Young Women Leaders

Yes, it´s complicated to have a sex life when you don´t have words for it

Last night I was at a meeting for women who wanted to get involved with the local young women´s shelter. Well, it´s not a shelter, more of a chat/ phone line for young women, but that was the best translation I could get. I got in late bc of course my train was late even though I left work early (damn you trains/SJ/växlar).

Anyhow, not only did I get more information on how to be able to support young women in my hometown, I also met a lot of new people, young, older, more interested in looks, less interested in looks, stable, less stable, skinny, larger, etc etc women. I LOVED IT. It shakes me, but it´s good to see that there is no clear definition of what a woman “should” look like or be like and I think it was beneficial to all of us.

For me, it has been a long-term goal to get involved with young women´s groups/shelters/chats/phone support because I know I have something to contribute in a positive way to these women. Junior high, and the beginning of high school was absolute shitters for me because I was not popular, didn´t feel like I fit in, wanted to date somebody but truly could not feel a thing for those guys around me. All of these things made me feel ugly/stupid/fat/lame/out of it/insecure, etc. etc. BUT I have lived through all of it and because of that I know what it feels like AND can maybe be of service towards the once who are still living it.

One of the things that the leader of the organization mentioned when talking about problems young women may face is the lack of describing sexual assault or their own sex life because they do not have a word for their own sex! I can totally identify with that, so few words are actually even usable when talking about a woman´s sex that in the end we might just avoid talking about it altogether.

That sucks! How is one supposed to put your experience or feelings into words when you don´t even have a word for it???
You tell me? Word choices? There are so many words for a man´s genitals I can use (without being too embarrassed) but very few for women´s. WAG is what I used to say in English. You have a vagina, you got WAG (not swag ;)). But is that one ok?



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2 thoughts on “Yes, it´s complicated to have a sex life when you don´t have words for it

  1. I think it’s important to call genitals by their proper names in order to avoid confusion and also to afford a certain level of comfort with our own bodies and sexuality. “Penis” and “vagina” are not dirty words. If we grow up thinking of them as taboo, it can make it difficult for kids to understand the anatomical differences and for adults to speak openly with a partner later down the road. In addition, I like the term “privates” because 1) it encourages kids to respect boundaries when curious about others’ anatomies, and 2) it reinforces the idea that our bodies are temples and others should not be touching without our consent. Sure, it’s important to know the nicknames, too, so we’re not out of the loop, but associating a vagina with a “cookie” doesn’t exactly clarify that sex should be reserved for the right partner(s). Just because most people like cookies, doesn’t mean they all get to take from the jar!

    Building on the point of being open with a partner, here is a brief but powerful article from Dr. Jenn Berman (one of my heroes!) that addresses the importance of women speaking up about relationship needs and desires: http://www.doctorjenn.com/pdfs/magazine_scans/02-2004_LoveLessons.pdf. (You can follow her on Twitter @DrJennBerman)

    Great posting, Hanna! Keep it up.

  2. Hey! Thank you for your comment!
    I completely agree with what you say, there should be words that are only used for the private parts, such as penis and vagina. Such a great connection you make that the are YOUR parts, and nobody should touch them without your consent. That is truly important I think, because growing up it is crucial to be able to respect your instincts and take care and respect yourself in love and sexual relationships.
    Loved the article from Dr. Brennan, thank you for that!

    I´ve been thinking about writing a blog post about the hook-up culture (mostly in college) for a while now, but it is such a large subject that it scares me a little. Do you have any advice on this subject?

    Thank you for reading and commenting! It means a lot 🙂

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