Two weeks ago, I went to the most amazing talk held by the Scarlet Ladies on Body Positive Sex and was blown away by the honesty of the panelists. The panel was hosted by Alix Fox and comprised of Lottie L’Amour, Rachael Sealy, Paisley Gilmour and Sarah Beilfuss. Each woman shared their own personal experiences in the bedroom and insight when it comes to the intersection between body positivity and sex positivity and whilst I would consider myself an empowered woman, it was only when I was sitting in the room did I really realise how much these conversations go undiscussed.
To be in a completely nonjudgemental space is rare but to have been in SUCH a warm and welcoming environment is practically unheard of – even for a woman like myself that works solely in body positivity. The fact that I, as an audience member, felt completely and totally at ease was entirely due to the openness and vulnerability displayed in the panelists in leading the charge and sharing with everyone such personal moments. The variety of experiences and intersectionality on the panel was reflected in the whole room and made the whole event feel extremely inviting and inclusive.
There were discussions about whether body positivity had lost it’s power with it’s recent dilution thanks to brands and the media but where this event stood out for me most was when the conversation of body shame came up. Body shame is something that is so rarely discussed and in doing so, people feel so trapped in the silence and stigma. When it comes to body shame in the bedroom, it is even more stigmatised and on a personal note, can be so traumatic that it forever goes undiscussed. Therefore even just being in the presence of these conversations was liberating. Whilst it was incredibly sad to see how common an experience it is for most women, those conversations were helpful and more importantly, uniting in knowing that we weren’t alone.
It led to a few personal realisations myself that whilst I had discussed so many aspects of body positivity online, and even written a section in Hannah Witton’s book about body confidence in the bedroom – I still wasn’t entirely comfortable lifting the veil of all the body shame I had experienced.
I left the room feeling hugely inspired and determined to not be another person who stays silent around all these issues (whether consciously or unconsciously). As a person of action, it’s why I launched Sex Week last week to make sure I didn’t stay trapped in that. So thankful for women like the panelists and Scarlet Ladies for raising their voice and unifying women in telling their stories. It was a truly heart-warming experience!