Title: Reclaiming Female Sexual Desire
Author: Pam Costa
Year Published: 5th June 2018
Main Topics Covered: Sexuality, female sexual health
Written for: All genders, all sexual orientations
Recommended for: Women, couples facing issues of sexual desire
Perspectives taken: Feminist, normalizing, educational
Type of Resource: TEDx Talks via Youtube
APA Citation: TEDx. (2018). Reclaiming Female Sexual Desire [Video]. Retrieved 9 July 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Sn_UhcXZm4.
A Brief Overview:
Pam discloses her personal experiences of sexual desires to the public so that women worldwide might acknowledge their own sexual experiences and relate with her on similar topics. Pam candidly speaks about how her sexual desires decreased after marriage. She describes how juggling a working woman’s roles as a mother and as a wife, had become challenging. Pam explains how strategies of date nights and going on vacations with her husband only temporarily helped increase her sex drive.
To solve this issue, Pam sought help from her gynecologist. Over meeting with her gynecologist, she found it relieving to hear that “you and every other woman in my practice” suffer from a lack of sexual desires. Pam’s gynecologist suggested consulting a sex therapist instead. As quickly as they could, Pam and her husband began hunting for sex therapists online. They immediately found a website providing therapeutic services from a sex and relationship coach.
During her therapeutic journey with the sex coach Pam was made aware of all the previous negative social messages or ideas she received since childhood about sex. Pam described that she rarely had any positive sex talk since childhood; all she received were messages of sex being dangerous, or for somebody else’s pleasure. It made her realize how she had suppressed all her sexual desires because of what her culture taught her. After those enriching sessions with her sex therapist, she started sensing every small pleasure she got, from the soft touch of the sweater against the body to sunlight touching her face. She gradually began relating these small pleasures to her sexual desires and watched how her mindset shifted.
Soon Pam began to share these experiences with her close friends, only to discover that her friends had been through similar situations in their life. Pam explains how this exchange of experiences about sex and masturbation has helped improve her sex life and that of every friend in her group. Noticing the positive benefits of openly discussing the experiences of sex with her friends, Pam left her well-paying job to study further and research the effects of peer support on female sexual health for women aged 25 to 65 years.
The outcome of her study indicated a definite increase in sexual desire, arousal and orgasms to around 16 – 26% and found a 28% decrease in distress. In this qualitative study, she discovered that sharing their issues related to sex not only normalizes their experiences but also makes them empowered and inspired to explore their sexuality. Some participants also gained the confidence to communicate sexual desires and preferences with their partners. Additionally, these groups of women started having a multi-generational impact as the candidly began to talk about sex with their children for the first time. Looking at the many positive effects on these individuals around her, it inspired her to share the experiences on TED X – at the global level – to reach out and connect to all women experiencing similar issues.