SUPPORT OUR POZIBLE CAMPAIGN!

Hi Slut, I’m Prude

Writing by Alyssa Bedford // Photograph by Mara Saiz

download (22)

I’m a virgin.

Now, while you let that truth bomb sink in, let me begin by talking about slut shaming—which is definitely a problem. However, when we talk about slut shaming, we’re talking about deconstructing long-held expectations of the female body when it comes to sex and giving women the power to love themselves and their bodies and do with them as they please.

It’s wonderful that society has begun to engage in a conversation about slut shaming. But what is often not talked about in this fight is prude shaming. These principles of respect are something that we can apply to both sides of the card—the decision to have sex, and the decision not to.

Maybe the cause of this is that women who decide to remain abstinent or wait a certain amount of time to have sex are essentially presented to young girls as the ideal image of what we should be. Sex ed classes all throughout America preach abstinence and wave the threats of STI’s and unexpected pregnancies at you in an attempt to deter any sort of sexual activity in young adult lives. Abstinence has always been taught as a core value in religious circles; a symbol of purity. We have attached our sexual identity to the inexperience of our vaginas.

So, on one hand, it would seem like girls who haven’t had sex have the upper hand in societal approval. But the thing is, when it comes to fulfilling patriarchal expectations of what we should be, there really is no winning. If you have sex with more than one person, you’re a slut. If you enjoy having sex, you’re a slut. If you’ve never had sex or are waiting for the right person, you’re a prude. If you’re asexual and want to duck out of the game altogether, you’re still a prude!

Beginning in sixth grade, boys used to constantly ask me whether or not I was a virgin. They had been taught to fetishize this, and desperately wanted to know if they could be my first time or not. I never answered their questions, but began attaching my decision to my romantic worth. I began to believe someone would want me more if I was “pure.” When we got to eighth grade, a rumor got out that yes, in fact, I was a virgin. By this time, though, the tables had turned. I was tortured, taunted as a prude.

Once, two boys cornered me in a hallway and repeatedly threw a football at my legs, talking about the things that they should do to me. And if they did them to me, I wouldn’t be a prude anymore and wouldn’t think I was better than any of the rest of them.

We’re stuck in an impossible situation. Basically a lose-lose. There’s no way we can win in the game we’ve already been set up to fail. Because on one side, we’re asked to be sexually charged females. And on the other, we’re asked to cross our legs until someone comes along and puts a ring on our finger.

What it comes down to is that men, society, and even other women, have tried to take away our ability to decide what we want to do with our own bodies.

I’m a virgin. I chose to wait because of personal desires and beliefs. You’re not a virgin? That’s awesome too.

The idea here is that our level of sexual activity should not define or control us. Our worth comes from ourselves. Not from other people’s judgement, or their own desires of what we should be doing. There will always be crazy standards revolving around something out there. Someone will always be expecting too much.

Our charge is to exist outside of that. To make the best decisions for ourselves, and love ourselves regardless. And we should love and respect others in the same sense. Give others the space to make their own decisions about their bodies and sexuality.

At the end of the day, practice safe sex and be cool to other people, whether or not their sexual decisions match your own.

Mara Saiz

Mara’s great passion is people, and her tool to get through them is her camera. She likes to think of herself as a photographer of souls. You can check out her website here, her Facebook page here, and follow her on Instagram @marasaiz.photo.

Alyssa Bedford

Alyssa Bedford is a poet, writer, and muralist studying for a BSBA. She has self published a collection of poetry and has a blog at whenpoetsbleed.tumblr.com. She adores reading, mountain climbing, cheesecake, The Zolas, snuggling with cats, and seeing kindness in people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: