Monday, February 1, 2010

Teflon Vagina.

I've had sex with some kinda terrible people. I lost my virginity to a guy who, in retrospect, was a socially useless creep. I fucked a girl who later turned out to be batshit insane and tried to seduce a 17-year-old by telling her "I'm the only one who truly loves and understands you." I fucked Benny.

And I've moved on. I guess I sorta regret being with those people, but, you know, it all made sense at the time and the sex itself wasn't half bad. The scumbags of my history have left me with some lessons, some memories, but they haven't damaged me. At the end of it all, I'm still the owner of my vagina.

A lot of people talk about sex in terms of giving "yourself" rather than just your sex. Sometimes it seems like this is more than just a euphemism. Like "giving myself" to a loser was a major life mistake rather than just a few crappy nights. Sure, I can't take it back--but it's not happening anymore, so it's really not that big a deal.

The virginity thing especially. Yeah, you only get to lose it once, so I guess I blew that, my first sex was with a weirdo, but really I'm much more concerned with who I have my next sex with. The choice to lose it to Kevin "stays with me forever" only in the strictly academic sense that my choice of breakfast on March 8th, 1999 stays with me forever. (Probably Golden Grahams. I was eating a lot of Golden Grahams at that point in my life.)

So becoming neurotic with fear of having sex with the "wrong" person is, to me, way overblown. Obviously it's good to try to sleep only with good people, but if you screw up, just dump them and you'll live. Their antics don't taint you. Use a condom and this isn't a high-stakes game. Fucking someone doesn't need to be a Major Life Decision.

No matter who you "give yourself" to, at the end of it all you're still going to own yourself.


  1. Excellent points. Of course the whole "damaging yourself" by having sex with the wrong person is usually only applied to women...b/c our purity is so essential to our worth BS.

    And some wingnut will always point out "but you could get pregnant or get an STD or get AIDS from having sex with the wrong person so it IS potentially damaging"...but you could also get that from your first/only/monogamous partner too. And you could get hit by a bus if you leave your house...or slip in the shower and die IN your house. Life is a serious of calculated risks and a little common sense goes a long way. Your common sense in this post should be taken to heart!

  2. holly and kaija, i'm curious if either of you have ever had an STD. i used to think pretty similarly to you, but after being diagnosed with genital herpes (after using condoms every.single.time -- safer sex seems like a stupid and bitter joke to me now), i DO think that sex has the capacity to be tainting and damaging. permanently.

    it just seems like it's easy, empty, bullshit words to say when you don't actually have to deal with the negative, forever parts of it.

  3. Anonymous - No, I've never had an STD. But I do know that I'm taking that risk, and I accept it. Safer sex isn't 100% effective but it reduces the risk to an acceptable level. Sex has the capacity to be negative, but it has such a massive and wonderful capacity to be positive, that I'm not backing out just because there are risks.

    Plus, I'm talking more about the psychological "taint" of having sex with the "wrong" person than of physical risks. Very nice people sometimes have germs, so holding out for The One won't really buy you much if The One has the herp.

  4. I have had a positive HPV result just after college, which my ob-gyn said could have come from my first partner or my latest since it's mostly aymptomatic. I've since cleared the virus and have not had any problems with it since. Since a majority of people who are sexually active are exposed to it, I didn't freak out. I have always been "safe" and like Holly, I know that sex isn't risk-free, but I think the upside far outweighs the potential downside.

    I do agree that the psychological "taint" is used as a scare tactic and weapon by the anti-sex/abstinence crowd to a ridiculous level. I don't think that approach stops anyone but I bet it really can do some damage to someone who has internalized that message that "you will be punished!".

  5. Kaija said "And some wingnut will always point out "but you could get pregnant or get an STD or get AIDS from having sex with the wrong person so it IS potentially damaging"...but you could also get that from your first/only/monogamous partner too."

    We wingnuts of course would also say that the wrong monogamous partner was also potentially damaging.

    I'm not the best wingnut to discuss this issue because if I wrote my own scriptures I would not include chastity. However, one guess for psychological impact is that the exclusivity itself is the thing; if you call all your friends darling then it's not special when you call your spouse darling; if you sleep with all your friends then it's not special when you sleep with your spouse. Lots of prostitutes refuse to kiss customers for that reason, they're saving something to be special.

  6. ...actually, I believe that lots of prostitutes refuse to kiss customers because you can't really use a latex barrier for a kiss and exchanging fluids can be risky. Not because they're "saving something to be special."

  7. This really ought to be required reading for every adolescent. Great job.

  8. Lucy Jane,

    1- the prostitutes say they're saving it for their boyfriends.

    2- If kissing without a latex barrier poses significant risk, it no kissing should be part of all safer sex, not just paid safer sex.

    3- Saliva-borne diseases are generally relatively mild as far as STDs go. Condoms really came into use for AIDS not mono.

    4- It's very hard for me to believe that one can engage in sex with a condom and no kissing and still not transmit any saliva; some of it is going to aerosolize if there's heavy breathing and nasal passages are much more vulnerable than the mouth.

  9. @Lucy Jane,

    I hear you loud and clear. I am not a prostitute, but I am some what of a germaphobe. I DO NOT kiss on the first date, and maybe not even the second. I tell guys, I don't know where your tongue has been OR I know what you like to do with that tongue.

    Yeah, some people don't get it...STDs and other bacteria can be transmitted via the saliva in your mouth.

    I love sex, I like a good time but I am cautious.