A Lengthy Rant On Sex (With No TL;DR)

I've not written on anything related to the topic of sex recently, because, well, it's so risqué a topic, so controversial, that I feel that if I were to say what I really feel about it, I'd get too much unnecessary flak, especially since I'm living in a community that is still relatively conservative about many things.

My stance on this is similar to how I feel about religion - highly liberal. Honestly, the only thing I would advocate is sex-positivism, which means I really don't care what your sexual orientation or sexual preferences are, as long as they're consensual and done in a healthy, pleasurable way that is not self-destructive emotionally.

I know that sounds like a load of hippie-speak, but I've met so many people over the years, so my views on what is acceptable sexual behaviour has expanded to be as wide as to encompass the scope of diverse human personalities out there... and since I am one who is strongly for individuality and freedom of self-expression within reasonable, non-harmful bounds, these are philosophies that are in line with mine.

I've had the sort of sex that left me feeling hurt and empty, and those were from not understanding this essential fact: it's really OK to have the sort of sex you wish for, want to, or need to, but only with a partner you are willing to do so with, one who respects your needs and wants and who you are as a person.

It is this epiphany that has led to a lot of things, one of them being a slow but steady healing from some of the things in the past that left me shattered, and a strong conviction that the current attitude most people harbour towards sex is harmful to us all, especially to women.

I no longer have ANY tolerance for the double standards this society upholds, where men are applauded for "scoring" and women are slut-shamed for being similarly open about getting their sexual needs satisfied. This has been an issue I've been speaking out against even since I was in my teens, and a decade on I've found that how I feel about this has just steadily solidified into a certainty that sex is not something to be ashamed of, or taboo - it is the attitudes of people that need to be changed.

There would be so much less issues in this world if everyone could accept that sex is healthy and natural and OK to indulge in, instead of making it a privilege or perpetuate the objectification of women (or men). After all, each and every human being exists only because sex happens... why make it something that is wrong, or dirty, or offensive?

I was with a man recently, someone who might or might not end up being a significant someone in my life, but that really isn't quite the point here. What is important is that I like him, because he shares many similar views as I do on life, and has been respectful of me despite knowing me more intimately that most people do.

Anyway, a few months into hanging out with him occasionally, I finally confessed to him that prior to spending the night with him, there was a two-year period of celibacy where the notion of sex was not even something that featured in my life at all.

He was understandably surprised, given how open and liberal I have always been with him, knowing my perspective on these things, and being perfectly aware of my past history of being a completely unrepentant hedonist. He looked at me, both curious and amused.

"Why?" he asked, wrapping an affectionate arm around me. I was stumped on how to answer, for awhile, because there were so many thoughts I needed to verbalise.

I guess it all boils down to no longer being able to compromise my principles and values when it comes to these things. Whilst sex is not something I find particularly taboo, and I do enjoy it immensely, I would only truly derive pleasure - of the sort that doesn't end up in remorse, or worse, resentment - from doing it with a partner who could view relationships and sex the same way as I do.

In this little city I live in, I can safely say that the men who share those views make up less than 5% of the population. Of all those, many are not available, or not the sort I would find sexually appealing (let's not be hypocritical here - we all have our preferences and types when it comes to these things).

Which brings us to this point: being sexually-liberated does not necessarily mean one is promiscuous (although for those who genuinely enjoy being so, all the power to them). It just means that one is clear on what one wants, and what one will not accept, in the course of getting those needs addressed.

All that said, I find it aggravating to slap labels on things, and that includes sexual preferences and identities. Because people are such diverse, complex creatures, it's really impossible to truly classify everyone neatly into categories. I know I, for one, would never fit in properly anywhere, even in an alternative community.

Also, whilst I think that while our attitudes and perspective on sex does make up a substantial part of our personalities, it shouldn't equate to our identities as a whole. That is too simplistic and one-dimensional. Just because a person is gay, or bi, or genderqueer, or monogamous, or polyamorous, or dominant, or submissive, or all-round hedonistic... what you do in the bedroom isn't the sum of the multiple facets of who you are as a complete person. It gets on my nerves when people use that as an excuse for a lot of the things they do, without any regard for how other people feel about things.

"I can be a bitch because I'm gay" or "I'm allowed to be a self-absorbed user because I'm a kinky bastard who needs to fuck a lot of people to be happy" or even "I'm entitled to macho, sexist behaviour because I am a heterosexual man" just sounds like pathetic excuses for bad behaviour, and a lousy indicator of your character... none of those really have anything to do with your sexuality.

This article on Cracked (not the most credible source of reading material but sometimes yields gems like this one) pretty much sums up a lot of how I feel about the modern attitudes to sex that should be abolished...

In the end, I guess, to sum it all, I think we should all just be respectful and accepting of each other's differences, and try not to do harm to other people, nor judge others for their proclivities, and enjoy a good healthy sex life with a partner who's equally respectful.

How hard is that? I think the latter bit is almost an impossibility in my case, I guess. But I'm not too pessimistic about things... I do believe that attitudes will eventually change. =)

EDIT: Additional reading on sex-positivity - a blog-post dedicated to a daughter - now this, in my opinion, is probably a better attitude to raise you child with.


Kolon Mee Fan said...

Hi Irene, may be you should check out Cindy Gallop's interesting website. She grew up in Brunei but she has an interesting sex life.


Kolon Mee Fan said...

Here is Cindy on TED


CreativeBitchin said...

meant to reply your comment but forgot. thanks for the introduction to cindy! so awesome and so sex positive.