Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sex Clubs and The (Not So) Forward Thinking Woman

Let's talk about sex clubs. It's not like I've ever been shy with regards to sex, and you'd think with the one year anniversary of Britain's first female-only sex club recently flying by, I'd be rejoicing about the amount of women willing to experiment with the sexuality in such an open way - but I'm sad to say that isn't the case. The more I read about Skirt Club, the more angry I am with the woman who founded it. For too long bisexuality has become a neat little party trick, and this feels like that embodied.

I need to get this off my chest, the name of the club is Skirt. Really? As in "chasing skirt"? As in, how stereotypical and borderline offensive can we be without it causing controversy? Maybe it wasn't intended in that way, but if I was creating a club for women that was the first of it's kind I think I'd be pretty careful not to call it anything that could be translated in a derogative manner. Good, I'm glad that's out of the way - now onto the real important stuff. Founder Geneviève LeJeune (that isn't, you'll of course be surprised to know, her real name) is being hailed as a "forward thinking woman". That's interesting. Interesting as in completely bizarre and , in my humble opinion, wrong. A forward thinking woman would be one, I would say, that didn't base her exclusivity clause on a woman's face. That's right, to get into the forward thinking, progressive club you have to be - and I quote - "hot, very hot." She is quick to add that there are extensive questions and a personal meeting, ensuring their women have both brains and beauty - but it seems like if you need to pick, it's the beauty you need. Oh, and the body, of course, and watch out for the dreaded Primark pants Genevieve seems so horrified by, expensive lingerie only.

As baffling it is to me that women, undoubtedly judged at one point in their lives or another based on looks alone, would openly judge others in the same way - that's not the thing that really, really riles me about Skirt. The main thing is it's been advertised as a club in which straight and bi-curious women can come to experiment and then go home to their husbands. As a bisexual woman, that seems more than a little offensive to me. Bring your bisexuality to play, it says, then shove it back in the cupboard when you're done with it and settle back into your bed with your loving husband (who has, after all, let you out to play with other women. Out of the kindness of his heart, nothing sexual about it. If it was a man you wanted to experiment with, I'm sure he'd have let you go just the same.) Bisexuality isn't a new dress or an expensive piece of jewellery, it isn't - as The Daily Mail has called it - "cool to be a 'lipstick lesbian' right now". Sexuality isn't a thing that you put on and take off, it's a living, breathing extension of yourself and exploiting it as a status symbol? That just sits wrong with me.

Skirt isn't a forward thinking sex club, I'm sorry (although they do have some interesting talks on women's sexuality, sexual pleasure and sex in general). It's a sex club allowing upper class women to flaunt their exciting, interesting exploration of sexuality and invite their friends along (members do, after all, have to be invited by an existing member). It's borderline offensive, it's a step backwards and if it had been set up by a man? Women everywhere would be boycotting it, not begging the club to open more branches. Explore your sexuality, by all means, but don't do it because it's cool, or hip, or because all of your friends are doing it. Skirt is not a place for homosexual women to fall in love, Genevieve says - clearly bisexual women don't pose the same risk of falling for a woman. The claim seems to be, by Skirt, that bisexual women are really straight women who like to play with women once a month and then settle back in with their nice "adult lives" (another direct quote). You know what, Genevieve, if I'd come up with this idea - I'd be using a fake name too, I'm afraid. 

What do you think of Skirt?

Sammy xo.

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