There are several different ways I can describe myself. Instead of running that list down (and why should I, you don’t know me!) I can tell you one of the things that DON’T jump into my mind –“sexually liberated woman.”.
I don’t intend for this blog to be about all of the sexual quandaries a woman can face. I won’t offer any tricks of the trade here (I’m not getting paid for all that). Jokes aside, this topic comes from a conversation I had after sharing my first post with some trusted friends (who are or will be muses for some of the topics that come up here).
Him: Blog entry was interesting.
Me: Interesting huh?
Him: Yeah. The man in me didn’t really dig it, but the writer and scholar did.
Me: Why not the man though?
Him: I think it’s more that I’m still kind of old school and consider a woman talking about sex taboo.
So I had to think about it afterwards. Was this the double standard between men and women rearing its ugly head? I’m going to say no (even though I think there could be an argument for that here. Let me rule it out by saying this particular him has a vested interest in what I might say). Besides that, I don’t really think that was the issue. I thought it was more important that I examine a statement that I made in the opening paragraph of this entry, that I DON’T consider myself a sexually liberated woman.
Let me put it in perspective. I went to Catholic school during my formative years, and for those of you unfamiliar with the doctrine of faith, sex before marriage is a No-No. That said, I didn’t really start to even think of myself in a sexual way until high school, when boys were thinking about me that way and TELLING me they were thinking about me that way. I never got the birds and the bees talks from my parents (and even though I got it in middle school and high school, I was probably more interested in laughing at the pictures). Despite my immaturity, those talks still never addressed the issue at hand. Nobody was asking the teacher about touching in ways that make you feel good, and when it even got alluded to the classroom rang out in nervous titters.
All that to say, I knew the mechanics of the act, but I didn’t really know about the “inner workings”. The romance novels I read from time to time said it in such flowery language (he thrust his hard shovel in her treasure chest and they both exploded in bliss, or something like that) that I didn’t know WHAT that meant. What I knew was that sex was between a man and a woman, and that it was supposed to feel good. My friends said it, boys who were trying to tempt me into the act said it, hell, even TV said it. But NOBODY told me what to expect, what I needed to do. When I saw The Wood (and after a little bit of pain and a little bit of motion Malinda Williams asks “that’s it?”) I thought I had more of an idea. I was disappointed. It wasn’t supposed to be like anything I was told it was supposed to be.
So all that (mis)information aside, and after asking some people I trusted, I learned that I had to be comfortable with me. I had to be able to say what I wanted, how I wanted it. I had to be able to say when something was good, and DEFINITELY when something was not. I had to learn how to pay attention to my partner’s body and to pay attention to my own. I had to know how to enjoy myself without a partner (be the Master of my OWN bation, play with my own squishy like Andre 3000 said).
What’s the take home message? I still don’t consider myself a sexually liberated woman, but I am most certainly a sexual and sensual one. I had to learn to reframe sex. It’s more that just a physical act that gives pleasure. It is an opportunity for a man to pay homage to the woman that I am, to be attentive to every part of me. It is a way for him to express his love for me, and a way that I can express my love for him. It can help us release stress, it can help us have a conversation with out words. It can be the sweetest goodbye you never spoke. However you define it, it should be an opportunity to get swept away in a moment.