Saturday, January 3, 2015

SEX or Slut Shaming...Myself?

Today we are talking about that three-letter word that stirs up so much conversation:

To be honest with you, I'm more than a little disillusioned with sex at the moment. I think I enjoy talking about it more than I enjoy participating in the act. Now, that might have something to do with my own insecurities and often not being "lost in the moment" during the act, thinking, "Is my ass jiggling? Do I look sexy right now? Does ANYONE look sexy right now?" It may also have something to do with the fact that most of my "off the charts" sexual experiences have fallen into categories that are hard (if not undesirable) to replicate: new relationship sex, break-up sex, make-up sex, and "I shouldn't be doing this" sex.

In the fall, I decided to become celibate for one year from sex, as well as romantic entanglements. I felt this would be a good way for me to clear my head and focus on myself. As the weeks went on, I began to ask myself: When would you have sex after you started dated someone? The logical retort was: When have you in the past? Then, I had to admit a hard truth. The answer: Immediately.

Begin downward spiral into Shametown with stops along the way to Justification Junction, Excuseville, and "But Let Me Explain" City. The hard bottom line is this. I was a slut. I was a relationship whore, a love addict, and a big ol' sex slut. No judgment. Just fact. I didn't set up permanent residence in Shametown, because there was no need to. I lived, I'm learning, I'm moving on. But, this revelation did get me thinking, as revelations tend to do. And a question kept creeping into my mind: Why were you a big ol' sex slut? WHY?!?!

A few reasons come to mind. Reason #1 self-esteem. Or, in my case, lack thereof. I think it was an easy transition from "the good girl" to "did you hear what Melissa does?" when I didn't even think I deserved to be in a relationship. When you feel grateful for the ounce of attention you are receiving, everything else seems immaterial. Especially in high school, when you are both trying to navigate this thing called a "relationship" but you are both still children. It's kind of ridiculous and scary to think about 18 years later.

Things certainly don't get any easier to navigate in your 20's, especially when you are discovering your sexuality includes wanting to be with girls (reason #2). As many gay and bisexual people know, there is something of a second puberty you experience with your first same-sex relationship. Just as uncertain as high school, no matter how old you are! There is this sense of urgency, that everything you have been holding in can come out and sometimes that means wanting to have sex immediately.

Then, you are in your mid-20's, disillusioned by relationships, even more disillusioned by the "sacredness" of sex (c'mon, who hasn't been THERE? There are at least 50 sitcoms on right now with a central character who fits this description) and you actively and consciously decide to have a "slut phase."

This is where one might engage in one-night stands, threesomes, "friends with benefits", the list goes on.

And typically, without any regret or shame. There is an understanding that she is "single and free" and isn't hurting anyone. And I would an extent. Of course, I can only speak to my personal experiences. And yes, at the time, I did feel free and even liberated at times. Looking back, I think I was using sex to make myself feel good. It was like anything else I had used to quiet my restless mind or numb my pain. It wasn't any different than binge eating, drinking, exercising compulsively, or cutting. It was just another expression of the same hurt. But, because it was socially acceptable (as is binge eating and compulsive exercise, let's be honest...), I didn't think twice. Until now.

Trust, this is not some preachy, "Girls, save yourselves" post. Far from it. More power to you, if that's what you REALLY want to do. I didn't and if I listened to myself more carefully, I would have known I didn't. And that's okay. Regret is a natural part of life. Anyone who gets through this life without regret is doing something wrong. I'm not holding onto it, in fact that part of my life and my feelings about sex are so different now it's a non-issue in my current reality. I do think it is important to think about the whys of our actions and if we aren't fully comfortable with them, maybe we shouldn't be doing them. In the mean time, if you are a proud slut: embrace it! If you are a wannabe slut: chase it! If you are a non-proud slut: erase it! And remember: