Social Issues

Why is female pleasure a taboo?

Taking equality to the bed and beyond!

Seeking equality for women has been an age-old story of our land. Protest marches for wages, opportunities, and loud statements against patriarchy take over the air. Even candle marches for consent mildly lift the veil on female pleasure. But that’s just the distance we got to, before lowering our eyes at the mention of female desire. The concept of female pleasure appears nowhere amidst our discussions.

Sex talk is like electricity in India- only a few houses have it and a few houses can’t afford to have it. The ones who afford it are often seen watching movies that show heroism when a man can touch himself or woo a woman or can have sex with many people many times. So many of the item numbers that we remember and so fondly hum have visuals of either a man having many women or a woman luring a man.

The idea of a female masturbating or a female having ‘fun’ with many men begets her the term of a slut but when a male counterpart takes over the scene, he’s suddenly handsome and is a ‘playa.’ The orgasm gap persists, so does shame and scandal around women having sex and enjoying it. And this has dangerous, lethal consequences.  The concept of virginity is in a special edition dictionary stuck only onto women. Even pornography stories have it all wrong with the portrayal of male dominance, like your typical fairy tales. Don’t you see the red signs blaring already?

Because of such hushed conversations, rape culture thrives, sex continues to be used as a weapon against women and other genders, and their bodies continue to be policed and objectified. This is because males are more confident about what they want more than females.

Another consequence of hiding female pleasure under the carpet is the lack of awareness of the later phases of a female’s life cycle. Menopause is still a niche that people describe as old-age but we all know it is something more than a woman counting her grey hairs and being freed of her periods.

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The hush around female pleasure has a lot to do with how women are brought up to be the likable gender, to have qualities that make them homely, and to not cross boundaries. Not many girls are told about menstruation before they attain it and the same is it with sex. Exploring their sexuality has been limited to Kamasutra and the first night after their “special day.”

The lack of importance given to female pleasure just shows how we are convinced to raise girls to fight for equality while not willing to give them equality in the real sense. When a woman is allowed to explore her sexuality and discover what gives her pleasure, she shall have better relationships with the men she knows.

Tips to express female pleasure without any checks:


  • Encourage to explore:

Women must be encouraged to harness their pleasure by wearing what makes them confident (nothing is showing ‘too much or ‘too less’). Don’t brand women based on what they wear.

  • Talk about their needs and desires:

(You can watch a man masturbating in a film but not listen to a woman talk about it?)

Teach them the value of consent and let them create their boundaries.

  • Motivate them to love themselves without objectifying them:

(Use beautiful before sexy). Don’t compare her to another. Being thinner, fairer, prettier, or cuter isn’t a compliment.

Besides, if male passion is called hunger then why label female passion, an appetite?

As Farida D states-

“Patriarchy teaches us that sex, for women, is a giveaway, while for men it is a takeaway.

She saves herself, gives herself to the right one, and then her virginity is lost. In this equation, there is nothing in sex that’s for her to take. Whereas he takes and scores and there is nothing in sex for him to give. When her mind is programmed to give, she struggles to say “no”. When his mind is programmed to take, he struggles to accept “no”. Trying to teach consent without first eradicating purity culture and normalizing female pleasure is like trying to teach a bird how to fly after you’ve chopped off its wings.”

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