Why It's High-Time We Embrace The "Whore"

Photo: FXQuadro / Shutterstock
Woman in bed
Contributor
Sex

What did your mom teach you about sex? Anything?

Did you learn about the power of sexuality, or was it something to be guarded and feared?

Did she teach you how to give yourself an orgasm, or was sex full of shame?

Do you know what I got?

“You are a smart girl. You will figure it out.”

This was the only teaching about sex my mother gave me that I remember. Really.

I'm a pretty smart girl, but it took me almost twenty-five years to figure it out, and at age forty, I am still figuring it out. Maybe you are too. 

RELATED: I'm A Slut — And 100% Proud Of It (So Stop Shaming Me Already)

With all the lack of information, wrong information, and just bad information, many women have had a tough time with sex.

This, combined with judgment, abuse, fear, and lots of self-loathing, make sexuality a field loaded with landmines. I am not sure if any other aspect of life is so fraught with shame, frustration, confusion, and, paradoxically, curiosity, comedy, and joy. 

Sexuality presents a sort of “final frontier” for not only women but also human consciousness as a whole.  

It seems to me that we have excavated much of our inner child, examined anger management, grief, and loss; attempted to reconnect with our soul self and life purpose but have we had an opportunity to truly claim our sexual self? Have we examined what that even feels like? 

What are the models for a happy, sexy, shameless woman (or man) that is not steeped in limited gender expectation or outdated paradigms?  

Where is the conversation about the power of sex? 

Have we learned to create a relationship with our own desire, our own body, and our lovers that is based in goodness, celebration, and even daring?   

There will always be those who push back or push down, but if we want this and we wish our sons and daughters to inherit a sense of power, happiness and freedom then we need to start figuring this out for ourselves.

Though the conversation around sexuality, sexual identity, and even sexual practices have expanded in our culture, most of the sexual education available today is still based in fear and shame, with a focus on pure anatomy and preventing pregnancy. We keep telling young people that sex is wrong, their bodies are dirty, and that desire is dangerous. 

This, combined with the even narrower gender representation of men and women in the worlds of gaming, social media, and regurgitated Hollywood stereotypes, means we need to step up and speak up to this generation, so we help create loving, supportive, empowered men and women – even if our parents did not do it for us.   

There is also little discussion anywhere about the power of sexuality. Few of us consider sexuality as a life affirming experience — that is a means to know our own innate beauty, joy, and aliveness. Imagine growing up and learning that sex was not only a normal, wonderful human experience but also a way to feel happy and full. 

We’ve also inherited many of the outdated gender projections about sex like men only want sex and women only want security (so offer up sex to get it).

It is time to heal this and other outdated stories.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

For women, embracing sexuality on our terms also offers a great way to step into power and freedom. 

Few of us were taught how to feel good in our own skin, never mind feeling good sexually. We may have fumbled our way to ecstasy, but there is still a covert code that controls sexual behavior and dictates acceptable “good girl” behavior. 

We limit ourselves and judge each other based on these codes, yet we long for something more authentic, more fulfilling, and more sensual. We long to know ourselves as a whole being: one who has passion, desire, beauty, and even wildness. At the same time we want to feel safe, loved, appreciated, and powerful.  We wish to no longer hold it all back.  

Yet, what does no longer holding it all back look like?

We have to examine the Whore archetype first. 

Let’s admit that the “bad-girl”, “the slut”, or “the whore”, is one of the oldest (judgmental) expressions of female sexuality on the planet and has served male desire — literally for a long time so it may not be a radical or empowered expression of female sexuality. 

RELATED: These 9 Sex-Positive Female Celebrities Should Be Your Role Models

We may relegate “whores” as outcasts and their behavior may still cause a reaction, but the “whore” archetype feeds a long-standing paternalistic projection of women, as sexual objects whose value is determined by their body and sexual availability, so shaking your ass may not really be a revolutionary expression of female sexuality. 

The whore persona also feeds a certain fetish in our often mean, judgmental, and voyeuristic society — that is we love to watch, consume, and criticize women. We are enamored with their bodies and their behavior, and even more enamored with our value judgments about them. Not to state the obvious, but female bodies, female sexual choices, and women’s relationship status are far more fiercely judged and talked about than any man’s — and often discussed by women.  

Perhaps, it feels good to judge someone else when we ourselves feel judged. It also means that if the fingers are pointed at another, then at least they are not pointed at us. We want to ensure we are not lumped in with the “bad girls” even though we may crave more freedom in our own sexual expression.

These harsh value judgments on women’s behavior keep us all trapped in an outdated, harmful, and unrealistic duality that pits women against each other as we judge, condemn, and control each other often based on comparison, competition, and self-loathing. “Who the hell do you think you are — to feel good, alive, sexual? Whore!”. This may be an unconscious thought for many of us. Or, conversely, we may applaud the “classy” girls and project limited stereotypes by doing this too. 

I read a quote on social media recently that stated a “classy” woman did not feel the need to show her body or seek the approval of men.  

I remember thinking, “I love my body. I enjoy the attention of men and that does not make me a whore so stop telling me what my sexuality should look like!”  

Clearly, we do not want to take our sense of self from our appearance or the adorations of others but why can’t we derive pleasure in our own body, our own sexuality, and even from the attention of men if we are cisgender?  

We may try to feel more acceptable by settling into our classy, conservative, or reserved sexuality, but we are just keeping the arrested presentation of female sexuality alive and tightening the chains.  

"Classy" or "slutty", perhaps we just need to stop telling women what they should look like, be like, or have sex like. Perhaps we could just allow women to find an expression of them that feels authentic and meaningful. 

RELATED: The Mortifying Thing That Happened During Rough Sex With My Husband

Shasta Townsend is a BIPOC sex and relationship expert who brings Tantra, Indigenous Wisdom and Neuroscience to her clients so they feel free, alive and unstoppable. She was recently declared one of the top 50 Relationship Experts in the world, and her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The New York Post and Elephant Journal. She is the author of the best-selling book Happy, Sexy, Shameless - What Our Mothers Didn’t Know About the Birds and the Bees.