There are only two things that determine if a person’s sexuality is healthy or not and they apply to BOTH men and women:
How they treat themselves.
Self care. Choosing partners that don’t abuse them. Taking precautions to prevent venereal diseases. Honesty with themselves about what they’re doing and why. Only engaging in sex and sex acts they want to. Having sex for their own pleasure as well as their partner’s.
How they treat their sexual partners.
Honesty. You need to be free to pursue multiple sexual partners? That’s totally fine if you’re honest with all your partners that that’s what you’re doing. Consideration for your partner’s pleasure as well as your own. Always stopping when a partner gets uncomfortable and not shaming them for it. All their partners are consensual.
Things that do NOT determine how healthy a person’s sexuality is or their worth as a person:
How many sexual partners they’ve had.
How they dress.
What kind of sex they like. (If it’s 100% consensual then it’s no one’s business to place value on a person for their sexual tastes)
How few sexual partners they’ve had.
How quickly they do or do not “put out”.
How often they have sex.
How often they think about sex or don’t think about sex.
What gender they prefer having sex with.
I’m so fucking tired of people being judged for their sexuality. For the number of partners they’ve had. I’m especially sick to death of men calling women who’ve had as many or more partners as they’ve had “sluts” and then calling women who won’t have sex with them “prudes”. I’m sick to death of value judgements being placed on people, by other people, over their sex lives. It’s bullshit. In all the millions of species of creatures on this earth, only humans could twist something so natural, integral, and healthy into a public stage on which to pillory people.
My feelings are complicated by my love of the word “whore” which I apply to everyone pretty equally but never because of their sexual activities.
None of us can win with the asinine rules that religion has set across the world. I’m not pointing to any one religion in particular. MOST of them place a bizarre premium on virginity in women and sexual prowess in men. MOST of them place value judgements on human sexuality that is unhealthy and feeds directly into a power hungry patriarchy. The thing is, even men can’t really win with these rules. Without the unhealthy constructs religion has put around human sexuality there would be so much less emphasis on marriage and partnership would be more often steered by an individual’s needs rather than society ideals based on archaic civilizations.
I have an uneasy relationship with physical contact with other human beings. I mean in all contexts, not just sexual. I had to train myself to be a “hugger” because it isn’t natural to me to let others embrace me or to volunteer such contact with them. Maybe this is because my first years were spent in a hippie commune in which a pedophile was violating a couple of my toddler friends. Maybe seeing and experiencing physical violence at a young age made me fear humans. Or maybe I was born this way. I only know that my mistrust of touch goes very deep. My relationship with my sexuality is complicated but healthy. It’s healthy because I honor my personal needs and peculiarities. It’s healthy because I don’t try to lead a sexual life that doesn’t suit me in order to please others. It’s healthy because I have done my best to meet my partner’s needs while not allowing them to ever over-ride my need to feel safe.
I have a lot of friends with strong sexual appetites and some of them seem to me to have very healthy sex lives while others have seemed to me to value themselves less than they should. But the bottom line is that other people’s sexuality and sexual lives are not my business unless they make it my business. Whatever you think you know about a person’s sex life is probably only part of their story, the part they let you see, and we all superimpose our own ideals and issues onto other people who may not actually share them.
I don’t judge prostitutes for doing the work they do. I judge people for judging prostitutes negatively for the work they do. But that’s a whole different post for another day.
So here’s my wish for everyone: see to the health of your own sex life and stop judging other people for theirs, okay? Work towards having a healthy sex life in which you respect yourself and your body and extend that respect to your partners, no matter how many you choose to have over the course of your life. No matter what lifestyle is right for you. No matter if you’re religious or not. No matter what your peers are doing differently. Eschew adopting separate standards for yourself than you apply to others because doing so makes you and asshole and then I won’t be able to help you survive the apocalypse because, you know, I don’t share supplies with assholes. Eschew the practice of worshiping the faulty concept of “purity”* with regards to sexuality.
Respect yourself. Respect others.
It’s that simple.
*I loathe the concept of “purity” with regards to anything when it is a worshiped ideal. People who make eating “pure” foods into a religion – I hate that. People who talk about “clean living” – pisses me off. People who talk about purity being virginity – that fucking creeps the shit out of me. Purity is not a natural or healthy concept.