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Be Sexy, Not Sexual – Ya Think?

51DeDEY9d7L._SL500_AA300_Good girls are sexy, bad girls are sexual. Can that message wreck havoc on women’s sexuality?

Miss Universe can pose for Playboy, but she’d better not have sex with an actual playboy.

Sexual girls may be “sluts” and “ho’s” but all girls are bombarded by sexy-women images — that tell them what they’re supposed to look like. Combined with a high school hierarchy based on looks, the message gets thru that a woman’s worth rests largely upon her ability to attract.

Some seek confirmation that they are, indeed sexy, and therefore, “worthy” by drawing the male gaze.

Walking down the street a young woman meets male approval. Or, she may try sexting. All for his pleasure and her self-esteem.

Some have sex with men, hoping to feel beautiful. But a young woman who tries that is back to being a bad girl because now she’s sexual. Except that she’s not. She’s being sexy for someone else’s pleasure — a sex object who doesn’t enjoy sex — even as she enjoys looking good.

Kerry Cohen, psychotherapist and author of Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity says,

The problem is not necessarily that girls are victims of predatory males. It’s that they are victims of very narrow definitions of sexual desirability. And in the course of confirming their desirability – and hence their worthiness – they end up completely removed from their own sexuality and experience of sexual desire.

So how can young women get in touch with their sexuality on their own terms? Dr. Cohen has some suggestions:

1. Talk about Desire. When girls ask parents how they will know they are ready to have sex, desire rarely comes up:

We tell them that sex will get in the way of their happiness and growth. We tell them they must be in love. We tell them that good sex happens only when you are in love… (We must acknowledge) that girls have sexual desire, and everything can change.

2. Talk about Outercourse. Think second and third base, she says, or phone sex, so that young women can explore and test intimacy and communicate with their partners. Plus, women get more orgasms through outercourse than intercourse, anyway.

3. Talk about Masturbation. Women need to get in touch with their own bodily pleasure. It’s hard to know what you like, or communicate what you like, unless you get know your body and how it responds.

4. Talk about Emotions. Sex and sexual feelings are too often removed from emotions in our society, says Cohen, even though they are entwined. Young people need to think about various types of sexual acts and whether they are interested in them, or even prepared for them.

It’s about time more women enjoyed sexual pleasure instead of just being sexy for someone else’s.

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