We all know that if you look closely enough, sex is everywhere. In TV ads, in movies, magazines, books, art, articles, the lot. And, in response, society seems to be separating into these two distinct groups: those that wholly abhor it and act immune to its effects and those that completely indulge and go about building a pretty impressive pay-per-view collection.
Before I really get deep into this, let me bring up the one recent release that has clearly divided these two groups and brought this phenomena to my attention: Beyonce’s new surprise album.
Musically, I think its some of her best work (I can pretty much enjoy almost every song after more than 5 plays), and I’m sure most people who’ve been following her music would agree. However, I know of a few people, probably more associated with the first group, who have labeled the album, and Beyonce herself, a write-off and totally and utterly inappropriate for a woman of her stature, relationship status, motherhood or whatever. I should point out here, that Mrs Knowles-Carter has been playing temptress since songs like ‘Naughty Girl’ back in 2003 and singing about seduction since her days in Destiny’s Child. Yes her lyrics are a LOT more explicit in this latest album and though she’s been showing her body for years now, we see a lot more in this visual album and personally what I see, is a woman that has truly discovered her sexuality and despite the earbashing I may get for this, I say kudos to her.
Kudos because she is a married woman who engages in sexual intercourse in a context we can all deem as appropriate. Kudos because she is an artist who is not afraid to express herself (after all, isn’t that what art is all about?). Kudos because in a world of insecure, eating-disordered, vogue-obsessed women, she is loving every inch of her voluptuous curves. And kudos because despite having a kid and adjusting to the drab, messy, unflattering world of new motherhood, she still acknowledges she is a woman, with a keen interest in pleasing (and being pleased by) her man.
I think for some of us, sex is being stuffed down our throats so much that we’ve started to judge and condemn anyone who even refers to it. Especially if you’ve been brought up in a conservative and/or religious household, sex and sexuality are topics that are completely taboo and not even to be acknowledged outside of maybe a very awkward birds-and-bees talk your parents mistakenly thought would be a good idea.
And though I do agree that sexuality is over glorified in the media (Can I not watch a yoghurt commercial without you trying to turn me on?), it does have an original and important purpose in all our lives. Our very first commandment was to ‘Be fruitful and multiply’, and though I also agree that procreation is best in a stable and loving relationship, sexual exploration begins, for most, around puberty when the yucky boys and cootie-infested girls suddenly start looking a whole lot more appealing. I also agree it should not be awakened before its time (i.e. kids shouldn’t be given access to materials that would feed/amplify these desires, for instance, pornography), we must admit that the desire to unite intimately with another person can seldom be ignored and communities which display signs of sexual repression end up being worse for it (Insert Catholic Priest jokes here?).
For me, part of becoming a woman is discovering your sexuality. Recognising you have organs and curves and tools that can bring forth children and also bring a man to his knees. Part of being a woman is also knowing when, if at all, to use these tools in your arsenal. Knowing it’s ok to be turned on every now and again; its ok to admit that the guy with the smouldering smile and six pack affected you; its ok to admit that you lingered at that steamy movie scene, even though you made a face and attempted to fast forward. You have organs that were made to be stimulated, you have desires that were a product of puberty and the primal urge to multiply, and you have a need as basic as hunger or tiredness.
You are sexy. You are fire. Own it.
But, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, be wise and know when to use it. Self-control is also extremely crucial. Sex with the wrong person can be devastating. Your body belongs to no man or media outlet and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to show (or cover) it for the sake of any person.
Sexuality is a powerful thing and not to be toyed with. Women must remember they are also ladies and there is always a place for dignity and class and of course, self-control. They say sex is best when its with someone you love, say, someone who has already paid a ton of money to stand in front of friends, family and a few strange relatives and declare his/her undying love for you. Who treats your body like its a treasure chest; who memorises your every curve, wrinkle, sigh and moan and who’s committed his/her life to learning what pleases you, in more ways than one.
Sex is powerful, but can also be very liberating. Be aware. And be careful.
Is sex viewed differently between guys and girls?
How important is it to remain celibate before marriage?
Is it right to completely ignore sex until you’re faced head on with it?