel we need to live up to the expectations of others?

It is largely due to the patriarchal scaffolding that still supports much of our culture. If more women could truly own their sexuality, it would give them a confidence and power that they could employ in other areas of life. Attempts to limit the kinds of birth control that women have access to and efforts to take away our choices when it comes to our own bodies are insidious forms of control that serve to maintain the patriarchal status quo. Ultimately, it will be our agency as women – and our willingness to stand up for our  and empower ourselves – that will result in positive social change.


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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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10:52PM PDT on May 9, 2013

Marianne b., first I am too damn old to fall for that "America love it or leave it" crap. and I am really sorry that reality does not always fit into your preference for Rose Colored Glasses.
As for 'Anti Christian Taliban of America, I will make the jump and assume you understand the "Anti" part. The Christian Taliban of America is the Theo-Fascist Alliance of the Repug/Tea Bagged, the political arm and power, the Power Hungry Christian groups including but not limited to, The American Catholic Bishops, NAR (New Apostolic Revival), The Family(C Street), Nom, AFA, FRC, ITN(International Transformation Network) Palin's Wasilla church. All of whom scream bloody murder about Islamic Sharia while passing law after law to Un-Constitutionally put their Christian Sharia in as the basis of American law, denial of Marriage Equality, denial of Contraception, denial of Abortion, redefining Rape, giving Rapists legal custodial rights over children born out of rape, denial of Equal Pay for Equal Work to women, and on and on and on. And by the by just why does Jane pointing out the historical facts of "Marriage" as a contract of ownership, the Biblical Conventional marriage is of One Man and As Many Women as he can afford and the right to sell any or all of those children for profit.

9:17PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

Good article, good points.

5:10PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Thanx, for the article

2:10PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Dear Lloyd H. As you descibe yourself as an Obstreporous Gay Curmudgeon, and I see that Jane is a friend of yours, I know why you defend her, and her ongoing rants. No, I am not "brainwashed " by anyone or anything. I just like to read positive, thought-provoking,comments. Also, I am curious as to what an Anti-Christian Taliban of America means??? Aren't you glad we live in America with freedom of speech? If not, please move to another country, or North Korea and see how oppressed people live. Sorry that you think I'm attacking her character....just her hateful, annoying, repeated, comments on our government, religions,sex, and men (that we are slaves to, and treated like barnyard animals)??? REALLY?? She stated she didn't need a man, with her "handy vibrator." Give me a break!!!!

2:02PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

ALL religious leaders, crooked politicians and Big Biz are in it together with the agenda to keep women, children and animals DOWN and suck MONEY out of the POOR. MURDER, TORTURE and RAPE are LEGAL when RELIGIOUS LEADERS and RICH PEOPLE DO IT but when a POOR PERSON does it, they get put in the slammer for life. The brainwashed WOMEN who back the CATHOLIC CHURCH are backing PEDOPHILIA and the RAPE OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN. And like the GERMAN WOMEN WHO BACKED HITLER, ARE RESPONSIBLE for THESE ATROCITIES. If the CATHOLIC CHURCH is so NICE and LOVING, why are they trying to take away WOMEN'S BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS and KILL WOMEN? Why do they want to change the law so it will be LEGAL TO BEAT UP WOMEN?

12:59PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012


10:28AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Thanks for the article.

5:59AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Well, you certainly have to give Cooke, the author, points for being too damn gutless to actually say that Religion, Religious leaders et alia are the root of all the social-political indoctrination and expectations and legal constraints put on women. I really love the "...insidious forms of control that serve to maintain the patriarchal status quo.". Which any way you parse it means religious dogma, the American Council of Bishops, the US Senators and Reps members of The Family, AFRC, AFA, NOM....
Marianne B., Fiona T. perhaps you have some factual arguments not the ad hominem character attacks to discount Jane and her to the point comments on the Churches, Bishops, Preachers, Pope, etc. and their political operatives in and out of the US and State Governments that are waging a War on Women and Women's rights in the US. Or perhaps you are among those women so brainwashed as to work and vote against your best interests much like Palin, Rep. Foxx, Rep. Bachmann, the Romney Repug spokeswomen who are all so pro-women as to have voted against Paycheck fairness and the Violence Against Women Act.

12:39AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012


10:17PM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Fiona,T. I personally think Jane "looks" for these articles, so she can vent her negativity and anger. It's a shame she is so down on religion, government, and men. She must have no self-worth....and must be a lonely person. Unfortunately, she will never stop, so please excuse her annoying. It's never one comment, but several..blah,blah,blah.
She states women are treated like barnyard animals...and we are not humans but animals.So she must be the jackass. Just one time, I would like to see a positive comment. I don;t believe she is capable of one.Too much hate.Pity her....

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