The other day, a male friend of mine asked me how it is that I can be so open and liberal about sex when I come from a Catholic, Asian family that never ever talks about anything sexual. The answer is simple really – I force myself to be. At a very young age, I was taught that my body was not my own and experienced sexual abuse that I found difficult to make sense of at that age. As a result, I struggled with self-esteem issues and self-abuse, never being comfortable in a body that could have ever caused something like that to happen. Then one day, I noticed that some of my behavior had begun to rub off on my younger sister, and the thought of her ever having to experience any of the negative things I was putting myself through made me realize that I couldn’t continue living like that.
Though not every woman can relate to those kinds of experiences, each woman understands the helpless feeling of not being allowed to do with her body what she wants because of the pressures put on her by society, by her culture, her religion, her loved ones. For many women, sex is shameful and dirty. Trying to be a sex-positive female is difficult, because a woman’s sexuality is constantly being challenged and oppressed. The only way to combat this is to force yourself to be comfortable in your body, to not be ashamed of your sexual needs, to embrace them and celebrate them. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, let’s all have more sex in 2015. As far as resolutions go, I think it’s pretty darn good.
1. Understand your reasons for having sex
Do you want to sleep with someone because you find him or her attractive? Great! Maybe you haven’t had sex in a while and really need to get laid? Awesome! Whatever your reasons are for having sex, make sure you understand them so that you don’t put yourself in a position that will later on negatively affect your mental or physical health. For example, if you want to sleep with someone who is in a committed relationship, think about how that might affect your life and the relationships you have with other people later on. Will you regret sleeping with this person? Are you using sex for something other than sexual gratification? Will you be able to respect yourself afterwards? If you are happy with your reasons, then you’re good to go.
2. Explore your body on your own
Whenever a female admits to me that she has never masturbated before or feels weird doing so, a small piece of my soul cries for her. For most, the thought of female masturbation is an uncomfortable one, because females aren’t generally raised to see themselves as sexual beings in the way that men are, so the conversation is often lost or not had, because women and girls are ashamed or embarrassed. I say, to hell with that! You have a body just like everyone else and your body has needs – it’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Learning about what turns you on and what works for your body is so important, because how could you ever expect someone else to pleasure you if you don’t even know how to do that yourself? Masturbation is the safest way to explore your body. I promise you, the more you know about yourself and your body, the more orgasms you’ll be having.
3. Love vs. Lust
The problem with a lot of women is that they have an attitude that over-romanticizes love and belittles lust, as though the search for love is far more important and pressing than the need for sexual gratification, therefore devaluing women who want the latter. Sure, finding love can lead to sexual gratification, but finding sexual gratification can also lead to love – these things do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you are single and are looking for a relationship, that’s totally fine, but understand that women can also be happily single, with no interest in anything more than sex. Can you really expect all single women to put her sexual desires on the back burner simply because she isn’t in a relationship? No, you can’t, because that’s some really selfish and arrogant bullshit, and we aren’t having any of that in 2015.
4. Stop caring about what men think
Here’s the thing, men celebrate women’s sexual liberation – our willingness to freely and openly give and enjoy sex – but get pretty darned pissed off when we state that our bodies are our own and not a space that they can occupy at will. Many men are only ready for sexually liberated females when it means getting free pussy, no-string attached, but when a female is empowered to say no, they can get angry (and every female knows the threat of a sexually frustrated male). That’s why we have a generation of “friendzone” jerks who are butt-hurt that a female “friend” didn’t feel the need to reward his kindness with sex. Men will condemn a promiscuous woman, but will also condemn the woman who doesn’t sleep with him. At the end of the day, if you can look at yourself and still respect and love the person that you are, then you aren’t doing anything wrong. Understand that your self-worth and moral standing doesn’t shift with the number of sexual partners you have. If a man tries to tell you otherwise, aim for his balls.
5. Be smart about it
Growing up, my parents never once talked to my siblings and I about sex and my sister and I went to an all-girls Catholic school that never taught us anything more about Sexual Education besides the textbook “sperm reaches egg, woman gets pregnant” stuff. I didn’t know anything about what the pill was or where to get it, how to use condoms, how STDs and STIs could be contracted and spread, etc. I chose not to have sex until I knew these things, because I didn’t ever want to find myself in a position that I was not prepared to deal with. I’m in my 20s now and I continue to encounter women who don’t know some very basic, but crucial, things about sex. If you’re not taking birth control, use a condom, even if a man doesn’t ejaculate, you can still get pregnant (though this is uncommon), women are more likely to contract STIs than men are because of the anatomy of our vaginas. There are a multitude of things you can, and should, educate yourself on, because I would hate for any of you to jump into anything you’re not ready for. Use the Internet, read some books, ask trusted friends and family, just make sure you know your shit. A woman should know these things.
6. Wear what you want
What you choose to wear on your body is your prerogative and isn’t a reflection of your moral worth. Unfortunately, we live in a world that teaches young girls and women that they must walk a thin line between being ladylike and titillating – we are taught to be sexy, without being sexual, because being sexual is liking sex a bit too much and liking sex too much makes people uncomfortable. Women will be called sluts and whores while fully clothed, while minding their own business, while out with friends. It really doesn’t matter, because an idiot somewhere is going to think of you what they will. Don’t sacrifice your comfort and what makes you feel good for the sake of appeasing a group of people who should really know better. If what you’re wearing makes you feel confident and sexy and you’re comfortable, it doesn’t matter what it is, I’m happy for you.
7. Stop faking your orgasms
The female orgasm is difficult to achieve and some women don’t experience orgasm until much later in life, yet there are millions of men walking the earth right now thinking that they have the ability to bring every woman to orgasm, which simply isn’t the case. If you’re faking your orgasms, I strongly urge you to stop, because you’re not helping yourself and you’re not helping your partner. I understand wanting to please your partner and give them validation, but know that sex can be just as enjoyable without orgasm and that neither you or your partner should be embarrassed if one of you doesn’t get there in the end. If it’s really a problem, then try new ways of reaching orgasm, don’t be afraid to tell your partner what you need from him/her, because if you carry on faking it, then they’ll carry on not satisfying you, and there’s absolutely nothing awesome about that. Your satisfaction is just as important as theirs and for the sake of your sex life and your sanity, you should stop pretending.
8. All women are different
One woman’s sexual needs could differ greatly from the woman next to her, because we’re complex beings who have different wants and needs when it comes to sex. Just because one woman wants to sleep with multiple people in a month, doesn’t mean that you have to, because that kind of sexual activity might not be something that you enjoy. Maybe you really enjoy dirty talk and your friend hates it, maybe she enjoys sex in the shower and you don’t – it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you allow yourself and your female peers to experience a sex life free of shame and judgement and that you’re open with yourself and your partner(s) about your sexual needs with no embarrassment in meeting those needs. Know what you want and don’t hold yourself back because your desires are important.
9. Do what makes you happy
When it all comes down to it, you should only ever do things that make you happy, because your sex life is your own to shape as you please. If you want to wait till marriage, if you want to have a threesome, if you want to watch more porn, all of it is good if that’s what makes you happy. Make decisions based on what feels good for you mentally and physically. Appreciate your body and enjoy sex on your terms, not any one else’s.