Yesterday, and then again today, I had a couple of conversations that got me thinking about sex. I was talking about pornography, I talked about the kinds I liked and the things that interested me. In one of the conversations, I began to back away because I didn't want the person to whom I was speaking to judge me or to jump to any conclusions about me. That's when it hit me-I should not give a fuck. I should be allowed to enjoy whatever I want sexually, I should be able to talk about it, and my sexuality should not be some kind of dirty secret that I feel like I can't share with anyone.
What is it that makes us, as a society, think that sex is a dirty deed? Why is it that it is okay for men to talk about porn, sex, their penises, and what they like but women shy away from those conversations? I genuinely don't understand, but obviously I have been affected by it as well. I find that I don't want people to know if I am having sex and with whom. I have a real fear of being viewed as a slut and I have a real fear of that view affecting the way that my friends and acquaintances perceive me.
As a general rule, I am not the type of woman who cares what other people think of her. So why, then, do I care about this? I believe that the answer is simple; there is a basic societal construct that implies that women need to be pure and innocent in order to be desirable. For some reason, we have it in our heads that we need to be "a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets," which is irrational and illogical. We post memes on Facebook, shaming celebrities for their actions and behavior when we deem them sexually deviant. We decide that purity is sexy, but only if it's not real purity. It has to be an illusion, because no one wants a woman who is really so pure that she won't put out.
Much in the same way that I think my body needs to be a certain way in order to be considered beautiful, I believe that my sexual conduct needs to hold up as well. This is all based on what other people say and the way that I see them react. And, I say this with solid conviction, it is fucking bullshit. At the end of the day, there is only one person who has to be okay with my conduct and that person is myself. If I wake up and hate myself for something sexual that I did, then there is a problem. If I wake up and feel satisfied, sexy, and powerful then my sex life is a success. That is the bottom line for me and it is something that I intend to work toward now that I am aware of it.
We live in a world where the President's wife is openly shamed for her past as a model, where Lady Gaga is shamed for having extra skin on her belly, and where other celebrity women's sex lives are constantly scrutinized and discussed and we allow it to continue simply because we don't know any better. If we work to change the way that we talk about sex and the way we treat ourselves when it comes to sex, maybe we will finally find some freedom. Maybe we will find some self love and some awareness. In fact, since sex is a basic function of being a human maybe we should start to look at it as something that we have to do, so we might as well find ways to make it interesting and enjoyable. Maybe we should all trade stories and ideas. Maybe we should start finding power in our sex lives and our sexual preferences. Perhaps we should start to embrace the things that we have been conditioned to feel shame about. '
I am all about destroying labels, stereotypes, and expectations, and it wasn't until last night that I realized that there is another one that I need to work on. I hope that going forward my attitudes about sex and sexual conduct can better reflect who I am as a person.