Here is the full transcript of sex researcher Sofia Jawed-Wessel’s TEDx Talk on Women’s Sexual Pleasure: What Are We So Afraid Of? at TEDxOmaha conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Women’s sexual pleasure- What are we so afraid of by Sofia Jawed-Wessel at TEDxOmaha
Sofia Jawed-Wessel – Sex researcher
I started kindergarten already being able to read — a skill a classmate would quickly take advantage of. He whispered to me in the library one day: “Hey, Sophia! Can you look up the word ‘sex’? I want to see what it says in the dictionary.”
I had never heard of this word, so of course, I was curious. “Yeah, OK.”
My fingers slowly trailed down the page, eagerly searching for the letters s-e-x. But before I could land on the desired word, I felt a firm tap on my shoulder, and a stern gaze hovered over me.
Sat in the principal’s office, terrified, yet unsure of my crime. He leaned in close and said, gently, “Now, Sophia, why would a little girl like yourself be concerned with a word like that? I don’t think your parents would be too happy to hear of it. But since this is your first time in here, I don’t think they need to be told.”
In that simple moment, he created the first secret I would ever keep from my parents and a lifelong curiosity about this shameful word spelled s-e-x.
We’re going to share a lot of secrets today, you and I, and in doing so, I hope that we can lift some of the shame many of us feel about sex.
How many here have ever been catcalled by a stranger? Lots of women. For me, the time I remember best is when that stranger was a student of mine. He came up to me after class that night and his words confirmed what I already knew: “I am so sorry, professor. If I had known it was you, I would never have said those things.”