MY RELATIONSHIP HELPED ME STOP SEX SHAMING MYSELF

I got home after work and immediately took off my pants, shirt over my head, kicked off my shoes, and jumped in bed where she was waiting for me. She was always there waiting for me, with something rolled and a show on Netflix to rewatch for the millionth time. 

It’s actually kind of our thing, our after work, home routine. I love this routine, the best conversations usually happen during this time — everything from life altering epiphanies to deeply analyzing director’s choices in Power. And sometimes, in these moments I reveal parts of myself I didn’t even know existed. 

One day, I sat on top of my bed, legs crossed, Insecure in the background, and I deeply inhaled. My tongue and my brain communicated quicker than I could register. Nothing was being said, but I was having an entire thought process in my head. I softly said, “I think I shamed myself out of having sex.” 

She didn’t say anything, just digested that sentence and understood it. 

I felt like I slowly pulled a string out of my throat to find this thought attached to a fishing hook. I choked on it, but somehow I felt like I could breathe. 

Prior to this relationship and often moments in it, I found myself questioning what sex really meant. What parts of it were acceptable? What am I allowed to do, what should I do, or be okay with? When I had this minor but major self-revelation, I allowed myself to explore this road map of what led me to this mental space… with her. 

I began to share parts of who I was, parts that I felt too embarrassed to talk about. And she jumped in with secrets of her own. I could tell she didn’t want me to feel alone in my words. I began to dip into the details of what my past relationships were and how limiting, and unknowingly guarded I had become about my sexuality. I hid my body underneath clothing and the judgmental jabs of the past without knowing the damage it had caused. 

Often, I found myself hiding my body during sex or not sending that nude. I found myself redirecting a sexy text, playing coy as a specialty, and just in a constant mental battle of what was deemed “acceptable,” in my own relationship. But why? I didn’t realize that I let other people’s insecurities and self-reflections become my own for the sake of peace, sanity, and avoiding the feeling of being the gum on the bottom of someone’s shoe. I let my relationship with sex become one of the most toxic relationships I could be in. 

But letting those words fall from my lips was the most liberating and self acknowledging moment for myself and for my partner. All of a sudden, there was air in the room. It felt like a big moment inside of a small moment. I felt so content, so at ease. I wasn’t cringing at the mention of the word “sex” out loud, conversations became more grounded, I became more human. I allowed myself space to learn and explore, to revisit and discover things I didn’t dare to express in real life. Of course, frustrations snuck in. There were difficulties and misunderstandings. But there was always a deep desire of understanding. With understanding came clarification and many, many times forgiveness. There should always be a positive on the other end of a negative, right? 

Now, years later, whenever I am with her, every conversation feels like I just got home after work and I immediately took off my pants, shirt over my head, kicked off my shoes, and jumped in bed where she was waiting for me. Everything with her feels like she was always there waiting for me, with something rolled and a show on Netflix to rewatch for the millionth time. Waiting for me to share my deepest darkest secrets, waiting for me to comfortably be me.

image post provided by writer Cam Valdez

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Cam Valdez

is a TGM Contributor from NYC you can find wrapped in a blanket burrito, show binging all winter, pretending to be a Latina Carrie Bradshaw, and probably the only person alive racing to the news stands for new magazines.