How To Truly Embrace Your Sexuality On International Women's Day

Ad failed to load

March 8, 2018 will mark the 107th International Women's Day. First celebrated by the Suffragettes of the early 1900s, International Women's Day was launched to bring attention to how important gender equality is not just here in the States, all over the world. Inspired by findings by the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report that suggest that we won't reach true gender parity until 200 years down the road (I'm not kidding) and recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, this year's campaign theme is #PressforProgress.

But while there's no denying that we still have a lot of work to do in order to reach gender parity, in all realms, there are ways we can strive for equality on the home front — for example, with sexual equality. In a culture that tends to shame women for being sexual beings, truly owning and embracing your sexuality is definitely a feminist act and statement unto itself.

"As an anthropologist, it's incredible to see the momentum that has taken place when it comes to demands for gender parity and the power of the collective female voice in movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp," Sarah Forbes, former curator for the Museum of Sex in New York City and author of Sex in the Museum, tells Bustle. "While International Women's Day has existed for more than a century focusing on women's accomplishment and a need for progress, it is taking on new force today."

Ad failed to load

In addition to taking action by making a promise to yourself and every other woman in the world that you'll do what it takes to #PressforProgress, consider also taking some extra time this International Women's Day to embrace your sexuality and be proud of it. Here are some ways to do that.

Ad failed to load

1Buy A New Sex Toy

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Of course, sex toys aren't for everyone, but if you've always wanted to try one — or are in need of a new one — it's the perfect time to go shopping and pick out something special for yourself. "Whether you are buying online or going to a store, I think finding a place that makes you feel comfortable is so important," Forbes says. "This way you will feel empowered to ask questions and likely learn things you didn’t even know to ask. Some great retailers like Babeland as specifically geared toward providing a female-friendly environment. And remember there is no right way to experience pleasure, everyone’s body is different. The vibrator your best friend loves might not be the one that works best for you."

2Close The Orgasm Gap

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Although when we think of gender inequality, we think of the gender pay gap, as well as other areas where things are far from equal, we tend to forget that there's still a gap in our sex lives too — the orgasm gap.

"In heterosexual partnerships, the fact is that men have more orgasms than women," Tristan Weedmark, We-Vibe's Global Passion Ambassador, tells Bustle. "To be clear, this gap is not women’s fault, nor does the blame land with men. Rather, female sexual anatomy, the clitoris in particular, is not ideally positioned for stimulation during penetrative sex. That, coupled with a communication breakdown when it comes to pleasure, leads to the infamous orgasm gap."

So if you're having sex this International Women's Day, take a page from Nicki Minaj and fight for that climax. After all, fair is fair.


Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Not only does it feel amazing, have health benefits, and teach you what you like in bed, but masturbation is a wonderful way to embrace your sexuality. Today, make sure you're prioritizing your self-pleasure.

Ad failed to load

4Embrace Your Body — For You

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When you think about it, your body is an amazing machine. Not just in the way it moves, but in how it responds, what it remembers, and what it can experience.

"I believe when a woman celebrates her sexuality it would be about respecting her body and treating it like a temple, she is the Goddess," Dr. Dawn Michael, certified clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor, and author of My Husband Wont Have Sex With Me tells Bustle. "When she decides to share it with someone else or even herself she finds pleasure in what she is doing. She is not embracing it to please someone else or even society, but for herself."

5Understand That Sexuality And Empowerment Can Be Linked

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

"As a 'curator of sex,' it is impossible for me not to see female empowerment and sexuality as importantly linked," says Forbes. "Yet what this means and what this version of empowerment looks like will likely be different for each of us — having that very power to express our sexuality in our own unique manner on our own terms is something to be celebrated as a marker of progress. It may be Valentine's Day that is marketed to us as a sexy holiday, but I know more than a few women that feel their sexiest when feeling empowered and celebrated."

It's truly empowering to embrace our sexuality. As Forbes points out, that may mean completely different things for different people, so it's our job to find out what that means for us and just go with it. Not just on International Women's Day, but every day.

6Talk About Sex

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You don't need to listen to the 1990s classic, "Let's Talk About Sex," by Salt-N-Pepa to realize that talking about sex is really important. It's important to talk about not just with your sexual partners, but with your friends, too. Every time we say the word "sex" we're kicking down one more door that stands in the way of sex being completely and totally free of taboos.

"It is absolutely normal to talk about your sex life with your best friend," Rena McDaniel, M.Ed., clinical sexologist, tells Bustle. "There are still some cultural taboos about being open with friends about your sex life, particularly for women. But talking about sex to your friends is a great way to de-stigmatize a normal and healthy part of life and shift the conversation about sex from dirty to empowering."

Ad failed to load

7Focus On Being Extra Sex Positive Today

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If you already consider yourself to be a sex-positive person, then take International Women's Day as the opportunity to be even more sex-positive — as in extra sex positive. How does one do that? By realizing that there are many facets to sex positivity that extend far behind just the act of sex.

"Sex positivity is about so much more than the act of sex," says Forbes, "and so much about how we see ourselves, our bodies, our worth, our power, and our equality."

No matter how you choose to celebrate International Women's Day, don't forget to celebrate the sexual aspects to it. Women have come a long way in letting the world know we're sexual beings, but that doesn't mean we don't have further to go.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

11 Ways To Stay Positive When Dating Feels Like The Worst, According To Matchmakers

With every first date that leads to nowhere or every non-relationship that ends up being a waste of your time, finding love can seem far from possible. It can also be pretty rough on your self-esteem if you continually put a lot of effort into dating…
By Kristine Fellizar

I Tried Venus' New Facial Hair Removal Device & Will Never Get My Upper Lip Area Waxed Again

I remember the first time I realized I was growing hair above my upper lip. It was when a very rude seventh grader decided to point it out in front of my friends and me during our lunch break. He wasn't wrong — just mean — and ever since then, I've b…
By Sara Tan

Here Are The Exact Steps To Take If You Want To Travel All The Time & Work Remotely

When I first decided I wanted to become a digital nomad — someone who travels non-stop while working remotely — I was terrified and unsure if I would actually go through with it. I worried my work would suffer from all the travel and time zone change…
By Suzannah Weiss

7 Ways To Celebrate Your 30th Birthday That Are Feminist AF

Turning 30 is a pretty major milestone; it's one of those birthdays where large parties, floods of presents and many bouquets from besotted admirers seem to be in order. And as a woman and a feminist, I'm here to offer some additional 30th birthday i…
By JR Thorpe

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck