Sexual Pioneers in History: Women Who Paved the Way
There are many people who have taken it upon themselves to lead society into the sexual revolutions of the past and the present. Working at Sex With Emily and with Emily Morse, one of these current leaders, made me want to do a little research on others much like herself. These ladies in our past and present have gone largely unnoticed, or at least haven’t been given the proper recognition, in paving the way for our sexual freedom.
While each person deserves a whole book, here’s a little glimpse into their accomplishments.
Her niece ended up marrying the creator of Wonder Woman. She believed that birth control was a right and made the term common use. She established the first clinic for women in the United Staes, which would later evolve into Planned Parenthood. In 1916, she was arrested for providing information on contraception. Just information. Not actual contraception. She wanted to decrease back alley abortions and even the playing field for men and women economically.
She was a sexologist who researched psychologically stimulated orgasms. Her publications in 1981 coined the term g-spot. This wonderful woman studied female ejaculation through FMRI scans to observe the brains responses. By observing the networks from the spinal cord to our brains that lead to orgasm, she was able to reroute the brain networks using the vagus nerve instead of the spinal cord, so that women with spinal cord injuries could have a psychologically stimulated orgasm. WONDER WOMAN APPROVED DAMNIT.
Dodson identifies herself as “a heterosexual, bisexual lesbian who looks forward to the day when we can refer to ourselves as just ‘sexual.’” I love this. This woman hosted masturbation workshops in the ’60s to teach women how to masturbate. Again, love this. She would provide each woman with a Magic Wand and have 15 ladies demonstrating techniques in the name of liberating orgasm. I’d like to point out that she is 87 and still at it, liberating orgasms and teaching women about the anatomy of pleasure. What. A. Boss.
As a teacher in Texas in 2003, Joanne Webb noticed that marital issues and divorce were having a clear detrimental impact on the kids she was teaching. She took it upon herself to use the infamous tupperware parties format, but targeted to “marital aids.” She took vibrators and other “marital aids” into the private homes of wives from her school and church group, educating women about their bodies, orgasms, and basic anatomy. Webb believed that this would help keep parents together, which would provide better long term stability for the children, and thus future adults. Talk about superwoman, huh?
Well, not in our lands. Remember we like our people sexually misinformed and miserable. Webb got prosecuted in a state where it’s legal to have as many guns as you want, legal to sell and distribute viagra without limits, but illegal to own more than 5 vibrators. She didn’t end up going to jail, but she did have to carry the weight around prosecution for a sexual felony. As a teacher, that just doesn’t fly. She declared bankruptcy one year after trying to take helping marriages and decrease divorce – and thus, child trauma – into her own hands.
These were everyday women that didn’t see a solution to the problems they encountered, so they made one. It wasn’t safe and it wasn’t easy, but they did it. We have much more freedom now as individuals in this society than we did then. Maybe that makes us feel less clear or driven on what we can do to act, inform, and liberate. I hope the stories of these heroines will continue to empower a world where you can f*ck, kiss, or marry who ever the hell you want.
I thought this map might be a hilarious end to this article. It’s from 2016. We all know how dangerous it can be to serve sushi topless or make a penis sculpture.