Let’s get something straight – I will take your labels spit at me with teeth clenched – slut, whore, bitch, tease. I will take them because they don’t hurt me the way you intend them to. You want to shame me – for being a woman, for being sexual, for being just fine on my own. I understand that you don’t understand. So let me enlighten you…
I like sex. I really, really do. Intimacy is a whole other matter. But it’s MY matter. It’s my experiences and preferences and mostly my nemesis. Sex without intimacy is easy for me. It softens my edges, gives me release. I find my body can experience the pleasure if my mind is not distracted with what will happen after. You call it slutty. I call it freedom.
I’ve tried so hard all these years to be a good girl. To be monogamous. To take the lead of the men in my life. To be virtuous. I have struggled with this all my life…not just after the men who disappointed me or abused me or simply stopped touching me. Even before that, I knew I was more fluid in how I wanted to manage relationships. Men have always, always tried to covet me. I think because I have always, always exuded a strong sense of my sexuality. I have always felt “sexy” even amongst my own body insecurities and self doubt, the voice in my head has never failed to remind me of this. And it has not made me popular, with men and women alike. It genuinely pisses people off when you feel good and work hard to just be yourself.
If myself is slutty, should I be ashamed? Even more than that, are men allowed to shame me into relationships? Because they think they can “save” me or hold me in their space. No matter how many times I preface a meeting with “I’m not interested in a relationship”…they will press on, tell me I’ll get over it, that they’ll teach me how to love again. Sorry gentlemen, I already know how to love. I am not broken or disgusting or weak because I don’t want to enter into a black and white “you own me” relationship. When I say I just want to be friends, you try to kiss me when I leave anyways. And say, “sorry, I hope that was ok”. When I say that the sex is just sex to me and you corner me asking “why the intimacy is missing”. When I tell you I don’t love you and you insist that I will learn if I just try.
There’s a saying…when people show you who they are, believe them.
This has always come across as a negative saying that we apply to the people who hurt us, as in, there were signs they were bad people and we didn’t heed them. It’s a saying that is often used to warn against the terrible people who are out to get you.
I am, by this definition, a terrible person.
I will not love you, simply because you demand it. This isn’t a Hollywood movie where if you just persist enough, we will be soul mates. Where I will realize, if you tell me enough times, that I want to live in the confines of your white picket fence. Where you can tell everyone…I tamed her. And people can feel better that there isn’t a wild woman on the loose anymore.
I have loved. Good god, I have loved. I intend to do it again. I know, immediately my ilk…my equals. The ones who don’t want to lasso me. To define me. The best relationship I had was the one where I didn’t have to lie and neither did he. We tried to pass it off to everyone else as normal, we did. We tried not to let our blurry boundaries be apparent but eventually they were. And I scrambled to right myself into a monogamous marriage and so did he. To be acceptable and stable. And it almost killed me. Because there are far worse things lurking in the shadows of people trying to parade as normal. Give me messy and audacious any day. Give me your carnal truth and I’ll give you mine.
I’m am not suggesting an anarchist orgy of worldwide proportions here. I understand the need for order and partnership and stability. I desire these things too. To know who I can rest on. To be able to shelter another person. I desire that very much. Even wild women need a soft place to land. But you do not get to appoint yourself my savior because I am a woman who will not settle.
I’ve had enough.
Don’t tell me my words are venom because they aren’t the words you want to hear. Don’t tell me I’ve betrayed you because I did exactly what I said I would. Don’t tell me I deserve to be alone because I don’t want to be with you. I try to be kind. There are so many of you I love spending time with. I love talking to you and hearing your stories. I really do. I find myself thinking of you and trying to find a place for you. Because I know it’s coming soon, the need to be defined. Or ultimately the need to force your definition on me.
No. I’ve had enough.
“Women are not machines that you put kindness coins into and sex falls out” -Sylvia Plath
You can’t sugar coat me into sex or otherwise. I give what I want to give. I’m honest and up front and I am simply done with selling myself as a used bill of goods. I am a woman who loves sex but may not love you. That does not make me broken. I may stroke your hair and your face, trace invisible letters on your back and summarize the highlights of our evening together. I want you to be happy while we’re together. I want you to feel content and joyful. Most of all, I want you to feel free. Something brought us together and I am always grateful for these connections. Sometimes they are physical. Sometimes they are not. I’m getting better at knowing who can handle crossing that line and being able to make it back on their own. But I make mistakes in these assessments sometimes. These are often the ones followed by cries of “whore” or “bitch”. I accept these labels because I know they don’t hurt me, they come as a result of your hurt, intended or not.
When people show you who they are, believe them.
Believe me when I say I won’t love you. Believe me when I say that sex won’t eventually lead to a relationship or that I am truly happy on my own. Believe me. I haven’t hidden who I am for a long time now. I know it will take some people time to get used to and others who never will but I am at last, comfortable enough in this skin to feel worthy of it.
Perhaps there is one great love out there for me. Perhaps I have already cashed in my great love ticket in this lifetime. I’ve known great love. I consider myself so lucky in that. And maybe no one else will ever compare and maybe somebody even better will come along. But just know that I know. That when I tell you, that you are not the one, that it’s not personal, that it’s not meant to hurt you. That we were meant to meet for something, however temporary, and that I am open to that, if you are. Because anything else will hurt you. And despite the many times I have been told I am a terror of hearts, I know I have only been anointed as a keeper of moments. I will not be shamed or forced into a place I don’t belong anymore.
So, stop it. When someone loves you, you’ll know. When someone wants to be with you, you’ll know.
Nothing else is worth our time.