SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT equals making the decision that you matter; that your thoughts and feelings matter; that your sexual needs and wants matter; and that your sexual boundaries, and health matter.
-That is the definition of sexual empowerment.
Whether electing complete abstinence from sex or choosing to engage in sex with multiple lovers, sexual empowerment is about making decisions which are right and safe and true for you.
Prioritising your sexual health and well-being is an essential aspect of being a sexually empowered woman. This means getting regular sexual health check ups (including STI tests as well as getting an annual Pap smear), practising effective sexual communication and safe sex.
Practice Sexual communication With Your Lover
If you are not able to have a conversation about sex with your partner, then are they really someone you want to be having sex with? While it is commonly recommended that discussing sexual health matters, sexual concerns, safe sex measures and sexual history should be done before you become sexually active with a partner, this is sadly not a realistic feat. Sex before communication does happen and is prevalent among men and women of all ages. So have the conversation as soon as possible, because these issues needs to be discussed. (A good partner will be aroused by sex talk as it is a lead up to enjoying the act!)
Practice Safe Sex
Being on the pill does not protect against STIs so remember to use a condom. Using condoms does not mean you don’t trust each-other, it means that you both take responsibility in protecting each other’s sexual health. If a partner cannot respect your commitment to practicing safe sex, then they are not respecting you as a person.
Being clear confident and direct in defining your personal standards and committing to them is imperative. Value yourself and your body. It is your choice who you share your body with and how.
Start by honestly exploring your sexual identity and examining your core sexual values, standards and boundaries. Always check in with yourself by asking “is my current behaviour in line with my core sexual values?” Always commit to preserving your sexual standard and values and maintain them in all situations.
Commit to sober sexual encounters because alcohol and or substance use and sex make for a disastrous sexual cocktail. Cognition impairing drugs alter your capacity for responsible decision making.
Be Concious of Your Language
Speak using sexually empowered language. -The way we speak about sex frames our feelings about sex. Using sexual language which is of a violent or shameful nature such as “the walk of shame” actually contributes to the perpetuation of a sexually dis-empowered society. Be mindful of your wording when talking about sex and use positive and empowered language to cultivate a safer and consent- oriented culture.
Don’t Judge or Shame Others For Their Personal Choices
In addition to ensuring you have respect for yourself in all sexual encounters, be conscious of respecting others in their personal decisions also. Make a commitment to respecting and supporting the individual values and choices other people may have regarding sex and sexuality, even if their standards and behaviours do not correspond with yours.
…Irrespective of whether you are sexually active or not, being sexually empowered is a vital element of being able to create a society with zero tolerance for sexual violence.
MY COUNSELLING SERVICE provides sexual empowerment counselling for people across Australia needing to talk to someone who understands about the barriers to sexual empowerment that both men and women experience.
Call (02) 8005 6011 or email us to arrange a time to get the help you need to LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Miya Yamanouchi is an empowerment counsellor with specialist sexual health training who has extensive experience assisting men and women across Australia to discover and embrace their authentic selves. Unconventional, cheeky, and a little audacious at times, Miya Yamanouchi is not your typical health professional. Vivacious counsellor, passionate artist and model, creative social activist, heartfelt author, spirited sexual health advocate, pro-BDSM and pro-sex work feminist, unashamed selfie-taker and self-professed “closet child” with a love of all things Disney Princess; who delights in challenging stereotypes and being a paradox. She is also Reference Group member for The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, a Blogger for The Kinsey Institute, A Sex and Relationships Expert at YourTango, and Social Media Content Creator (Instagram) for The Sydney Feminists.