As I prepared watched this video message from Tyrese Gibson about why it’s okay to be single on Valentine’s Day, I was ready to be skeptical, as I always am when anyone from the Fast and the Furious franchise tries to tell me how to live life.
But as I watched, I realized he was actually making a perceptive and honest distinction: Having sex doesn’t make you a slut, but sluts do exist, that being alone sometimes is the price you pay for having higher standards for the company you keep, but at the end of the day, you should just do what makes you happy, stick to your guns, and try to have self-confidence that can’t be eroded by selfish people and arbitrary holidays. Yes, Tyrese. Say more things like that. Come closer.
The difference isn’t necessarily what you do, but the reasons why you do it – are you having a lot of sex with a bunch of dudes because you think it’s fun and it makes you happy? Go for it. Tyrese has no judgment for you. In fact, it appears Tyrese has no judgment for women based on their sexual conduct at all (I know, like he deserves a fucking cookie? But still.) His advice, as outlined in the following points from his video, is mostly directed at the women who find themselves alone because casual relationships are not their thing.
So as skeptical as I was, I ended up fully onboard. People who preach personal integrity based on some outside, imposed code of moral and sexual conduct are the worst humans. Tyrese’s message is all about having integrity per your own sense of what’s right for you – sticking to your choices and not letting dudes or greeting card holidays make you feel bad about them.
In related news, if you need me, I’ll be tweeting at Tyrese until he agrees to date me.
“How can you say you respect yourself if you’re giving yourself away so easy?”
Here’s what impresses me about this video: Tyrese says a lot of shit (like this) that is classic slut-shaming rhetoric. But through the course of the video, he addresses the issue from so many sides that it takes the judgment out of the words, and infuses them undeniably with messages of self-determination and elevation of personal choice in sex and relationships. It’s kind of an awesome turn. Like in this line, he’s not saying “If you have sex with a bunch of dudes, you have no self-respect.” He’s saying, “If you are easy (not promiscuous – they are not the same), then you aren’t placing enough value on yourself.”
“A lot of women feel like hopeless romantics around Valentine’s Day”
And others of us just feel hopeless about the state of romance because of Valentine’s Day. But I see what you’re getting at, Ty.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like – you’re a woman. You have all the power.”
True. Real true.
“Chicks who give it up, who are easy, are never without a man.”
We (sometimes) bitch about being single but when we bemoan how impossible it is to find a man, what we really mean is that it’s difficult to find someone who is the kind of man we want. Because dudes are everywhere. And they will have all the sex with you. It’s always worth remembering that even if we aren’t choosing to be alone, our aloneness is a byproduct of our choice to not settle for a relationship that isn’t up to our standards.
If you’re celibate, stay celibate. If you’re a virgin, stay a virgin.
This is where I thought he was about to get all purity preaching and slut-shaming, but it’s quickly apparent that he isn’t saying that at all. It’s about each woman having the power to decide how much sex she’s going to have, even if that’s none at all, and to not be ashamed to stick to that. Being sex-positive doesn’t mean being exclusively pro-lots-of-sex – it means empowering individuals to conduct their sex lives proudly according to what they want.
A few quotes to leave you with:
“Happy Valentine’s Day. Wear your single with a sense of pride because you love yourself and respect yourself enough to not give it away to everybody who wants it.”
“If you love yourself so much, stop giving away yourself so easy.”
“I’m not judging women who are promiscuous – I want you to continue doing what makes you happy. Sex makes the world go round. It does. It is what it is.”
“You have a temple that belongs to god.”
“Messages like this be pissin’ the fellas off. I know.”