Black Female Sexuality & The Media

Would like to welcome everyone back to Asylum. Today, we are once again blessed by our lovely and brilliant sister, we know her on twitter as @ShePonderings. Please also visit more of her musings at her personal site.

It’s a little difficult for me to write a piece on Black female sexuality & the media for a few reasons. Firstly, I don’t have cable. At first my decision to forego cable was due to my financial situation; however, as my financial situation improved, I decided to stick with not having a cable box & chose to read, research & collect quality DVD’s instead. Secondly, I’ve been disappointed at how women have been portrayed over the last few years. It appears we still haven’t found a middle ground in regards to female sexuality. A woman is either frigid, unhappy, bitter, sexually disinterested & dissatisfied, or she’s a fun-loving, ostracized, wacked-out whore. No, I’m sorry, there is a sexual middle ground: that is, women like Oprah, a spiritually enlightened woman who still calls the vagina a “vajayjay.” Where does this put women who are spiritually aware, sexually awakened and not afraid of saying the word “pussy”? Most importantly, what positive, sexually balanced & satisfied black women are in the forefront, openly discussing black female and/or male sexuality?

Loveline, was a show hosted by Dr. Drew & Adam, which focused primarily on sex & took sex questions from callers & the audience. Questions ranged anywhere from “is anal sex dangerous” to “I have this stuff leaking from my penis/vagina” & the hosts would answer unashamedly & with humor. I remember reading books by Dr. Ruth and listening to CDs by Dr. Laura about sex. I even remember the old, wrinkled white lady who had her own late night question-answer show; but in all my remembering, I don’t recall a show showcasing a positive black male or female discussing sexuality as it relates to the black community. I do recall CNN and other networks doing shows discussing the Black experience in America, but no shows, no positive, openly sexually satisfied & balanced black personas discussing sexuality on a consistent basis. Some might site Oprah as being such an example. I’d like to point out the fact that Oprah still calls the vagina a “vajayjay” and rarely talks openly about the vagina unless it has to do with vaginal health. Oprah doesn’t appear to give off the “let’s talk about sex” vibe, unless we’re talking about baby boomers contracting STD’s, which she did have a show on this very topic.

On one end of the “black female sexuality” spectrum, we have Oprah; and on the other we have the dreaded video vixen—a euphemism for the term “video ho”—falsely portraying black women as sexual objects. Movies, like “The Best Man” hint at female sexuality with a side or two of patriarchy & double standards. It’s ok for Norris Chestnut’s character to cheat, but when the fiancé does once, it breaks his heart & nearly causes him not to say his vows. Where is the representation for black females and males in regards to balanced sexuality? I’m still searching. In the meantime, I’ll listen to Erykah Badu serenade me to the tune of “Searching” as I ponder these things.