Today’s post was inspired by a comment made on my previous post about sex, Sweet Teach said:
“I don’t think ALL sex needs to or actually should happen in the context of a committed relationship . Every experience we have is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, other people, our beliefs and the world, and that includes sexual experiences.
Bottom line is all of us (men and women) need to get a better understanding of what constitutes healthy sexuality and exploration and we need to learn to be comfortable with our own bodies before and while we explore others within and outside of relationships”
Now I was actually going to respond via the comment section, but as I sat on this for the past day or so, I agreed that she was right about the initial contradiction in that post since while I saying we as women should be free to make decisions about our bodies and whom we share them with and at the same time I made the statement that in an ideal world sex should happen within the context of a committed relationship. I will be honest and say, that double-sided way of thinking is most likely rooted in my faith and is something I am grappling with. That would be another post though for another day.
Its interesting because looking back, I was talking a bit out of both sides of my mouth, yet in hoping to have a deep discussion and in just my brief time blogging I have been fortunate to meet some folks here who truly are about more than just doing a fly by, I think its time to get bare. That is time for me to get bare and truly open up and explore some of my own thoughts and I invite you to join me.
In looking back at my own sexual behavior and experiences, I can honestly say that while the best sex was borne from deep relationships( that which happens with the spousal unit for instance) the truth is there have been experiences that occurred not within either of my marriages that I would not trade for anything because they helped shaped me.
Looking back, I must ask myself honestly would I have wanted to arrive at either of my marriages a virgin? The answer is a resounding Hell Naw. Yet the reality is the first time I married at 18, much of it was about guilt over engaging in premarital sex, guilt over enjoying it and I suspect for many women, its guilt over those good feelings that leads us to quickly wanting to partner with a man when deep in our soul, we know maybe we should hold off. This is not to say that we women don’t want partners, but how many of us have been quick to say a man is the one after we knocked boots? Back when I was single, I often confused the sexual afterglow for love and that is a dangerous thing to do. Yet had I had the knowledge I have now, I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak and accepted a good feeling for just that, a good feeling.
As someone who was raised with Christian leanings even when Christianity was not the official religion of the house in our family, the truth is I still picked up on the messages that seeped in about sex, even the language used in my family, fast girls, hussy… all language designed to shame a young woman coming into herself sexually and this is what I want to avoid in raising my own daughter. The societal messages that good girls, don’t do XYZ because its those messages that I feel create a schizophrenic existence when it comes to sexuality even more-so as women of color. Already we have the larger society that in the past and still today as represented by the imagery of Black video vixen that says Black women are loose. On some level I think the societal messages places a larger burden on Black women when it comes to our sexuality, it makes us harder for us to be upfront about our needs. I can only imagine this pain and confusion is even greater for my lesbian sisters since while I don’t want to generalize I will say that female sexuality that is female centered in my experiences deals with even a greater amount of shaming and negativity from others.
This is a post today with no defined end but I welcome your thoughts and comments. Perhaps I will revist this subject again soon.