I am female. I’m comfortable in my gender identity. I’m comfortable in my sexuality. What I’m not comfortable with is my lack of understanding regarding my body, or my sexual pleasure.
When I was growing up, my mother always prioritized my vulva, and my vagina as my most important body parts. “Don’t ever let anyone touch you there!” she’d yell at me. “If someone hurts you THERE, you’ll NEVER be able to have babies!”
It was always about not trusting anyone, and being able to have future babies. When I was an ignorant teenager, it was always about “not letting boys get too close,” and “not getting pregnant,” which was a concept that wasn’t even on my radar.
I remember slow dancing with a boy at a Halloween party when I was 14 years old. I felt how much he was enjoying the dance. For weeks after that, my friends and I panicked that maybe he got so happy dancing with me that he creamed his pants, and the little swimmers made their way through our jeans, into my vagina, and up my birth canal. We were terrified that I was pregnant. Truly, honestly TERRIFIED!
Oh, I know you’re laughing. I am able to laugh about it now too, but I’m also ashamed of how bloody ignorant I was! I KNEW how pregnancies occurred. I KNEW about the concepts and mechanics of sex, but FEAR was so ingrained in me, and clearly my friends, that all logic “swam” away.
Fear and Ignorance were the two angels that sat upon my shoulders while my brain battled curiosity, and desire. I danced the Tango with Fear. Fear introduced me to Rejection, and Failure. Ignorance waltzed me through believing that every perspective partner was going to share a horrible-evil-awful disease with me and then I’d be RUINED for LIFE! Clearly Fear and Ignorance were co-dependent twins that enjoyed taking control of my life.
When I think back to the education, or lack there of that I received growing up, every drop of it focused on how my body was meant to please my future male partner. There was never any consideration that I may consider a female partner. There was never any consideration that I may never want a partner. There was never any consideration that I’d deserve pleasure too.
My mother meant well, I’m sure she did, but the only sexual education that she ever gave me was telling me to “never trust boys again,” on the day of my first period.
In a constant search for information, and guidance, I scoured the local library for books that would help me battle Fear and Ignorance. Knowledge is power and the more I read, the more Fear and Ignorance gained control of my brain. I desperately wanted to be comfortable and free with my body. I wanted to feel beautiful in my skin. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be desired. I wanted to experience all the things the girls that I looked up to experienced, but I was TERRIFIED. I was trapped in the prison that Fear and Ignorance had built for me.
I took courses based on the psychology of sex. I talked to friends. I dated. I tried. I tried to feel comfortable, but Fear and Ignorance fed my self-imposed personal judgement.
I’m not sure when I woke up and punched Fear and Ignorance into a TKO, but I do remember the lightbulb that went off in my brain when it happened: I suddenly felt ALIVE! Suddenly I needed to know why my pleasure was never the forefront of my sexual education. I needed to know why my desires, and my needs were always considered secondary. I needed to know my rights, I needed to know my feelings, and my thoughts on life.
I turned to my friends. We talked about our experiences. Scarily all so similar we could be the same person. Owned by partners who challenged our boundaries. Owned by partners who ignored our thoughts and feelings because they were taught that we were here for their pleasure. Women need to please their men. Women drink wine to cope with having sex with their husbands. It’s a wifely duty. It’s just something we endure because it’s our duty. We agreed to this in our vows.
BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!! BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!! BULLSHIT!!!!!!!
A while ago, I was having a conversation with someone at the dentist office. She described holding her iPad above her face while her husband had sex with her. That’s exactly how she described it “her husband having sex with her.” I felt sick to my stomach while another friend at work suggested “just lying on your stomach and letting him do what he needs while you sleep.” I wanted to scream “No!!!! That’s not how it’s supposed to be! You are more than an object to fuck! You are more than just a warm wet spot for a dick!” But I didn’t. I bit my lip and walked away. I shouldn’t have. It’s not right. Women deserve sexual equality. We deserve to know and understand our own bodies. We deserve to be seen, heard, and respected as the sexual beings we are. We deserve to be in control of our own sexual destinies.
Growing up I was always taught that my body was here to please a man. I was told that I couldn’t say “no” to my partner because then he’d “get blue balls” and be uncomfortable. I was told that if I was assaulted it was my fault for “asking for it” by dressing provocatively, or by leading a partner on. Female pleasure was discussed in a couple of the courses that I took, but it wasn’t discussed in detail. We were also told that “women rarely climax,” and that “men need to orgasm in order to have healthy prostates.”
Now, I stand in 2022 listening to young women “survive” sex with their husbands because it’s easier than saying “no.” “No” is still too complicated for women to say.
Teens joke about trading blowjobs as the “new good night kiss.” Children are getting their sex education from porn on their phones while they battle constipation from not eating enough fruits and veggies. Everyone is empowered. Young adults are taking control of their sexualities: assigning new letters to the Inclusive Alphabet on a daily basis. We accept. We appreciate, we adapt… Yet in reality, we are still in a sexual dark age.
Until everyone is able to truly respect and understand consent, until people are truly able to respect personal identity and personal choice, the world will continue to spin in the wrong direction.
*Note there are many partners that care and respect their significant others, and many women that are involved in beautiful relationships. We are happy for them and wish the world the same pleasure and joy that they feel.