Photo from OMGYes

Do you talk to your friends about masturbating? Or in depth details about your orgasms? This conversation is one you either are honest in or keep quiet. Right?

Popular opinion holds the female orgasm as an enigma, the long sought after achievement for men, and the elusive and unknown for women. The porn industry has not helped us, or men, figure out how our bodies work. There is a lack of publicly acknowledged sources of information for women to learn about their bodies. Porn is a terrible teacher and poor example. But Emma Watson is one of the many women signing up to a new website: OMGYes. This is a subscription based website that aims to reach out to users wishing to be educated on female sexual pleasure. The aim is to break societal taboos and make female sexual pleasure into a normal acceptable topic to discuss.

The creator of the website, Lydia Daniller, said a conversation with her friends about how they like to be pleasured became explicit – and it turned into something they all found useful. So OMGYes has been created with a range of educational content for users to access, including demonstrative videos. Daniller said there was no shortage of volunteers who responded to calls to appear in the videos. The volunteers demonstrate on themselves a wide range of methods to pleasure yourself, which you can follow up with a touch-screen tutorial to try out what you have seen. These videos are made completely from the female view, which is a new concept given how much current opinion is dominated by the male gaze. Daniller does caution any potential male subscribers who want to watch the videos that it is a “poor substitute for porn” if that is their motivation. So be warned!

Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates wrote about OMGYes for The Guardian, and ended her article with some statistics and discussion around female sexual pleasure. Looking at statistics on female orgasms from surveys, she contrasts those with what society expects from popular media. It is her opinion that the statistics show a need for something informative for women to access to learn more about their own bodies. Having said that OMGYes is not just for women, but also for their partners.

Bates uses the words “frank”, “educational”, “down-to-earth” and “open” several times in the article, which describes how this website fills so many gaps in society and how it can help change female sexual pleasure from being a taboo subject. OMGYes is part of a new movement starting to talk more about all taboo topics surrounding women. And while Bates has praise for the website, she also has some criticisms. She is right that the advocation of feedback between partners isn’t a new idea and she doesn’t like the use of vagina when they are clearly talking about the vulva and labia. Use of correct terminology does go a long way. She thinks the subscription cost will price some women out of being able to use the website. Add to this the age limit on subscribing, which is R18, meaning the website is limiting its audience from the start. Bates argues those who would benefit the most from this website are those under 18, which is true when you think of the age you yourself started to explore your own sexuality.

Overall Bates thinks the website is heading in the right direction. She is right in saying that the day we can talk openly about female sexual pleasure and it is not taboo or mystical to society is the day to look forward too. If OMGYes contributes to this it will be a huge success. Just like a site about male sexual pleasure seems redundant, hopefully one day sites like OMGYes will be unnecessary too. In this I can agree with Bates.

-Monique Brough
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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