“I fail to see how anything that lasts less than five minutes can have such an indelible ethical compact”- The Purity Myth
I was eager to tell my friend about my weekend adventures. I invited a man back to my apartment and had a night that I rightfully deserved. While conversing with my friend on the matter she was instantly intrigued, asking who he was. I started telling her little details about him, what he looked like, his major, hobbies, and she was impressed that he played the guitar. Later in this conversation she asked if I had intended to become more with this man then our one night of fun. I told her that casual sex could be in the future, but beyond that I wasn’t too interested in pursuing a relationship and was pretty certain that wasn’t his style either. That’s when my “friend” decided she was going to ask me this “Do you have any dignity?”
Instantly I thought wow, I know what slut shaming is, but didn’t think it would happen from someone who claims to be my really good friend. It’s this whole mentality that people have that I don’t have self-respect, because I choose to have casual sex. In fact I believe I do have self-respect, because I choose to do what I want despite the pressures from society to remain I don’t know pure! I respond to my friends question, “what? Wow yes I do.” She responds, “I’m just worried about you.” What does that even mean, are you worried that I think sex in a completely different way then you, what you should really be worried about is that you made your friend feel bad from your own preconceived notions of what sex should be. Frankly I don’t have time for the bullshit. I responded, “Okay, well I do respect myself, but I don’t want a relationship and just sex and don’t need to feel some special connection with everyone I have sex with so don’t be concerned and don’t ever ask me a question like that again.”
I’ve been reading this book titled The Purity Myth and Jessica Valenti writes about how society has made a woman’s morality be centered on her body and what she does or does not do with it. After having this conversation with my friend I see how this mentality plays out in interpersonal relationships. For me if you want to decide if a woman is a good person, go by her personality, her character, her faith, her drive, anything, but what she decides to do with her body.
I have also been thinking about imagineherstory’s blog post about sex positivism and deciding whether my one night stand was an act of empowerment or something completely different. For me it was neither, I believe that sometimes woman and men participate in sex to fulfill a physical desire and maybe in the end empowerment comes from it, but its not the initial goal at least that has been my personal experience. Then again I do not have the answers for all of the questions brought up in that post. What I do know is that I needed my friend to not be so close minded and realize that expressing my sexuality is not defying my dignity.