PODCAST: ‘Good, giving, and game’ — how sex advice and sex therapy perpetuate rape culture

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Dr Meagan Tyler about the ways sex therapy and sex advice teach women to meet male desire, regardless of the cost.

Too often, when women are not interested in sex at the same levels their male partners are, they are told either that there is something wrong with them or that they are obligated to find a way to meet men’s desires. Friends instruct us to engage in “maintenance sex” in order to keep our male partners happy. Women are told they are cruel or bad partners if they don’t have sex with their boyfriends and husbands “enough” or in the ways requested of them. In sex advice columns and self help books, as well as in sex therapy, women are often instructed to watch pornography with their partners or are told there must be something wrong with their relationship because they don’t show interest (or the correct level of interest) in penetrative, heteronormative sex. Somehow, it is always women who are the problem — dysfunctional, prudish, selfish, or lazy.

To learn more about the ways sex therapy, sex advice, and sexology more broadly reinforce ideas that harm women and perpetuate rape culture, I spoke with Dr Meagan Tyler, a Senior Lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Meagan is the author of Selling Sex Short: The sexological and pornographic construction of women’s sexuality in the West and co-editor of Freedom Fallacy: The limits of liberal feminism. You can follow her @drmeagantyler.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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