My most frequently viewed posts are the ones on sex and sexuality. People just can not get enough of the topic in private. However, if you are talking about it in public, then it is a whole different and shameful matter. I have never shied away from very frank sexual discussions in my blogs or offline. However, there is still shame and a negative view when a woman talks openly, without being pornographic, about sex.
I have no “shame” when it comes to such a topic. I previously worked in behavioral health. The job came with the mandatory ability to talk about any and everything under the sun. Aspects of my current job has a focus on the sexually transmitted infectious consequences of sex. So, I do not have the luxury of embarrassment.
I made a trip recently over to a fellow blogger, Jess C Scott and ventured to her self published books. http://www.jessink.com/books_genre.htm. What caught my eye was her Art of Erotic Writing. This gives a distinction between relationship focused sex and pornography. That was the motivator to blog about my slut shaming incidents I encountered in the last few months which came from ‘forever married’ women. Thanks Jess!
First let me start off by giving examples of frank sex talk:
Experience 1: Woman: After having kids, I think I might be loose down there but I am not sure. Me: Well, the best person who would know if anything have changed would be your husband. Why don’t you ask him. Woman: [ Shocked tone] I can’t ask him that. It’s too personal. Me: Okay [end conversation].
Experience 2: Woman: You might think this is weird. My husband wants me to dress up as [Star Wars character]. Me: Oh my gosh, that sounds like a lot of fun. You should do it. I would recommend role play to all married couples. Woman: I am too fat to fit in any costume. Me: Then that’s a good reason to lose weight.
Experience 3: Woman: I don’t know what to get my husband for Christmas. Me: Why don’t you buy something cute for yourself that he would also appreciate. Woman: [in shocked tone and uncomfortable laughter] I have gained so much weight I doubt that would be pleasure for him. Me: [end conversation]
Experience 4: Man: I should never have married my ex-wife…. Me: So why did you stay with her that long, was the sex that good? Man: [without skipping a heart beat] Yes, it was very good. Me: There’s the reason why you stayed so long.
In my experience, frank sex talk is more problematic with most women than with men. Women, including the married ones, become overly embarrassed. There in lies my problem as to why I was slut shamed. On three different occasions two married women, out of the blue, insinuated that I engage in one night stands. I deduced that the precursor to this assumption was because I can engage in general sexual talk like my male counterparts. Or was it because I said I would love to be an apprentice to Dr Ruth or the fact that I can talk sex without giggling like a school girl and becoming ridiculously embarrassed or maybe it’s because I am a single woman in her 30’s therefore I must be f****** around. Are you getting my annoyance?
Most women and some idiotic men immediately associate frank sex talk with promiscuity. At no time did I ever give any of these women details that would suggest I engaged in one night stands, friends with benefit, or any such frivolous sexual encounters. These women stated that they don’t believe in such things yet they assumed I do. Why? because I am older and single? I had very clearly stated in their presence (when a drunk acquaintance suggested I go back to his place and wake up next to him so we can have sex when he is sober) that I believe in monogamous long term relationship sex. What part of that statement was confusing? Wait, it had nothing to do with the statement but that I am an older single woman.
On the other hand, when the men say very explicit things, the women did not bat an eye or made any related judgements. It’s apparent that the single woman has to be the one ‘about town’. Obviously, it is written somewhere that all single women who can hold an adult conversation related to sex has an amoral freedom with their bodies. Is it that we are all like Samantha from Sex and the City? [For those who never watched the cable show, Samantha’s character had very frank and sometimes extremely explicit talks about sex and she had the most sex with almost any man, anywhere and anytime]. It never occurred to these married women that their inappropriate suggestion was insulting and extremely demeaning.
I expect adults to have grown up conversations; however, it is not that way when it comes to sex. Sex and sexuality topics seem to revert the adult mind to that of a moronic adolescent. Many adults equate sexuality with pornography and therefore a certain level of shame. Heaven forbid that a single woman should be so open in that discussion. It appears that in order for a woman to understand sex and her own sexuality it means there is something deviant about her. So, be warned single women, some married people may be looking at you as horny promiscuous nymphos.
The fear of frank sex talk extends amongst the educated too:
Experience 1: I was sitting in a hospital cafeteria with female coworkers, when someone asked if anyone watched the cable show, Masters of Sex. I saw a few episodes and thought it was interesting. While explaining to the rest of my coworkers that the series is based on two pioneers in the field of sexuality and their research information is still used to day, I gave an example from one episode. I informed them that the stages of arousal came from their research. A married nurse with grown children who was sitting at the table started to laugh nervously, looked around the room, and spoke in a quiet tone that “Dr X was sitting at the next table.” My first thoughts: If Dr X gets embarrassed by our topic, then he has no business being a doctor. My second thoughts: Even health professionals are embarrassed to talk about a natural human behavior.
Experience 2: A group of adults were talking when a woman stated that her husband likes a particular underwear. A married mother and social worker immediately exclaim a bit irritated, “No no we are not going to have this conversation.” Then a guy in the group loudly proclaims, “I go commando and I like to be free.” This received lots of laughter however, no protest from the social worker.
Can you count how many times I used the word sex? Did it freak anyone out? Is this post now listed as pornographic material? Am I totally sex obsessed and need extensive prayer to cleanse my mind and soul? Think about this sex, penis, and vagina maybe the words with the most euphemisms because adults are too embarrassed to say them. However, they are so much a natural part of us and will continue to be that way whether we are embarrassed or not.
Final note on this single woman slut shaming. I will not accept slut shaming from anyone. I will not change the fact that I think it’s important to talk openly about sex. I will still admire Dr Ruth. I will never hide my sexuality focused books that has a place on my bookshelf for any adult to read and I will always find sex and sexuality a very stimulating subject [PUN INTENDED].