Sexual Pleasure

Teaching adolescent girls about sexual pleasure remains a controversial issue. Yet there is a critical need to make a case for the relationship between sexual pleasure and sexual health and to suggest how coaches and educators can address the subject on the field or in the classroom. There is a need for knowledge about the body in relation to sexual response and pleasure. Additionally, there is a need for adolescent girls to recognise the value and right of sexual pleasure enjoyed throughout life.

Sexual autonomy has many dimensions for adolescent girls. On the one hand, this means that she can have the ability and right to live her sexuality and experience her erotic possibilities the way she wants, setting her own limits, deciding what is and is not pleasurable, demanding what she likes, and discovering her own possibilities.

However, gender stereotypes and cultural/religious beliefs force some adolescent girls to experience sexuality tied to reproduction. In some countries, adolescent girls learn rigid parameters and codes that not only regulate their desire but also the way in which it should be expressed in order to be considered healthy and correct. This forces them to experience sexuality as a threat, without the tools to combat sexual violence and the mechanisms to recognise and explore their individual needs. One study found that sexuality education programmes for young people that focus on risks and negative outcomes of sexual activity, and which deny pleasure or desire, are prone to “putting off adolescents rather than capturing their attention.”126

Strengthening sexual autonomy entails affirming the existence of multiple sexual expressions and that all adolescent girls have the right to explore and acknowledge their own desires, fantasies and needs. Depending on the cultural context, sport programmes can provide a safe space where adolescent girls can learn that sexuality is a pleasurable, accessible, beneficial and natural experience. If adolescent girls learn not only about alternatives to sexual intercourse but also about being mindful, focused, and aware during all forms of sexual activity they will find their sexual relations safer and more enjoyable. They will have no need to rush to intercourse. The alternatives are that adolescent girls will continue to seek out and rely on more pertinent and, perhaps, inaccurate sources of sexuality information: namely from pornography and peers.127

Sport teams are often trusted places for girls to learn about sexuality, including pleasure. This education can come from a caring female facilitator or, more often, informally between girls from a peer-to-peer exchange. Although this can be a difficult topic to address and design for, it is possible.

Useful Example – The Hard Topics
The Sexual Information and Education Council of the U.S. has a curriculum that is geared towards teaching hard topics in sexuality, such as masturbation and decision making. This could be borrowed, adapted and implemented in a sport for girls’ empowerment programme.
 

Sexual Pleasure | Women Win Guides

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