Despite the best efforts of sex educators like Betty Dodson, stores like Babeland and Good Vibrations, and brands like, well, us, the taboo around female sexual pleasure still lurks in American culture. Sure, there was the feminist revolution, Our Bodies, Ourselves, these definitely helped to bring the female orgasm out of the closet. The nineties brought Sex and the City, which helped to open up the conversation even further. But still, how often do women talk casually with their friends about the last time they masturbated?
Our opinion – not as frequently as they should. Of course, everyone’s sexuality is their own private business. However, the more that women discuss what’s out there – techniques, vibrator options, new ideas – the more they can be inspired (rather than embarrassed) to explore their own range of sexual pleasure.
Recently, there’s been a step in the right direction in the form of a popular (and poorly-written) best-seller. E.L. James’s steamy novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, seems to have parted the curtain of embarrassment to reveal a growing audience eager to read about a young woman’s sexual awakening. Women can be seen openly reading this heat-inducing trilogy in bookstores, cafes, and even on the New York subway.
Despite the lack of literary value, we like where this trend is going. Here’s why – take Anastasia Steele, the central character in Fifty Shades. She’s a woman in her early twenties who recently graduated from college and, until meeting her charming grey-eyed lover, she’d never had an orgasm. This is not uncommon. Today, up to 50% of women experience orgasm infrequently and are dissatisfied with how often they reach it. At Jimmyjane, we’re on a mission to change that.
The more each woman feels comfortable discussing her sexuality, with her friends and with her partner, the more she’ll learn what’s available to her. If she’s interested in experimenting with vibrators, she should have the knowledge (and the confidence) to ask about power levels and modes, power sources, price range, and materials used. This puts the control in her hands, rather than the hands of manufacturers. Only educated consumers have the power to increase demand for safer materials, eco-friendly policies and, most importantly, satisfaction and efficacy from the products they buy.
So we say, fifty cheers for Fifty Shades. It may not be great literature, but it’s furthering an important conversation.