xxxplore

by jesssmithwriting

As a woman, it is not an empowered move to stop expressing your sexuality in order to maintain your dignity and power.

Many women, including myself, have been taught that in order to “maintain our dignity” and unfortunately to stay safe, the best move is to abstain from being sexual. Or at least reduce the amount in which we are. Sexuality is broad, but in my mind ranges from personal style choices, to artistic choices, to the obvious physical choices we make with our bodies.

In recent conversations, I have noticed a tone some women use when speaking about our sexuality and it saddens me. “I went 6 months without sex, but had to just give in,” “I feel like shit after last night”… What doesn’t sit well with me is that this part of our being has become a “falling,” a “giving in,” a “fault,” a source of shame.

From the beginning of time (lollll as if I know what it was like in the beginning of time).. but even thousands of years ago (ie. when the Bible was written) women’s sexuality was belittled, frowned upon and disrespected. Mary Magdalene was a whore and Mary..Mary (unsure of last name details) was impregnated with Jesus through immaculate conception. The concept of “purity” was born and has, in my opinion, had a very negative impact thousands of years later.

{Note: I understand this doesn’t relate to all women and some are very comfortable with their sexual expression. I also understand that there are other influences that hinder and affect people’s expression. So, let me make it clear that this article is not a blanket statement for all women’s experience. I would never be so bold (stupid) to believe I understand everyone’s story, or that I should “speak for all women.” I do NOT speak for all women, I speak for myself.}

The concept of “purity” is one that has challenged me my whole life. I have battled with it’s definition and whether or not I want to associate with it. I spent many years holding back from what I wanted, in order to maintain an image I believed I needed to live up to. My parents never pushed any beliefs down my throat, I just happened to be a sponge. When a power figure (priest, teacher, etc.) told me something, I took it as “word.” And Sunday’s in church, while they are largely responsible for my values in treating others kindly and fairly, they also bordered on detrimental to my personal growth and authenticity.

Years later I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to associate myself with anyone’s definition of purity, other than my own. And my definition is very different than any Christian definition.
Purity to me is authenticity of spirit. A pure spirit is one that follows it’s ways. It follows it’s ways, while wholeheartedly considering the well-being of the community in which it surrounds itself.

Is it truely pure to follow through and act in a way that does not align with oneself? Is it pure to take (or not take) action that does not bring joy to oneself? And I don’t mean selfish joy..I mean honest, gentle joy.

We are women, but we too are humans. And humans..all soulful, spiritual being-ness aside..have a scientific and animalistic instinct to procreate. (Aka hello sexy times.) The other side of this is that we also want to simply exist, without microscopic scrutiny of our actions and their possible relation to our sexuality. What I mean is that, while we are sexual beings, we are also simply fucking humans. Sexuality happens to be a part of us. It is not all of our being, nor is it none of it. To me there is an imbalance. We are either scrutinized for our sexuality and quietly demanded to minimize it. Named as “sluts,” told that our clothing choices make us provocative and therefore to cover up. Or we are hyper-sexualized and made into fantasy beings, built for one purpose and one purpose only..to please you, to entertain you..to fuck you.

The entertainment industry has largely banked on women’s sexuality for it’s profitability. It is time for us to take our power back into our own hands. Bring the power into normal, everyday life. Into everyday conversation. Get rid of the “awkward” vibe so many of us carry when discussing sexuality.

Where is the place for the balanced woman? The woman who accepts her sexuality as a part of her being, does what she pleases, who she pleases, when she pleases and then goes on with her life. Without the guilt, without the shame, without feeling like she’s “given a piece of herself away.” Spoiler alert: Women can receive from sex as well (or at least we pray to).

I have had conversations with men on this topic. Some have agreed that there is an imbalance and some have argued that women are shouting and screaming about a problem that doesn’t exist in our society. They argue that there is equality amongst the sexes. To these people I say, please reconsider your standpoint.

I am not a man-hater. I am not a feminist. I don’t believe in titling myself in order to validate my opinion. I believe in analyzing and comparing my personal experience to the experience of others, but ultimately speaking for myself. And I, myself have been called a slut while having sex with that man (boy). No, it was not in a sexy way. He simply said I was a slut for what I was doing..while we were having sex. I have been screamed at, called a slut in the middle of a pub because a friends-with-benefits partner told me he was falling for me and I could not reciprocate those feelings. I have been stalked by a man, who would not stop calling me for 6 months and came to my work to find me after I ended our situation. I have been sexually harassed over the phone by a man, who to this day I do not know. He called me repeatedly 4 nights in a row until I called the police and traced him through the phone company. I have been touched countless times when I did not ask or allow for it. I have women in my life who have been sexually harassed/assaulted in much stronger ways. And then there are the women who are being mocked for not expressing the sexual part of themselves. Before I ever acknowledged this part of my being, I was mocked for being “too good.” So, here’s my point. Society, which ultimately is us..needs to stop. Stop with the imbalance. Stop with the quiet shame. The loud shame. Stop with the silent punishment. The loud punishment. Stop with the “rules.” Rules of purity, of sexuality. Let one another be. And keep to yourself, if you are potentially harmful to others. And this goes for women too. We as women need to stand for one another. Don’t mock another woman if she isn’t overtly sexual. Don’t mock a women if she’s extremely sexual. If she’s kinky, don’t call her fucked up. End the word SLUT. Fucking kill that word already.

We only have each other, so we must defend that. Woman. Man. And everyone in between. Judgement is no one’s business. We need to decide for ourselves who we want, what we want, how we want it. Express ourselves. Protect ourselves. And above all, be gentle. With ourselves and everyone around us. Sexuality is an experiment, as is the rest of life. We get the opportunity to xxxplore and express. We can do so quietly through introspection, reading, educating ourselves, watching porn in the comfort of our own bed. Or we can explore and express it loudly, taking nude pics, dressing how we feel, having sexual experiences with whomever, whenever is right for us. Or we can do none of it! Because sometimes that’s great too. Whatever makes us happy. We’ve got to be true to ourselves and our desires. But we’ve gotta have fun man. We’ve got one life and this is a part of it. And it can bring us so much joy if we let go of the stigma we ourselves have built around it. So Just Do It..whatever “it” is. Ya, just do it.

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