The Perils of Sexual Liberation

This week I wanted to open up about my experiences as a self-proclaimed thot, and talk about this identity as a big part of my sexual liberation as well as the obstacles I’ve endured in adopting this label. Due to a fear of web panopticism and its interaction with the job market, I won’t be including my name in this, but if you have any questions, want to vent or feel less alone and share hoe stories you can email me at [email protected] and I will gladly answer.

I’ve always felt empowered by women and members of the LGBTQ+ community who have spoken openly about their sexual prowess and have no shame about it. Growing up in an environment where (primarily due to engrained catholicism) sex was a no-no topic, it felt taboo and rebellious to be around people who revelled in their sexuality and I found this inspirational. Since my early teens I had come to take promiscuity as an admirable goal, a sort of way to "even the playing field" between myself and male classmates who talked about women and their bodies like objects. In a way, I felt like marking myself as a sexual being with desires was so unspoken of and shamed that I wanted to step outside and do the wrong thing. It was a way to reclaim my power and challenge boys who talked about wanting to hook up and have sex, and sort of put a face and brain onto the objectified ideal of a woman and say what if I feel the same way you do?

I had a best friend in high school who thought very similarly to me, and we both had a lot of fun. We’d compete with our guy friends on how many people we could flirt with or get numbers from at parties. As we grew up through our teenage years, these challenges escalated but the point was that the winner was the most successful at being promiscuous (which was something unheard of for girls). Within this we had some good hookups, some not so good ones, some terrible relationships and some boring dates, but we always supported each other. My other friends, both male and female, felt more comfortable in talking about their sex lives with us partially because we could say “hey, who am I to judge?” and they’d take this as a given because we talked about our sex lives openly and with pride which took the shame away from sharing these experiences. This friendship really paved the way for me towards college, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this.

The way that I dress and show my body is also something that is really important to me in my “thot” identity. I feel confident in the outfits I wear and in my body and how it is manifested in the clothes that I like. I’ve also been shamed many times because of this. I’ve had countless people, both friends, peers and grown-ups tell me that I dress like a “hooker” (I’m using this term in quotations because it is the derogatory term that was used to compare my outfits to those of a sex worker. PSA do not refer to sex workers as hookers, it is very offensive). I stopped wearing shorts with tights because of this, as well as my favorite outfit which was a black romper with fishnets. Some people would tell me that I’d get catcalled or harassed because of these outfits which is something that has led me to feel like something is wrong with me when I get catcalled on the street. I had a former friend tell me I dress like I have “daddy issues,” which was a whole Freudian time warp into 19th century psychoanalysis.

I’ve always been close friends with other people who had sex often or had multiple partners. It’s been easy to not have to explain myself to them and not risk being slutshamed or marginalized for the way I choose to manifest my sexuality. However, I’ve also had many friends who choose not to have sex until they are in committed relationships, or abstain from sex entirely. These friendships are equally as valuable to me because I feel like we can both learn from each other and have a two-way mirror into alternative ways of expressing sexuality.

    Nonetheless, a problem I’ve been facing lately is how to talk about my sexcapades with people who could potentially see me as a sexual partner, specifically straight men. What has happened to me lately is that I’ve continued to talk about my sex life openly, but many men have seen this as an invite for sex or as a moral transgression which I should be reprimanded for. These scenarios have arisen often lately, and it’s been painful to see how men who I thought were good friends have written me off as a “slut,” “easy” or “asking for it”. I had always thought that when I talked about my sex life it was simply a delusion of grandeur in comedic entertainment, akin to a one-woman stand up show. In frustration at my latest negative encounter with a friend criticizing me on my selection of partners, I talked to my good friend Teresa* on the subject.

    Her opinion was that it is safer for me as a woman to abstain from talking about sex at the risk of being viewed as a sexual being. Teresa feels disgusted at the possibility of giving men she doesn’t want to have sex with an opportunity to desire her or fuel a sexual fantasy that involves her in any way. Even through all of high school up until now, she never spoke to her partners or her straight, male friends about her sex life as a way to defend herself from these assumptions. Regardless, when men in her circles said something slut-shamey or sexist she would speak up and call them out on this behavior. These are the ways that she found to maintain her sex life as her own, while still keeping these kinds of platonic friendships.

    My stance is a quite different. Since talking about my sex life in such an open way is a huge part of my personality and catharsis, I would never want to hide this or diminish it in any way. Even if I choose to be abstinent or monogamous, I would still talk about my experiences because it’s my form of self expression and it’s who I am. I feel that my friends shaming me or trying to make advances due to my personality would be clear signs to stop being friends with them as, clearly, our personalities don’t match up. However, Teresa poses a looming question, is it possible to be an outwardly sexual being and maintain platonic friendships with the opposite sex?

 

 

*Pseudonym used to protect my friend's identity