When you hear “The Pleasure is Ours,” what do you think of? Do words such as “empowerment” and “sex-positivity” pop into your head? This is what the creators of the Goop Lab may have had in mind when they created a recent episode with this phrase as the title. Featuring the brilliant Dr. Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross as guests, it focuses on women’s sexual shame, pleasure, and ultimately, liberation. Sex educator Isabella Frappier is there, too, to say loudly and proudly, that we all deserve pleasure.
Ignorance of Women’s Anatomy is Tied to Sexual Shame
The episode starts with one of the most important lessons about female sexuality — the difference between the vagina and the vulva, which we also wrote about recently. Data from a study presented in this episode shows that 44% of women couldn’t correctly identify their vagina on a medical illustration, and 60% were not able to label a vulva.
If you’re a sex coach or other sexual health professional, you already know the probable source of this ignorance — the general shame around female sexuality. The same shame that is “a killer of pleasure,” according to Dr. Dodson. As she explains, women’s sexual shame is deeply rooted in many cultures. Carlin Ross pointed out “there’s no country in the world that encourages girls to explore themselves and their sexuality.”
Consider how so many of the nicknames for female genitals in different languages have negative connotations. In mainstream porn, which is so popular, the look of women’s genitals is often altered. It’s no wonder then that many women feel their vulva looks “weird” or “ugly” and many others don’t even know the difference between their vulva and their vagina. This episode shared another, very sad finding — “according to data gathered by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, labiaplasty surgeries increased by 45% worldwide between 2015 and 2016.”
Dr. Dodson shared that she once thought her own vulva was ugly, but her partner showed her the diversity of female genitals, which helped her embrace the beauty of her own. That experience inspired her to start organizing her first workshops to help other women accept their genitals and learn to orgasm.
Unfortunately, the negative perception of one’s genitals further negatively influences sexual satisfaction as shown in this study. The disconnection women feel from their bodies and the sexual shame within cultures are problems that we, as sexual health professionals, are addressing and working with.
Empowering Women to Own Their Pleasure
There are many ways to empower our clients, and “The Pleasure is Ours” episode allows us to take a peek into Dr. Betty Dodson’s methods, and Isabella Frappier’s sexual liberation workshops.
The BodySex Workshops led by Dr. Dodson and Ross focus on “overcoming negative body image and pleasure anxiety.” Done in the nude, a group of women gathers together in a space that allows them to become vulnerable and comfortable in their bodies. They have a “genital show & tell” in a safe, accepting environment.
The episode shows women at different ages and body shapes taking part in the workshop, and as Dr. Dodson said, the shame “goes away immediately.” What’s more, Ross emphasizes it is crucial when running these workshops for the facilitator to show vulnerability themselves. Dodson and Ross do it by opening the door naked.
Isabella Frappier helps her clients to reconnect with their bodies by taking sensual portraits. She also emphasizes the importance of communication. Your partner(s) is not able to read your mind and therefore, being able to say what feels pleasurable is an important part of sexual liberation. Frappier also makes an important statement — we all have earned a right to experience pleasure.
Dr. Dodson’s Rock ‘n Roll Orgasm Method is Great for Self Pleasure
Another bit from this episode that sexuality professionals may find useful is Dr. Betty Dodson’s “Rock ‘n Roll” orgasm method. It involves lying on the back with legs opened and feet on the floor, and then rocking one’s pelvis forward and back while using a vaginal barbell (designed by Dr. Dodson). Once the pelvis is up, the woman is supposed to squeeze her PC muscle and take a deep breath, then exhale and relax the muscle when the pelvis is down.
The secret to the method is using a Magic Wand on the glans of the clitoris at the same time! Can you believe that among 500 women with anorgasmia in a study on the effectiveness of this method, 465 of them were able to experience orgasm? And as you know, orgasms play a huge role in women’s health! As the episode explains it, it’s linked to reducing stress, boosting hormone levels, and enhancing sleep.
How the Goop Lab Episode on Pleasure Can Help You as a Sex Coach
If you’re a sexuality professional, this episode may be a great source of knowledge for your clients of how real-life vulvas and orgasms look. How often do we see photos of vulvas of different shapes and colors and a not exaggerated orgasm on screen?
We show our clients a different perspective, so they can embrace their sensuality and sexuality fully, to finally feel comfortable in their bodies and in their lives. Isn’t this one of the reasons why our job is so important, and why it brings us so much professional and personal satisfaction?
However, even though this episode is educational, empowering, and sex-positive, it’s important to note that not all of the products or sexual advice offered through the Goop site are based on good science and may actually be bad for your clients. Goop has been criticized by many for recommending vaginal steaming, a jade egg that is supposed to balance your menstrual cycle, and more. As much as you can learn from this episode as a sexual health professional, please use caution and discretion when recommending this site to your clients.