When you stop thinking about things as being "off-limits," you might actually experience an orgasm. The year is 2020, which means the country is definitely reaching a new, progressive era of sexual awakening. If you’re not discussing sex with your girls over a glass of wine, you’re listening to the Girls Gotta Eat podcast or picking up cowgirl sex tips from a viral Tweet on Twitter
But even despite the fact that there have been major strides to destigmatize the negative connotations associated with sex and self-pleasure (especially for women), there still remain some taboo sex topics people don’t discuss with partners or with friends. Even if they’re interested in said topic.
Transparency is part of the reason Lola decided earlier this year to conduct what it's calling the "State of Sex survey," in which it tapped over 1000 women for their honest thoughts and attitudes about sex. "What we found was a shared concern that their journey had been 'normal' relative to others," the brand founders said. The survey asked women about the following topics: the number of sexual partners they'd been with, how often (and where) they have sex, whether or not they've faked an orgasm, which partner is responsible for birth control, and whether a good relationship can exist without good sex.
Pleasure, orgasms, casual sex, and the "right" number of partners or amount of sex being had are all hush-hush subjects that women feel most embarrassed about discussing, says Lola, hoping that this survey will break down some of those taboos. According to its numbers, 41% of women think their number of lifetime sexual partners is either too low or too high. "The stigma is real," one participant said. "You're a slut if you've had too many partners; you're a loser if you have no sex and are in a committed relationship."
Fifty-three percent of respondents in relationships and 72% of single respondents wished they were having sex more frequently. Fifty-six percent of participants in relationships reported that they thought their partner had a higher sex drive, and many felt guilty for not wanting to have sex more often.
Sixty-six percent of participants said that they'd faked an orgasm before, and many respondents feel guilty when they can't get there for making their partner feel incompetent.
Ultimately, our cultural narratives of sex, which center on male pleasure and perspectives, plus a lack of space for women to communicate or even personally confront their own points of view on the matter, are to blame for these taboos and deficits in sexual fulfillment for women. (How sex is portrayed on TV and in media doesn't help, either.) As one survey participant told Lola, "I think society today is a man-focused world when it comes to pleasure, and women lack the understanding that we should be just as demanding [and] free-spirited. … We DESERVE good sex."