Why Sleeping Around Shouldn't Be A Way To 'Find Yourself'

by Samantha Nelson

Throughout my adult life, I’ve never been the girl with the great hookup stories. You know, the kind your girlfriends gush to you about over brunch that bring you to laughter with each deliciously scandalous sentence. These stories lead to the most epic inside jokes. There is just something about a great hookup story that is both empowering and guilty, all at once — especially if it’s your story.

But, as I identified above, I’m generally not the purveyor of these tales, and most often, I’m just intently listening, waiting for my turn to speak about what my boyfriend and I did over the weekend. But none of my stories come from juicy experiences.

I’ve been in monogamous relationships since my late teens, and I’m unapologetic about never wanting to be single. Of course, this is only my agenda. For some of you, I’m sure the words “boring” and “inexperienced” are coming to mind, so let's take a moment to analyze these adjectives.

In many aspects of life, inexperience is bad and experience is good. For example, you can’t get a job without having previous experience to back up your credibility as a candidate. On a broader scale, people who have had lots of different experiences are usually seen as worldlier, more competent and, sometimes, more intelligent than those who have had fewer experiences. And they might be — taking on different jobs, traveling the world, going to college and making new friends are all experiences that can contribute to making someone a more experienced, rounder and better person.

I don’t speak about my love life often, and when I do, I only share with people who are close to me, those whom I trust. And when I do speak with those who are less so in my inner circle, it seems that they all have opinions and advice. The advice usually consists of suggestions for me to be single for awhile to help figure out “who I am.” While this may be good advice, I generally feel that what they are actually saying is that I should randomly sleep with a few people to help identify my existential identity.

This line of advice that random individuals, the media and other entities advocate is shameful. It’s insulting that we are advised to play Russian roulette with our sexual health to “find out who we are.” It's even more insulting that plenty of alternative paths to self-realization are not encouraged.

The purpose of this post is not to communicate how morally righteous I am nor to condemn single girls who choose a path different to mine. I wrote this article to call attention to the idea that it is possible to discover yourself without sleeping around. Personal journeys encompass more than sexual gratification. Life is too short to be told by others how to find yourself — follow whichever path you desire.

Photo via We Heart It