Feminist Current

PODCAST: ‘Good, giving, and game’ — how sex advice and sex therapy perpetuate rape culture

from Feminist Current | Published 1/20/2018

Too often, when women are not interested in sex at the same levels their male partners are, they are told either that there is something wrong with them or that they are obligated to find a way to meet men’s desires. Friends instruct us to engage in “maintenance sex” in order to keep our male partners happy. Women are told they are cruel or bad partners if they don’t have sex with their boyfriends and husbands “enough” or in the ways requested of them. In sex advice columns and self help books, as well as in sex therapy, women are often instructed to watch pornography with their partners or are told there must be something wrong with their relationship because they don’t show interest (or the correct level of interest) in penetrative, heteronormative sex. Somehow, it is always women who are the problem — dysfunctional, prudish, selfish, or lazy. To learn more about the ways sex therapy, sex advice, and sexology more broadly reinforce ideas that harm women and perpetuate rape culture, I spoke with Dr Meagan Tyler, a Senior Lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Meagan is the author of Selling Sex Short: The sexological and pornographic construction of women’s sexuality in the West and co-editor of Freedom Fallacy: The limits of liberal feminism. You can follow her @drmeagantyler.

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Your host, Meghan Murphy, explores feminist perspectives on everything from pop culture to politics, from hot-off-the-press news stories to cultural trends. If it's happening to women, we're talking about it. Through interviews and discussion, Meghan brings you fresh, powerful, radical voices from the global feminist movement that leave listeners feeling inspired and bold, ready to take on the (patriarchal) world.