Think we’re unaffected by the patriarchy in 2019? Try being a woman who says, “I really love sex.” Because fyi, I really do love sex and think we should be able to talk about it much more freely to help quell unhealthy attitudes about it.
But people hear that and make all sorts of assumptions and judgments.
They might call you a hundred variations of slut or skank. Look at you like you're totally depraved. They may judge your "hotness." If they believe you look good enough, then it's hot that you like sex. Then they assume you must want to sleep with them too.
If people see you and think you're unattractive, then the mere suggestion that you love sex is grounds for an invite to a fraternity pig party. Fat chicks and supposedly ugly girls aren't supposed to like sex--that's nasty.
Meanwhile, if a man says he loves sex, it doesn't matter what he looks like. The response is more like, "well, duh!" Men are expected to love sex and can even be bullied if they don't. Women aren't supposed to talk about sex (that's not ladylike), and we can be bullied just for liking it too much.
Women need to be able to talk about sex.
There's a big fat stigma surrounding sex and a woman's pleasure. Yes, it gets bigger anytime that woman doesn't fit into a box of preconceived, culturally acceptable hotness.
But I think it's something many of us women feel wherever we wind up on the conventional beauty scale.
It's confusing growing up in a culture where women are so sexualized that we get dirty looks and comments just for breastfeeding babies without a cover. It's confusing when the adults in your life tell you that good guys don't respect a girl who "gives it away." Even though those good guys are applauded for their many sexual conquests. And men having sex are never accused of giving anything away.
So why are girls the only ones to "lose" something through sex?
It's confusing to start dating and hear men praise you in the beginning... only to call you an ugly bitch or stupid slut as soon as you don't do exactly what they want you to do.
And it's hard to know exactly what to feel about sex and relationships when your mother says "guys only want one thing." Or that "kissing that boy from school made you look like a slut."
What do you do with that?
Some girls still have mothers who beat around the bush talking about sex and then give them lectures or quasi-pep talks shrouded in innuendo about how their husbands "may expect certain things."
As young girls, even when we talk to each other about sex there's plenty of confusion. We hear horror stories all about the pain of "breaking" or "tearing" the hymen. As we get older, sex often becomes a taboo topic supposedly better left for tabloids and ladies' magazines at the grocery store.
I want to talk about sex. For real.
And I reject the notion that men are the only ones who can gain prowess or confidence or joy in bed. Women don't exist just to be deflowered, or to "lose" anything, and feel intimate pain all for the pleasure of a man.
That's why I want to talk about sex in a healthy way.
It shouldn't be wrong or off-putting for women to admit when they love sex, or to discuss what they love about sex. But I hesitate and hold back, because old lessons run deep and I still remember being told that good girls don't want sex. Well... if we want it, we don't talk about it.
And we definitely don't love it--that's trashy.
Women not only have to fear stigma from men, family, and society, but also each other. We shame each other for loving sex, or we shame those who don't. It's ridiculous--all women should be free to make up their own minds about sex without judgment.
I also don't care if I don't "look" the part.
As a fat woman with lipedema and PCOS, I am well aware of the stigmas surrounding women like me and sex. We’re supposedly not pretty enough for sex and apparently desperate to have it (from anybody) too.
That means this message may not be well-received. But I'm okay with that, because I know it's going to help somebody.
There's a whole lot I love about sex.
There's the anticipation. That familiar yearning and the achy fullness in my erogenous zones. I feel ready to touch, explore, and play. I feel lust to be touched.
I love making out whether it's before, after, or during sex. If it's without sex, making out adds to the anticipation factor. Why does it feel so good and why do so many adults quit doing it? These days, making out is a lost art. While we're at it can we add in dry humping? God, I used to hate people using the word "hump," but then I got used to it once I began to do it. "Sex with our clothes on" just doesn't flow.
Among the best parts of sex, in my opinion, are the sounds. Being vocal during sex turns me on. It's liberating. But you know what else? Silent sex is awesome too. Maybe you're trying not to be heard, so you stifle those moans, gasps, or screams and you really tune into what's actually happening. One of the best things about silent sex is actually the inevitable noise. Sounds of suction--thwuck!--and friction, the rhythm of the furniture moving a tad (or a lot). It's all good.
Some people don't care about oral sex but I am not one of those people. Oral Sex is one of my favorite things ever. In my case, the sensations and intimacy are best reserved for deep love. But that's just me. I always know when my heart has turned a corner and I've fallen in love because I start craving my lips around my partner's dick.
Too dirty to hear a single mom write like that? See, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
And speaking of words we don't like to hear, I love mutual masturbation. I don't even care about the clinical sense of the M word. Mutual masturbation can be so freeing and it's an exciting way to tune into your partner and discover how they like to be touched.
Did you know that vibrators are not just for solo sex? That's right--too many people look at sex toys as a mere replacement for a dick, but that's only one minor way to use them. Sex toys can be fun, silly, or serious. There's a flavor for everyone, and I think couples who can use sex toys without any bruised egos are all the better for it.
Everybody's got a favorite erogenous zone. Some people go wild if you breathe on their ear. Some dudes are super turned on by nipple stimulation (and some, unfortunately, are embarrassed by that.) Me? I love breast play and neck play. There's a certain spot on the side of my neck... ahh, I'm definitely not alone there.
Obviously, there's a lot more that I love about sex. There are certain ways I like to have an orgasm. And I like to laugh in bed. It's a pretty big deal to me that my partner and I can be completely honest, free, and even silly in the midst of sexual activity.
I mean, cum on... sex is supposed to be a fucking joy for those who choose to be there.
The way we talk about sex matters.
I have never talked to any of my female friends about these feelings or the joy of sex. It seems our sexuality is somehow less taboo than the actual sex itself. Sexual activity and intimate foreplay are still typically off-limits. We blush and grimace just to mention orgasms, our clits, or to even say something about our bodies "down there."
I had a cancer scare a couple years ago and required a cervical biopsy. The clinic made me wait for 25 minutes half naked in the damn stirrups before the doctor finally got to me. In the meantime, I got to stare at the counter. When I took a photo of the instruments and put it in my Facebook feed, people freaked out at me.
God forbid somebody might see a speculum in a doctor's office while scrolling their newsfeed.
Likewise, if I say I'm exhausted because my period is going on for 12 days, somebody is bound to yell, "Too much information!"
But is it, really?
Men and women alike have such weird relationships with their own bodies. We're so used to feeling shameful or dirty about normal things, we often pass the shame onto our kids. And then our kids make poor choices about sex as a result. Shit--even we make poor choices about sex as adults because we still hold onto unhealthy and archaic notions.
Some women love sex and some women don't. Either way is perfectly fine. We deserve to explore our true feelings about the matter, rather than feeling handcuffed to whatever we've been told.