A new wave of female sexuality, where do things stand now?
Content warning : This article may contains topics related to sexuality that some readers may find distressing.
Feminist and post-feminist culture has left a legacy of the concept, that the reduction of women to a mere object is the work of men. In line with this, female pleasure has been disregarded as superfluous, a mere afterthought. With the advent of sexual liberation, women have adopted a 'masculine' model of sexuality.
How far have we come?
A changing view of sexuality
In recent decades, male and female gender identity has had to deal with a rapidly changing society, in which gender stereotypes have been partially disavowed, especially those concerning women. Thanks to feminist struggles and the approval of important laws that have fought against the most striking forms of discrimination, women have entered by their own right into areas of traditionally male interest.
Thus, in addition to the traditional care of the family, they are committed to establishing themselves in various working environments, without neglecting themselves.
The woman of the 21st century is therefore under extreme pressure which, causes anguish, tension, stress, an experience of frustration and constant anxiety. In fact, today's woman needs to demonstrate that she is worth it, to make it on her own and to equal the man in everything.
Contemporaneously, all these changes have also made it possible to reclaim the existence of female pleasure and the right to seek it, and therefore it is considered normal for most of the women of today’s generation women to live their sexuality freely, so much so as to undermine the classic model of male sexuality.
Today's women seek sexual autonomy and a fuller and freer sexuality, freed from traditional obligations: they want to receive pleasure, not just get it.
A male model of sexuality
Today, women express traits hitherto considered exclusively male: independence, competitiveness, rationality, power.
In fact, women themselves consider ‘feminine’ characteristics of listening, creativity, sweetness, mediation, a limit rather than a resource. Even sexuality is very often affected by a phenomenon of masculinization: today's women take the initiative more easily in starting a game of seduction, they decide to practice a sexuality without emotional involvement, they often have more sexual partners and are more uninhibited of a time in having relationships with other partners, even when they are romantically linked.
There is an increase in single women by choice, who dedicate their entire lives to their careers and choose to have sexual relations without establishing lasting ties, who surround themselves with ‘friends with benefits’ and above all, among very young girls, encounters dedicated solely to sexuality are increasingly frequent , having assimilated a disposable male model and concept of sexuality.
How far have we come?
In the last fifty years sexual morality has eased a lot for men and women, however, there remains a certain difference in judging the two sexes, in particular with respect to erotic and sexual behaviour. In fact, women may be judged more negatively than men for having had sex with numerous partners in their past, for having casual sex outside of a stable relationship or for having had sexual experiences at an early age. As if to emphasise that female sexuality should be more moderate and discreet.
There are many men who may accept and are happy that their woman is more aware of her sexuality today but still too many are those who are probably unable to deal with women with an active and conscious sexuality, therefore judge these women based on their experience.
As such, many women feel and are convinced that they must conform to the male model of woman-child or woman-angel and to the social norm by which they are attributed a discrete and monogamous sexuality.
It is evident that the legitimation of female pleasure, of the freedom to seek it and to experience it, is a civilisational conquest that has not yet been accomplished.
What does the woman of today want?
There are certainly eternal desires: women have always sought engaging and reassuring relationships, they want to feel loved and know they can count on the loyalty of their emotional bond, they need words of love but also to be courted, gratified, and admired.
She yearns for a faithful man who does not violate the couple's exclusivity pact and does not expose her to the narcissistic wound of seeing another woman preferred, perhaps younger.
Today, however, the woman, being more selective, also seeks a partner who has some particularities, who excels in something. She wants a man who is willing to share with her, who knows how to exchange conversations, a man who is present and available in the organization of daily life and in caring for the children, but who is also a companion.
It is essential that the woman feels free to express herself and accepted as she is, even physically, accepted in her corporality, even if not perfect and not corresponding to the sex symbols proposed by the mass media.
She also wishes not to be judged, especially if she expresses her desires. Being more aware of her sexuality than ever before, she desires more physical intimacy and everything that comes with it. She seeks gratification, fulfilment of sexual pleasure and well-being as well as the need for a more proprioceptive, visceral, and emotionally imbued eroticism.
Equity or equality?
Given the uncertainty of women's identity, resulting from having wanted to look too much like men from a physical, sexual, and behavioural point of view, it is important to arrive at defining the outlines of a new female identity starting from the assumption that women should have equity when compared to men, but that this does not mean they have to be equal to them.
Women should become aware that they have defeated prince charmings, fathers and masters but also that they don't need superpowers. What have often, up to now, been considered weaknesses should become strengths.
Uniformity at all costs is a risk and a waste. Women of the third millennium should feel free to be themselves, in equality but above all in differences! One could recover a form of seduction obviously not aimed at achieving material objectives, but as a natural desire to be liked, to interest and to be considered for what one is.
Me before you
Furthermore, the woman should be assertive, capable of asserting herself without being bullied. It would be extremely important to acquire a communication style that allows her to express herself and solve problems, without being passive or aggressive. This is possible through self-knowledge, of one's rights but also thanks to education in feelings and emotions.
Women should think of themselves as entitled to enjoy their bodies and sexuality and consider themselves orgasmic beings. To experience pleasure, you need to give it to yourself and think you deserve it! Therefore, it is essential to acquire an erotic self-esteem, i.e. the positive awareness of one's erotic sphere.
Only in this way can one learn to bring out one's needs and desires. Starting from self-knowledge to claim the right to enjoy one's body.
A suggestion is that women start with a basic knowledge of their anatomy, the physiology of pleasure, the influence that the affective and relational components have on their sexuality, with the aim of facilitating an active and fulfilling sex life.
Ultimately, female pleasure is a right!