Earlier this week, Feministe had a post titled My Sluthood, Myself. Its author, Jaclyn, talks about how casual sexual encounters have become a healthy and positive part of her life:
But it didn’t really matter [if the encounters were worth repeating]. Because sluthood isn’t an action, it’s a state of mind.
I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me. Sluthood gave me the time and space to nurse a shattered heart. It gave me a place where I could exist in pieces, some of me craving touch, some of me still too tender to even expose to the light. Sluthood healed the part of me that felt my body and my desires were grotesque after two years in a libido-mismatched partnership. Now I felt hot, wanted, powerful. My desire and enthusiasm was an asset, not an unintended weapon. Even now, with more time passed, now, when I am actually ready for and wanting a more emotional connection, sluthood keeps me centered. It keeps me from confusing desire and affection with something deeper. It means I have another choice besides celibacy and settling. It means I won’t enter another committed relationship just to satisfy my basic need for sex and affection. It gives me more choices, it makes room for relationships to evolve organically, to take the shape they will before anyone defines them.
It’s quite a read, and I highly recommend it.
Jaclyn gave me food for thought, both in how I view others and how I view myself. In part, because of things like this:
I try not to think that way, and I do a pretty good job. A number of my friends – both male and female – have had a pretty significant number of sexual partners, and I don’t really react differently if a male friend or a female friend says they hooked up with someone. But it’s been a conscious effort to overcome my culturally-trained reaction of “male sexualty = good” and “female sexuality = bad.”
But I also feel like I’ve unintentionally imposed a good dose of “sexuality = bad” on myself. Cultural depicitions of trans women being sexual is rarely complimentary and, like it or not, I’ve internalized some of that. Dating (and hooking up) this summer has been a really great experience, and I was pleased to come across My Sluthood, Myself because it feeds into my growing realization that I can be a sexual being without being A) unsafe or B) a bad person.