Female Sexual Expression or Cliche Stereotypes?

Do you know the difference?

It is such a shame when women claim that they are so free to express their sexuality, are in reality just imitating someone else’s (usually a man’s) idea of what they think female sexuality should be. I would never tell anyone whether or not they are being authentic in their expression of their own sexuality, but the range of sexual expression is at least as broad as the range of human emotional expression, and maybe broader. But the range of most commonly what we see being portrayed as sexual expression is extremely limited and narrow as unsophisticated, silly little sex kitten-like behavior, which makes its authenticity highly suspect. Behaving in a stereotypical sexy female way is not harmful, as long as the actor has acknowledges it as such. It can be fun to behave like an airhead porn star–if that floats your boat, as long as you don’t take it on as your personality (if you are not indeed a genuine airhead porn star).

I was inspired to think about this topic by a CNN video clip I saw this morning, “Video Vixens too Revealing?

Women are so complex, therefore naturally female sexual expression is as well when it is genuine and emanates from deep within. But when women put themselves out there as only superficially sexy, and nothing else, the result is just a facade of sexual liberation, and it does not serve a woman’s interests at all. For starters, living a lie always eventually ends in unhappiness, because she is not honoring her self and her needs. She may become lost in her show, losing her grip on reality. Instead of meaningful relationships, she will experience the most shallow and flippant form of attention from males with short attention spans. Many, many men can see past cliche stereotypes and greatly appreciate a woman’s genuine sensual, sexual, feminine expression. Even others find it extremely attractive but can’t put a finger on exactly what it is they are attracted to. Female sexuality is vastly unlimited. It can be mysterious, breezy, shy, bold, ethereal, playful, aggressive, exotic, plain, elegant, graceful, butch, innocent, goofy, etc., and the list could go on for days. That sexuality can be expressed though a woman’s gait, voice, gestures, facial expressions, fashion, language, emotions, creativity, or any combination of these plus more.

Sexual expression is highly individual and unique, and therefore can include, but can not possibly be limited to writhing and gyrating, with mouths permanently stuck in a position to give cunnilingus at any second, conveying an overt message of submissive inferiority and desperation to be had sexually in the current moment! Female sexual expression can not possibly only consist of visuals of solely breasts and asses, because there is a whole body and mind to work with. As a tantra yoga instructor and feminist, I am certainly not a prude. Sexy is good, even if it is trashy sometimes, but that’s not all! I work with women to help them to look far beyond the confusion created by male media exploitation of female sexuality for profit to embrace their own healthy individual sexuality, in all its glorious diversity.

We should reclaim our sexual identity from simplified, superficial cliches. The first step is to be able to identify our own pleasure, and to simply distinguish it from the pleasure that is derived from pleasuring others. Of course I am not suggesting that we take on a selfish, every person for themselves attitude when it comes to sex. I am suggesting that you know how to experience a fair give and take in a sexual relationship, instead of exclusively pleasuring a partner, and thereby only getting a secondary, incidental pleasure for yourself. Ask yourself, what actually pleases ME?

Secondly, try not to define your sexual expression using someone or something else as your frame of reference. Just BE, which brings us all the way back to carefree sensuality. Broaden your sexually expressive horizons! It is not always necessary to overtly put sex on display to express your sexuality, because your sexual self is actually not separate from the rest of your self. Give up posing for others or imitating anyone. Don’t compare yourself to other women. Forget putting on the usual acts–talking in a babyish voice, walking with tiny steps with the feet in turnout like a two-year-old in a diaper, pretending to be unintelligent, or moving like a robot programmed to look sexy. Relax into your own sensual world and just be a part of it, without putting forth any effort at all and choose to allow your real self to show.

Give Love Away, You’ll Never Run Out

When you know that someone wants love from you, just give it to them. Love is not a commodity or an emotion. You don’t pay money for it. No matter how much you give away the amount you have never diminishes, and in most cases increases. Love’s value is immeasurable so it is impossible to barter, exchange, buy, sell, borrow, hoard, earn, or loan it. Love is not sex, liking, or attraction. Love is a universal energy. Love is the essence of God. Giving love always benefits both the giver and the recipient equally. Love heals miraculously.

How to be More Feminine

By Linda Markley

Unhappy medium

The feminine principle has been suppressed for millennia. In recent decades, we have also learnt to suppress the masculine and relate in a safe, neutral way. Relating in a neutral way is expedient for all of us at times, but part of the richness of life and opportunity of this time, is for all of us to develop a wider spectrum of strengths and choices, and dance more freely with others, especially in intimate relationships. To dance we have to be willing to be and express something other than neutral. In doing so, we help others express more of themselves. In particular, when we are more feminine, we leave space for others to be more masculine.

