Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Power Slut

This is a repost of the feature article I wrote for the Sex Issue of Hater Magazine.  Check them out.  Hater Magazine is my second home.
____________________________________________________________________

Over the summer, I embarked on a mission. I was going to bend the gender roles that had made me ashamed to be a highly sexually charged woman. I was going to “out” myself. I am a dater. I am a woman and I love sex. This is the story of how I came to grips with being a great woman and stopped struggling to fit into societal pigeonholes. This is the tale of how one woman figured out that she was neither The Madonna nor The Whore and how she shared it with the world.

 As a woman, I have spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a premade mold. This is the mold for, The Nice Girl. She’s the marry-able girl. The one a man wants to bring home to his mother. She’s got a pleasant job. Perhaps, she’s a schoolteacher. She’s pretty and smart. She’s had 1–2 sexual partners and she is looking to settle down and have 2.5 children. The number of sexual partners is important here. If she has had more than a handful, she needs to be willing to lie about it. She should actually be willing to lie about anything, including her shoe size in order to fit the mold.

I am not the only one that has been trying to squeeze a size 9 into The Nice Girl’s size 7. All of my friends have been doing it as well. Actually, the better part of my generation has been struggling with the glass slipper. The closer we get to 30, the more the desperation for a relationship becomes almost palpable. It’s all around us. Striving to be “marriage material” we put our sexuality on a shelf and struggle to be more pleasant. The trouble is the struggle isn’t fun and a lot of the time it doesn’t have an equal pay off. It would be nice if at the end of the dating rainbow there was a well-hung Prince Charming waiting with a pot of orgasms, but that’s not usually the case. My theory is that the dating rainbow itself is where the orgasms are. If you should happen to stumble upon Prince Charming and his loot, more power to you. But, happiness shouldn’t be set aside in search of him.

My single cohorts are looking to get married. My married friends are struggling to regain excitement. And I am just confused. I don’t know where I fit. I am a sexually charged woman that can have an orgasm at the drop of a hat and I feel like I am a good person. I am kind, but I love sex. So, where does that leave me? We all realized early in life that we only have certain molds in which we can spend life attempting to fit. Those molds come with ground rules.
  • Women can fall into one of two categories: either the Madonna or the Whore. So you can be the mother and the wife, or you can be sexually liberated. You can spend your days ironing and cooking or you can spend them on the streets making money. These are very extreme cases of the Madonna and the Whore, but they are roles that are prevalent in our society nonetheless. You see it in television and in movies and, yes, in real life. The pressures are there. You have two options. Pick one.
  • You can be a freak in the sheets, but you have to be a lady in the streets. This is another option: live a double life. This way you can act like one thing and be another. Best of both worlds, right? Wrong. It just makes you a hypocrite and a liar. I don’t blame you. I know society has forced it upon you. You need to be able to satisfy your man and still be able to hold your head up at Sunday dinner. So, here’s what you do: If you are sexually active and ‘promiscuous’ you had better do your best to cover it up. Hide your sexuality until it’s time to let it out for the person that should get enjoyment from it: your man.
  • Those are the options but this is the golden rule: You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. If you have ever been promiscuous, you can’t possibly ever be someone’s mother or wife. Silly woman. Aren’t these the main things that women aspire to: The Hoe or the Housewife, the Madonna or the Whore, or the life of dual citizenship in both?


So, in light of my options I said, “Fuck that,” and I meant it. I am never going to be able to take away my number of sex partners nor do I want to. I will never be able to fit any premade molds, so I abandoned the search for a relationship. I set out to strive for happiness, discover my sexuality, and just relax. I broke out of my comfort zone and openly started dating multiple men. I broke away from the goal of finding that special someone and I worked on finding what was special about me. I wanted to find myself and my sexuality. It took some soul searching but I quieted my mind and I turned off my relationship radar. The only relationship I would hone in on would be the one with myself.

I swore honesty but I didn’t stop there. I decided that I would create a social contract that could not be broken. I created a blog. In it I revealed everything that society had once taught me to be ashamed of. I wrote about my sexual exploration and about my ability to feel love and lust for multiple people at the same time. I shared my emotions and my vulnerability. I took my dirty laundry from the laundry basket that had been passed down by the women in my family for generations and I hung it right in the front lawn for all to see. It was meant to be cathartic. I never thought anyone would have any interest. I was wrong. My mental masturbation became a small movement amongst women (and men) of my generation.

