Sexual freedom can mean different things to different people. But one thing remains constant: it is a human right. Accepting and exploring our sexuality without shame, guilt, or fear is what sexual freedom means to me. Even though sexual freedom is a human right, some individuals, particularly the older generation, view it as a sign of a lack of decency. However, the modern generation is making a concerted effort to dispel this myth by proving that sexual freedom does not necessarily entail bad behavior. One can enjoy sexual freedom and still be a wonderful human being.
For many years, it was difficult to reawaken interest in sexuality because it was punishable in a variety of ways, including shameful labelling. The judgments of society have unfortunately resulted in a slew of mental health issues among people, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Concealing sexual interests and desires for fear of being shamed and insulted has only added to the problems that the older generation fails to recognize.
The road to sexual liberation was not an easy one for me. Growing up and witnessing people being shamed for embracing their sexuality blinded me to the fact that it was one of many rights we as humans have. Consequently, I grew into a shy, judgmental adolescent who despised sexual conversation. My sexual freedom later arose from my curiosity and desire to thoroughly examine everything I had been taught about sexuality to see if it was true.
I had to go through several phases before I could truly experience sexual freedom. From condemning those who openly expressed their sexuality to denying that I, too, felt sexually attracted to people, to finally feeling guilty for having given in to my own sexual desires. Then, because of my efforts to deal with the guilt and shame that were consuming me, came sexual freedom. The student was finally prepared to debunk every sex myth. The teacher then showed up to inform, free, and remind her that this is just one of many human rights she is entitled to. One such teacher was YouTube. Among the many people who assisted me in embracing my sexuality were Shan Boody and Hitomi Mochizuki.
Everyone’s path to sexual freedom is unique. It may take a series of unfortunate events to shift your entire perspective, to open your eyes, and realize that there was never anything wrong with your desire for sexuality, and only then will you be free to indulge without shame or guilt. My sexual freedom today is the result of accepting all aspects of my nature and no longer suppressing them. Prior to this liberation, I had a string of humiliating and uncomfortable sexual encounters in which I felt dirty, used, and unfulfilled. Along the way, I met a partner who helped me realize that sex was a pleasurable act to be enjoyed. Gradually, I came to embrace my sexuality, and that’s when my body and mind started to relax enough to enjoy sex for what it was.
I believe there is a difference between the first sexual experience, or what some people call “breaking your virginity,” and sexual freedom. I was eighteen years old when I had my first encounter. I did, however, become sexually free when I was twenty-three. When I was twenty-three, I started to see it as something I had a right to, something I wanted to intentionally explore and enjoy without feeling guilty. For me, sexual freedom entails overcoming my sense of powerlessness, my sexual shame, and my fear of being judged.
Sexual liberation brought about wholesome healing that permeated every aspect of my life. Sexual freedom gave me a voice and the option to engage or refrain from engaging in sexual exchanges. It restored my power and my regret over unintentional and coerced sexual encounters disappeared. It allowed me to forgive. I resolved to teach young boys and girls about their sexual rights, consent, and intention, because what better way to pay it forward than through education? Human beings are explorative in nature, and sexuality is one of the million things to explore in this world. The older generation needs to comprehend sexual freedom in this way.