Everywhere I look, there's sex. Sex sex sex. Sex and the City. Sex and the Single Girl. Sex spam popping up on my email. And an awful lot of it is directed straight at me -- a twentysomething single woman.
And it's telling me that in order to be a complete twentysomething single woman, I have to "take control of my sexuality."
There are apparently very specific rules for taking control of one's sexuality if you're a woman. You need to:
1). Have lots of sex,
2). which you then brag about
3). and maintain complete emotional detachment from
4). in order to prove you're a liberated woman.
This view is becoming so pervasive (at least in the media) that even that bastion of women's fantasies, Harlequin Romance, is releasing a new line of books dedicated to being "edgy" (whatever that is) and "pushing the envelope." I skimmed one. Even I can think of edgier things, and more importantly for a romance novel, it just wasn't very romantic.
Now, I consider myself a liberated woman even if I am celibate and a technical virgin. This is my own choice. If I let the media, or my edgy girlfriends, persuade me that in order to be a complete twenty-first-century woman I need to have a lot of sex RIGHT NOW, I'm no more in control of my sexuality than if I were some poor teenager giving in to my pushy first boyfriend. Not having sex is a decision too, you know.
So it's okay for women to want sex. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that women have that freedom, though the damned double standard is still around. On the other hand, there's a new double standard. Love. If a woman wants love, everyone around her (me) seems to delight in telling her (me) that she's (I'm) trapped in the patriarchy and am dooming her (my) life and career to failure. On the other hand, if a man wants to find love, that's considered noble.
I don't need a man to make my life complete. But damn, I sure do enjoy having someone special. Does this make me a failure as a feminist? Hell no. I wish that everyone could recognize that.