I got into a few conversations about sex yesterday with different people. In each exchange we discussed the complexities that exist in this primal act and how much more it can mean beyond physical pleasure and release. I noticed a struggle I had internally as someone who loved to discuss sex openly but yet shied away from it because of what it can mean to be a woman who loves to discuss sex openly. I didn’t feel like a slut or a whore or even the slightest bit promiscuous but many of my actions were spent dodging and avoiding affiliation with those words. Does it make me anything in particular if I openly admit to enjoying sex?
In one of my conversations I explained to a friend how much I’d learned about myself, and how I’d grown through sex. It taught me about accessing myself, becoming open and available. It’s taught me about acceptance. It’s taught me about sharing and compromise. It’s pushed me to explore different mixtures of my masculine and feminine energies. It’s taught me trust and also how to better listen to myself. All of these things and yet if anyone were to ask me how I learned them, would I dare to share?
I recognize on one hand sex, by and large, is extremely taboo in our culture. Despite the fact that everyone is having it (or at least enough people to continue propagating the species). However, for a woman to openly own her sexuality, sensuality, desires and pleasures it often comes at a price of her reputation and her character.
In behind the scenes footage of the making of Beyonce the visual album, Pharrell told Bey that her singing the song Rocket was going to set women free. She talked about her own hesitancy to release such a forward and sexual song, among others on the album. She found her own peace around it stating she was a wife and a mother and gave herself permission to access her full sexuality. Well…I am neither a wife nor a mother. Does it make me a slut if I decide to do the same?
Releasing the shame around sex is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to begin to truly enjoy sex. And for me, I couldn’t hold the idea that I was wrong or bad, sullied or soiled in any way and still have positive sexual experiences. So I let them go. Sexual freedom has taught me how to be myself more fully in other ways as well. I’ve grown into my voice more, become less timid and afraid to say how I feel. It’s taught me how to hold steady in my truth.
I wished I could’ve felt this way earlier in life. I wish I hadn’t been so critical of my own and others’ sexual expression. I wish I had not bought into the idea that a woman who likes sex is bad. I wish I had dismissed the idea that a woman’s worth is inextricably connected to sexual purity and the virginal ideal. I wish I didn’t feel OF COURSE men rape, because they’re taught by our society that they should be the sexual aggressors and women are the coy and naive conquest who really does want it, despite what she says.
Recently I made the assumption that the man I love would not accept this part of me, my sexually open self. We discussed it and he made it clear that that was not the case, and it only felt weird because I was perceiving it to be so. Of course he was accepting of sexual me. He was accepting of me, period. And that part of me shows up despite even my conscious efforts to keep it at bay. I wish I didn’t assume people would judge me for being who I am.
One of the ways I want to surrender this year is to my Self. I want to be and exist in my own full glory. That includes being sexy sometimes. That includes being sad and happy and powerful and yielding, too. I want to surrender to being human and thereby having access to the full human experience. I don’t want to house shame around pieces of me, lest of all my vagina–the Mecca of my ability to create. I no longer want to wish I had or hadn’t. I am ready now to trade wishes for will.