Over the last few months I have been meeting lots of women and hearing their life affirming, joyful and sometimes moving stories about sex.
Most of those who have given me stories are women I have met before and who have some sense of who I am that allows them to trust me enough to honour their stories.
Sometime that trust is borrowed from someone else, who knows and recommends me.
As part of the process it’s been so lovely for me to see individuals revisit happy experiences, especially when they involve the partner they are still with. It seems to bring about good feelings about their relationship, and also about being part of the project.
I have also met with many women who despite knowing and trusting me, haven’t wanted to share a story about sex.
I completely respect and honour their decision not to share a story, especially when their feeling is that they cannot think of such a story. Often they will go on to tell me other stories as to why they cannot, or don’t wish to engage with thinking about a happy story related to sex.
Something that I have learned is that the reasons behind why they wouldn’t want to share a story are always rich and powerful and often moving too. Each is important to honour and deserving of being witnessed. And equally important is having the right to not share that which does not feel comfortable.
For me to be having any of these conversations at all, is to be in a privileged space. I try always to be aware of this and to treat each encounter with grace as well as warmth, honesty and humour.
When a woman declines the idea of sharing a story there are a number of responses I have observed as to why:
I am actually a bit of a prude.
I don’t feel comfortable taking about sex.
It would feel disloyal to my partner.
I don’t have anything interesting to say.
It’s ok for you, you are in a new/good relationship.
It’s not a live issue- my memories are mostly good but that part of my life is in the past.
Do any women have happy stories about sex?
These reasons speak directly into why I am doing the project.
My hope is that Red Velvet Revelry can help women by:
Giving women permission to talk about their own lived experiences, if they so choose.
Raising the possibility that there are different experiences possible to those we are having now or have had in the past.
Providing evidence that women can and do have happy experiences of sex.
Celebrating the good stuff about sex while also acknowledging the painful stuff too.
Over the next few months I shall be sharing some more of those stories here in the blog and in the Red Velvet Revelry Podcast.
Some of the stories made it into “The Ladies who Like it” live show.
Many didn’t, only because of time constraints. I hope they and the stories which I shall continue to collect, will feature in future performances.
I am deeply grateful to every woman who has shared her story. Thank you.
If you have a comment, a question or a story you’d like to share, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love, MLx
Queen of Revelry