I know I was the one to pick this sensational topic of sex but I will be honest: I did not know what I wanted to say. I did not choose the subject to upset or offend. I chose it because I wanted to move forward from racial discord, the passing of parents, and do this in a big way. Sex has always seem to have that effect on people.
Growing up, my last name meant something. It carried with it a legacy of benevolence, decency, and propriety. There were certain colors, dress lengths, and styles I could not wear to church. Wearing pants did not even cross my mind and I myself did not wear a pair of pants to school until I was 13, the same year I took my hair out of pigtails and commandeered the brush from my Mom.
I am the oldest with two younger brothers and 4 uncles(5 if you’re counting my Mom’s brother), and three boy cousins who are all of strong Christian faith and have had the misplaced but adorable concept that they could step in for my father at various points in my life to protect me from the woe begone world. That brings me to my parents. Though my father was the “different” one that liked stepping out and following his own drum, when it came to his daughter he was incredibly protective and traditional. He believed his wife and daughter should have unshorn hair and like his own mother and sister never wear makeup. He had a life plan for me that included being locked up at 13 and guarded by gunpoint. My mother did not curse or drink, or dress promiscuously. She didn’t like to writhe her hips to any music and blushed to sing a song at church out loud. I hope this paints an accurate picture of the repression that was my childhood.
I used to feel inundated with sex,this forbidden topic, that was behind every whispered conversation, any major high school shaming, any side eyed glance. Guys that approached me for dates seemed only interested in that topic and would repulse me. As I gained weight those guys dissipated over time and suddenly, at 33, I found myself still a virgin.
First off, I’m proud of this fact. Not because I think it makes me better than my classmates that now have teenage children, or those women that enjoy many partners throughout a lifetime. No, rather it is because coming from a single parent home and of low income family whose parents made minimum wage and never completed their education beyond high school, I definitely defied the societal expectations of me. I continue to make my family proud by maintaining a sense of decorum and self respect. I believe I stole a note from my father’s book and followed my own drum in a society that sensationalizes sex with the double standard of pushing it on us from a young age (for men) while also making it taboo (for women). If a man was to say he survived his 20’s sans sex there’s something wrong with him but a woman who has must be a devout Christian saving herself for the sanctity of marriage. I will tell you I have not belonged to a church organization since I was 14 and I did not have a plan to stay “pure” this long. I had no plan at all. I just didn’t feel the need to try on every shoe I saw. I knew what I was at the store to buy and I patiently waited until they went on sale 😉
When I met my soon to be husband I knew and along with falling in love with him, he also opened my eyes to what a strange approach the United States has on sex. He has never commented on it himself but rather I have experienced his culture. In a male dictatorship you would imagine that women have a place and that is under the shoes of her male superior with head covering and knee length dress intact. I imagined silent women with clean faces, deadened eyes, and a line of children behind them. I have never been more wrong in my life about any other topic.
The people of Cuba have a throbbing air of sexuality. The weather is always balmy so people of all ages wear as little as possible. I have never felt so white bread, over dressed, and matronly as my first trip there. It doesn’t matter your body shape or age and men and women alike appreciate bare skin equally. This sounds almost Hedonistic but it actually makes sex “no big deal”. You have men give you a casual glance but no wagging tongues or lascivious molestations with eyes and wandering hands. They celebrate their sexuality and take the sting out of it at the same time. They are highly educated and have materials on family planning readily available. In fact other countries look towards Cuba on their government management of sexually contracted diseases, particularly the low prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and the small family average despite there being no laws preventing or limiting family size. Education is available to everyone on this beautiful island and they make contraception free as well as all medication to it’s people.
So, after giving you quite a different story than you anticipated with that tag line I am reiterating. Despite my upbringing or perhaps in defiance of it, though I waited a rather long time to partake, I enjoy sex with a single partner. I will happily contribute to any conversation on sexuality, sex health, sexual exploration, different positions, tips,tricks, religious stance on sex before marriage, or reproductive benefits, it has none of the sting it once had in my youth. I can answer without giggling or blushing and you should be forewarned that I think its incredibly ridiculous to whisper on a topic that is necessary to advance the human race. I like sex, I like having sex, and I have no shame in partaking in it responsibly. I don’t know what my child may be exposed to in the future and I do cringe at the derogatory onslaught my nephew is exposed to but ultimately we need to be more honest with ourselves. It won’t be a single show, movie, commercial, or song that influences their approach to the subject any more than that is what shaped our own views. It’s how we teach them as parents and responsible adults to view this not so very hot topic.