Let’s talk about sex


Natasha Vyhovsky, Editor-in-Chief

Girls have sex, too.

But according to society, we can’t freely talk about it, and we really shouldn’t express an indication that we want it or like it, because that’s too “unladylike.” It’s frowned upon for us to be sexually confident, aware and open – and in some ways, that’s holding us back.

I witness situations regularly among my friends and girls I associate with in which they are questioned for how far they go with certain boys.

“But, you aren’t dating him…”

“But, don’t you think it’s a little too soon for that?”

“But are you sure you aren’t going to regret that?”

“But, why do you want hookups and not a real relationship?”

And my personal favorite:

“You should respect yourself more.”  

It’s not your job to defend your personal choices with friends who feel concerned you might be with boys you don’t plan to date, boys you’re not serious about or maybe “too many” boys.

It’s become clear that there seems to be a double standard that labels straight guys differently than straight girls in regards to sexual habits. For starters, the world doesn’t really care when, how often or with whom a guy chooses to have sex. Second, there are few negative stigmas around guys who “get around.” That’s exactly how it should be in both aspects. As long as they’re open and honest about their habits with their sexual partners, men should feel comfortable doing what they want, knowing it is the business of few others.

It’s time women claimed that right, too.

We need to start saying it’s OK for women to have sex on their own terms – we need to say it doesn’t lessen a woman if she chooses to have sex often with different people, or if she chooses to save it for special times with someone she loves.

Society has always tried to separate men and women when it comes to social standards. At this point in our lives, we’ve been told from a very young age there are certain “dominant” or “manly” things in straight relationships that don’t fit our roles as women. We see it in the media all the time: the man always blatantly seeks or references sex, and the woman uses sex as a method to please him.

There is an understood social construct that girls can’t talk about sex without being “trashy,” but when guys talk about what they did with a girl last weekend, it’s completely normal; their reputations don’t change at all – as a matter of fact, they usually improve. That doesn’t seem right.

The truth is, I’ve had emotional connections with people far deeper than anything physical I can imagine. Sometimes emotional and physical connections coexist, and that, I’m sure, is life-changing; but not every woman seeks that out.

Likewise, if a girl chooses not to have sex or chooses to wait until she’s been in a relationship for a year before she does, that does not make her a “prude.” Sex is a very intimate and personal experience to share with someone, and it’s perfectly acceptable to wait to be completely comfortable and trusting of your partner before you do it – whether you’re a guy or a girl. It’s important to understand, also, that regardless of what boys are told from a young age, it doesn’t make a guy any less of a “man” if he doesn’t try to sleep with girls, or if he chooses to wait however long he wants to have sex. In the same way, it doesn’t make a girl a “prude” to wait.

It’s time we stopped shaming women for choosing a sex life that makes them happy. It’s time we, both men and women, stopped referring to girls as “hoes” and “sluts” even as jokes, enforcing the idea that someone can decide a woman’s worth based on personal decisions she makes. And it’s time women stopped letting their peers, parents, society and sexual partners shame them for however they choose to (or not to) have sex.

Maybe society has told you the number of guys you’ve been with is too many, and maybe it has told you that you haven’t been with enough. Regardless, when I go into any new relationship with a guy, the first thing I always do is start an open conversation about our histories. It’s crucial to me that we also discuss our current and future boundaries. Society doesn’t matter here. If you’re with someone new and plan to cross any sexual boundaries with them, you should have full confidence to discuss the past, present and future however you see necessary to both be comfortable and on the same page; if you feel shamed or judged, then you aren’t with the right person.

If you’re a woman of the legal age of consent and you’re choosing to have sex, use protection, get tested often and share your status with your partners – but the year is 2015, and as long as we know what we want and as long as we talk openly and honestly with those we’re having sex with, we, too, should feel comfortable claiming our bodies the way we want without input or limitations from others.