A couple days ago, I was in Victoria’s Secret. First of all, let me say that I freakin’ love VS. So many different types of people shop there, which makes for the best people watching/listening. Too funny. As anyone who’s a frequent VS shopper knows, the semi-annual sale just happened, so everything was hella marked down. Rooting through a huge (and by that point completely disorganized) pile of sale merch? Don’t mind if I do.
Amid the 5857193 shreds of lace and cotton, I came across something very interesting:
Practice makes perfect? Hmmm. “What are they getting at?” I wondered. Is this a reminder that, despite the fairy-tale romanticized myth of one’s “first time” being a guaranteed magical experience, many people’s first time having is sex is honestly not the best? Not the most comfortable? Not the most self-assured? Not perfect?
Is VS encouraging self-pleasure? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that will definitely get better with practice. Is this a message to a partner, i.e. “with practice (and conversation) you will get to know my body better”? Either way, I approve.
We’re stuck between abstinence-only sex-ed programs that demonize sex and media that tell us that we should all be having sex–and lots of it–and it should be great and we should inherently be amazing at it and what’s wrong with us if we aren’t??? It’s definitely time to slow down and actually have some critical conversations (especially with young people) about our bodies, sexual (and asexual) agency, communication, and consent. Not just “no means no” consent, but “this is how to ask for what you want and really check in with your partners about what they want” consent. Then the world might not be so full of panicked questions like this (and inane answers).
Another intriguing find:
Is VS promoting oral sex on women*? When was the last time any mainstream media source or consumer advertising endorsed–or even mentioned–that? Then again, maybe VS is just suggesting making out while practically naked. I mean…that’s cool too.
*I acknowledge that it is my assumption that most people wearing VS items are women, though I’m sure there are others out there too. You do you.