I love sex. Isn’t it just the best? I love it vanilla, casual, slow, kinky, romantic, rough. Right now, what are you thinking? Do you agree? Or maybe you’re judging me? Are you thinking I sound like a whore? Do you know me? Do I know you?
Unfortunately many of you will be judging me for my enjoyment of my sexual self – for my openness. Some of you may be jealous that I can be so open, some may be thinking negatively about me for having sex somewhat regularly and some of you may be wishing you didn’t start reading as ‘sex belongs in the bedroom’. Well I also love it in the kitchen, on the couch…but yeah, I get you. You don’t want to hear about my liaisons. Sex is a private thing. I agree, it is. But only in the sense we have the right to choose how we express ourselves sexually. With who we want. How we want.
Why do we feel the need to judge others based on their admitted, or their guessed at, sexual behaviour? You’re probably gay, lesbian…well not straight. And you’re concerned with judging how others choose to express their sexuality? Honey, you’ve got most of the world thinking you’re going to hell just for liking the same sex. Why would you engage in that same sort of judgment on people who are fighting every day to have their identity confirmed as legitimate because they aren’t heterosexual?
The other day someone posted an article on Facebook showing a Grindr conversation (see right) where someone, in regards to discovering someone was on PrEP (the use of antiretrovirals – Truvada – to prevent the acquisition of HIV) said ‘I have wanted to go on it for the longest time. However I don’t want to be known as a whore.’ Many commented on this and the focus was nearly always on the fact that PrEP doesn’t infer that you’re a whore. But my problem was that anyone even cared that they were thought of as a whore. Why does that matter? The inference is stupid, I agree, but why is there judgment on someone for supposedly having and enjoying sex more than some indeterminate ‘non-whore’ amount. I’ve met people who have sex often but who also get tested for STI’s often and who look after themselves very well. I’ve also met people who have never been tested and have sex only occasionally. I’d much prefer to have sex with the person who gets tested regularly. The ‘whore’, so to speak.
I think a big part of the stigma associated with PrEP, HIV and STI’s is because we aren’t open enough about our sexual selves and so we spend time judging others on theirs. I’ve had the clap, I’ve had HPV (well I still do – it never really goes but most sexually active people have it) and I’ve also got HIV. But NONE of these things is a reflection on my sexual behaviours or habits. Not a single one. Well, it does suggest I have had sex at least once but who hasn’t? When we all put down our words that are our weapons of judgment we will all be closer to a world where we can openly discuss sex. Imagine a world where it is left up to an individual to decide how they want to express themselves sexually, and one where our sexual health is nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing to avoid but something to be embraced like eating well and working out.