Ah, the yearly visit to the gynecologist to refill my birth control prescription.
Time to be slammed with questions like: "How many sexual partners have you had?"
I put on my best lying face.
No one wants to be judged for how much sex they’re having. No one wants to be the slut.
I round up, by a lot.
As a feminist in 2015, I’m not worried about being perceived as too promiscuous. If anything, it's the opposite.
Sexual liberation has become the watermark of the fully empowered boss bitch. I look up to fierce ladies who hunt what they want, and encourage me to do the same.
While general society might humiliate women for sharing their bodies, my circle of courageous female artists and activists operate on a different wavelength.
We celebrate sexual freedom and expression, even acknowledge it as a form of control.
It’s our chance to live inside the wide boundaries men have galloped across for centuries.
We don’t slut shame our sisters. Instead, we've begun to prude shame.
Though prude shaming is not on the feminist radar, it’s always on mine.
Here's what I didn't tell my gyno: I’ve never been interested in sleeping with someone who didn’t love me, or vice versa. And most of the time I’m not at that point.
Therefore, I don’t have many partners. Or much experience.
So I lie, constantly.
When I’m honest, people think I’m old fashioned.
Not in a chic Audrey Hepburn way, but "I feel morally superior and am going to judge the sh*t out of you" way.
I become the prude. The buzzkill. The person at the party who makes everyone ashamed of their choices. Though often I’m ashamed of mine.
Why am I so cautious about sharing my body with someone?
The hunger’s there -- just ask the pictures of Matt Bomer and Adam Levine on my bathroom wall.
Right now there are several people I’d like to sleep with, but it’s never just been so easy.
I’ve never understood the simple, here’s my naked body, make it happy!
Is it because my feminist confidence is a farce?
Am I walking in five-inch heels of empowerment, speaking up and out, yet not actually accessing the freedoms we’ve fought so hard to create?
In the haunting sterile student health center, I take my prescription and my pride.
I've lied my way through this check-up, but not escaped.
Prude-shaming follows me through so many other day to day places. Like my bedroom doorway, when I tell my roommate she cannot bring a guy over past midnight on a Tuesday.
Several times I’ve had people over around 10 pm working on projects, who she’s asked to leave.
It seems like a fair trade. She declares that your sex life should be just as much a priority as your schoolwork.
The condescension drips from her tongue. Because I’m more concerned with academics than sex, I’m somehow living an unhealthy lifestyle?
Apparently sleeping with someone entails special privileges, and since I’m not currently doing it, I’m not entitled to equal respect towards what I am.
Prude-shaming happens when a friend practically asks me for permission to break up with the jerk eroding her into a shell of herself. She ignores my advice, saying I could never understand the attraction they have.
It’s the constant echo: the endless unsolicited advice on how I can lure a guy into my bedroom. Or patronizing comments every time I wear something revealing for a party.
My sexual history has become grounds to undermine my feelings toward romance.
In order to feel invited to the table and have validated opinions, I lie.
My extreme experience with prude-shaming arrived when I came out as bisexual.
Many people manipulated the fact I’ve only had a few sexual relationships to tell me it was a phase. By their standard, I just needed to experiment more.
How I could know unless I had a significant amount of sex with both genders?
The thing is, you know you’re straight long before you lose your virginity. Attraction is not about gratification.
One person even said I wasn’t having enough sex to know what being straight was like when I identified as such.
She claimed I couldn’t grasp the experience of getting dressed up and making myself attractive for a party because I wasn’t going to take anyone home.
Your sexuality is not validated by the amount of sex you have.
For some people, coming out involves a lot more thinking than f*cking, and both can be pretty scary.
I want to be desired just as much as the girl who constantly acts on hers. I work hard to feel sexy and beautiful, even if it’s just for myself.
But more and more, it seems not enough.
What is the point of sexual liberation when it imprisons me? When it's the new excuse for shame?
This is not about the right to have sex.
It’s the right to choose.
Female empowerment doesn’t come from when we say yes or no. It’s the option to say either, without humiliation knocking on the back of our throats. Freedom is in decision.
If you want to have sex, have sex. That’s awesome!
If you don’t, go home, watch "Game of Thrones" and let people with weirder sounding names do it for you.
Let’s not just stop slut shaming.
Let’s stop shaming, period.