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Our idea of sex and sexuality is completely messed up. Mostly because culturally women ‘give’ sex and men ‘take’ sex. This makes everything about the male gaze.
Sex is equal to women because men are the buyers. Is it an exaggeration? I think not!
The imagery and language puts the woman’s body front and center. Because men are the buyers, and sex is the commodity, of which the woman is the item.
It goes without saying that images, songs, and the objectification that happens when it comes to sex is that of a woman, while both men and women are part of the act. Maybe the barrage of dick pics being sent to women is men’s frustration about their genitalia not getting representation (read objectification) like women’s are! (*sarcasm)
If you Google the words sex, or sexy, the images are primarily of women; or body parts of women with the male body surprisingly absent, or in the background. The burden of sex is on the woman’s body; however she is not to partake in its pleasure or the desire of it, and most female pleasure is assumed to be performative and not participatory.
It is not surprising, because this has become the normal. That sex is a man’s need and is performed by women. It has been so since times immemorial, as the profession of prostitution and the business of strip clubs is a woman’s job with very few men in it.
This is not about prostitution, porn, and the right or wrong of it. This is about the idea of sex, and how the images that we see, what we read, and the whole system about the loaded word sex are on the backs of an objectified female body!
It makes me wonder:
How much has this culture warped our idea of sex, and pleasure for women especially?
What do women think of when they think of sex? Do they see a stocking clad female body on a pole which is what popular culture has as the singular idea of sex?
It is by this same phenomenon that lesbian sex is seen as performative for the man? Research shows that one of the most searched for keywords by men on porn sites is lesbian sex!
This objectification and commodification of women for sex is a billion dollar industry called human trafficking which runs underground and destroys so many lives all over the world. All primarily because of their gender, and this skewed lens on sex!
Sexual desire is seen as a male right, being sexy a female’s duty, and the act of reproduction a consequence borne by women!
There are no easy answers to this but it has many questions. However, the answer to this would not be to objectify men. How do we find an equal world where hetro-normative sex is equal, and the desires of both genders find representation, where women are not just the commodity?
Image source: a still from the film Agneepath
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