Be a Goddess in the kitchen and a sex kitten in the bedroom. – Mae West
Right before Christmas I published a blog post about playing dress ups. I can happily say that when I donned a sexy little Santa suit on Christmas Eve to surprise my man, that the Producer was very appreciative of my festive spirit! Nothing says Christmas like a sexy red costume adorned with feather trim, right?
Not everyone though was in agreement that dressing up in the bedroom is titillating good adult fun.
I got called a slut.
The comment sat there amongst other lovelier Facebook comments that had been made by awesome readers of the blog.
SLUT. Slut? The word swam around me head for a bit.
Maybe she meant it in a positive way? Perhaps it’s an anagram for Sexy Liberated Underestimated Talent?! Okay, probably not!
Now I could say that it didn’t affect me at all, but I would be lying. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but lies will never hurt me” is a soothing adage but the reality is usually different. It’s human nature to feel a little hurt by criticism. This particular criticism felt a tad harsh in my mind. I’m a huge believer that everyone is entitled to their opinion, absolutely, and I am also an advocate of freedom of speech.
After careful consideration I removed the comment from my page. Not because it affected me to look at it but because when I started the blog I had a very clear mandate in my mind that The Good Girl Confessional should be a place where not only was I able to talk about my life and my experiences from “behind the picket fence”, but so too could anyone else reading the page – without judgement – a safe place where other women, and now men too (well done guys) could discuss different issues. I value the feedback of readers but more than that I’m always touched when you share your stories with me.
Slut. It jarred against my being. It felt like it silently reproached me for being open about my sexuality. It felt a bit like an attack on both my femininity and my feminist views. Are women not meant to be sexual beings? Are we not meant to discuss it in public forums?
Yes, I’ve been accused of not being a feminist either – something that quite surprised me also at the time. It was when I was writing about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and my view that the book has legitimized “mummy porn” and allowed people to explore sexual activities that previously felt like an assault on the collective white picket fence ideals of what good girls were supposed to be doing in the bedroom. Damn it – this is 2014, not 1954.
I have of course stated this before but my view on feminism is thus. Being a feminist for me means that I can choose to be what I choose to be and also allows me the freedom to espouse views that I hold to be true; to be sexual in ways that I choose for myself in the bedroom (or any other room for that matter!). If I choose to be submissive in the bedroom for example, or dominant, then that is my right. If I choose to have a career, or to have children or not, or to write about my dating experiences – or to be in a relationship, or not – this is my right. I’m not advocating that everyone should live as I do – nor am I an advice column. My mother burnt her bra and marched for my right to choose a life for myself.
I am a feminine feminist. I simply share my truth. Sometimes it resonates with others in a positive way and occasionally it doesn’t!
Does it make me less of a feminist and more of a slut because I verbalised that I actually like sex? I’m thinking not.
Is my blog going to be everyone’s cup of tea? Hell no! Let’s face it, I’m writing about my experiences of having found myself single and all that entailed – including dating and sexual experiences. I’ve talked about my separation and divorce, and what it was like to have sex with someone else after years of being in a marriage.
Sure, I’ve shared experiences that some people felt they couldn’t talk about. Along the way, I’ve talked about oral sex (and the feedback was brilliant!) – and yes, I’ve quite liberally used the word Vagina (say it loud and proud ladies – we’ve all got one and it’s not a dirty word. VAGINA). I’ve discussed the fact that I like sex – and who doesn’t? It’s brilliant and amazing! I’ve discussed orgasms. I’ve discussed issues like fidelity, dating with kids, and more radical posts included discussions of sex toys, Shades of Grey and yep, getting your ass spanked!
I’ve shared, and I’m still sharing a journey of enlightenment and growth, of my fears and vulnerabilities, dating disasters and I’ve laughed at myself ( a lot!). I’ve exposed and shared my journey with the man in my life, The Producer, and the evolution of our relationship.
When I started writing the blog, it really was a cathartic and creative outlet for me. It didn’t initially occur to me that other people, other than perhaps my closest girlfriends, might ever read it. So it was quite a thrill to find that people stumbled across it and that what I was going through also resonated with others.
I’ve met so many amazing women through this blog who read my posts and then contacted me to share that they felt unified by similar experiences, or relieved that others shared their view on dating and sex. I’ve had heart-felt contact from some girls that felt they couldn’t discuss issues related to sex with their friends or family members, but were grateful they could read both my views and those of my readers.
That more than anything has been the most touching thing associated with writing again and sharing my experiences here for all to see. That anyone else is affected by the things I write about is humbling. There is something so amazing about feeling like I’m part of a community – a “sisterhood” of collective views and discussions.
Ah, so am I then a slut? What defines one as being so? I guess that is different for different people. Am I slutty if I choose to play dress ups in the bedroom and admit that I like the theatrics of sexual role play?
What I found most interesting was that the particular reader had been following the blog for quite some time. My more graphic posts hadn’t aroused such a reaction, which led me to another truism. What affects one person may not affect another. Something about that post made her feel very uncomfortable and while that would never be my agenda, it highlights that we as grown-ups and sexual beings all have our own set of blueprints.
An amazingly brave reader posted comments on the Facebook page about her personal experiences that she having an affair after I published a blog about infidelity. In the post I clearly started that I’d never had an affair so couldn’t speak from personal experience and I was incredibly touched by women that shared experiences of being cheated on, and equally by those that shared that they had cheated on their partners.
When the brave reader who shared her truth about having an affair left comments, a negative comment about her character surfaced on the Facebook page from another reader. I removed it and explained that The Good Girl Confessional was not about judgement of others, and that differing opinions will always be welcome (and I love them) but bullying and name calling wouldn’t.
It was the first time I’d been faced with that and I’m grateful that I established the value base so early on for the blog.
I’m really grateful that the Slut comment appeared on the page. It challenged me to look objectively at the reasons behind it. I doubt the person who made the comment knew I’d write a blog post about it! However, I accept that something about what I wrote affected them on a deep enough level that they felt the need to express their discontent.
I’ve had some incredible feedback from both readers who know me personally and those that haven’t physically met me, and I’m often called brave for writing the things I do.
I’ve never felt brave! I just share the ramblings of my life and in doing so, I’m humbled and touched when others are in any way touched or affected. If it makes someone feel a little more “normal” or accepted, or simply not alone – then that’s such a bonus. It’s brilliant! To have positive feedback is always lovely as a writer, for sure, just as it’s great to have people disagree and open up discussions!
So – is The Good Girl a slut? The answer of course is no, and maybe yes. Do I sleep around with multiple partners? No. Do I get paid to have sex? No. Though if I choose to be a lady in public and very, very naughty in private – (a Sexy Liberated Underestimated Talent), then I don’t feel a need to apologise!
I’m just a woman, like any other woman, who is navigating my life in the most authentic way I know how to. I am as my blog says, complex. I’m many things. I’m a working mother, a writer, a lover, a friend and daughter, and more recently I’m a partner.
I’m still human and all grown up. I have wants and desires, and I’m not afraid to discuss it. For all the gorgeous women and men who have taken the time to read about my journey and commented, I say thank you. There are worse things than being called a slut I’m sure! In the meantime this particular Good Girl is going to keep living and writing all about it! It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin. I never claimed to be an angel!
Happy New Year to one and all!