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5 mins

Simplify Sexual Empowerment: Jaclyn Friedman on Why You’re Not Broken

Writer, activist, and sex expert Jaclyn Friedman speaks on female sexual empowerment, how culture is screwing us all and why no pill will fix your sex life.
by Natallia Darozhkina | Dec 6 2017

On this episode of Simplify, Caitlin Schiller talks with Jaclyn Friedman about sexual empowerment – or the lack thereof, also known as “Fauxpowerment.” They discuss some of the fundamental challenges to women becoming truly sexually empowered and what’s at stake if we don’t make it happen. Then, they move on to nitty gritties ranging from the politics of The Spice Girls to how to talk to your partner about sex.

“The most important sexual relationship you’re ever going to have, is the one you have with yourself.”

— Jaclyn Friedman

Does wearing red lipstick fill you with confidence? Does a little bikini-clad Instagram make you feel indomitable? Depending on how you feel about it, these power-gathering tactics are just as legitimate as attending a women’s march. But for women the world over, expressing sexuality—or simply walking around with two X chromosomes and a female form—wins them little but violence, jeers, and even assault.

In this episode of Simplify, Jaclyn Friedman takes us through some of the issues in her new book, Unscrewed. She brings our attention outward to the larger, and sometimes hard-to-see, mechanisms that keep us all from getting free.

Friedman breaks down what’s going on with women, power, and the sexual culture that’s screwing us all. She also talks about the roots of the term “girl power,” introduces “Fauxpowerment,” an ad-world coinage turned reality, and offers some real ways to start improving our sexual culture for the better—which has ramifications for society as a whole.

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Who’s Jaclyn Friedman?

Jaclyn Friedman

Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, speaker and activist, and creator of the hit books Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and World Without Rape. Her podcast, Unscrewed, is paving new paths to sexual liberation, and was named one of the Best Sex Podcasts by both Marie Claire and Esquire. In November, 2017 her new book Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, And How To Stop Letting the System Screw Us All was released.

What’s Simplify?

Simplify is a podcast for anybody who’s taken a close look at their habits, their happiness, their relationships, or their health and thought “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” We talk to bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you.

Simplify is made with love by Blinkist. Click here to try Blinkist free for 14 days with the voucher code: unscrewed

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Talk to us!

This season, dear listeners, we are collecting your voices to add to the podcast!

Specifically, we’d love to hear how you would answer one of the questions we always ask our guests: “What have you discovered was much simpler or easier than you initially thought it was?”

Just record your answer with a voice memo app of your choice and then email it to us at [email protected]. We’re looking forward to listening to your responses, so stay tuned—you just might hear yourself on a future episode of Simplify!

If you want to say hi to Ben and Caitlin in the meantime, you can find them on Twitter: @bsto and @CaitlinSchiller.

Who made this?

Your hosts are Caitlin Schiller and Ben Schuman-Stoler.

Stellar research and production assistance by the outstanding Natallia Darozhkina.

Thanks to Nico Guiang for our awesome intro and outro music. Listen more on Soundcloud or check him out on Facebook.

Sound and editing by Ody Constantinou, who was an extra in the music video for Pearl Jam’s song, Alive.

Got links?

Jaclyn Friedman’s website, and her podcast, Unscrewed.

Extra credit reading

If you enjoyed this episode with Jaclyn Friedman and would like to delve deeper into these topics, check out this book list about good sex and working with (or against) the powers that be.

Read the transcript here!

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