Funny thing about sex: most of us don’t start out being good at it. I mean, sure, we might get the job done for our partners, and we might hear compliments about worlds rocked by our sweet bedroom moves, but chances are, unless you are Prince, you’re going to need a fair bit of practice. What’s more, once we learn how to adequately please another person, that still doesn’t necessarily account for what’s really important: figuring out how to please ourselves.
Enter the gorgeous Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice. Last week, a devoted fan tweeted at Geri, asking her for advice on turning 30. Gerry, who was often called Sexy Spice (apparently Ginger and Sexy are truly interchangeable. Cheers, my redheaded friends!) had this to say: “Happy birthday! Don’t tell anyone, I had my 1st worthy orgasm at 30”
In the ’90s, The Spice Girls were a huge pop sensation. They sang songs about female empowerment, the importance of being a guy who can hang with his girl’s friends, and yes, sex. It would seem, then, that Geri would be some sort of sex-pert. She was, after all, the oldest and seemingly most experienced member of the group (though playing to popular male fantasies, Baby Spice’s persona didn’t exactly scream “Ask Me How To Do It!”.) So why then is it so shocking, nay, weird, that Geri hadn’t really…come to terms… with her sexuality until she was 30?
The first thing I’d like to point out is the latent sexism of the Huffington Post’s headline: “Geri Halliwell Tweets About Orgasms, The World Cringes In Unison”. I know you guys are smart, so I don’t need to point out the double standard, ageist, assuming, trolling situation happening here, but it is so tired. Also, did you cringe? I did not cringe. In fact, I found it totally refreshing.
Young women are sexualized really early, but not in a way that represents their own interests and desires. They are made to perform for the male gaze, and to compete with each other for the attention of the guys around them. Through the media’s portrayal of sex, from the way popular musicians sing about it, to actors making it look so easy and fun, to yes, porn making it seem crazier than it ever really is, we are being fed a bunch of mixed messages and often lies about what actually happens when two (or three or four…) people become one. Our society still doesn’t teach, or regard female pleasure as equal to a man’s, which is why so many of us are left feeling unsatisfied and inadequate. We don’t even know what we are supposed to want.
This has not always been the case. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the history of the female orgasm. It turns out that 2000 years ago, both men and women were much more progressive in terms of sexual equality. The narratives about their Gods were much more complex, thus lending themselves to more accurate portrayals and ultimately imitations of the human experience.
If people could talk about and accept this stuff 2000 years ago, why are we still shocked or even made uncomfortable by someone like Geri Halliwell, or even Lena Dunham, being 100% honest about what it’s like to be a woman having sex right now? We need to stop telling ourselves and each other lies about sex, and instead be honest about our constant search for what works.
Because being a woman having sex right now? It’s not all La Perla and multiple orgasms. In fact, for most women I know (and I am almost 30) sex is still wildly frustrating, exciting, complicated, and confusing. Developing intimacy with your partner(s), and the ability to speak up and say what you like and what you want, is often most difficult thing for people, which is annoying, because it really is the most important factor in a healthy sexual relationship.
Once you start having sex, you’ll never stop learning. Everyone likes different things, and no two people are the same in the sack. What you learn is that you need to have an open mind and a patient heart (and libido). Or, as Dan Savage says, you need to be Good, Giving, and Game.
And let’s be real for a second – that Geri Halliwell didn’t even have her first great orgasm until 30 doesn’t surprise me – girlfriend was busy selling out stadiums, making awesome movies and generally rocking her own world all throughout her 20s. Sometimes there are better /more important things to do than have sex – and the confidence that comes with doing those other things often feels better than any orgasm.
Featured image via Fanpop