When I feel like I’m being judged or shamed for my choices or my body or my opinions I usually turn to the feminist movement to make me feel empowered and confident. When I feel like my body is too large I can look at Instagram’s of fat models who love who they are and preach acceptance.
But when I am feeling judge or shamed for the fact I have never had sex, I feel like there is a serious discrepancy in the feminist movement. The feminist movements biggest accomplishment in the realm of the treatment of female sexuality is making it more acceptable for women to be sexually empowered. And it does this by most women being open about their sexual experiences and not being ashamed to be a “slut”. And that’s awesome! It’s fabulous to see us moving towards the stopping of shaming women for loving sex.
However, I’ve found the lack of support for women who are not having sex, it certainly exists, but it feels like it’s less visible and less talked about. It made worse by the fact that I am a student at university, where not having sex is something I am shamed for. It effects both men and women, with “virgin” being a classic form of insult. I want to find places I can turn to when I feel like this, I want a feminist movement where I feel like I can openly talk about how I don’t want to have casual sex and how I want to wait. I don’t feel like this decision makes me less of a feminist, but I feel like an outsider in some feminist communities because of it.
I can imagine some are sitting there going “Why isn’t she having sex? She’s a young twenty something at university, that’s the prime time of your life for sex!” There are a lot of reasons why women choose not to have sex. Maybe they don’t feel sexual attraction. Maybe they are waiting for marriage. Maybe they are choosing to abstain for a while. All these reasons are valid and should be spoken about openly, so that we all know it’s okay. I assume you want to know my reason. I feel sexual attraction all the time but I just choose not to act upon it, because I don’t want to have sex with a random guy I met in a shitty nightclub. I’d rather wait for someone I actually feel like I know, who actually knows me as more than just a physical body.
I start to question myself when I see articles about how your 20s or your university days are the best days to gain sexual experience. Or when I see the massive support for women who are having sex with lots of partners and feminist declarations that women are empowered by sexual experience. Why aren’t I having sex? Is it because I’m ugly?? Is it because I am a repressed woman??? And I start to feel like I am missing out. that these are the prime years for sexual encounters and I am sat not having sex. That I will get to 40 and regret my choice. That I am a bad feminist for not allowing myself to hook up with random men. This is the point where I’d like to find a strong and vivid vein of the feminist community which reassures me that not having sex isn’t abnormal or something I need to change.
I support women’s agency to do as they wish with their bodies. But I strongly support women who are not having sex. I support you, more than I support women having lots of sex. Because I know how it feels to feel like less of a woman, less of a student because you have never had sex. I want to tell you that you ae valid, you are valid feminist, a valid human and so is your sexuality. Congratulations on doing what you want to do. Now let’s meet up, eat biscuits and support one another’s choices.