There’s a youtube video making the rounds of a TEDxSF talk by Nicole Daedone, founder of OneTaste Urban Retreat Center, and there’s a lot of great stuff there. She talks about many of the challenges we have around sexual shame in general, and female orgasm in particular. She speaks with authenticity about topics that many people only whisper about, if that. And she offers some great insight for how we can change that. I liked it a lot and I definitely recommend checking it out.
At the same time, she said something that I found troubling:
Female orgasm is vital for every single woman on the planet… It roots our fundamental capacity for connection.
This is the kind of sweeping statement that a lot of sex educators and sexologists make. And while I agree that for the majority of folks, orgasm is pretty important, I’m troubled by the way that these sentiments render asexual women invisible.
While we don’t know how many people are asexual, why some people are asexual, or what influences some folks to move in and out of asexuality, the fact is, some people genuinely feel no sexual attraction to other people. Some folks might experience sexual arousal through masturbation, either with or without orgasm, and some people never experience sexual arousal at all. Although some people are quick to assume that this is the result of trauma or other factors, enough asexual people have made it clear that this is simply how they are that I consider it part of human sexual diversity.
Over at the Good Vibrations Magazine, swankivy wrote a few articles on the topic that shed some light on a set of experiences that are often swept under the carpet. Many people who are asexual want and create relationships with a deep connection, without bringing sex into the mix. Others feel no desire for romantic connections, so they create deeply personal and important relationships without that dynamic.
Granted, for most of the women who don’t experience arousal or orgasm, there’s something going on that would benefit from attention and healing. As Ms Daedone points out in her talk, for a lot of people, there is a deep hunger for connection, for passion, for arousal, for pleasure, and for orgasm. Without taking anything away from that, it simply isn’t the case for “every single woman on the planet” and when someone has such a large audience as Ms Daedone has, it becomes even more important to be aware of and mindful of that diversity.
I have a great respect for Ms Daedone and her work. I have spoken with many of the people she and others have helped and supported through OneTaste, and I know that their lives have been transformed. Along with that, I invite her to make room for a group of people that is often ignored and discounted. As a skilled sexuality and relationship educator with a very visible platform, I think she has a responsibility to acknowledge that her very powerful message isn’t relevant for every single person on the planet, and to use language that makes room for that.
Check out her talk- there really is a huge amount of excellent stuff there and she’s a great speaker.