“Sylvia was jealous of men…because they did not have to worry about society stigmatizing them if they had sex indiscriminately, something for which women suffered ridicule. How could society tell boys to act on their sexual urges at the same time it denounced women for doing the same?” Paul Alexander, Rough Magic

Sylvia Plath is not the only woman that analyzed the double standards of sexuality. I did not write this article to demean anyone, but I would like to call to attention the ever-present stigma of women and sex. Sex is incredibly intimate and has the ability to either draw people closer together or further apart.

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Different religions, cultures, and countries regard sex in various ways. Of course, it is not my place to change or challenge any of these established customs–to do so would be futile. However, this does not lessen the fact that it is very frustrating. As women, it can be hard to express our feelings because it is constantly analyzed and dissected. Expressing sexual desires/feelings becomes even more problematic. I just read Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly and she made a profound statement that demands attention: “Shame infuses women’s most intimate experiences, from menstruation to sex. Women who internalize objectified ideas about their bodies often feel intense disgust with bodily functions...rather than enjoying sex, women, distracted by what their bodies smell, feel, and look like, become unable to think about their own pleasure.” It is unhealthy to judge ourselves so harshly to a point of deprivation. Put your feelings on the forefront sometimes: IT’S OKAY! I am personally giving you the opportunity, to be honest with yourself and refuse to conform to these unrealistic standards of expressing your sexuality.

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We have to remember that the decisions we make for ourselves and for our body needs to be 100% our decision. We can’t waste time worrying about what “society” will think or the judgments we will receive for consciously choosing what to do with our bodies. Sex is intimate and special, but people will either value it this way or not. That’s okay! As long as you are ready you do not need to fall prey to the social construct of virginity. I used to believe that sex was a taboo topic and shouldn’t be discussed, but I fell prey to the stigma because I somehow felt like I needed to. Don’t be a construct and allow this stigma to swallow you whole.

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Be confident and sure of yourself and sure of who you choose to open your mind, body, and soul to. Break free of the judgmental shackles society has constructed. Accept the responsibility of your decisions and remember that you are not losing anything if it is what you want to do. This applies to any major decision you make, not just in regard to sex. I am reverting everything back to sexuality because it is such a big issue today and we, as women, struggle with coming to terms with our sexuality. Conversely, even if you choose to be more reserved with your sexuality, that is just as empowering. Whether you want to express your sexuality or not, remember that it is in your power to make these decisions. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with yourself so living your life for others is not the answer. If you read my "You Are Mermazing" article, you'll remember that I discussed the power of our mood because it is long-lasting. This does not mean to be erratic and indulge every desire you have, but just be aware and in control of your actions and I promise you, you will be proud and feel immensely empowered.

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Stay Mermazing,
Seraiah
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This article was written by @staraiah on the We Heart It Writers Team