Despite a long history of conservative culture in the Philippines when it comes to the topic of sex, the last few years has shown significant strides in our pursuit of sex positivity — one of the most recognized names in this pursuit is Dr. Rica Cruz, one of the country’s leading sex therapist and educator. Dr. Rica made it her life’s work to create a safe space where Filipinos, especially women, can learn and talk about sex and pleasure without being judged, criticized, and shamed.
“I have spent all my years in the field as a sex therapist and educator, to understand the Filipino women’s relationship with their sexuality. And what I’ve found is that most Filipino women tend to feel self conscious and lewd when it comes to exploring what makes them feel good because we’ve been taught to feel guilty about sexual relations — or even just thinking about sex,” shares Dr. Rica.
In fact, more than 40% of Filipino women report having sexual issues like the inability to orgasm and feel pleasure during sex due to guilt and shame. “I know because I’ve been there: The shame, the guilt, the criticisms and judgements. This is what’s ‘normal’ for the Filipino woman, and it needs to change,” says Dr. Rica
This has led her to publish a research paper entitled, “Sexual Pleasure for the Filipino Woman: The Wife, The Mother, and The Slut.” Because of this research, Dr. Rica represented the Philippines this November 20, 2021 in Puerto Rico, where her research earned her the Inaugural Award for Early Career Professionals by the Society of Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), one of the top organizations in the field of sex research in the world, where she was given a grant to present her research to the top sex scientists of the world.
Inspired by her research Dr. Rica set out to create and launch Unprude, a sexual wellness e-commerce company where sex isn’t lewd, vulgar, or naughty, but where women, no matter where they are on their journey to sexual wellness, can freely explore and shop for their sexual desires and curiosities without guilt, shame, and self-consciousness.
Unprude’s entire experience was designed with the Filipino woman’s psychological needs in mind vand is backed by Dr. Rica’s extensive experience as a therapist, educator, and broadcaster. “In my study, I found that the key to experiencing sexual pleasure is a slow and deliberate psychological process. The process involves an integration of a woman’s bodily experiences, cultural ideals, and the multitude of identities that she has to go through as a Filipino woman,” she explains.
“So many of us still feel ashamed about exploring our sexual comforts and curiosities, but the reality is, pursuing our desires should be as ordinary and rewarding as finding the perfect pair of jeans. Loving sex shouldn’t make us feel lewd or vulgar — it just makes us women.”