How to be more feminine

1. Please ourselves – Women have been conditioned for many generations to get and keep a man. Even in these enlightened, liberated times, studies show that women who are not in relationship are less confident about their appearance than women who are in relationships. This feminine obsessions with being wanted, loved, attractive and in relationship can get in our way.

When we are feminine for our own sakes, we do not feed these obsessions or attempt to manipulate others, which is something women learn to do when they have no direct access to power. When we pay most attention to how we feel, rather than to the response of other, we own our own power and are authentic.

2. Explore, experiment, create, express – To please ourselves, we have each to explore what being feminine means to us and what helps us to feel feminine, and to enjoy and express the many different aspects of our femininity. This might include exploring creative outlets such as art, writing, music or dance, or creating a home or garden, or connecting with children, nature, the earth, sea, women, men, intuition …

3. Reclaim choice – To change deeply entrenched habits, we need to be aware of our liking for what is familiar and, hence, comfortable. For many of us, that includes responding in a neutral or masculine way. Only when we are aware of doing so, do we have real choice.

4. Connect and flow with life – The power of the feminine comes from connecting and co-operating. This is usually seen as co-operating with others but it can also apply to flowing with life and change. The feminine, which is associated with intuition and feelings, is well placed to do this, provided we own our feelings rather than resist them or dump them on others.

5. Connect with others (in an isolating culture) – The feminine is associated with and, to some extent, discovered through, connection and co-operation with others. Now that we are all so busy and many of us are somewhat isolated, this can be challenging.

A resource which is useful for this and for learning to flow with life is improvisation, in dance and in theatrical games. Look out for theatrical or comedy improvisation, Action Theatre, Five rhythms, The Wave, contact improvisation, Biodanza.

6. Connect with our bodies – While the masculine has a narrow, mental focus, the feminine has a broader view which includes our bodies, sensuality, feelings, hearts and all life. There are many forms of movement that are useful for connecting with our bodies. Some of these, such as sacred movement and dance, also help us to connect at other levels.

Look out for belly dance, which connects us with our bodies, sensuality and femininity. The emphasis is not on body shape but on using and enjoying what we have. That said, dancing in front of huge mirrors can be challenging but meeting that challenge helps us get over our obsession with having ‘perfect’ bodies and come to terms with what we actually look like, which is extremely liberating. There is also growing movement of dance which fuses the dance of different traditions. This is particularly useful for experiencing different aspects of the feminine (like the proud, earthiness of tribal dance; fiery flamenco, softer Indian dance). Look out for tribal fusion or ATS classes.

7. Open – The more we inhabit our bodies, the more we open, which allows us to feel more feminine.

One aspect of this is sharing ourselves. In 2007, a study revealed that, contrary to popular myths, men talk just as much as women. It does seem to be true that women talk more about people however. This can descend to gossip, or we can help others to share themselves and connect with others in a fuller, deeper and more meaningful way.

8. Praise – “The feminine grows through praise” David Deida.

According to Deida, the masculine grows through challenge and the feminine through praise, at least in part because praise helps us to open. Deida does not however, tell us how to meet the challenge (in the UK, at least) of getting praise! The best answer I’ve come up with is to praise myself freely and often, and to notice signs of approval in the responses of others (like being more open with me, giving me their time, attention or a smile).

9. Take great care of yourself – When we are nurtured and ‘loved up’, we are softer, more open and feminine. The feminine is the great nurturer, so lets love and pamper ourselves. This includes choosing the company we keep with care and ensuring we always have the support we need. When we take great care of ourselves we can keep our hearts open.

10. Clothes, hair and energy – I was tempted to call this section ‘appearance’ but there is much more to it than that. Clothes, fabrics, colours and even styles, all have an energy and affect how we feel (confident, happy, sexy, attractive etc.). Very often, it is this feeling that attracts people’s attention, rather than the outward change, which brings us back to pleasing ourselves.

11. Love, relationships and heart wisdom – Despite the feminine obsession with love and intimate relationships, most divorces are initiated by women. The love, intimacy and deeper heart felt connections we long for are only possible when we drop down into our hearts and risk keeping our hearts open. When we do so, those around us naturally drop down into their own hearts, and open more, deepening their connection with themselves and their heart’s wisdom, their environment and with us. This is the gift of the feminine, a gift the world sorely needs.

Linda Markley - EzineArticles Expert Author

Lisa teaches the Tantric Art of Bellydance on Thursday evenings on Capitol Hill, Washington DC. The focus is on how to dance from the heart and love your body. Get in touch with your sensual spirit through the joy of authentic Middle Eastern dance technique and your own divine feminine power. To sign up or for more information see: Bellydance