As a young girl, I worried that having too many sexual partners would diminish my worth.
I overheard rumors about women who “slept around,” and I feared being included in that group. So I was always careful about how I shared my sex life and with whom I shared it.
As I got older and became more sexually active, my girlfriends and I would count how many people we had slept with as if each one was a mark against our value as women. I wondered what number automatically earned the title of “slut,” and I certainly didn’t want to reach it.
Society’s teachings about sexuality were constantly challenging for me to swallow because I had always felt sexual. I enjoyed having sex; I craved it. And not just with one man… but with several. Since there was always a silent agreement with those around me that being a sexual woman was the opposite of being a woman of integrity, I was unsure how to approach my own desires. I didn’t know how to be both promiscuous and respectable.
Eventually, I found the answer. I gave myself permission to be unapologetically sexual and powerful, rewriting others’ expectations. I stopped telling myself that sleeping with other people – regardless the circumstances surrounding those nights – impacted my worth.
Over time, I became more confident in my sexuality. This confidence gave me more control over my sex life and made me feel more powerful. I learned that I deserve pleasure just as much as the person under me, and that who I sleep with shouldn’t bring me shame.
Sex, I eventually learned, isn’t merely something I deserve, but it’s also something I can fully enjoy. This realization helped me find the many benefits of intercourse: freedom of expression, confidence in my womanhood, and the ability to explore my desires in a safe place.
Most importantly, I learned that women can be openly sexual, intelligent, creative, and driven… all at once.
Being confident in my sexuality and having the freedom to exercise that confidence doesn’t preclude success in other areas of my life.
The minute a woman realizes that sex and empowerment can be synonymous, nothing will stand in her way. Women are sexual creatures, and they deserve to acknowledge and explore their desires just as much as men do.