Believe it or not, for many years, the driving force behind safer sex education has been feminism.
Feminism takes all kinds of different forms. One of the most popular and prevalent is sex-positive feminism. This takes sex-positivity and embraces it within the context of a woman’s experience.The belief that a woman’s body can be used for so much more than pleasuring a man and bearing children is hardly revolutionary to most folks these days, but during the 1960’s and 1970’s in the United States, these feminist ideas were very alarming.
There are three key issues that sex-positive feminists feel strongly about in relation to safe sex: consent, choice, and inclusivity. The interesting thing about all of these things is that while they are considered to be feminist issues, they are applicable to people of all genders.
The first of these, consent, concerns respect. Anyone has the right to say no to something happening to their body. When you respect another person’s wishes and desires, you’re giving them the right to consent or reject you. It’s a very simple concept, but it boils down to a bigger point: respecting them honors them and their choices.
The second involves choice– that is, no matter who you are and what situation you’re in, your body is your own and whatever happens to it is your business. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with consent. As much as you have the right to say no, you also have the right to say yes, yes, YES! You have a right to not be slut-shamed, a right to exhibit your sexuality safely and in ways that are respectful to yourself and others, and perhaps most controversially, a right to choose what happens to the products of your sexual interactions. The latter includes the right to have a safe, early-term abortion, as well as the right to other forms of contraception, such as condoms, the pill, and even Plan B.
The final of these tenets is inclusivity. The feminist community was some of the first allies of the LGBTQ community– and many of them were members of the community themselves. This idea of inclusivity, this bond formed by groups of people who had been put down so much already by the majority of society, is especially prominent in sex-positive feminism. To be sex-positive means to accept all forms of consenting sexualities– LGBTQ, fetishists, asexuality, sex workers, and more. Again, this involves consenting parties only–pedophilia and beastiality are not supported by mainstream sex-positive feminists.
Feminism is Changing the Sex Industry
With these tenets in mind, the adult product industry has transformed in recent years from the sort of seedy, truck stop sex stores to becoming a haven and a safe place for women to explore and learn about their sexuality. Here are some of our favorites:
The Female Condom (FC2)
Ridiculed and ignored by most of the condom-using community, the female condom (FC2) is making a huge resurgence after switching from latex to nitrile. For women concerned that their partners may not respect their wishes for safer sex, this is the perfect option, and although it may sound intimidating at first, the instructions on how to use the FC2 are actually pretty easy. The FC2 can be inserted before sex, and even makes our list of best condoms for anal.
Condoms aren’t the only way to stay safe. Proper lubrication is also a great way to keep condoms from breaking and to make sex more comfortable. But as we learn more about how a woman’s body works, we learn better ways to formulate lubricants to be less intrusive and more pleasurable. Blossoms Organic Lubricant is one of our favorite all-natural lubes— it is unscented, all natural, and full of vitamins and antioxidants. Unlike many lubes, it’s free of alcohol, silicone, glycerin, parabens, and other ingredients that those with sensitivities typically have problems with.
Just like with lube, sometimes the ingredients in your toys can also cause irritation. Many manufacturers are trying to move towards making female-safe toys. One of these manufacturers is LELO. We’re very proud to carry three LELO products– Nea, Gigi, and Elise. All three of these toys are made of nontoxic plastic and medical-grade silicone.