That year, I gained the ability to use my voice. I began writing on Suburbia Interrupted. Being sarcastic by nature, my writing centered around (and still does) the mishaps of my life; self-deprecating moments of ridiculousness; politics; women's rights and wait for it...sex.
I quickly discovered openly talking about my sex life was a dividing topic. For a society like ours, one that is hyper-sexual, I received both accolades and criticism for embracing sex. While most thanked me for bringing sex back into the momosphere (as I call it), others accused me of being a horrible person who lacked the ability to be a mother because mothers do not talk like that. I was shocked. While some were laughing and appreciating a piece on (let's say) a BJ gone wrong, others were criticizing me for openly using the word blow-job.
Sex is an empowering, enjoyable escape everyone- including women- have the right to enjoy. Yet women are victimized by the beliefs of those who vilify sex as something good, wholesome women do not have, think about, act upon, experiment with or enjoy. Women are suppressed by the notion that enjoyable sex is something only men have. Women are shamed by the idea using role play or toys and viewing pornography will brand them as easy, whorish and dirty.
In recent months, politicians have taken aim at a woman's raging and out of control libido. Magazines such as Cosmopolitan have been targeted by religious groups for promoting a pornographic lifestyle to young women. In recent years, women who stand up and defend the right we all deserve to have- to control any and all decisions regarding our sexual health- are branded by some with name calling and character assassination.
My sexuality is not an inferior trait that needs to be chaperoned by emotionalism or morality.
I knew nothing about sex as a young adult. The sex I had was generic. It felt good but it was not the mind blowing sex I now know. I had not yet realized I was free (or allowed to) voice my wants, my desires, my fantasies. I was clueless when it came to giving a guy a BJ. I was embarrassed that I wasn't doing sex right, never realizing the great thing about sex is- there is no right or wrong way to have it.
As women, we are taught to value or bodies; to love ourselves before we love another; to never let another undermine our self-worth. We are held to higher standards than men. We are expected to be ladylike; to be emotionally strong; to mask our sexuality so titles such as slut, whore, and easy are not used to define our character. What I have discovered is, when one masks their sexuality, one cannot truly love themself or appreciate their self-worth.
I spent my young adult years ashamed of myself. Ashamed I was sexually active. Ashamed of the stigma. Ashamed of having sex on a first date instead of waiting for the (made up) acceptable time frame to arrive. Ashamed that I was experiencing so much pleasure yet not following any of the sex "rules" others were supposedly living by.
I often wondered if friends were also keeping their love of orgasms secret. Were they bursting at the seam, wanting to openly discuss their most recent romp in the sheets? Were they also questioning why it was acceptable for men to be sexually active, free from the ridicule, while we dealt with the looks, assumptions and self-doubt. Were they wondering why being sexual- exploring, enjoying and embracing their bodies and the physical act of sex- was negatively viewed by society simply because they were a woman?
Women are sexual beings, free to enjoy the act of sex just as much as their male counterparts. Being sexual, experimenting, and embracing one's sexuality is normal. It is not shameful. It is not vulgar. It is not wrong. Like men, women should be free to enjoy and initiate sex. Like men, women should be free to openly explore their sexuality any way they please.
As a young woman, I wish I knew it was okay to embrace the feelings of pleasure. I wish I knew to let go of the self-esteem issues and self-doubt that hindered my ability to fully understand what being sexual meant. Women, young and old, need be taught we are all beautiful sexual beings; who, no matter size, race, imperfection or level of sexual experience, deserve to be swept away by the euphoria of an orgasm. Women need to be taught that being sexual does not mean one must strut around in the perfect black dress, perfect heels and perfectly matched lingerie. Women need to learn that being sexual is becoming confident with who you are as a person and exuding that confidence through words...touch...a look.
Woman, especially her sexuality, provides the object of endless commentary, description, supposition. But the result of all the telling only deepens the enigma and makes woman's erotic force something that male storytelling can never quite explain or contain.
Being sexual and embracing one's sexuality means trusting yourself enough to enjoy and appreciate the pleasure another can give you. Being sexual and embracing one's sexuality is acknowledging and fully accepting your sexual likes, dislikes, wants and desires.
I am an intelligent woman, mother, and partner who enjoys sex and isn't afraid to experiment and embrace my sexuality. As a woman, I spend my days trying to empower others to accept the mishaps, laughs, and wonderful feelings being sexual entails. As a mother, I teach my daughter and sons to appreciate, accept and love themselves and every other human being. And as they grow, they are taught to appreciate and love their bodies. As a partner, I make sure he is sexually satisfied and loved. As a couple, we communicate our desires, needs and wants without fear of humiliation, looks or shaming.
Sex is a natural and normal act of intimacy. Being sexual doesn't make you a horrible, dirty person. There is not a right way or wrong way to have sex. There is no right or wrong way to express one's sexuality. It is time society fully embraces a women's right to step out of the shadows made by those who try to hold her back. It is time for women to positively accept who they are as a person, embracing their sexuality as much as any other part of their character.
Our basic relationship to sex mirrors our whole relationship to life.
-Swami Dhyan Giten