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Paula Kamen

From the archives: Feminist Sex Tips for First-Timers

From time to time, we repost something we like that we've recently rediscovered in our archives. This is from Sept, 2011.

The Times Online just ran this question in its sex advice column:

I am a 38-year-old virgin. After a very awkward situation at the age of 15 I have never tried again because I have been too embarrassed. I am now dating a lovely girl and would like to try. Where do I begin learning about how to please her?

This makes me so happy. First of all, hooray for this guy, who is not only going to have sex in the next ten minutes but is all about making it good for his girlfriend.

Second, sex columnist Suzi Godson recommends he read up on female sexuality and recommends–get this–several books with some serious feminist chops, including Our Bodies Ourlselvesand Paula Kamen's Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution.

These aren't really how-to books, which I think is what he was really looking for (She suggests her book The Sex Book for that) but they're important because they talk about sex from a female perspective. With too many guys, everything they know about sex they learned from porn. What a disaster. There's a whole lot of difference between what women actually desire and what men project onto them as a reflection of their own desire. [A digression: It's like the guy in the adult film industry we interviewed last year who talked about how much porn actresses loved getting facials, somehow missing the point that these women were being paid to act like it was the best thing that ever happened to them.]

She also recommends Kinsey's Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female published in 1953, which isn't necessarily feminist, but it did wake the US up to the shocking fact that women had pretty interesting sex lives (and got Kinsey into a whole lot of trouble.)

Lastly, not only did Paula Kamen write a great book about young women's attitudes towards sex, she's also a super cool friend and longtime supporter of Trixie Films. Check out her other work here.