Thought Catalog

How Sex Made Me More Powerful

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Claudia Soraya

I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 28 years old. To make it more pathetic, it was a couple of months before I turned 29. Being a virgin for so long was a source of embarrassment for me, and I still have trouble telling people that I have only been active for a few years. I don’t know why it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because most of my friends are sexually progressive, while I remained a prude for so long.

Actually, I am not a prude and I never have been. Being a maladaptive daydreamer, I started having elaborate sexual fantasies from a very young age. I could have easily been one of those girls who lost her virginity at 13, ran off with her 21-year-old boyfriend at 16, and by the time I was in my late 20s, I could have been running a sophisticated tantric brothel for fine ladies who prefer fur over cotton.

At last, the outcomes of our lives have to do with the ingredients. I had a healthy appetite, and the curiosity, but I also had a mother who fancied herself a pastor. She was a single mother of three, and she saw her life as a cautionary tale of what happens when a woman opens her legs to men. Yes — that’s exactly how she worded it.

My sister and brother are 8 and 6 years older than me. So, when I was like 6 or maybe younger — before I could even understand the concept of sex, my mom would have my siblings and I confined to a room for the best parts of a Saturday, while she read versus from the bible. She would preach for hours about the evils of fornication. This woman taught us that every problem started and ended with sex. The vagina is a temple that must be protected until marriage, or else World War III will break loose. My mother made it seem like a man could determine a woman’s worth with his mere penis. Everything was about whether or not a man could respect a woman. Shame. I was taught that men had the power to shame women and for a while I believed it.

It didn’t end with the misogynistic teachings. My mother stunted my esteem at every turn, and she was the first person to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. She constantly made me feel bad about my body, because I wasn’t super skinny and I started puberty around 9 years old. By the time I was 10, I was already wearing a C-cup bra. My mother made me feel diseased.

Let me be clear that I love my mother. She is an amazing woman with all the generosity in the world, and she would do anything for her children. However, she projected all of her insecurities and fears onto us, as a lot of parents do. For whatever reason, my older siblings did not internalize a lot of it the way I did. Intellectually, I broke away from a lot of her beliefs the moment I went off to college, started traveling, and was exposed to different things and ideas. However, when you’re conditioned to feel a certain way from a young age, it takes time for emotions to catch up to intellectual awakenings.

I kept thinking that if I had sex, then I’d be handing my power over. What if he takes advantage of me? What if he makes fun of my body? What if he doesn’t call again? What if he tells all of his friends? And of course, as I got older things like: What if I can’t satisfy him due to a lack of experience? What if my vagina doesn’t work? What if he runs away in the middle of it?

All these questions plagued my mind for the longest time and caused me to recoil. That is, until… I got to a point in life in which I was uninhibitedly horny — ALL. THE. TIME. There’s not a pretty way of saying that I became the stereotype that most women hate; bitter due to a lack of dick. My desire consumed me.

So, I finally went for it. It wasn’t with a boyfriend, or even a friend. It really doesn’t matter who it was with… the main thing is that I was comfortable enough to be with him. A few unexpected things happened after I had sex with this man:

1. The world didn’t end.

2. I didn’t end.

3. There wasn’t an inkling of shame.

4. I looked him in the eyes just fine.

5. I wasn’t emotional.

Given all the stigma and convoluted associations I had had with sex, it was remarkably refreshing to step out of that first experience unscathed… and frankly, without a care in the world.

Over the last few years, my sexual encounters have been limited. Although, lately I’ve had a little more excitement in my life than usual, and I am not losing power, but gaining it. At the end of the day I don’t know what a partner will do. A partner might end up being a selfish lover, he might be an asshole and not call me afterwards, he might be the one with the inability to look me in the eyes, he might change the way my mother warned me about….but it doesn’t matter. It’s my time to explore, discover and grow as a sexual being and if I’m with someone who can appreciate that — great. If not, then I move on without feeling any type of way about it.

Sex in which I am voluntarily vulnerable, naked, exposed and intermingled with another being is electrifying. Being able to slide on my panties afterwards, and put on my clothes with all my integrity intact is the most powerful feeling there is. There is no room for shame, and if a man were to attempt to make me feel otherwise… then it would be a matter of his self-worth, not mine. It’s one thing to believe this, and another thing to process it this way…and I didn’t think I was capable of it until I started having sex. I discovered a very important character trait about myself via sexual activity.

I’ve seen the effects transcend from the bedroom to everyday life. Something about knowing that I don’t break in the bedroom, I don’t let men make me feel bad about my sexuality, I don’t let them determine my worth… something about that makes me a more confident individual. My mother didn’t tell me that sex could have that impact, and perhaps it’s because her experience was different.

As for me, I can take over the world. TC mark

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