PO Box 29
Athens, OH 45701
We are supposed to be either good or bad, virgin or whore, innocence or slut.
When I was 16 (and forever after that) I was judged harshly for what I was, for what I did with my body, for how I survived and learned and felt and lived. When I found the punks, one of the things I loved best was the punk girls - these amazing, fucked up looking girls - short skirts, spitting and fighting and singing and drinking and pissing outside between parked cars, and this bold, slut sexuality. This power of embracing what is supposed to be our shame - our bodies, our desire, the idea that we can fuck because it's fun and feels good and it can be just as simple as that.
Simple. I wish.
Slut girls, I'm talking to you. You know how clear it is to you that just because you're sexy doesn't mean you want everyone up on your shit; but I also want to say that it goes both ways - not every boy wants you in his bed, not every boy wants you to flirt with him. There is a line between taking back power and objectifying other people the same way we've been objectified. I want to remind you to ask for consent. To think about your power and use it well. To think about what you want and what you don't and to pay attention to other people's boundaries, make sure you aren't using your power abusively.
When I was 22 I had a two week rule. I would only make out with people who were leaving town soon. I was tired of carrying the emotional weight of relationships and tired of trying to negotiate monogamy or nonmanogamy. I wanted to be able to figure out my sexuality for myself. Two weeks, after that things got confusing. fuck it. Around this same time is when the Antioch sexual assault policy came out. The rule was you had to ask before each new act. I didn't go to Antioch or anything, but I thought it was a pretty good idea. "Can I touch you here? Do you want this? Is this ok?" No one ever asked me for consent, and it was pretty scary to think about. I wanted to be swept away, carried out in the moment, to not have to think "do I want this?" because even if I did want it, the question itself reminded me of all the times I didn't want it but did it anyway.
There are so many thing around sex that we're not supposed to talk about. Talking ruins the mood. Talking means something must be wrong. But if we don't talk, then what? Are we changing the world or just changing the roles?
I decided that if I was taking my sexuality and power back, shouldn't I be asking for consent too? Shouldn't I take responsibility for making sure that what was happening was consentual? And who's to say consent can't be sexy, I'm telling you, it can be sexy as hell. It's sexy to know that the other person wants you to be doing what you're doing. Even awkwardness can be pretty sweet, make us more human, bring a kind of relief to the messages going on in our brains. It might make us step back from the passion for a minute, but it's worth it, I swear.