I was never taught that the curves of my feminine body resemble the outline of mountains or the arc of ocean waves and hold the same power, beauty, and delicacy as natural landscapes. I never learned that my sexual passion could intimidate a man the way a mountain’s highest peak frightens an alpinist or the way the rumble of ocean waves puts the most experienced surfer in awe.
Religious teachings taught me to put a ring on my wedding finger as a symbol of my promise to wait until marriage to explore my sexuality. When I spoke of my sexuality or acknowledged my temptations to dance out of my clothes in front of someone I admired, I was told to fill the desire with the powerful feeling of guilt.
When I lost my virginity, I had the transforming realization that religious and patriarchal teachings tell women that female sexuality is shameful because those same institutions realized early on that a sexual woman can make a selfish man weak, the way mountain peaks or ocean waves leave a person speechless. A woman in charge of her sexuality is attentive to her own desires and therefore is in charge of herself. Both of those qualities are genuine, powerful threats.
No one told me I can be in control of the impact consensual sex has on my life by simply knowing I deserve pleasure as much as the man under my body.
Sex, I eventually learned, isn’t only something I deserve but something I can fully enjoy. This realization helped me find many benefits in sex: an outlet for expression, an opportunity to exercise confidence in my womanhood, the freedom to explore my desires in a safe place, and the permission to celebrate my love for another person.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that a woman can be candidly sexual, intelligent, creative and driven, all at once. Confidence in sexuality and the freedom to exercise that confidence doesn’t automatically prevent me from simultaneously being full in other areas of my life.
Women are sexual creatures and we deserve to recognize and explore our desires. The minute a woman realizes that sex can be synonymous with empowerment, she will learn how to break through other barriers in her life that exist to curb her passion.
Like the intimidation of a mountain’s highest peak or the power of the rumble of ocean waves, femininity and sexuality exist to be admired, respected, and most of all, explored.