Female Pioneers of Sex
Today is the day to celebrate women, our achievements, and ponder on what is left to accomplish. Despite the fact that women became “liberated” in the 1960’s, we still face an overwhelming taboo when it comes to sex. Even now, the enjoyment and open discussion of sex tends to be associated with either “confident” men or “slutty” women, which is just not right. So with this taboo in mind, I thought it would be fun and interesting to use this momentous day to talk about a few the female pioneers of sex – The women who brought us a little bit closer to sexual wellness and freedom!
First up, Margaret Sanger, a contraception activist and sex educator. She popularized the term “birth control” and opened the first birth control clinic in the US in 1916. That clinic then evolved into what is today know as Planned Parenthood. Sanger thought that in order for women to be equal to men, women deserve the right to choose the right time for them to have kids, if at all. Arrested many times, Sanger fought for women’s right to have healthy and safe sex lives, right up to her death in 1966. So if you’re wondering who to thank for the availability of those magical little pills, and having the right to choose what happens to your body.. Now you know!
Then there was Louise Willy, the first woman to bare it all in the world’s first erotica: A French film called Le Coucher de la Mariee (Bedtime for the Bride) released in 1899. Only seven minutes long, this short film is regarded as the birth of pornography on film. Due to her stripteasing ability and daringness to appear on film, Willy helped with the start of pornography. In fact, Le Coucher de la Mariee set the tone for all following erotica until the 1970’s, the so-called “Golden Age” of pornography.
It was during this Golden Age that two landmark pornographic films were released, introducing the world to two more influential leading ladies: Deep Throat with Linda Lovelace and Behind the Green Door with Marilyn Chambers. Deep Throat was the first pornographic film to cross over and become popular in the mainstream. Although Lovelace later on turned against the porn industry, that film and her performance in it changed the way people thought about pornography, and truly revolutionized pop culture from that time on.
Many of you may think that talking about pornographic films is degrading to women, and in truth, a lot of the porn you see today is. However, brave women like Louise Willy and Linda Lovelace absolutely should be celebrated for changing the way people think about sex. And if it weren’t for the radical and “obscene” efforts of Margaret Sanger, women would not be able to enjoy the worry-free intercourse they know and love.
The valiant contributions of these women, and others like them, paved the way for a generation of women who like sex just as much as men, and aren’t afraid to show it. So, lets memorialize this Women’s Day by participating in some healthy, happy and exciting sex. Remember, without these women, we wouldn’t be able to!