Fearne Cotton

Happy Place podcast: Fearne Cotton discusses feminist sex, and the pressures we put on ourselves

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Fearne Cotton and Flo Perry talk feminist sex in the latest Happy Place episode, and it’s an absolutely fascinating listen.

Fearne Cotton hasn’t talked sex on her hugely successful Happy Place podcast – until now. For someone who is usually so open about mental health and women’s issues, it seemed like she almost shied away from tackling the subject. Cotton admits that it feels like “conversations around sex are still back in the dark ages”, which perhaps explains why she has now decided to join the conversations herself. 

That’s why her latest episode, with the illustrator Flo Perry, author of How to Have Feminist Sex: A Fairly Graphic Guide, is such a refreshing, reassuring and essential listen. One of the most relatable things they discussed about was a woman’s relationship with her body during sex.

Perry said: “It’s a reason a lot of women don’t enjoy sex as much as they could because they’re preoccupied by thinking about what they look like and [if] they fit into this very narrow definition of ‘what is sexy’ that the media gives us. 

“When in fact, that is a very narrow definition compared to what people actually find sexy, which is: everything. Whatever you’re selling, there’s always going to be something that somebody’s buying.

One example she gave struck a real chord: “Every woman has had a time when you’re having sex and you look down and and you think ‘oh no, this isn’t what I imagined I look like. This isn’t what it looks like in porn. Oh no, I’ve found this patch of hair that I didn’t remove’. It’s distracting and it takes away the moment.”

Cotton agreed, saying: “It is [distracting] and it should be free from any mental rumination – it should be a physical in-the-moment experience. 

“Those things are road bumps, they do knock you off course or make you lose confidence. And it can be from things that we’ve been socially conditioned to believe are the norm, like ‘women don’t have armpit hair or pubes’ – that’s something that we all go, ‘oh yeah women don’t have armpit hair’ and if you do, it’s a ‘strange thing’.”

Listen to Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place with Flo Perry

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…