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Pleasurse is not a dirty word

Pleasurse is not a dirty word

I find it baffling that men such as;  Andrew Tate and Donald Trump advertise to the world, or gloat to others, that they are terrible lovers. Do they even realise, that by sharing their misogynistic approaches to ‘sex’,  they are openly admitting that they don’t understand the intricacies of pleasure and that they are very unlikely to ever experience the amazing pleasure capacity potential that a human can experience with another human? 

They clearly don’t know that the brain and skin are the two most important sexual organs for human sexual function and pleasure and that pleasure is enhanced for both participants when the brain has optimal conditions to experience pleasure, such as; safety, respect, and no (unwanted) pain. Pleasure is also enhanced with the shared experience and connection of two people’s consensual, willingness and joyous participation when their basic human (sexual) rights are being met. 

They see themselves as sexual champions, describing how they dominate another person for their own satisfaction. Referring to women as sex objects who should be ‘choked’ and ‘hit’ or ‘grabbed by the pussy,’ and that ‘sex’ is something done to a woman and not a shared experience. Let’s be clear, this is sexual assault. 

Our society often disregards pleasure, yet readily accepts and even celebrates these influential messages, allowing hate, violence and inequity as part of sexual encounters. These gendered and disrespectful messages from men like this promote the idea that sex involves assault and violence, and that it is something that is ‘done to’ a woman. This theme is often reinforced in mainstream pornography, something that young people are readily exposed to. 

Tate and Trump are obviously not the pioneers of these attitudes, women’s pleasure has consistently been ignored by men (and women) and society. Pornography sends a message that males have entitlement over female bodies and that females should just ‘take it’ or do whatever he wants, including ideas that sex can be violent and lack consent.

Our young people deserve better than this. We must counteract these messages with alternative dialogue and encourage them to be critical and conscientious consumers of this social media and online sexual content. Accurate and alternative messages need to come from home and from education in the classroom. Many educational videos and resources suitable for the classroom do exist.  

What better place to start than this years World Sexual Health day theme: 

‘Let’s Talk About Pleasure!’,

The theme of this years World Sexual Health Day by World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) is a perfect opportunity to counteract and address the hateful beliefs and messages that dominate popular culture. 

Pleasure is not a dirty word. It is the positive, powerful alternative to hate, disregard and disrespect when it comes to shared, joyful and satisfying intimate encounters. Pleasure is essential for sexual health and wellbeing. 

People often fear talking to children about pleasure, one myth is that age-appropriately talking about sexual pleasure will encourage young people to participate or experiment prematurely in sexual activity. However, research shows that giving information is not giving permission, especially when adults include expected values into the conversation. In fact, young people delay their first sexual encounters when they have had age-appropriate, comprehensive, and accurate information. 

So what is sexual pleasure? The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) developed the Sexual Pleasure Declaration, stating that “sexual pleasure is the physical and/or psychological satisfaction and enjoyment derived from shared or solitary erotic experiences, including thoughts, fantasies, dreams, emotions, and feelings” (https://worldsexualhealth.net/world-sexual-health-day/).  

“…To quote directly from the WAS Sexual Pleasure Declaration, on World Sexual Health Day, WAS wants to reaffirm the following: 

“Self-determination, consent, safety, privacy, confidence and the ability to communicate and negotiate sexual relations are key enabling factors for pleasure to contribute to sexual health and well-being. Sexual pleasure should be exercised within the context of sexual rights, particularly the rights to equality and non-discrimination, autonomy and bodily integrity, the right to the highest attainable standard of health and freedom of expression. The experiences of human sexual pleasure are diverse and sexual rights ensure that pleasure is a positive experience for all concerned and not obtained by violating other people’s human rights and well-being.” …”

When positive and affirming aspects of pleasure are disregarded, this allows the influence of messages from men like Tate. His public hatred towards women perpetuates a culture of men’s hatred, disregard, disrespect and violence against women. Children need an alternative to popular culture/social media influences such as Tate’s. It is crucial that we teach our kids about respectful relationships, consent and pleasure. Children first need to learn about pleasure in a non-sexual context to improve relationships with friends and to learn about consent. These embedded decision-making skills are crucial for their development, expectations, and experiences in future complex sexual encounters. 

Children can be taught in a non-sexual way:

“Self-determination, consent, safety, privacy, confidence and the ability to communicate and negotiate…” 

Teaching Children about consent:

https://www.talkingthetalksexed.com.au/kit-and-arlo

https://www.talkingthetalksexed.com.au/blog/what-do-parents-need-to-know-about-consent

https://www.talkingthetalksexed.com.au/blog/what-do-teachers-need-to-know-about-consent

Young people need to know about human rights and the relationship to sexual health, wellbeing and experiences:

“Sexual pleasure should be exercised within the context of sexual rights, particularly the rights to equality and non-discrimination, autonomy and bodily integrity, the right to the highest attainable standard of health and freedom of expression. The experiences of human sexual pleasure are diverse and sexual rights ensure that pleasure is a positive experience for all concerned and not obtained by violating other people’s human rights and well-being.” …

My take-home message to parents at my sessions is: “Who do you want to be the main provider of sex and sexuality, respect and consent information to your child? Who do you want to be the person who gives them the information about each of these topics?” The reality is, if this information is not coming from you, it is coming from people like Tate.

Here are resources that will support you to have positive conversations about pleasure, joy and connectedness in human relationships. Conversations starters in this  Parent Guide book will help get you started.  Your Primary or Secondary school can have Sexuality, Consent and Respectful Relationships Education delivered virtually. 

This is the knowledge that our young people have the best intimate encounters later on in life and to experience the amazing pleasure capacity potential that humans possess.  

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