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It’s Time We Talk About Female Sexual Health

By HERWriter
 
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female sexual health Via Unsplash

Sponsored by: Fiera®

I can’t possibly start this article without referring to one of my favorite feminist essays by Gloria Steinem, “If Men Could Menstruate.”

Steinem, the face of progressive female movements for several decades, wrote this biting piece in 1978 for Ms. Magazine. (You can read the entire thing here.)

It explores a world where we treat women’s sexual health in the same way that we treat men’s sexual health. Most notably, it illustrates how we would be dedicating more time, energy and money to researching menstruation — understanding its risk and benefits, identifying symptoms, developing products to manage and medications to mitigate it.

Whether or not we truly see the implication of it in our everyday lives, funding, and therefore effort, invested in researching women’s sexual health is far lower than that dedicated to men.

Not only are women underrepresented in biomedical studies that explore prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, but also topics that address female sexual health are poorly researched in general.

Despite an entire industry dedicated to exploring, enhancing and glorifying men’s sexual health, there has been very little work done on this front for women.

This means that we still don’t understand many of the unique, complex and variable processes involved in female sexual health.

Despite what the media implies, it is 100 percent NORMAL for women (and men, for that matter!) to experience fluctuations in our desire for intimacy, sex and pleasure.

While we know that women’s sexuality is not so simple that taking a single pill will result in arousal, we don’t yet appreciate all the multi-faceted factors that DO contribute to pleasure and libido for women.

Until recently, our research on sex and sexuality has assumed (the way that it did for all biomedical studies) that men and women’s bodies respond in the same way to external and internal stimuli.

We are finally beginning to accept that this is not the case and that female sexual health is a topic all its own ... and a very valid one.

Fiera® is one of the companies in the United States currently performing research and developing products with women’s health and sexuality specifically in mind. They are beginning to utilize new understandings of the female sexual response cycle to create technology that helps women get “in the mood” when they want to be.

Fiera is scientifically proven to enhance arousal and lubrication for women. The product was built with couples in mind to help improve overall intimacy. To learn more about how Fiera is growing the conversation around female sexual health, and to learn how the product may help you, watch the video below. EmpowHER is also offering an exclusive discount of $25 off to readers here.


In the U.S., roughly 46% of all American women, aged 18-70 have a sexual concern. While sex can sometimes be difficult to talk about, it’s an important conversation to have. Fiera is encouraging women to talk about their concerns and help normalize the conversation around sex.

Sadly, even in 2016, our world is still extraordinarily backwards when it comes to women’s sexuality. Our culture sends mixed messages about sexual health — on one hand shaming women for being sexually active, and on the other, using the media and social norms to sexualize female bodies.

The double standard presented to women results in confused silence. We are supposed to have sex but not discuss it, we are supposed to present a certain KIND of sexuality in specific contexts and with limited parameters. We must be both sexually knowledgeable and pure.

What is the result? Silence. Misunderstandings. Misinformation. And therefore, unsafe practices, beliefs and spaces for women to be having sex.

Moreover, it means there are almost NO options available for women if they DO wish to explore changes in their sexual health.

If you’ve spent any time on the EmpowHER website, you know that plenty of women have questions and concerns about their sexual health. And many don’t feel comfortable in asking about them. Many more don’t have access to other forums that openly address their apprehensions with facts and evidence-based information.

This is why websites like EmpowHER, which foster conversations and inspire women to advocate for full inclusion of ALL bodies in research, are so crucial! Together we can ensure that our health needs and rights are part of the equation when it comes to medical research.

We can demand respect and equality – not only for women, but for Black women, Asian women, Hispanic women, trans women, queer women, and everyone else that is currently left out.

We can keep conversations going about women’s sexuality and silence the voices that say we are LESS THAN, tell us how we can feel, indicate which of our parts are important, and glorify or demonize our bodies, behaviors and brains.

So ask questions! Talk about your concerns and needs! It’s time to normalize women’s sexual health and spread the word when you learn something new. Remember, it’s okay to talk about sex!

Reviewed March 2, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Read more in Let's Talk About Sex

1) “Equal Pay and the Wage Gap.” National Women’s Law Center. Website Accessed 2/29/16. http://nwlc.org/issue/equal-pay-and-the-wage-gap 

2) “Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women’s Health Can’t Wait.” Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Website accessed 2/29/16. http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/womenshealth/ConnorsCenter/Policy/ConnorsReportFINAL.pdf 

3) “Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls and Promise.” National Academies of Science Press. Website Accessed 2/29/16. http://www.nap.edu/read/12908/chapter/2#4  

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.