I realize I have been twisted by my mother's idea of morality. She called me a whore when I was still a virgin. She wasn't to know. I didn't share my (lack of) sexual experience with her. She wasn't the kind of person in whom I would wish to confide set as she was on determining who and what I was long before I even knew. She mixed me up with my dad's sisters, some of whom had jumped the start and were pregnant before they were married. Country girls and their loose morals and such. Mom considered them bad girls and whores. Tramps. Gypsies, tramps, and thieves. Oops, sorry. Got Cher stuck in my head there for a few seconds.
My younger sisters were sexually active before I was and I was engaged before I let go of the chastity belt key. Thinking back on that time, I know now I should've held out for a better first partner, maybe for years given my burning desire to get away from my mother and out on my own, especially since college was a no-go. Mom told me that at the 11th hour, assuring me that my brother, six years behind me, was more important than I was because he would have a family to support. I could always go out and find someone to support me, which was not my intention at all. I wanted to be a writer, a journalist even, and move away and make my own way, not depend on some man to make an honest woman of me. I was already honest, if somewhat naive.
And so it goes. At 18, I accepted the third man who proposed to me (or was it the fourth), lost my virginity, got pregnant that night, and have tried to make my peace with events since then. Looking back now, I wish I'd not unlocked my chastity belt and concentrated instead on remaining chaste and untouched.
Yet, I envy women who are willing to take chance and put themselves out there sexually. Yes, I suffer from the madonna-whore syndrome, except I don't see myself as madonna or whore, just a healthy female with a natural biological bent towards sex. I'd like to have sex, enjoy sex, and not be labeled or judged because of sex. I should've been born a man. They have fewer problems when it comes down to sex. They are either studs or studly men when they plough through a forest of female legs in search of sexual fulfillment.
In reading Jean M. Auel's tales of neolithic human relations, a young woman who is pregnant before marriage is worth a much higher bride price, as long as she waited for the ceremony to introduce her to sex the first time by an older and more experienced man. Now that is the way to do things. A trembling virgin fearful and still excited by the possibilities and first actual experience of sex is opened by a man who knows how to pleasure and please a budding young woman. There are women, doni women or women who stand in for the Great Mother, who help young men through their first sexual experience and teach them how to pleasure a woman. The sexual mores in that primitive (by our standards) culture are more sophisticated and less injurious than our modern day practices, and much healthier overall.
A young girl who doesn't wait for the ceremony of her opening is seen as someone who could not wait for the proper time, but the proper time was at 10 or 11 years old for neolithic Cro-Magnon women, after the first blush of menstruation.
There are other differences, too. Young men could experience sex with his doni woman many times while a young woman is opened only once. After that, she is free to enjoy pleasure with any other man who wants her. There are eager and experienced older men who are aroused and excited by the virginal young women, but only one man can be chosen, usually by the young woman, to be her first. At least that has not changed over the millennia.
I don't know whether Auel is right in how she depicts the society, but I suspect she is. There was no stigma attached to healthy sexual appetites, within the bounds of custom, and a young woman didn't have to wait a good part of her early productive years to experience sex for the first time. By that society's rules, I was a very late bloomer, especially since I felt my first blush of womanhood at the age of 11, a mere month from my 11th birthday.
I was taught that I needed to guard my chastity and wait for the right man, my husband, and my wedding night. I got close but the whores were moaning long before that. I didn't feel ready, but then I had no experienced older man to teach me the sexual ropes either, and there was no ceremony when I was 11 to initiate me into the first sexual encounter. Biology versus custom in the form of my very disapproving and censorious mother. How does anyone get through this without going mad? We don't and there is the problem and the birth of the madonna-whore syndrome.
I am still plagued by mixed sexual feelings. I enjoy sex with the right man, and even by myself on occasion, but I feel somehow tainted by my desires. Men have GRIND, the cell phone application where they can hook up for a quickie anywhere and everywhere. Women who would make use of such an application would be less acceptable. They would be termed whores, sluts, slags, etc. and all they are doing is exercising their sexual prerogatives. How harmful is that?
Okay, there is the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease, rather like life, if you talk to one of my old friends, who says life is a sexually transmitted disease that is always terminal, but I digress. I mean AIDS, Chlamydia, anal and vaginal warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other more colorful and more descriptive words like clap, the drip, etc., although there is nothing to clap about. Just ask any man who has had the double needle, green gloppy goo injected into both buttocks. Navy ship infirmaries are full of sailors who have visited the local trade and afterward needed a trip to the doc for his mega dose of antibiotics. Nothing like bringing home a gift to the wife or girlfriend that she can never get rid of and might actually make her insane if left untreated since the symptoms of incipient syphilis are much less pronounced in women than in men, and we have men to thank for that little cross-species disease since it came from sheep. We all know what lonely sheepherders are wont to do on those long, cold, lonely nights.
But back to my problem of mixed up sexuality.
I would prefer to think of promiscuous women as women with healthy sexual appetites and young girls currying favor with men by giving blow jobs (fellatio for the learned contingent reading this blog) as nothing more than young girls heeding their biological urge and yet the first thing that comes to mind is whore. Slut. Slag. It's a tape I have trouble shutting off and probably why my sexual experience is lacking in extensive credits. Even as a pagan where the body is not sinful and the urges healthy, I still have those moments of torment when I weigh the social consequences against the biological imperatives and come up -- once again -- without experience or credit.
I don't think there is a solution unless it is to ditch the patriarchal attitude and go back to a more ancient and healthier attitude of sex as the act of pleasure with whomever and whenever the urge and mutual consent meet -- as long as first rites have been observed and the young man has been taught by an experienced older woman how a woman needs and wants to be pleasured. At least there would be fewer sexually conflicted psyches and a whole lot fewer patients for psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors to see, leaving plenty of space for the really needful types with more pressing concerns like multiple personalities, murderous tendencies, and sociopathological demons to deal with.
That is all. Disperse.