Just in time for International Women’s Day, Samantha Evans, Sexual Health and Well Being Expert and co-owner of Jo Divine, has something to say about the use of the word ’empowered’.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary to empower is to “give someone the authority or power to do something”, or “to make someone stronger or more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”.
Not only am I a mother of three, but I am a co-owner of an online sex toy retailer, Jo Divine, which I run with my husband of eighteen years. I write sexual health and pleasure articles for our site’s online magazine on a daily basis, and I can safely say that I hate the word empowerment.
This word is so rarely used when talking about men, yet when researching information for articles about female sex I come across it constantly. Is it because men are born empowered unlike women who have to learn it?
It is banded around so much in articles about women, but the term is more frequently attributed to sexual relationships between men and women.
The current generation of young people, men and women alike, have the most information available to them, yet they are the least knowledgeable when it comes to sex, about what they want sexually or even how to attain this.
It frustrates me when I read misinformed articles containing contradictory information, that is misleading to its readers as it is not medically accurate and sources are improperly checked.
As someone who writes about sex and sexual issues for both men and women, offering practical advice and information on how to enjoy sex more, whoever you are and however you enjoy sexual pleasure, I don’t believe that I empower either sex but help them to find different ways in which to enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure.
Did I feel empowered when I wrote about how I’m having better sex in my late 40’s than I did in my 20’s?
NO, I’ve just found ways in which to experience fantastic sex with my husband through communicating what we both like, note, I said what we both like and not just what I like.
Personally, sex makes me feel powerful , not empowered, especially when I take control. It also makes me feel happy, healthy and sexy.
Too often the word is used as a smokescreen for increasing spending, encouraging women to spend money on themselves because they deserve it!
There are articles about sex which seem fixated on “normal sex”, leading to people thinking they’re abnormal if they aren’t having sex hourly, orgasms every time and steam cleaning your vagina because it is dirty!
Just to note, the latter is considered unsafe and unhygienic by many healthcare professionals.
Websites, like “How to make me come” are great as it allows a platform to divulge what feels good for women when it comes to orgasms.
OMGYES is a great sex education website, helping women explore their bodies and allowing them to see that every women looks unique and has different sexual needs and desires. It may have caused tongues to wag about its content but it is exactly what women need to find out about sex in a practical manner, it is also helping couples inform themselves together about what works for them sexually.
There are some great women’s groups that offer advice to help women to enjoy sex but often they exclude men, when we need to include men in the conversation to educate them about our needs too. Many men would love some useful guidance about sex to make it better for their partner.
Sadly, young women use the internet to find out about sexual health issues rather than going to their GP as a result of feeling embarrassed about their problem . Often, they read inaccurate and conflicting advice, leading to them to feel more confused and even putting their health at risk too.
Magazines and websites aren’t “ empowering” women by printing this stuff, we could all learn so much more if informative,correctly sourced articles, offering practical advice and tips about sex were printed.
So, that’s my rant, don’t call me empowered just because I like sex!