WTF is going on?

It has come to my attention that there hasn’t been that much widespread and representative research carried out and dedicated to female sexuality and pleasure.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. Female sexuality has had a hell of a hard time. 

Take the clitoris. It has been associated with the immoral, the hysterical, the ungodly, the immature…you name it. It’s been ignored, feared and even deleted from medical books (more on that in a later post).  And so, despite its presence in about half the population, the clitoris has systematically been denied its due in the hallowed halls of academia. The tide is thankfully changing, but research on the female experience of sex is still catching up.

The fact that sexologists and sex researchers still hark back to the studies of Kinsey, Master & Johnson and Hite – which were carried out nearly half a century ago – speaks volumes. We need to be doing some more deep dive research on female pleasure, sensuality and satisfaction. Stat.

And so, what does one do when faced with this paucity of research? Create a survey, of course! And carry out focus groups and conversations about sex in my flat!

I’m a social historian at heart: I studied sexuality, gender and women histories at university, years ago now, but I guess old interests die hard. The more I started reading about female pleasure, the more I wanted to know, and the more I wanted to access first-hand, valuable and realistic insights from women about how they navigate sex and sensuality. Plus – and I know this is a stereotypically very female trait –  creating my own data has helped me feel less like an imposter whilst researching this area. I feel more confident and more equipped to talk about this topic with competence.

A few things to say from the get go about the research, to avoid any doubts:

  • I’m the first to admit that this survey is small and simple. It’s a little sample survey. I’m in no way a Kinsley or Masters + Johnson or Hive!
  • I wrote the survey with the help of a wonderful woman and friend Clara, a professional survey-making queen. Without her help, the survey would have definitely strayed into amateur territory. I am so grateful for her input – thank you, thank you, thank you Clara 
  • The questions in the research surveys and groups were written to ascertain the following: 

1. Is sex taboo and shameful?

2. What are women’s relationship with sexual pleasure

3. Do women educate themselves properly about sex and their bodies?

4. How do women define sex? 

5. Do women realise their full potential of sexual fulfilment, sensuality and pleasure?

  • The survey is still live and ongoing, but I will be analysing the results from the point where I got 500 responses.

It’s been a super interesting process… Insightful, enlightening, touching…And I’m so grateful to all the women who have taken the time to take the survey. I was aiming for 100 responses, so the fact that I have 500 is really humbling. 

And so, what am I going to do with all this research I’ve gathered?

Well…The first ‘season’ of this blog is going to be dedicated to investigating and canvassing the female experience of sex and pleasure today in 2018. The season is called ‘WTF IS GOING ON’ and I’ll be using my first-hand insights plus wider readings to present what I think is happening in the minds, and the bedrooms, of women today.

It’s going to get intimate…. 

The aim of Season One is to open the door wide and shine a spotlight on sex and intimacy for women – an area that sadly isn’t much talked about.

So, please… come hold my hand, join me, and enjoy the journey!

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Illustration by Bronwen Bender

www.bronwenbender.com / @brownen.bender

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