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Episode 2

About the Expert

Peggy Orenstein - profile

Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and internationally recognized speaker on gender issues, especially those related to teens, sex and relationships. She was voted one of the “40 Women Who Changed the Media Business in the Past 40 Years,” by the Columbia Journalism Review. Her work has also been honored by the Commonwealth Club of California, the National Women’s Political Caucus of California and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Additionally, she has been awarded fellowships from the United States-Japan Foundation and the Asian Cultural Council and been a grateful resident at Mesa Refuge and the UCross Foundation.

Episode Discussion

Home Forums Episodes 1 & 2 – “Today’s Not So Liberated Sex Culture” – with Peggy Orenstein

  • Episodes 1 & 2 – “Today’s Not So Liberated Sex Culture” – with Peggy Orenstein

  • Sasza 

    August 26, 2020 at 11:14 am
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    • What did you learn about yourself?
    • What did you learn about culture?
    • What was your favorite quote?
    • What surprised you most?
    • What is one way you can enact what you learned in your own life?
    • How can we each help shift the culture and the conversation surrounding this topic?
  • Hope

    August 31, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    “Young women are more likely than young men to define their pleasure, their satisfaction, by their partner’s pleasure….if he had a good time, I had a good time.” This part of the first Episode really stuck out to me because as Sasza says, we need to raise the bar! I think it is so interesting that in every part of life, as women, we are consistently expected to please men. This reason alone is why BBXX is going to help so many people because it will allow the conversations to be held that many fear to have.

    • BBXX 

      August 31, 2020 at 11:42 am
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      Omg yes! The bar is practically on the floor at this point

  • Hope

    August 31, 2020 at 11:33 am
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    After listening to Episode 2, it really made me want to watch Liberated on Netflix. Although, it was avidly discussed in this podcast as being “disturbing,” the fact that “profound” also seemingly fit to describe the movie as well, rose my curiosity. What if there was a section on this forum, that included a section for the movie, to encourage discussions about that as well? I think it could spark a really great conversation!

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Hope.
    • Sasza 

      September 7, 2020 at 11:39 am
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      I think that’s a great idea! We can create another forum to talk about things we’ve mentioned in our “book club” and newsletter—documentaries, TED Talks, books, etc.

  • BBXX 

    August 31, 2020 at 11:41 am
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    It’s crazy how our sex culture on the states seems “liberated” but there’s so much pressure to be almost hyper-sexual. It also really sucked that women don’t really experience pleasure, and that sex is a passive act. I really had to reflect on this for a while after listening to this episode haha

  • BBXX 

    August 31, 2020 at 11:49 am
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    I believe we as women at a subconscious level are aware of our shyness when it comes to our own pleasure and that’s why we really don’t stop to reflect about our intimacy or how to even express it. I really love how BBXX is exploring this topic to help us find a balance to explore sex without feeling any pressure from society or our own partner even. At the end the person that matters the most is only you and yourself.

  • Jessica

    August 31, 2020 at 12:04 pm
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    Safe sex and healthy relationships weren’t discussed in my sex ed classes in grade school nor in my conservative Chinese home, so I didn’t actually safely navigate the waters of sexuality, intimacy, and relationships in an empowering way until sophomore year of college. This episode really spoke to me (and made me wish I knew about BBXX sooner!).

    Some key points/quotations for me were

    • Statistically having more of a likelihood of naming boy’s body part but not girl’s and how that contributes to making female sexuality unspeakable/taboo
    • The disparity between male vs female puberty education (periods and unwanted pregnancy vs erections and ejaculation)
    • “Fewer than half of girls aged 14 to 17 have ever masturbated… And then they go into their partner experience and we expect in some miraculous way / magical thinking that they’re gonna think it’s about them, that they’re gonna feel like…they can voice their wants, their limits, their needs, or even know what those would be”
    • “I was not raped is a very low bar for a sexual experience”
    • Sarah McLellan’s study showing how “young women are more likely not, if not entirely, but more likely than young men to define their pleasure by their or their satisfaction by their partner’s pleasure”
    • “Research shows that when young women feel more in control, when they understand their bodies, when they understand orgasm, when they understand their own, wants, desires, needs, limits, they have a higher standard and experiences”
    • Should be focusing on men not perpetrating but NYT found this one program that discussed sex-positive sexuality, relationship, education, refusal skills, etc. reduced young women’s risk of victimization
    • Seen benefits of Dutch education talk to both boys and girls early and often about sex, sexual pleasure, and the importance of love
  • David

    September 7, 2020 at 7:12 am
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    I really liked the way Peggy Orenstein shares the concept of intimate justice. We’re still too far away from having equal conditions when it comes to intimacy and sex. I believe gender equality should not only be a matter of jobs and salary, which sometimes feels is the main and only focus of the discussion, but also a matter of enjoying sex and intimacy equally

  • Amy

    September 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm
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    The thing that I learned about myself listening to these episodes was that even though there was a sexual revolution, it feels like sexual relationships sometimes don’t mean as much as they should. The thing that I learned about culture was that sex is sensationalized as a conquest and as a rite of passage. Sex should be looked at as something special between two people in an intimate real relationship. The way that surprised me most was that sexual relationships are seen sometimes as something to do, not as a special moment in a relationship. The way that I can apply what I learned to my life and to shift the culture is to educate myself and the people around me that sex is a special moment for a couple and that it is not just something that is a conquest for someone to brag about to their friends.

  • Valentina 

    September 14, 2020 at 7:46 am
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    This particular quote made me think:

    “Why do we always talk about women as this passive recipient of penises??”

    Its always like “the man penetrates” but I loved how Peggy described a new way of refering to it as “wrapping the penis with our vagina”. Women are active, we’re not the only ones on the receiving end, sex is an act involving two people giving each other pleasure.

  • Sarah

    October 5, 2020 at 1:51 pm
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    Something that stuck out to me is the politicization of sex education and how it affects how women approach sex and focusing more on the male experience rather than our own. It is disheartening that more women view sex as solely pleasurable for their partner. This is also shown when we teach or lack of teaching children about sex all the male body parts are named, but the clitoris was not even mentioned creating some sort of shame around female pleasure, and something that is highly overlooked and not encouraged to speak on.

  • Olivia

    March 9, 2021 at 8:26 pm
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    This episode truly made me reflect on my own experiences as a sexually active female college student, who was raised in the American schooling system. Although I’ve defined myself as sex-positive, open-minded, and non-judgmental, I am still a work in progress, as I outgrow the sexual norms and expectations I’ve been conditioned to accept as true. One specific part that struck a chord with me was that women’s goal during heterosexual sex is to please the man; I believe that I’ve been semi-stuck in that mindset for a while, and am actively working to prioritize my own pleasure.

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