Now Playing: Sophia by Laura Marling (let it be known that I was who I am)
In my younger and more vulnerable years I thought, like most teenage girls, that my worth was in how big my boobs were, how clear my skin was, the numbers on the size tags on my clothes, whether or not I said the right things and laughed at the right jokes. I was obsessed not only with personal appearance, but with how I was perceived, and whether or not I was good enough.
In the confusing slut/virgin paradox, I was taught that my worth was in the fine line between being fuckable, but not fucking around. Boys kissed girls; girls got kissed. We wanted the boys to chase us, but heaven forbid we chase them.
I remember, vividly, when I was little, at school discos, the boys would march up to the girls and ask for a dance; you either did it with whoever asked, sat in the corner and cried if you weren't asked, or hid in the toilets if you didn't want to dance with anybody. When the couple of odd ugly girls - me always included - tried to march up to the boys, they started to run, and everyone started to laugh. At us. For just wanting to slow dance with a boy like all the popular girls.
When I got older, I was addicted to those web pages and magazine articles that were all like 'What Men Really Want' and 'What Men Really Think'. I learned that men were terrified of body hair of any description. I learned that men hated red lipstick and didn't understand women's clothes. I learned that feminism, which was something I identified with as soon as I found the Wikipedia page, was a deeply unsexy and disturbing topic of conversation. And every day I waited for a Prince Charming who was never fucking coming.
Today I am the girl who wears her Feminist as Fuck shirt as soon as it comes out of the wash. I wear red lipstick and I don't really care whether or not that makes me unkissable or unfuckable or unwhatever. I can't afford razors because I'm too busy buying books and reusable menstrual products and overpriced blushes with risque names (I'm looking at you, NARS), and that's okay.
And I learned, come hell or high water, I am going to be that girl who likes sex. And that there's nothing wrong with that. And that I should be proud that I have sex on my own terms, and that my sexuality is my own and not defined by anyone or anything else.
My attitudes towards sexuality are unorthodox, yes, but since I took control of my own life, since sex became 'things we do together' rather than 'things being done to me', everyone has been safe and happy; and that's the important part, isn't it, at the end of the day? I don't need chick flicks and bad abusive erotica telling me what I should and shouldn't do. I set my own boundaries and I 'm happy with them.
Today I met a guy who couldn't comprehend that a girl like me could still be 'a virgin', and immediately discredited my sexuality. He was utterly perplexed that I have partners who didn't need therapy after I refused to put out. I told him my usual statistic that between 70-80% of females don't orgasm through sexual intercourse, and he told me, to my surprise, that he knew that.
So why on earth do I have to do this specific act to make my sex life 'count'?
I'm not ready for that. I haven't met anyone that I've felt comfortable to do that with. I have physical and emotional baggage to deal with that just isn't kosher to dump on a hook up. And...this is the crux of the matter, I don't *need* to do that for my sexuality to *count* - actually, my sexuality doesn't have to *count* to anybody.
I'm not going to go into details, here, but there's more to sex than what goes where, and this is the scary part, for me: I feel like for most people, especially white cis het males, sex isn't about pleasure. It isn't about respect or affection or intimacy. It's about power. You do this and then I can put another notch on my bedpost. Whether or not either of us enjoy it is not relevant.
I've met a *lot* of guys who have tried to pressure me into doing things I don't want to do. A lot of them have done it like this - like, 'oh, what you've done until now doesn't count until you do this specific thing'. The thing is, though, they're shooting themselves in the foot. I'm not interested in anyone who a) tries to pressure me, b) discredits my sexuality (if you don't think I'm a sexual person, why on earth do you want to have sex with me?) and c) I'm a queer feminist peer sex educator, and I am thoroughly unimpressed by your heteronormative bullshit.
#DearMe: you grow up to be the hairy queer feminist everybody warned you about and yes, that does mean a lot of people turn their nose up at you, but hey...they don't know what they're missing ;)