I posted a video titled “The Morning After,” where I discussed the effects of having sex outside of a relationship and the emotional residue that is left the morning after. I reflected about going through the cycle of first feeling ashamed, shunning my emotions and finally asking myself why I even engaged in the behavior in the first place.
Before I filmed the video however, I struggled with how I wanted to tell my story. I always strive to expose myself a bit to help others feel okay doing the same. I believe that showing vulnerability is the way to connecting with others and if there’s nothing else I want my viewers to take away from my content, it’s just that – connection.
I struggled because I didn’t know if talking about my sex life was too personal and as much as I don’t live my life according to others’ expectations, I still worried about the perception my viewers would have of me. I worried I’d be chalked up to being less than – to being a ho.
It made me have this whole internal conversation about why it is that we as woman are put into two camps. Overly sexual or not at all sexual and why there can’t be a grey area when we can appreciate sex without it being a bad thing..
In high school, in my eyes, a ho was any girl that slept with a guy outside of a relationship. I brought this archaic way of thinking with me until my first experience and even then grappled with how I ‘should’ feel.
I’ve resolved that choosing not to sleep with someone out of a relationship isn’t about what others may think. It’s not about being labeled negatively, it’s about honoring myself.
For years I’ve struggled with understanding the value of my emotions. I constantly found myself working to get over a guy or just not wanting to like anyone because of the emotional turmoil I felt it caused. But no matter how much I resisted or how much logic I went through, my emotions would always reveal themselves. And this isn’t a bad thing, I learned.
Emotions in their rawest form, aren’t bad. Even negative emotions aren’t bad per se. In fact both positive and negative emotions are useful. They’re both valuable because they can be used as a compass as to what is right for you personally.
Ever heard of ‘that gut feeling’? I like to think of it as a guide, letting me know if I’m headed down the right path.
In the case of sex outside of a relationship, the fantasy was always better than the experience and the morning after left me frustrated, in tears and more frustrated that I cared so much about wanting more attention from the guy I had just been with.
I’ve since accepted the reality and beauty that in order for sex to be rewarding for me, I have to feel emotionally safe with the guy. I have to feel that he cares about me. Now, of course, there’s never any guarantee that he’ll call the next day, even in relationships, there’s no guarantee things will work out in the long term but when I can clearly see the end before the beginning has commenced, there’s simply no reason to put myself through the inevitable emotional rollercoaster I’ll have to feel after he walks out of my apartment.