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Body Autonomy & Sexual Empowerment

I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a little worried. I see as women we have made so many strides in

our empowerment. That we are starting to break free from shackles of oppression and social conditioning which has been holding us back. That we are finally beginning to embrace our sexuality and also have power over our own bodies.

Our sexuality is our power.

I write about it here. However, little by little I see it being stripped away.

I see that the changes to abortion laws in the US are now criminalising women. A colleague who supports women after miscarriage, abortion and baby loss who campaigns heavily for women’s rights in the US, shared with me her concerns that corporate America is looking to fill more prisons. With women. And the way to do this is through the changes in abortion laws.

I see that in Edinburgh, Scotland, they are wanting to introduce a nil-cap policy to close the remaining strip clubs. If you are a feminist, you will be supporting and fighting to keep these places open.

Our sexual freedom of expression and our autonomy over our own bodies is where our empowerment lies.

It’s our choice.

And if you equate strip clubs, sexuality work and sex work to oppression I would like to invite you to explore where you got this idea from. Yes it is true that there are many women who are trafficked for prostitution and pimped out and oppressed and have their sexuality abused and used. I am not talking about those women. We still keep fighting for those ones.

I’m talking about the women who are confident in their sexuality and sexual expression and choose to work in a strip club. Who fully embody the power that their body has in its full expression of pleasure. I have talked before about how I consider dancing such as Burlesque a healing modality of our sexuality as women. My personal experience in it opening myself up to parts of myself that I had felt shame and wanted to hide.

I’m talking about the women who choose to go into sex work and be the surrogate partners for men to help them heal their own sexuality. Women who are the source of intimacy for men who feel so lonely and fearful of ‘getting it wrong’ sexually that they seek support from someone who can teach them and empower them.

I’m talking about the Sexological Bodyworkers who through consent and touch are able to release trauma held in the body so their client can access their sexuality at the very centre from where it permeates - the genitals.

I’m talking about facilitators of Tantra, conscious kink, BDSM, conscious touch, pleasure spaces, whether fully clothed, naked, physical touch or not, who are supporting people in learning about their own bodies in relation to other human beings. Facilitators who hold space for people and guide them into exploring the shadow parts of their humanity and sexuality in a supportive environment. As I’ve written before, if our shadows remain unconscious and we don’t bring them into the light, it’s the projection of them that causes harm to ourselves and to others. This work is so important.

I bring to light the various work that people do because if we allow women to be imprisoned for having autonomy over their own bodies, if we allow strip clubs to be banned, they will next start chipping away at the other areas of our sexual growth. We have come so far that my concern is that it will gradually be taken away again. Until we find ourselves oppressed and trapped but with the authoritarian tone of ‘we did it for you.’

So my ask here is to begin to notice the gradual stripping away of our rights.

To notice the demonisation of sexually empowered women.

To notice where you are being guided to judge and point the finger.

To notice where you find yourself saying ‘she asked for it’.

To notice when you feel discomfort when another person is comfortable and accepting of their own sexual expression.

Because if we don’t collectively begin to recognise our own discomfort and judgements, our own fears, we only begin to project them onto others and to dim their light.

Instead of dimming light we should be looking where we can shine it.

When you shine your light, you give the next person permission to shine theirs too.

How can you shine your light brighter?

How can you step into your own power?

How can you say yes to your sexuality and start the next chapter of your growth?

How can you be a support to the collective empowerment of women?

The change starts with yourself.

Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at

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