Your Body, Your Choice

As a child I grew up,
as many children do,
watching Disney movies.
Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast.

I grew obsessed with Romeo and Juliet,
Jack and Rose.

I knew it could happen in reality:
Paul and Joanne. Johnny and June.

I would write fairytales of my own
about how my prince would come,
how a man would save me.

I had preconceived notions about love,
and especially about sex.

As a “virgin” you are:
pure, whole, modest, moral, holy.
This is ideal for any princess,
young girl, lover.

My body was made to give away to a man;
it was never my own possession.
It was special,
only meant for someone you really
really, really, really, really, really
loved.

So, that’s what I did.
I fell in love
and I gave my body away.

And then that love left me simultaneously.

I had nothing.
My body was not my own anymore
after that.

Sex equated to love.
I sought it out,
to feel love.

Sometimes this would fall apart quite quickly,
sometimes it led to me being taken advantage of,
sometimes it led to dead end long term relationships,
but it always ended with unhappiness.

I did not feel loved unless I felt wanted.
I did not feel wanted unless someone was having sex with me.

I never had sex for myself.
Sometimes it was just for his pleasure,
sometimes it was hoping he would love me if I did,
sometimes maybe it was for myself…
for just a moment to feel what I thought was love.

After nearly a decade of this,
after I moved out of my ex’s house and we had decided to get a divorce,
I chose to have sex for me,
for fun, for pleasure, for no other reason than I wanted to.

That is when everything changed.

I used to be the girl who would shame women,
call them sluts and whores,
think badly about anyone who was more secure in their own skin than I was,
anyone who wasn’t having sex for love.

Our bodies are our own.
You never give it away:
that is the lie.

Your body,
from the moment you’re born,
is your only true possession.

You have complete control of your body;
all of the decisions you make with it are yours and yours alone.

If you choose to have sex for love,
for pleasure, for fun, for no reason at all,
that’s okay.

If you choose not to ever have sex,
that’s okay.

If you choose to wait until marriage,
that’s okay.

You can have sex as much as you want,
or as little as you want.

As long as it’s always your choice,
it’s the right one.

Your choice is not shameful, it’s not unholy, it’s not abnormal, it’s not immoral.
Your choice is natural, it’s healthy, it’s valid.

And I stand behind it.

I stand behind your choice to do whatever you want to do with your own body,
sexual and otherwise.

I do not shame other women anymore.
I do not call them names.
I do not judge what other people do with their own bodies.

I do beg you to discover your own body,
take complete possession of it.

It’s okay to believe in fairytales.
It’s okay to think they’re bullshit.

It’s okay to want someone to love you before you let them,
literally,
inside of you.
But it’s also okay if you don’t.

Your body.
Your choice.
Always.

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