I’m on a roll guys. Been having a lot of conversations surrounding sexuality, and how it evolves. I started thinking about how we as women cultivate our sexuality, where it comes from, and how it continues to evolve.
I remember from a young age, being curious about sex.
Age 7. I came home from school, and mentioned that one of my classmates had said something about ‘sex.’ What was this, what did it mean? My mom told me that she would ‘talk about it with me when I was younger.’ Funny thing is, we never really ever talked about sex, and the first real conversation didn’t come about until I was 23.
My breasts started to develop around age 10. I remember feeling ashamed, and embarrassed at the amount of attention my chest was suddenly getting. I had C cups by 12, and was ace-bandaging my boobs everyday before school. Let’s not even get into it on how being developed early, brings about an assumption that we as women are sexually active.
I remember sneaking sidelong glances at BET uncut at my cousin’s house. Half naked girls gyrated and writhed across the skin, as rappers bopped to the beat. I remember getting in trouble for rapping all the words to ‘What’s Your Fantasy?’ in the 7th grade. I was 13.
I remember reading my first erotica. I was 16, and everyone on the track team was talking about these Zane books. Curious, I borrowed a novel from a fellow teammate, and began reading. I felt like my eyes were bulging out of my head. I had several thoughts:
‘wow, the author says dick a lot.’
‘I hate the word moist.’
‘ where am I gonna hide this so mom won’t see it?’
I literally used to hide Zane books under my mattress, and read them late at night after my parents went to bed.
I had always been curious.
I remember buying my first vibrator from a sex toy party hosted by a college roomie. I was both scared and amazed by it. I was 20.
I had always been curious.
I remember losing my virginity on my 22nd birthday, and thinking, ‘ so this is what it feels like. I kinda dig it.’
Flash forward to 27. I’m having a conversation in my GroupMe about how everyone first learned about sex. I notice that many of the women in the chat learned about sex from porn, books, friends, and TV. One member even mentioned how young she was when she first masturbated. I found all of this fascinating. WE, collectively, had always been curious. However, in a society where a woman’s sexuality is something to be covered up, shamed, and mocked, it has always been something skimmed over and not dived into. ‘It’ meaning a woman’s sexuality.’
Think about sex. For a lot of us, how much we had it depended on how we thought we would perceived. This was always a concern. ‘I don’t want to look like a slut. I don’t want to get that kind of reputation. I don’t want my friends to think I’m a slut.’ If we weren’t thinking this, we were judging other girls for being more sexual than us.’ Look at her, I heard the whole football team got a piece of that. What a slut.’
Where do we learn slut-shaming from, hmmm? Have you ever thought about that? Who labeled us sluts and whores in the first place? And why, as women, are we so comfortable labeling other girls sluts and whores? What if they are just more sexually liberated than us?
I mean really, can you just have a lot of sex, enjoy it, and be safe without being labeled? Do we live in such a world?
Sex was treated as ‘taboo’ or ‘bad’ when brought up in conversation, growing up. Keep in mind, that not only does religion play a factor in 1) how you as a woman view your body 2) how you feel about sex/being sexual, but so does culture. As a product of Nigerian parents, NO ONE is talking about sex. You are not to have sex. And if you have sex outside of marriage and get knocked up, you will be the shame of the family, you will be blacklisted. So one always associated with sex as something forbidden, when in reality, it’s a natural act. I remember being terrified of accidentally slipping up and having sex in college. I had been programmed by all these different entities that I would definitely get pregnant, definitely go to Hell, and essentially ruin my life. How was that helpful?
How does that mentality help a girl become a woman? How does that help a girl become comfortable evolving sexually? How does that help a girl become comfortable with developing womanly curves, to see herself as beautiful or desirable to the opposite sex? What good does labeling sex as bad, do for a woman in the long run?
It shames a woman. It makes a woman feel unsure, fearful, and guilty. I don’t think it’s helpful, and I don’t plan to have these type of conversations with my sister about her changing body or sex. I didn’t find it helpful growing up, and judging by the conversations I have with my female peers at 27, others did not benefit fully from these teachings.
The problem I have about sex when it comes to women, is that it’s not talked about positively. Let’s face it, girls are having sex. Stop talking about abstinence in high school. Give me a break. Let’s talk to our kids about practicing safe sex. They are DOIN IT ANYWAY. Keep them safe by keeping them educated. Talk about contraceptives, all the kinds. Talk about birth control. Talk about STDs, all of them. Talk about getting tested. Talk about HPV. Talk about pregnancy. TALK. In my opinion, the abstinence conversation is geared towards our young girls, when in reality both sexes need to be talking about this.
Members of the Church convinced us that we (women) HAD to wait until marriage….but what about the men? Why are we going to Hell because we’re non-virginal? All I’m saying is, the Bible can be interpreted differently for different people, think about that.
I’m starting to learn that for a lot of us, our sexual practices are often contingent upon how we will be received into society, by our friends, by our beliefs, by our parents. These entities have helped cultivate our opinions and beliefs about being a sexual woman. But at what age do we take responsibility for our own sexuality? At what age is it okay to explore it, ask questions about it, read up on it, and change it? Now, ladies and gentlemen. Right now. You have the right and the space to ask questions and try things. By worrying so much about what society says, you’re giving strangers power and control over what you do with your body. Take control of your womanhood, reserve your right to be curious and open.