Our culture stresses loving your own body how you want to love it. It’s yours to do what you want with; you can put as much wear and tear on it as you want. And typically, that means that you can have sex with whoever you want because it’s your body and no one can tell you what to do with it. At least that’s what people keep saying over and over and over again. Everyone seems okay with you using your body but when you don’t want to use it, they start to change their tune a little bit.

Casual sex is pretty accepted in our culture, especially on the college campus. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve been told hook-ups are fine so long as you’re being safe. Use a condom, communicate with each other, make sure you have consent, etc. But if you’re not hooking up, there must be something wrong with you, right? Are you asexual? Are you afraid? Or are you just a prude?

Everyone tells you it’s your body when you want to have sex but they don’t really say the same thing when you don’t want to have sex.

If everyone is telling you that it’s okay to have sex because you can do what you want with your body, shouldn’t you be allowed to abstain too? People champion a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body, but they only really do so when she is using her body. If a woman has the right to use her body how she wants, she should be able to not use it too.

So to all the “prudes” out there, you’re not doing anything wrong. In fact, I’d say you’re doing something right. If you’re waiting to have sex, you’re probably doing so for religious reasons, because you take sex seriously, because you’re waiting for someone special, or all of the above. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for religious reasons and you should take sex seriously. Sex with multiple partners is potentially dangerous. As a woman, you can get pregnant and as a man, you could become a father. Hook-ups can lead to miscommunication which can sometimes lead to rape. It's dangerous to not take sex seriously.

So stop worrying that you’re not exercising your right as an empowered woman. If the goal is to be in control of your own body, then, you are in control of your body when you say no to sex. So you’re accomplishing what everyone is telling you to do by choosing not to have sex.

Do not let anyone call you a prude. If someone is calling you a prude for not using your body, it usually just means that they want to use it. So don’t let anyone judge you for choosing to use your body in a different way than anyone else. You recognize that sex is special and that your body is special and you choose to keep your body for someone special. And that’s a good thing. So don’t let anyone try to dissuade you from that by using words like “prude.”