I remember first hearing people at school use the term, “slut.”
I didn’t fully understand why it was a slut, but it was made clear from the situation that it was not a word I wanted to be called. The girls who were saying it were all pointing in my direction, talking about me, and using that hushed tone people use when they want someone to know that they are being discussed in public.
Little did I know how that moment would mark what would become my middle school hell. Apparently, I was considered a slut for having a lot of male friends and also growing breasts earlier than everyone else.
It was then that people started to drum into me that sexuality—or really any marker of such—was inappropriate for girls.
For a long time, I actually was brainwashed into thinking I was fundamentally wrong for the way I was. Looking back, I realize that the way I was treated in school was unfair and also a result of society feeding people lies about sexuality in general. The older I got, the less I became willing to deal with the bullying and browbeating people foisted on me.
By the time I was in my twenties, I started to experiment with my sexuality and got my first high-end sex toy. (It was a LELO toy, by the way.) Having my first orgasm changed the way I saw things. It made me realize that sex is beautiful, and that there’s nothing wrong with craving pleasure.
Years passed, and all the messages society told me started to unravel before my eyes. I’m tired of hearing them parroted day after day. I refuse to apologize for being a sexual creature anymore, and I’m not going to let society’s ways of shaming people go anymore.
Though we already have a lot of lies swirling around about women’s roles in the world, these sex-focused lies below might be the most damaging of all.
Lie #1: Women who don’t sleep around are better people than those who are sexual.
This was an untruth I heard a lot during high school and college. I was told, straight up, that I was a bad person for wanting to experiment with sex. People would avoid me because I somehow had this mark of “unclean” for being sexually active and open about my love of sex.
Deep down inside, I knew something was very, very wrong with this attitude. I wasn’t hurting anyone when I orgasmed. I didn’t upset any of the guys I hooked up with by having sex with them; they enjoyed it. My sexual pleasure was not impinging on anyone else’s ability to enjoy themselves or stay safe. So, what was the big issue?
Don’t you have to do something that hurts someone in order to be a bad person? Is there any objective, clear-cut reason why sex is bad? No, not really. Morally speaking, I think that the people who slut-shamed me were the bad people here!
Lie #2: It’s not natural for women to have desire.
Lord help me, this was actually something that I heard guys say. What’s worse is that many girls I’ve met, even so recently as this month, feel like they have to pretend they don’t want sex in order to get a date or fit in.
This isn’t just a lie; it doesn’t biologically even make sense. Humans are naturally wired to want sex; otherwise, our species would die out. If only men desired sex, then there would be no point in dating. Our sex lives would look hellish, and women definitely wouldn’t want to be around men in any situation.
I want to tell you that you are not wrong for wanting sex, feeling desire, or enjoying masturbation. Thankfully, sex positivity has been on an uptick since my college days and this lie is quickly fading out.
Lie #3: Sex toys replace men.
Back when I was still dating, I had a boyfriend who pitched a fit when he saw my LELO MIA 2 out in the open. He sulked, pouted, and eventually blew up at me, claiming that he felt “replaced” by the sex toy I owned. Stunned, I asked him to leave on the spot. I realized there was no use in dealing with someone that insecure.
Honestly, I don’t get how this belief even started—nor do I want to find out. However, my next boyfriend quickly found out how good sex toys can enhance couples’ play. Trust me when I said that we both enjoyed our toy time together!
Lie #4: Your vagina gets looser the more partners you sleep with.
I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t heard this myth being circulated, and every single girl knows it’s not true. Despite this, a scary number of men take this myth to be fact. They usually take the lead at shaming women for having “loose bits” based on the number of guys women are with.
I can debunk this pretty quickly. Having sex with one partner multiple times doesn’t make you loose down there, does it? A woman’s vagina will not be able to tell the difference between different men, so why would it loosen with multiple men when it allegedly remains “tight” with only one partner.
Even with the aspect of childbirth, women are built to have their bodies snap back from passing an eight-pound child through their birth canal. If we can do that with a baby, why would sleeping around or using sex toys change our tightness?
Lie #5: Sex and masturbation makes you dirty.
Ugh, this whole thing again.
Blame Puritans for this extremely messed-up way to look at sex. There is nothing dirty about exploring your body. People are meant to have sex and they are meant to have orgasms. As long as you have safe sex, your body won’t contract diseases.
Lie #6: The female orgasm doesn’t exist.
As someone who had their first orgasm change the way they saw sex, I can tell you that female orgasms do exist. Not only do they exist, but they are a truly life-changing experience that’s absolutely worth enjoying time and time again.
Guys, I want to tell you something. If you can’t make a girl climax on your own, don’t feel bad. Most women do need a little help to cross the finish line. Using a clitoral stimulation toy is a good way to make it happen quick.
Lie #7: All women are the same when it comes to sex.
Did you ever notice how many guys treat women’s bodies like a “one size fits all” type of deal? Over the years, I’ve found that many men tend to think each girl has the exact same turn-ons and wants the exact same things in bed. Though this isn’t as damaging as other myths society pushes on women, it’s still a major blow to a lady’s sex life.
Surprise—we all have different tastes. Some of us love missionary, while others love doggy style. Some of us can only climax through G-spot stimulation, others need clitoral stimulation. Maybe it’s time guys ask a little bit about what makes us tick, don’t you think?
Lie #8: Women should conceal their bodies, otherwise men won’t be able to control themselves.
My middle school, high school, and college years involved everyone drilling this into me. It’s a pervasive myth that makes people blame victims of sexual assault. I’ll be blunt—women are not to blame for the behavior of other people. Others have full agency over their behavior, so it’s about damned time we lay blame where it really is.
The older I get, the angrier I get when I see people trying to goad women into hiding their bodies. Everyone deserves to flaunt their bodies and fall in love with what they see in the mirror. This is true of men, women, and non-conforming people too!
Lie #9: Sex gets worse the older you get.
This is a lie I’ve seen pushed by society for ages, and sadly, I actually believed it.
Now that I’m older, I realize what a huge lie this is. Getting older means that you eventually learn to accept your body, flaws and all. It also means that you start learning what you like. Most of us also get more experimental as days pass, too.
As I got older, the quality of sex I had got better. Great sex doesn’t have a maximum age limit. The only time you really can say that your sex life is over is when you stop trying anything new, or stop doing it.
Lie #10: Sex doesn’t make you empowered.
Though this isn’t said aloud, it’s definitely inferred by the way people treat women’s sexuality. Women who have sex aren’t victims. Anyone who has ever experienced the incredible empowerment that comes with finally learning to love yourself or enjoy sex will tell you this.
I can honestly say that my first orgasm changed the way I saw my body. I can say that actually taking time to experiment with my little LELO toy helped me focus on myself. With luck, I’ll eventually see a world where every woman experiences the beautiful act that is learning how to enjoy their body.
With all that said, I hope that every girl out there takes time to think about the power of sexuality on Women’s Day—and learns to say “no” to the lies society tells us all too often.