Should celebs spill the beans on their sex lives? FEMAIL debates as Lily Allen tells the world about her orgasms
- British singer and songwriter Lily Allen, 35, talks openly about masturbation
- Bel Mooney says that celebrity exhibitionism makes people feel worse
- Trish Halpin argues celebs talking about masturbation gives others confidence
Bel Mooney (pictured) believes Lily Allen’s masturbation discussion is commercialism disguised as empowerment
By Bel Mooney
Wearing a £1,000 designer pink cardi, Lily Allen lets us in on her little secret: ‘Let’s be open about it. I masturbate. Do you?’
She says she’s worked to develop her very own sex toy (the £89 Lily Allen Liberty) with German adult toy manufacturer Womanizer. And she’s getting behind its #IMasturbate campaign, raising awareness of sex positivity by sharing a lot of information about her own sex life.
Lily has often claimed to be anti-capitalist, but when it comes to selling sex toys it seems she’s happy to forget her scruples. Kerching!
And her justification? ‘Female pleasure in itself is a taboo subject. The only way to make subjects no longer taboo is to speak about them openly, frequently and without shame or guilt.’ Oh save us! How can the subject be ‘taboo’ when you can’t move without celebs’ bedroom tips?
It’s not just Allen. Feminist Harry Potter actress Emma Watson recommends sex site OMGYes, which gives orgasm tutorials.
Apparently she has been a paid subscriber for ages, and wishes something like it had been around longer. Really?
You’d think sex had only just been invented, rather than having been a source of pleasure for centuries — with sexual positions illustrated by ancient Egyptians, Hindus and Romans.
Not much ‘shame or guilt’ then, although there was (of course) plenty of trafficking, exploitation and rape. Just like now.
Such serious topics really are taboo, and really do need to be talked about more. But there seem to be no limits when it comes to salivating over celebrity sex.
When Jane Fonda, 82, appeared on a chat show, the female interviewer almost panted when asking, ‘I need to know because you look so good, are you still having sex? Are you having, like, crazy sex?’
The insulting implication was that only sex can make you look and feel good. Nonsense. But Fonda just laughed, then spilled the beans about sex with famous men. If only she’d said, ‘Mind your own business!’
Forget liberation. Lily’s Allen’s sex toy is blatant commercialism disguised as ‘empowerment’.
As the Mail’s advice columnist I know sex can create problems, but surely celebrity exhibitionism only makes people feel worse? It brainwashes them into thinking that ‘out there’ everybody’s bonking themselves to paradise. It pretends satisfaction is yours as of right.
Instead of over-sharing, why don’t celebs just try glamorous mystery?
Trish Halpin (pictured) thinks that celebrities talking about female masturbation helps empower other women to engage with the subject
By Trish Halpin
Lily Allen is having amazing orgasms and she wants the world to know all about it.
She’s so pleased, in fact, that she’s brought out a new sex toy. Now you might be thinking, ‘Enough oversharing’ — after all, we’re living in a hyper-sexualised world where you can’t get through the day without seeing a minor celebrity trussed up in some bottom-cleaving, boob-squeezing outfit somewhere online.
How that serves women I’m not sure, but hearing about how Lily finally found sexual pleasure thanks to a sex toy? That I do want to know about.
Women may have been ‘sexually liberated’ since the Swinging Sixties, but half a century on, orgasms still elude far too many. Talking about it is still taboo, either because we are embarrassed to admit it if we can’t orgasm, or too reserved to admit how it happens when we can.
In my years of editing women’s glossy magazines, cover lines about the ‘Big O’ were always bestsellers, with readers wanting to know the how, what, where and when.
For a lot of women, masturbation can be the only way to hit the right note, and as Lily revealed in her autobiography, finding a sex toy that worked for her changed her life. Whether you’re going solo or have a partner, orgasms are good for you.
First, as we all know thanks to Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, faking it is not good for you or your relationship.
Great communication is the bedrock of every strong partnership, so true intimacy requires honesty, and, yes, sometimes help.
Second, orgasms are important for vaginal health, improving blood flow, which is especially important as we age. As one doctor I interviewed told me, ‘Use it or lose it’. I love to hear older female celebrities talking about their sex lives, too. Glenn Close has spoken about the myth of sexuality vanishing with age. Sharon Stone has revealed what she believes women want from sex in later life (‘a gourmet meal instead of fast food’!).
If anyone was going to trailblaze for younger women, it was sure to be Lily. She has never been afraid to speak out about her own life if she thinks it will help others — from her stillborn son to the trauma she suffered while being stalked.
And why shouldn’t she make money from endorsing a sex toy? After all, she wrote about it before having any commercial involvement with the brand, so we know that it works.
So bravo Lily for getting female pleasure in the headlines, and congratulations on your new business venture. I might just buy one…
Trish co-hosts the podcast Postcards From Midlife.
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