The Mancunion

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Writing ‘The Female Sex (Education)’

Creator of ‘the.f.sex’ Instagram account, Izzy Rooke-Ley, explains the importance of presenting an educative platform dedicated to female sexuality and sexual pleasure

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The Female Sex (Education)’, or @the.f.sex, is an educative platform which presents a discourse on the female sex, female sexuality, and the female body. It focuses on the importance of satisfying female sexual pleasure and the complexity involved in the sexual arousal of females.

@the.f.sex disturbs particular phallocentric discourses, such as those of the 18th and 19th centuries which idealised female sexual purity (virginity) and attempts to limit female sexuality to a reproductive function. The power operative within these discourses is a patriarchal desire and demand to subjugate and debilitate female autonomy over sexual pleasure. This is based on the patriarchal judgement that female orgasm should not exist, which allows instead for the patriarchal principle of male domination over the female to exist.

Negative definitions of female sexuality have been produced through the use of terms such as pathology, hysteria, mental illness, whoredom, sin, abjection, and impurity. These have been used by such discourses in order to shame female sexual pleasure and the exposure of female erogenous zones throughout history. Thus, shame is not a constituent property of female sexuality itself; shame is instead imposed onto sexuality by these discourses. This signifies the phallocentric desire for the debilitation of female sexual pleasure and an attempt to condition females’ consciousnesses to associate their own sexual bodies with shame and to repress their own sexual pleasure.

At present, females are still subject to phallocentric cultural statements which define them as ‘sluts’ to negatively judge and shame their sexuality. Thus, it is problematic when a female defines another female as a slut; it is a continuation of the male ideals which produce the relation between the female sexual body and shame.

@the.f.sex presents images of the female body and questions why a female revealing erogenous zones as well as receiving sexual pleasure has come to signify shame and present her negatively as a ‘slut’. Female participation in, and the enjoyment of, sexual pleasure is not shameful: Where sex produces pleasure, wellbeing and confidence, this emphasises how having sex as a woman is a drive towards feminism, the non-subjugation and liberation of the feminine. Consequently, @the.f.sex manifests itself as a feminist drive to educate against the suppression and repression of female sexuality.

Photo: Artwork by Izzy Rooke-Ley

Photo: Artwork by Izzy Rooke-Ley

Photo: Artwork by Izzy Rooke-Ley

Photo: Artwork by Izzy Rooke-Ley

@the.f.sex challenges models of ‘sex’ (such as the pornographic models) whereby the goal of sex is male orgasm and ejaculation. This problematic presentation of sex fails to include the stimulation and fulfilment of female pleasure outside of male concerns. @the.f.sex redefines ‘sex’ as acts that sexually arouse and pleasure.

Sex should not be defined only as the male penetration of the vagina; a female will not be aroused to her full potential if, for her, sex is experienced as her dependency on the penis entering her vagina. Furthermore, through this redefinition, @the.f.sex does not limit female sexuality to a heterosexual relation with the penis, yet also discusses the sexual relationship that a female has to her own body.

My page aims to provide both females and males with a better understanding of the complexity of pleasuring feminine erogenous zones. The individuality of the wiring of the female pelvic nerve produces the variability between different females’ sexual responses and sexual preferences. Some females can climax easily from penetration. For other females, clitoral arousal is highly pleasurable but physical pleasure from penetration is limited. Even if a female can reach orgasm more easily from penetration, if she is not aroused sufficiently prior to penetration she will not feel as physically indulged than if she had been.

@the.f.sex problematizes the archetypal association between penetrating the vagina and orgasm, and other predominant male generalisations. Since female orgasms are more elusive than males’, most women cannot orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. This emphasises the importance of the need to redefine ‘sex’ and to consider that penetration for some women is even subsidiary to clitoral arousal.

Patriarchal desire persistently negates and distorts the presence of the female sexual body. This denies the representation of, and maintains ignorance towards, female sexual subjectivity. @the.f.sex raises awareness of the variations concerning the shapes of vulvas, particularly the labia, and breasts. This is often a taboo; completely erased from the language, as ‘conventional’ images are presented to young females by ‘sex education’ schemes and through cultural projections, such as smoothed over and artificial pornographic images of breasts and genitalia.

The culturally available image of the female body needs to be changed to images which are inclusive of these variations between women. There is not enough educative sexual information presented to males and females concerning sex for the sake of female pleasure (because of a damaging limitation to reproduction), the variations between what females’ sexual bodies look like and the variation between females’ sexual responses.

@the.f.sex questions why a female should feel embarrassed to assert that she likes something different to what their partner is giving and that she wants her particular own desires for pleasure fulfilled. Sex is a desire to receive, as well as give, pleasure. Why have some females become too afraid or uncomfortable to reassert this?