We are raised as women to think of sex being centred around the man. In my sexual education I knew the man ejaculated into the woman, and the woman had a baby. I knew nothing of oral sex or sexual stimulation for a woman, and there was a rumour at my school that if you masturbated you were a lesbian, which was apparently a negative thing.
I grew up having extremely painful sex and didn’t have an orgasm till my third sexual partner, who consequently told me my blow jobs were bad and I wasn’t good at being on top. This developed into further dedication to pleasing men in the bedroom and pushing aside my needs and desires. Having sex had nothing to do with my self worth or respect, that came from my achievement of satisfying my sexual partner.
I was ashamed it took me so long to cum, if ever, and thought my vagina had something wrong with it because it always hurt having sex. This was my education and experience of sex till the age of 23. I am older now, with a lot more self love, self worth and an incredible partner. I’m never sore after sex. I always ask for whatever I want in the bedroom, and my partner is the most attentive, considerate lover.
I am not condemning men, I am not victimising just women. I am saying we need to change the way our society thinks about sex. About how our children are taught about sex. We need to stop thinking of sex in the patriarchal realms, where sex is dictated and finished by the man, and the woman serves, again. We need to teach men and women how to pleasure each other properly, and to not be ashamed to ask or guide.
We need to own and celebrate our self love and self pleasure. We need to be more open about sex, and not see it as a dirty, perverse thing, so our children will stop looking to porn for education. We also need a better dialogue on Sexually Transmitted Infection's. Contracting an STI does not make you promiscuous, dirty or a slut. The amount of people who do not know that you can contract chlamydia from oral sex and if untreated it can make you infertile is shocking.
This statistic needs to change, as does the blame game that ensues when an STI is transmitted. If we strive to live in a sex positive society we must ensure that sex is an equal pleasure, where we care about our partner and ourselves, where we are sexually active but protected, and where we have a healthy dialogue and most importantly understand that no means no and nothing else.
My name is Catriona Smith and I am the creator of LoveFestLDN18, a festival celebrating love happening all over London. On Wednesday 5th September we will be holding our Sex Positive Night. I am so excited to bring to you our contribution for this ongoing fight for good, positive, sexual change.
We are in 2018 and we’re making those steps forward. By holding our evening in a public space (The Peckham Levels), we can spread the message and the dialogue to those who should hear it and possibly adapt their behaviours and attitudes. This night is also for those that want to feel solidarity and a reminder that they are right in wanting more and wanting to change the sexual status quo.
I have the pleasure and pride of being able to put on LoveFestLDN18’s Sex Positive Night, with Sex+ Zine, Rukiat Ashawe, The Cherry Revolution and 100 Women I know, discussing these issues and smashing those taboos. It has been a life changing experience meeting and exploring with these incredible people as part of creating this night.
I am in awe and inspired by each and every single one of them. I want to say thank you to them for making our night possible, and to you reading this, I urge you to come and hear what they have to say. You never know what you might learn or feel, but baby I’m telling you it’s going to be for the better!
Sex Positive Night
Peckham Levels, Level 5