Nadine Thornhill: Mummy Sex


Must See TV: The Truth About Female Desire

Don't miss your chance to check out this hot doc!

After family, friends, and talking about sex, watching TV is the greatest pleasure of my life. So I was super-jazzed to find out about a new television documentary called The Truth About Female Desire, which airs Thursday, February 12th at 9p.m. EST on CBC. I was even more excited when director/producer Maureen Palmer agreed to talk to me about the film. This was our first (over-the-phone) meeting, but I certainly hope it won’t be our last. Maureen is a sharp, witty, passionate sexual advocate and trust me when I tell you that her documentary is absolutely fab!

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So what is the truth about female desire? According to Maureen, “women are very sexual beings and we are full of desire, but we feel hampered in the current culture...because I think we’re still hamstrung by old ideas about what women should be, women as the gatekeepers of desire and what ‘good girls’ do. There’s a whole paradigm shift that would have to happen for women to truly feel comfortable expressing desire. We are in a process of getting there…”

The Truth About Female Desire delves into that process. Maureen very generously sent me an advanced copy of the film (which I’ve now watched twice, because it's just that good!)

Too often women’s sexuality is defined in very limited terms. But the reality is that desire is not a one-sex-fits all phenomenon. Maureen says, “The mainstream media has delivered images of what sexual women can be. Unfortunately, they’ve developed those images on a very narrow’s only a very narrow segment of the female population that’s deserving of going after her desire. What I’m trying to do in the doc is broaden the options for what sexual women can look like”.  

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Maureen envisions a world where we all have a right to the pursuit of horniness. Her film features women who are single, married, queer, straight, child-free, parenting, older, younger, poly and monogamous, all enjoying sex on their own terms. Their sexual appetites and activities vary, but the women all share a resolve not to be shamed for their sexuality. While mainstream media portrayals of feminine sexuality can be problematic, Maureen points to influential programs such as Sex with Sue and HBO’s Girls as valuable sex-positive counter points.

Maureen also believes that accepting women’s authentic sexual desires is a key aspect of normalizing sexual consent. “[Women] want to be able to say ‘I want to pursue my sexual desires and still be a person of integrity. Still in modern North American culture, those two things don’t connect. And that goes to the core of consent. It’s really hard to teach girls about enthusiastic consent, if they’re going to get slut shamed.”

The affect of ageism on sexuality is another of Maureen’s peeves.  “A 55-year-old woman going to a blow job workshop is putting her face and name to her sexual desire is a game changer. You don’t see older women being sexual on TV without making fun of them. We need see role models of women saying ‘I have a right to be sexual and my sexuality is not your joke!’”

Seriously, how awesome is this woman?! Maureen Palmer’s documentary  is one more step on the path towards a new normal, where all women can enjoy safer, consensual, pleasurable sex when they want and how they want.

Reserve a seat on the couch and make plans to stay in on Thursday night, because The Truth About Female Desire is good TV!