We live in changing times, but we still have vestiges of a primarily male dominated sexual world. Many women lack sexual freedom and feel ashamed or embarrassed by their sexual desires.
Sex in the West has been defined primarily from a man’s perspective. Women have had to fight for themselves to have sexual freedom and be able to freely express their sexual desires without being the object of scorn and innuendo. Some might try to deny that this fact exists but there is solid history that supports this. Until 1952 there was a condition treated in women throughout Europe and the U.S. diagnosed by male physicians. It was then that the diagnosis was thrown out by the American Psychological Association as invalid and non-existent. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, irritability, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.
This condition was referred to as Female Hysteria. The word hysteria was derived from the Greek word for uterus, and it referred to the idea that since women don’t release fluid during sex (which by the way is incorrect, as female ejaculation does occur), the energies are built up, become toxic and need to be released. A prominent second century physician wrote that hysteria was a disease caused by sexual deprivation in particularly passionate women: and was noted quite often in virgins, nuns, widows and, occasionally, married women. The treatment for women suffering from hysteria would consist of pelvic massage, or manual stimulation of the clitoris by the doctor until the patient experienced what were referred to as hysterical paroxysms, in other words, orgasms.
In the 1800s, some physicians claimed that up to three quarters of all women suffered from hysteria. The treatment was difficult for some to master and out of necessity, the invention of the first vibrator occurred.
While women have come a long way since then, there are still persistent themes of shame that exist behind closed doors in real bedrooms that result in limitations of sexual expression and satisfaction, and thus a limitation on a woman’s sexual freedom.
For example, in spite of the fact that science has proven that orgasms come from direct or indirect clitoral stimulation, some women feel less than, if they are unable to achieve vaginal orgasms. And I come across women that fake orgasms all the time. Perhaps because they do not believe that they deserve better or because they are ashamed to admit that there is a problem…the problem could simply be that their lover is not well enough trained in the art of physically pleasuring a woman.
Female ejaculation is another arena where many women feel ashamed. Decades after the G spot was discovered, we still find debate as to the origin of this ejaculatory fluid. Women still feel ashamed that they have wet the bed despite the fact that this is a healthy sign of a highly aroused woman.
Another area in which we see prevalent embarrassment and shame for women is around the stigma attached to masturbation, which until recently had been considered a mortal sin. Any purposeful self-pleasuring more than innocent bathroom activities was considered promiscuous and overtly sexual in nature.
Then there is the subject of women’s menstruation. One woman I met recalled that in parochial school, her moon blood, which is a female-centric term for menses, was called “her womb’s tearful bleeding for lack of conception”.
Freud had a profoundly detrimental effect on the idea of female orgasm when he claimed that clitoral orgasm was acceptable only for young women and was a sign of sexual immaturity. He also said that a mature woman should be able to experience vaginal orgasm. With this he reinforced the idea that a woman must respond to the kind of sexual play that is most stimulating for a man.
Sex as a sensual act as opposed to sex as a reproductive act has significant implications. As birth rates have declined, the reproductive purpose of sex has become less central and the role of sex for pleasure is beginning to re-emerge.
If one “endures” sex as a means to conceive a child, one can put up with mediocre sex for the greater good. But when sex is being shared for mutual pleasure and old belief systems gets in the way, well, then there is work that can be done to heal this.
Tools such as EFT, or the Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a powerful way to short circuit the emotional and energetic patterns that become wired into the body that can result from outdated belief systems. EFT has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing sexual dysfunction that often results from shame and guilt. This technique, a form of energy psychology, often described as acupuncture without needles, can be learned to do on your own.
We have seen EFT to be effective in assisting people who have suffered from painful sexual relations, excessive menstrual bleeding, inability to conceive and more. By removing what are often emotional blocks in the energy system of the body, people are able to heal and have the sexual freedom to reclaim healthy and active sex lives.