I got letters from women that had never had an orgasm. I got letters from women that got married young and had wondered what they might have missed. Women sent letters and stories of their own sexual liberation. Men sent letters about their insecurities. I heard tale of couples that were working on changing their roles within their relationship. I got praise and I got cussed the fuck out. I was told that I was a Goddess and I was told that I was dirty, that I was a virtual hooker and a whore.
There it was again. There was that role: The Whore. I couldn’t shake it. The truth was: I still believed I was a whore. Society had infused the notion into my brain. It wasn’t that people regularly called me that directly but with sayings like “He won’t want the cow if he can get the milk for free,” what was I to think? I had been giving the milk away for years. Did this make me unworthy of love? No. First of all, I am not a cow and my vagina is not milk. I am not a commodity. I am a person.

I battled this deep inside. I wrote about the things I did and I put myself out there to be totally open to ridicule. I stepped to the edge of the cliff. I took the step over, closed my eyes and prayed to God that my chute would open. I prayed that my self-confidence would come through in the final hour and I would be able to shed this cloak that had been tossed over all sexually ambitious women. I hoped the Whore Cloak would detach mid-fall or that it would shatter upon impact. A big part of me still wanted to be The Nice Girl and now the world knew I wasn’t. It was too late to turn back. I buried my head in a pillow and cried. The next day I woke up and wrote more.

My small world was abuzz with tensions. I could feel that my presence and honesty were refreshing for some and challenging for others. I learned that there was nothing easy about being a sexually liberated woman in our society. Showing that I was an openly active woman was like a call for sideways glances. Even my gynecologist found herself one patient short after a routine STD screening, where she refused a herpes test. She swore I was being paranoid until I told her that I was sexually active with multiple partners. After that, the question of no symptoms was not the issue. Multiple partners made my request for a full STD screen more valid. Any request for a full STD screening should be met. The fact of the matter is women lie about their sex partners because we are taught to be ashamed of how many men we have been with. There were derogatory terms created especially for women like us: whore, slut, tramp, jezebel, hoe, skank, cum sponge, etc. In order to deny the mental image of being one of these things, women lie. Even to their doctors. When I was honest with my doctor, she made the statement, “Oh, sounds like you are a gambling woman.” Medical records stamped: WHORE. A lot of the time, people prefer if you lie to them; Even your gynecologist.

People are more comfortable when you lie. So, women lie about sex. We don’t do it because we are bad people or because we are deceitful. We do it because we are tired of the sideways glances and the endless dishes of judgment. It has nothing to do with an apple or a garden. The lies aren’t our punishment. They are our sacrifice. We do it because we have been taught that we should. We should be ashamed of our sexuality. We do it because it makes others comfortable. As women, that is our job, to make others comfortable at our own expense. We act like we aren’t just as sexual as men and we accept the lies as a part of life.

My blog and my honesty became more than a cleanse for me. If my shame was rooted in Eve’s disobedience, then I had removed the fig leaf. There I was. Me. I am a best friend to all my long-term lovers. I give emotional support and comic relief. I am a great person to call if you need anything. I am resourceful. I can change the oil in your car, change a flat tire, and still look fly as hell when I go out. I have a foul mouth, but your mother still loves me because I’m sharp witted. Your dad loves me because I am funny and charming. All your friends think I’m dope but you don’t ever have to worry about me flirting with any of them. Though, don’t even think of trying to flirt with my girls because I make friendships with bonds that no man can break. I have an amazing relationship with my family and I am a responsible loving daughter. I am great at math and I am better in bed. I love sex and I am a good person.

The journey was not easy. It wasn’t glamorous. It was grueling at times. Opening yourself up for judgment is horrible. Defying the roles society has created for you is hard work laced in tears but it’s worth it. I wouldn’t turn back for anything. I didn’t become a new me. I just let the real me be seen in the purest form. I am not shut off to love but am able to feel it and see it in its best light: free from jealousy, shame and desperation.

In the end, I don’t fit into those categories. I don’t fit into any mold that society has prescribed. I’m not a hoe, nor a housewife. I am not The Madonna or The Whore. I am The Good Woman. Actually, I am The Great Woman. That’s not even the big news. The big news is there are Great Women around every corner. We are not of a rare breed. We’re all just confused and still trying to fit into that damned glass slipper. We can’t really be seen for what we are. I’m done trying to fit the mold. I am a size or two too big. So, I may not be The Nice Girl, but from here on out, I am just going to be The Great Woman that I am.

2 comments:

  1. It is so ironic that you wrote this because I was just about to write about this in my own blog. I appreciate you for writing this, this kind of gave me a base and inspiration for my own post. Keep being who you are and growing.

    ReplyDelete

About Me

My photo
I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
There was an error in this gadget