For a culture so open about sex, we seem to be, well, not very open about sex. We talk about it, we read about it, we watch it, we’re constantly told how we should be doing it. But everyone has a limit on what they will share. We seem to have a rigid view of what is considered 'normal' male sexual behavior and a completely different view of what we perceive as 'normal' female sexual behavior. These gender stereotypes are getting in the way of us being honest about sex. Thankfully a sex podcast is helping to change this.
Gender stereotypes - we're all guilty
I'd always considered myself open-minded when it comes to sex. Perhaps even a little smug, if I'm honest. I read books on sex, I communicate with my partner often about sex, I'm always open to try new things. So I was surprised to realise how little I actually knew. I was guilty of gender stereotyping. So much so that I'd put unfair pressure on boyfriends to live up to the masculine stereotype of the hypersexual male. I thought if a guy didn’t want to have sex constantly there must be something wrong with him, or me. I also thought my high sex drive wasn't normal for a woman. Sex is never this simple though.
Sexuality is so misunderstood
Psychotherapist Esther Perel explains that male sexuality is often highly misunderstood. It's very emotional, and not just physical, like the stereotype portrays. "Fear of rejection, performance anxiety, guilt, shame, insecurity, and depression - all these are internal states that greatly influence a man’s feeling about himself and his self-esteem. They seep directly into his sexual self, his desires, and fantasies."
Female sexuality is equally misunderstood. The common narrative that women don't want, or need, sex as much as men is another stereotype that doesn't fit. It's not as black and white as this, Esther explains. "Female sexual desire is a drive that needs ongoing engagement. It needs to be stoked intensely and imaginatively throughout the years." While women may lose interest in sex quicker than men, this doesn't necessarily mean they have a lower sex drive. For women, sex is more imaginative and it takes a different approach to sustain desire in a long-term relationship.
Let's talk about sex baby
It seems like we still have so much to learn. These narrow views of sexuality are leaving us unfulfilled, both sexually and emotionally. All those Cosmo articles advising us how we should be having sex have only set us up for disappointment. There is no instruction manual for sex. Everyone is different and what works for one person, might not work for everyone else. By being open and honest about sex we can discover what turns us on without feeling any shame.
Comedian Remy Kassimer is encouraging us to do just that. She started her podcast because, at 28, she'd never had an orgasm and wanted to find out "How Cum?" Remy and her guests tackle topics around sex and relationships, normally too taboo for even private discussions. They talk about all the things most of us would never talk about. Or, at least, be honest about. It's educational, funny, and most importantly - relatable.
There's no such thing as normal
After one episode of "How Cum" I started to feel more "normal". And as I listened more, I realised there's definitely no such thing as normal when it comes to sex (or anything, for that matter). I’d always felt like a bit of freak for being able to orgasm from a young age. I was surprised to find out, from many of Remy's guests, this is pretty common. Yet nobody talks about it.
It’s also pretty common never to have had an orgasm at all. After speaking out about this on her podcast, Remy learned she wasn’t alone. There are countless women, and even men, out there who share the same problem but feel like they are a silent minority. Remy finally lost her orgasm virginity with the help of the holy grail of sex toys, the Womanizer. Now she orgasm’s every single day, you go girl!
Sex-positive is the way forward
Thankfully Remy is helping us on our path to greater pleasure and sexual awareness. Her willingness to share her deeply personal experiences and subsequently encourage others to do the same is contributing towards a sex-positive culture of communication and acceptance.
I think we can all take something from this podcast, men and women. If only to open our minds and accept there's no such thing as normal. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we can start enjoying better sex. We're all different people with different needs and desires. Embrace them, explore them, discuss them. In doing so, let's banish the stereotypes which hold us back from letting go and being our true sexual selves.
Disclaimer: Lily & Him are in no way affiliated with the "How Cum" podcast. We just want to share the love ♥️