Mention bondage, S&M, submission, or role play to your girlfriends over high tea, and you’re suddenly faced with a nervous hush and a pinkish blush. Eyes look down in embarrassment and tiny beads of sweat melt slowly down the temples. Fellow tea drinkers and cake eaters mumble for the quickest excuse to make a break for it. In a swift instant our inner prude jumps virtuously to the surface to proclaim, ‘Goodness no! We can’t possibly discuss those kinds of things at tea!’. Yet in the car on the way home we silently ponder the words, and we secretly admit; we really are just a tiny bit interested…
So why all the secrecy and embarrassment? In this modern day of feministic attitudes, why on earth are we still not outwardly comfortable in discussing our interest in the topic of, whisper it – S. E. X? Men supposedly, have been doing it on boys weekends for decades, openly having fun with sex and innuendo for what seems an eternity. It’s practically expected! So why not women? As much as we hate to admit it, plenty of us are still harbouring 50’s woman mentalities. Yet it is simply woman on woman, no pun intended, when it comes to the shame of admitting to secret desires. Apparently our Stepford attitudes have many of us labelling any woman unafraid to discuss her desires, as all sorts of unsavoury nasty adjectives.
Not so long ago though, women worldwide were racing into department stores to pick up a copy of the acclaimed novel Fifty Shades of Grey, after hearing with intrigue, the unsolicited joys that lay written between the covers. Ask any of them for a summary at work the following week, and the response is generic, far and wide – ‘It’s amazing; I read it in two days!’ Heartbeats fluttered worldwide, as Mr Grey delivered his demands. They loved it, yet did not dare actually speak out loud the content of the book. Readers merely ushered their girlfriends to borrow their copy, and return it when they were done. Book sales went through the roof, an obvious indication of the interest women held in reading all of the saucy details inside. Those same women now sit waiting with baited breath, for the release of the big screen movie, only to hide in theatres no doubt, with their eyes down and knees locked tightly together praying they don’t run into their daughter’s piano teacher on the way out. It is utterly absurd!
It’s not the first time openly discussing personal desires, has been the centre of attention. Flash back to June 1998, with the beginning of a controversial series called Sex and the City. Of course everyone remembers it, why it was purely scandalous! However, the initial shock of a group of women openly exchanging every little detail of their sexuality soon subsided, as women worldwide discovered the fun that could be had. There were simply no limits to what could be discussed over a lunch date. Sadly, though with the end of the series, women everywhere tucked their confidence back deep inside, and inner secrets once again became just that.
Naturally there is the exception to the rule, with some women more than happy to open up and have a little fun with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about giving every single tantalising detail. It is about owning your sexual confidence as a woman, and ladies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. With social media options growing by the minute, personal blogging has given many women a platform to openly and shamelessly explore their sexual interests. It is obviously happening. Take a leisurely stroll through Instagram and Tumblr, the evidence is clear. So if we are doing it, why then can’t we admit it?
Nonetheless, I still can’t help but see the dichotomy between the genders, on the issue of how much information we willingly give away.
So I sit wondering to myself, are women really still afraid of the judgment they will face by admitting their inner most secret wants and needs? Are we still too embarrassed to mention what exactly it was, that Mr Grey wanted to do?
If not, then why on earth are women letting men have all the fun?