This post was inspired by an email I received from Anna, a remarkable girl that reminds me so very much of me at that age. I was asked questions that I too would have asked, and so I can only hope that I offer a tiny bit of clarity through my very insufficient and unimportant words. All I can hope for is more room made for conversations such as these, instead of just judgement and silence.
When it comes to sex, we are taught (mostly, as women) to keep all details hush hush. We are not allowed to learn that providing ourselves with pleasure is okay & normal, or that we even have desires at all. On TV, women are either virtuous or full on sluts. We are the toys, the playgrounds, the swing-set with a line behind it. Our bodies must always be covered, lest a man find our breasts attractive. Playboy is bad, but Renaissance paintings of nude women are artistic. We invite all attention that we receive, and if we dare and deny it, we are slapped with a label of “prude” or “tease.” There is no middle ground. If we choose to sleep with none or few, we are old maids. If we choose to explore our sexuality and empower ourselves with lust, we are whores.
Sex is our taboo topic.
I have always had an almost unquenchable thirst for sexuality, in it’s many forms. Barring a couple of complications (which I’ve discussed enough, for now), my sexual journey has been erotic, alluring and bewitchingly stained with colors unparalleled. There are no limits to what I can find beauty in, for I am not a fan of labels in this regard. Women, men, fat, thin, tall, short; color, age, ethnicity, mental states, no bounds.
During my younger years, I was quite curious. I wanted not only to understand the fire that burned, but wanted to explore it. I would sneak into abandoned houses with a friend, and play the inevitable game of house. When I was discovered, I was slapped with the standards. This was wrong. Sexuality was to be feared, to be hidden. There was no outlet or information, just a plug to stop the flow of my desires.
Branded a slut my first day of high school, I was followed with taunts in the hallways. Oddly enough, I was very prudish most of my time there. I denied the ‘girlfriend’ invitations, and if I did find myself close to a boy, I shied away from even holding hands. A slut was my title, but I was nothing of the sort. Senior year, I did meet an older guy that waited patiently for 6 months as I contemplated my desires vs what society had shoved down my throat. When we finally began to sleep together, it was awkward and uncomfortable. I did not yet know my body, and he did not yet understand his.
It wasn’t until after high school, that I truly discovered my self. I held unbelievable power and was finally able to learn how to use it. Each person that I was with, revealed new parts of my reflection and it was intoxicating. I learned how to play make-believe in the roles that I would assume; I could be whomever I wanted to be.
There was an aspect of addiction to it, and I cannot type this without addressing that. I was drawn in to the exhilarating stimulation of ‘the hunt;’ I liked to chase down whatever target I had chosen, and would slap ‘worth’ on my back when I had achieved victory. I was fucked up for a long time, no moral compass, no values. But I learned & remain a student. I know where borders should end, and where they should begin.
But it wasn’t all like that, and eventually I grew to learn the difference. It became less about an unhealthy manifestation, and more about the independent nature that I crave. Sex is another way to communicate; it does not have to be dirty (unless you’re into that sort of thing..) or disgusting. It can be beautiful, playful. It does not have to mean attachment, as it can just be a brief, lovely fleeting meeting with another human being.
I’ve lived with labels slapped on my face all of my life, so calling me a slut phases me not. It’s okay to be a whore like me. It is also okay when women are more reserved. Or closed off completely, saving themselves for one or for none. Drying up like a piece of old fruit. I’m not hating. It’s been a YEAR for me, ladies & gents, I won’t even get started on the dryness. Desert. Tumbleweeds blowing around. It’s also okay to do that thing where no one else is needed.
As women, we should be sticking together, encouraging and enlightening one another … yet instead, all I see is cruel judgement and name-calling. Finding yourself and what works for you, is what we all have the right to do. It is the most beautiful part of being human; of being a woman. Shame and ridicule does nothing. Nothing but blur the lines of things that are actually wrong. Like rape. How have we gotten to the point of making that box so small? Where a woman has to worry about backlash after coming out with it?
We don’t all have (or want) to shout our sexuality from the rooftops. That’s not the point. But for those that do wish to express themselves, there should be a little bit more support and a lot less hate. Because there might be a young girl out there, confused about her body & her mind, that will put herself through hell due to that hatred.