Sexuality is often silenced and hushed, especially in Asian society. Yet finding words to talk about our sexual desires – freely, unabashedly – with each other can be profoundly liberating. Why is it so hard to articulate what we want, sexually? Jené Gutierrez, writing for The Establishment, weighs in on the transformative power of sexting.
Jené Gutierrez writes about “The Transformative Power of Sexting“-
Ultimately, I found it difficult to talk dirty during sex without feeling utterly ridiculous. Though I knew that my partner found me sexually desirable, I was still wary of myself as a sexual being in my late teens and most of my 20s, a feeling I doubt was unique to my experience. Throughout my childhood, my weight and my body were scrutinized. As early as middle school, when I was subject to constant teasing and commentary—or even earlier, when my father made negative comments about my weight in second grade—I understood: chubby bodies are not desirable bodies. I brought my shame with me into adulthood, and inevitably it affected how I regarded my body as a vehicle for sexual expression. If I wasn’t able to even recognize, much less confidently assert, my desires or perceive my own desirability, I could not comprehend how another person would, nor could I imagine it would make any difference if I started gushing about his penis.
…sexting has the potential to break down barriers of shame surrounding desires and the body’s appearance, especially among those who have felt pressured to look and act a certain way. Women, and especially girls, are not perceived as active agents of their own sexuality; rather, they tend to be viewed as heteronormative, passive recipients of male desire. Expression of female desire or self-objectification is seen as deviant, especially within the realm of the supposedly “non-normative” practice of sexting. “We are sexual beings as soon as we become beings,” sex and relationship therapist Ashley Blu Lavalle told me via email. “Our society, with its puritanical roots, wants to ignore this especially in the female gender, preferring to bestow and encourage ‘innocence’ and ‘modesty.’”
While sexting provides a more welcome space to voice sexual desires, it also importantly fosters communication about consent. Melissa Meyer, a scholar focusing on Millennials, cybersex, and criminology writes that not only is sexting a safer space physically, but it’s also “primarily a feminist space: when used correctly it offers both partners equal power to start, stop and direct the interaction.” Sexting is a more comfortable mode of expressing sexuality for young women, Meyer says, because they can’t be physically overpowered, and are less likely to feel sexually pressured.
So what do sexters value? Agency. Consent. Meeting their needs and desires. Intimacy. Relationship. Communication. Vulnerability. Self-reflection. Sex. Love. The materiality of the body and the materiality of the word. The embodiment of words that capture moments of identification that reveal an essence of truth about who people are, how they play, interact, and negotiate power. The willingness to be transformed by what they discover.
As for me, not only have I recognized a language that allows me to navigate and inhabit my desires more truly, but I’ve also come to love my body and all its softness, its curves and folds, each scar and wrinkle and roll, each part of my body a part of me, deserving of pleasure and a language that names it as such.
Read the full article here at The Establishment. Original article published on 18th October ’16.
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