Twenty

Note: In light of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I’m going to talk about sex.

For the past two days,

I’ve been in a doula training program, and after being in a room with women of all ages and walks of life talking about sex, contractions, or pooping during the labor process, I feel inspired to talk about a relevant sexual issue facing many college women: sex and values. My friends are dealing with it, and as my period is gradually ending, I’m thinking about it – big time.

The doula program really touched upon the social stigmas and expectations around birth versus the woman’s power to her own body and have the birth she wants. That’s exactly how I feel about sex, even though I’ve never done it. I have friends who have done it and plenty of friends who haven’t. Some of those who have done it were underwhelmed by their experience while others have a crisis and ask me again and again whether if they made a huge mistake. I grew up in a culture that doesn’t have The Talk and expects women to stay virgins until marriage at a youthful age and all that stuff, and I definitely integrated some of those values into my own life decisions. Still, I don’t put a scarlet letter on friends who’ve done it, because their sexual decisions or regrets aren’t mine. They have the right to have that sexual experience with someone else, just like I have the right to wait for it.

I’m going to get a little touchy feely about this, but I’m going to explain myself in 21st century and hopefully non-shaming terms. I learned to value my body’s experiences through exercise, therapy, and diet for the past year. After pondering the question ever since I became a college “woman” (I really still feel like little girl lost in the ladies’ shoe department), I’m deciding to value my first sexual experience by not dating or having my first until I graduate, because I want to stay young and dream about that experience while I still can. Sex has always been a precious symbol of transition for me: Falling in love through a raw, erotic, soulful act, and affirming my love for someone who witnesses me becoming a new person. To have that experience in college, this period of my life when I am still figuring myself out, without a committed partner is to throw my dreams of sex to a ghost with no one to replace them with.

I hope I made sense and was non-shaming as possible.

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