Do you have the owner's manual to your body?
Not every woman knows about her genitalia. Yup, that's right, even in the 21st century there are women who have no idea about the function of their genitalia let alone what it really looks like.
It's kind of like owning a beautiful piece of art but never really looking at the brush-strokes.
A few years ago, I was out to lunch with a group of co-workers. Some of us were talking about a show we had seen which discussed female sexuality and sex through the ages. The word “clitoris” was mentioned.
One of the women present, a deeply religious woman in her thirties, asked what the word meant. She wasn’t joking. It was obvious that, not only had she not known what the term meant; she also had no idea that she even had a clitoris. How sad!
Surprised though we were that someone living in a cosmopolitan city in the 21st century didn't know about the clitoris, we explained to her exactly what it is, where it is located, and its function as an erogenous zone. One person in our group went on to recommend several books on female sexuality.
"Go ask your doctor about your pleasure zones," said another seriously surprised by this lack of self-knowledge. "Or better yet, explore your vaginal area yourself. It is a pleasure."
We live in a sophisticated world where those of us lucky enough to be familiar with our bodies are shocked that someone doesn’t know the areas of the body associated with sexual pleasure. That any woman wouldn’t know her erogenous zones, or the terminology for them, seems almost unbelievable.
But, believe it or not, there are many women who, for one reason or another, are not on intimate terms with their own bodies.
Perhaps one of the most powerful reasons for a female literally being kept in the dark about her pleasure zones comes, no pun intended, from religious beliefs.
In erroneous attitudes, dating back to patriarchal religions of the Middle Ages, women, unlike men, were unable to explore their sexuality due to the fact that sex might make them “wanton and uncontrollable.”
Words like sin, harlot, whore, and damnation pretty much kept women from having any desire to self explore.
Because of these attitudes and beliefs, many women went through their entire lives, marriage and all, having sex but receiving no pleasure.
Too many women never experienced orgasm. Why? They did not know where their erogenous zones were nor what should be done to stimulate them.
Unlike the male sex organs, which are viewable outside the body, the female organs are basically hidden. Men do not need to search for their areas of pleasure, but, due to our anatomical differences, we women do.
It is unbelievable that many still don’t search because of misguided embarrassment and shame brought about through antiquated societal views concerning women and sexuality. That those views still exist today in may religious teachings is an outrage.
Masturbation was denounced as a sin and a perversion, by religions, the medical establishment, society, and family as short a time ago as the 1950's!
This denouncement was mostly aimed towards women. The male animal was considered to be "unable" to control his need for sexual satisfaction, and while masturbation was spoken of as sinful for him also, it was not stressed as strongly as it was for females.
Add to this the “expert” teaching of doctors and clergy that “women do not crave sex as a man does” and the message that only “women of ill repute” actually liked sex, and a sexually curious woman didn’t stand a chance.
There are many books on the market that can enlighten women about their bodies. I suggest any books written by Dr. Laura Berman, since all are written in a straight-forward manner that helps women help themselves; literally. I would suggest that you read any book first and then give it to your guy to read. Discuss it together.
Our bodies are a work of perfection but unfortunately, they don’t come with an owner’s manual. Learn the correct terminology for your sexual parts and where they are located. And please show your partner!
Words like clitoris, vulva, vagina, and labia need not be a reason for embarrassment any more than penis, testicles, or scrotum.
These are parts of our bodies and wonderful parts they are! How to use them for pleasure is your right.
Healthy sexuality equals a healthy body and mind.
© 2011 Copyright Kristen Houghton
Kristen Houghton is a well-respected Lifestyle journalist who writes for many media outlets, including The Huffington Post, More Magazine and OWN.
She is also the author of the top-selling book, And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First