If the Aziz Ansari story shook you, you are not alone. So many of us have had sex that leaves us feeling violated, used and abused. It’s more than bad sex – it’s living in a violent sex culture. For so many of us “bad sex” is a major source of pain, shame and distrust. What counts as “bad sex” is actually coercive, forceful and sometimes abusive. When someone you are on a date with overrides your discomfort, lack of enthusiasm and uses you as a sexual object to enact a sexual script, it can feel incredibly painful and violating.
This kind of sex, that is all too common, is the result of rape culture. It is the result of a culture that doesn’t encourage us all to develop the skills of sexual agency, erotic communication, and sexual confidence. It is the culture that ladens so many of us with shame, guilt, fear and trauma – and then sends us into casual hookups to try our best to have consensual sex. It is the culture that cultivates arousal anxiety – as soon as a sexual situation begins, we rush through it as quickly as possible, trying to get as much as possible before the opportunity is lost. It is the culture where so many of us are suffering in silence. I
It is a culture that is ending.
We are in the middle of creating a new sexual culture – of consent, pleasure and agency. A new culture that allows all to experience sexual authenticity, ease and freedom. Where we pay exquisite attention to our partner and communicate easily. Where we can ask for what we want and create clear boundaries that are respected. Where consent is enthusiastic, active and ongoing. It’s not a pipe dream – it’s the new sex culture that is being actively created – and you can be part of it.
In this episode, we examine the Aziz Ansari date (as it was reported) and think about what went wrong, what patterns we see in the story, and how it could have gone differently. What would a “good sex” date night have looked like? What changes would we need to make where good sex is the norm, not the exception?
We would love to hear from you about this episode or anything else you are thinking about – be in touch with us here.
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