A wise man once said “everything in the world is about sex… Except, sex. Sex is about power” (Oscar Wilde). See, that statement has you thinking. Is everything about sex? (my unapologetically pervy friends would agree). However, I think the more important question is: is sex really about power?
My parents raised me to believe that the purpose of sex is procreation; that God made man and said: “be fruitful and multiply.” Every time the Bible mentions sex outside of procreation, it has a negative connotation. God killed Onan for pulling out (Gen. 38:3-10); Angels destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for lack of repentance (Gen. 19), I have this here because everyone wants us to believe that they were destroyed for homosexuality (this a later topic for another piece); and Absalom had sex with his father’s wives (II Sam. 16:22), to list a few.
But NO! Sex is not only about procreation. God made humanity in His image to have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26); and I am positive that my parents use sex as an expression of their love for each other. My teachers taught me that besides reproduction, sex should also be about pleasure. I mean, before the discussion of sperm and egg, isn’t there a part about orgasm and pleasure points? Some of us learned how kissing is a stimulant and touching sensations make sex enjoyable.
However, the discussion, I feel is often skewed.
Generally, people do not talk much about how males and females experience satisfaction in sex differently. For a guy, the issue is typically straightforward; “Did you cum?” There might be the side talk about what styles or what the other partner’s reaction was, but the point usually is that men don’t need much to be satisfied. For women, I have been fascinated. Most women I’ve had the discussion with contribute their satisfaction in sex to how much they pleased their (usually male) partners. Women do not typically count whether they had an orgasm or enjoyed the intercourse; some women even think to cum is a myth (because the product of women’s sex is the pregnancy). Even our culture has taught us that pain in sex is normal for women (not men); in my community, we called it sweet pain. This, I think, contributes to the notion that sex is about power.
Take a second and imagine how much difference it would make if everyone counted sex by how much pleasure we, both the man or the woman got from it. A universal scale, not by how much you pleased your partner but by how much you actually enjoyed the act. And everyone gets to answer the same question:
“Did you cum?” How fair would that be?
Now, if you haven’t disagreed with the logic so far, let us tie it back to the point of this piece: sex is really about power. If everything is about sex, it is safe to say even equality and self-determination is about sex. Yet, the connection is often not explored. The lack of exploration, in my opinion, alludes to the male dominance gained from sex. I have met so many vibrant African ladies who describe themselves as some version of strong, industrious, capable, and/or extraordinary women. They talk about how their minds and mouths can never be subjected to the misogyny of society. Nevertheless, when on the topic of sex and having kids, these women are not hesitant to oblige their male partners, whatever the decision may be. When questioned about such deference to a male opinion, the most common rationale is: “He is the Man.” I may not be right, but I am not 100% off if I say that this narrow perception of sex is a contradiction to the overarching ideal of feminism.
As I hope to have challenged your perception, I encourage you to take time and explore the thought, is everything really about sex? How would you reflect your beliefs and practices in your sex life and sex education in general?
I get the whole part about teaching abstinence and the sanctity of marriage, but one has to fully understand what a thing is in order to know how to overcome it (and mind you, a thorough sex education can be taught without the act — this part is for my parents who always avoid the topic).
For friends, like myself, who call ourselves feminists, let us learn to see that it doesn’t end with consent. Gender equality also means equal pleasure or satisfaction. While we all may measure or experience sexual satisfaction differently, let us not silence others by overly voicing our opinions/desires.
Remember, the hardest part of advocacy is listening to understand the other side.
Authored by Joshua Kulah
Featured Picture by womantales.ru