Feminist Friday: What is Sexual Freedom?

Friday, June 06, 2014

Feminist Friday: What is Sexual Freedom?

Defining feminism in a sexualized society

We live in a world surrounded by sex. We’re lucky if we can go a day without seeing at least one sexualized advertisement or image. There’s much speculation about when (or what) was the cause to this sexualized shift, but the Women’s Liberation Movement typically ends up with most of the blame. Women wanted sexual freedom, and, well, now they have it. 

But do we?

In my opinion, sexual freedom is the right to choose how and when and with whom we satisfy our sexual desire. Sexual freedom is freedom from being pressured into doing anything sexually that we don’t really want to do. But if everywhere you turn there’s an advertisement screaming sex, well, that’s not exactly a pressure-free environment. 

Women have definitely been given much more of a right to satisfy their sexual desires free of judgement and/or discrimination than the women who were still fighting for a women’s right to vote, but there is still a rigid double standard as well as harsh judgement passed on those who don’t cave into the society’s sexual pressure.

So how much sexual freedom do we actually have?

Let’s explore the metaphorical lives of two sisters, Jane and June Doe, who both identify themselves as feminists. 

Jane defines her sexual freedom by having sex with as many different men as she feels like. She might settle down with one person someday, but for now, she’s enjoying her freedom as she currently defines it. Her friends all tell her that if she keeps up the “promiscuous” behavior, though, she’ll never be able to settle down because nobody will want her. Evidence of the double standard: men want to have sex with Jane, but they won’t consider her “marriage material” if she has sex with them too soon, even if that’s the timeframe she’s most comfortable with.

Then, there’s June who prefers to define her sexual freedom by making the choice to wait until marriage. It’s hard to do in this sexualized society, especially since June is the only one out of all her friends who is waiting until marriage. Most people thinks she’s a prude, old-fashioned, and un-feminist for not having sex. She often feels pressured, judged, and ostracized for her decision, even though she knows it’s the right decision for her.

Both girls are feminists who are defining sexual freedom in a way that works for them. However, both of them are still judged for expressing their sexual freedom. Jane is judged for having too many sexual partners, and June is judged for waiting for the right one. Obviously, when it comes to sexual freedom, you can’t win. So what are you supposed to do?

Own it. 

Define your sexual freedom in a way that feels right to you, and know that everybody defines sexual freedom differently. Own your definition, and don’t ever let anyone else make you feel like your definition is wrong. Only you have that power. Only you can truly know what’s right for you, how you feel, and what you want. It doesn’t matter what your friends, family, peers, or society thinks. What matters is that you stay true to you.


Find yourself.

Define yourself.

Love yourself.

Be yourself.

And then have sex how, when, and with whoever and whenever you want to. 


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