BIRMINGHAM, U.K. — The online Tempt Me Tease Me sex shop is in a great position to see what types of products today’s couples want, which raises questions about the evolution of the sexual revolution.
The 1960’s were a decade of gay abandon, when free love was the prevailing sentiment and the shackles of the puritanical eras and wartime doctrines were shrugged off once and for all.
But were they?
Half a century later, the sexual revolution is no further forward and in many ways has taken a step back, with sex ceasing to be the driving force and the revolution becoming no more than a political statement.
The latest wave of starlets and celebrities can be clearly split into two groups: those whose overt sexuality and tastelessness makes them seem utterly uninteresting, or at the other extreme, a throwback to the 1950’s mentality of always looking good for your man, regardless.
When did sex become so joyless, and is it possible to rediscover that hidden frisson of fun?
The Good Woman
In the past, the expected path for a woman was to find a good man, marry and have a baby — or more — in that order. Anything other than this was to remain outside polite society, spurned as an eternal spinster, a status to be avoided at all costs.
Fast forward to the modern age and it’s certainly true there are more variations on the theme of a family, with single parents more commonplace and women choosing until later in life to have a baby.
Nevertheless, these are minor victories when the broader picture is considered. Despite a century of rampant feminism, women are still expected to crave motherhood and to confine their sexuality to within a monogamous relationship.
There are those who choose not to have children and these women are eyed with suspicion, not entirely trusted around husbands with muttered accusations of selfishness cast around.
And any woman who chooses to be sexually active outside a committed relationship, certainly if she is middle aged or older, is viewed with a certain amount of disgust, and even derision.
Madonna is the perfect example of this: previously revered as a sex symbol, she’s a woman who has kept her body in the best possible shape, more supple, fit and toned than the majority of woman half her age — or less. Yet when she gyrates on the stage or flaunts her assets in a raunchy outfit, there’s an almost inevitable outcry. And it’s an attitude which is reserved almost entirely for women; a man of the same age exhibiting the same rakishness is met with a knowing wink and an encouraging nudge.
With so many stereotypical attitudes and prejudices still to fight, the sexual revolution awaits the next generation of women to reclaim their right to enjoy sex in its purest form, with the freedom to express themselves without fear of reproach.
Yet there almost appears to have been a step backwards as the starlets emerging onto the scene now have a view of their place in society and their responsibilities which almost beggars belief.
Eva Mendes, married to dreamboat Ryan Gosling, recently revealed how she manages to hang on to such a catch, warning the women of the western world that the number one cause of divorce is “sweatpants.” That’s right ladies, if you want to hold onto a sexual relationship, the key is never letting your partner see you in anything other than an immaculate state.
Somehow, as a result of the revolution, for a woman to be permitted to be sexually active she must be able to keep herself in a state of perpetual attractiveness, never letting her guard slip for a moment, even when relaxing at home.
And yet somewhere amidst these extremes of unrealistic beauty, a place is emerging for the average woman on the street to reclaim her sexuality in the way that she wants it.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” made it permissible for a whole generation of women to admit they like to read dirty stories and got turned on at the thought of indulging in some naughty sex.
As far removed from the shame of traditional pornography as it’s possible to be, “Fifty Shades” got everyone talking about sex again and being far more honest about what it’s like to enjoy it. Not for procreation, not to keep a partner happy, women are for the first time since the 60’s feeling liberated enough to talk about what they really want.
And freedom is not being forced into eschewing monogamy, nor into accepting marriage when it’s not desirable, but about being able to choose the relationship you want, or don’t want, based on your own sexual desires and needs.
Monogamy, celibacy and promiscuity are all equally valid sexual attitudes and the sexual revolution is all about being able to express yourself in the bedroom in the way that you choose.
Could it be possible that the revolution still has some life in it yet? Certainly the popularity of sex shops such as Tempt Me Tease Me would seem to indicate a renewed interest in reclaiming pleasure and making sex fun.
Time will tell whether the revolution is still alive and kicking but there is every indication that the true freedom to express sexual pleasure in any form desired is once again beginning to raise its head.
What’s your view? Has the sex gone out of the sexual revolution?
For more information, visit TemptMeTeaseMe.co.uk.