Sorry mom. And dad. And various other authority figures who for some reason still view me as this innocent little angel who can do no wrong. But I’m also not sorry for speaking my truth and I realize that I’m doing myself and others a disservice by not sharing my life lessons.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s get into this story, because obviously the title is a little…unique to say the least.
Growing up in a Christian household with strict parents, the concept of waiting until marriage to have sex and remaining pure was constantly being preached at me. But like most sheltered kids who go away to college, all of that went out the window as soon as I stepped foot onto campus. Granted, I didn’t go as wild as I could have that first year (mainly due to the fact that I still had a Pick-Me mindset-another story for another occasion) but I did go through a short period of cognitive dissonance when I met my ex. I was so in love with this person and we were both virgins, so the timing seemed perfect. Not to mention the fact that our friends knew we were virgins and there was plenty of peer pressure on both of us to finally grow up and lose it to each other. So we did. I wasn’t a virgin anymore. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tiny bit of guilt, but I brushed it off by thinking “well, I’ve only slept with this one person and we intend on getting married anyways, so it’s not like it even matters.”
Fast forward to the end of our relationship. At the very beginning of our drawn out, tumultuous breakup, I ended up hooking up with a close guy friend of mine. And that’s how I caught my second body. He was giving me the attention that I wasn’t getting from my ex, I was no longer in a committed relationship, and he was cute so why not? To a normal person, having only two sexual partners in your lifetime isn’t anything to blink at. But me being fresh out of a toxic relationship, I felt otherwise. My ex and his friends found out and proceeded to villainize me as if I was this horrible, awful slut who broke their friend’s heart. Never mind the fact that the asshole cheated on me twice (the last time being a week before my birthday), was controlling and sexually abusive, and contributed to my suicidal ideations. No, I was suddenly the worst person on campus simply for sleeping with someone other than him.
And I started to believe them.
With everything else that went on during the Year That Shall Not Be Named, I felt overwhelmingly guilty and alone. My body was no longer mine anymore. I felt like my self-worth was validated solely by my body count. I let the opinions of 5 or 6 boys dictate my value as a woman. Why was I being shamed for something that men do without any backlash or remorse?
After reaching a point where I was able to address my traumas head on, I began to do research on the sex positivity movement. This was right around the time that Amber Rose started hosting the Slutwalk in Los Angeles and I was intrigued. I wasn’t used to seeing women who were bold and unapologetic for going against societal norms. And they seemed so happy and free.
I don’t know if it was just a weird coping mechanism or because I’m a stubborn Sagittarius, but somewhere along the line I decided to say “F**k it” and reclaim myself. Reclaim my body, reclaim my mind, and reclaim the phrases hoe and slut. If I was going to be seen as a hoe no matter what I did, I might as well be a happy, carefree hoe. At the end of the day, people are always going to have something to say about what I do, especially when they only see one side of the story, but I decided to choose myself first always.
So that’s exactly what I did. I went to therapy. I experimented with different styles of clothing and learned to love my body and its new curves. I went through alternating periods of celibacy and promiscuity. But overall, I started living my life for myself and myself only.
Becoming sex positive has taught me that I’m more than capable of making my own decisions. It’s taught me that I can define my sexuality on my own terms, not anyone else’s. That I can finally stop beating myself up for not conforming to the restrictions that society and religion love to place on women. Now that the weight of shame and guilt are no longer holding me back, I can get back to my journey of self-discovery and keep growing into a strong-willed and powerful woman.
Has anyone else deemed themselves as sex positive? What has your journey into sexual liberation looked like for you?