Something that has always figured heavily in my sex life has been the idea of consent. I was sexually active at a young age and even then I understood that sex should ideally be a consensual activity.
The sad reality is that before I was 18 I had experienced sex without my consent just like 1 out of every 6 women in America. When I got married consent didn’t seem to matter to my husband. There were many times I woke up from a dead sleep to find that I was an unwilling participant in a sexual act. I wasn’t strong enough then to stand up to it, to my abuser, to the man who claimed to love me, but refused to give me the option of consent when it never should have been an option at all, but a certainty.
Looking back and realizing that nearly all of the people I fucked, sucked, and slept with before I got married had been consensual experiences and then being faced with the slap in the face that was my husband not caring or respecting me enough to want my consent was incredibly difficult to handle. It made me shut down and become less and less of a sexual being as time passed. And my husband then blamed me for our poor sex life, which in turn led to repeated incidents of non-consent in the bedroom. None of those times were sexy or enjoyable.
People are probably reading this and wondering why I didn’t do something. Hit him, bite him, hurt him so he’d stop and go to the police. But the truth is that he had whittled down my self esteem so badly that I felt like, on some level, I deserved to be treated the way he was treating me. I put up with it for a long time.
And now, now I have a partner who loves, me, wants the best for me, and tries very hard to take care of me. Sometimes that means asking me very carefully what we can do and what we can’t do because of the trauma I’ve suffered in the past. And that is sexy. It shows that I’m valued and cared for. It tells me that I’m wanted for more than just my sexual self. Knowing that I’m wanted in that way is sexy. I consent to being wanted and that is sexy. I no longer feel as though I am a piece of meat with no control over my own body or my own needs and wants.
Consent, the very act of granting it, or of taking it away, has given me the power to start becoming my authentic self, both in and outside of the bedroom. Consent is sexy and that means I am sexy.