Bitch Radio: Jaclyn Friedman Wants to Help You Find What You Really Really Want

Photo of Jaclyn Friedman from the shoulders up. Jaclyn is a white woman with very curly brown hair and a tattoo on her left shoulder that says "brave." She is smiling slightly.

I remember the first time I heard the question. A reporter for a college magazine was interviewing me about Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, the anthology I edited with Jessica Valenti. […] Given all the conflicting messages young women get about their sexuality from all sidesmedia, church, family, friends, and morehow do we figure out what we want to say “yes” to in the first place?

So begins Jaclyn Friedman’s fabulous new workbook. What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety sets out to help readers move toward sex lives that are as personally fulfilling as possible. I sat down with Jaclyn at the 2011 Roots of Change Conference to talk about her hopes for the book, sexual autonomy, pop culture, surviving haterdom, and whether that title is what you think it is. Care to listen in?

Photo courtesy of

by Deb Jannerson
View profile »

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

1 Comment Has Been Posted

Thank you!

I've been waiting for a free moment to listen to this podcast in it's entirety, and I'm glad I did! I really like the idea of young women being encouraged to feel ownership and power over their own body and sexuality. I feel like so many of us women are afraid of our sexuality and feel ashamed for even having one at all! I know so many women who have hard time enjoying sex because they don't know how to ask their partners for what they need and some of them may not even know what feels best because they were taught that masturbation is taboo. I haven't read the book yet but definitely will after hearing this podcast. I can identify with feeling Other-ed and undesirable for being different (brown-skinned, queer, not being conventionally pretty or thin, etc). It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who feels that.

I really like the idea about exploring pleasurable sensations on oneself, whether they're sexual or not. For me, my favorite nonsexual self-stimulation is running my hands across my legs just after I've shaved and feeling how soft my skin is.

I think a lot of young men could use a healthy perspective on sexuality as well. I know of men who are ashamed of their own sexuality as well, who worry that they're not desirable or manly enough, who feel dirty for having perfectly normal urges (like masturbating or watching porn) or who feel inadequate because they don't know how to make their female partners feel good. I'd like to see a more healthy, empowering attitude towards sex for BOTH genders.

Add new comment