I needed time to process. As you are probably well-aware, I wrote a story about choosing to abstain from casual sex, and it was published on Cosmo. And now, I'm still reeling over the response it received.
I usually fail to recognize the gravity of what I'm putting out there until way after the fact. Yeah, maybe not the smartest thing, but it's true, and perhaps that's why I'm so vulnerable in my writing and so willing to share such intimate details. It's not until hundreds (or in this case, thousands) of people have read the story that I realize, "Oh fuck, everyone knows my shit now." LOL! Oh well.
The more I do this writing thing, the more comfortable I get with sharing pieces of my story, because it's my story. I'm not ashamed of it. I own it. Whatever has happened to me or is happening to me is my truth, and therefore, no one can take that away from me.
But anyway, I digress...
After Cosmo published the story, I blasted it on social and had my mini anxiety attack. Oh my God, what will people think? (Yes, regardless of what I said just a few sentences prior, this still runs through my mind.) Luckily, people were really resonating with it. Family and friends were proud and sharing my words, strangers on the wonderful worldwide web were sending me nice messages and retweeting the article. It was nice. I couldn't stop cheesing. Of course, there are always going to be people who challenge your work, so there were also some not-so-nice comments about the article, but they were ridiculous, so I didn't let it get to me. (Although, Chris D'Elia did talk shit about my article and I found that oddly endearing).
However, nothing could prepare me for what was to come when the story ended up on Snapchat's Discover page. Holy shit.
I woke up to my phone blowing up, and I had no idea what happened. My initial reaction was panic because I wrote for a major publication for 7 years, and any time my notifications were poppin, it was because I was getting death threats or hateful words from a pop culture fandom or something. But this was completely different.
I can't tell you the amount of messages I received. I had over 100 DMs on Instagram (yes, a few from guys wanting to break the streak, but not as many as you'd think lol), upwards of 100 emails, tweets on tweets on tweets, and I wanted nothing more but to respond to every single person, but I physically couldn't. I did read every single message, though, and I cried a lot. I still cry now thinking about it.
Every message I received said thank you for writing about something no one talks about, and went on to explain their personal connection to the story, both from men and women. That was truly an amazing experience, but also a sad one, because this signaled that there is clearly a problem with the way we handle sexual relationships and the way we look at our worth. So why aren't we talking about it?
So many women are in the same boat as I am, and so many men revealed that they've found themselves in similar situations, too. I just want you to know that I see you, I hear you, I read what you wrote, and I'm so grateful for your words.
But, I just want to make note of something--what works for me may not work for you, and that's OK. What I'm doing has no guarantee. I'm just trying something different to see if it'll help. Furthermore, there's nothing wrong with being sexually active!
One woman thought that the post added to society's attempt in suppressing women's sexuality. I can understand where she's coming from completely, but please understand me when I say, suppressing a woman's sexuality is the last thing I would ever want to do. I've lived my life preaching that a woman's energy is sexual in nature, and we should fully embrace that side of ourselves. I love to be sexy because it's part of who I am. And yes, I can be sexy without being sexually active. Clearly. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with getting it in as long as you're not doing it for the wrong reasons, and I was. That's why I did this lifestyle change, and that's why I decided to share my story. The root of the problem was not about being promiscuous (ugh, I hate that word). The root of the problem was that I was using sex to lure in love. That's a no-no. I was only hurting myself, and I had to own up to my faults. But I know there are people who can have a healthy and booming sex life without commitment and without putting their self-worth through the gutter, and to those people, I commend you. I just couldn't, and I was tired of faking it (pun intended).
For those who are wondering, yes, I'm still on this journey. My one-year mark was actually back in January, so I'm just trekking along. But once I meet that special guy and we're committed to each other, it's on and poppin, best believe.
I never expected this. I just write because it's therapeutic. I write to right the wrongs within me. Never did I think that what I write would impact people I don't even know, and I think that's what gets me so emotional. It's like the Universe was giving me a glimpse into what I'm capable of when this story came out. Your responses reminded me that my purpose here is so much bigger than me, and with that comes great responsibility. It's terrifying, but it's also so magical and beautiful, and I'm honored.
However, I can't promise that I can help you. I can't promise to have the answers to every problem. I'm just a woman who deals with the same struggles as you, but I also happen to document my journey along the way for the world to see.
What I can promise is that I won't stop writing. I won't stop trying. I won't stop talking about what needs to be talked about or close my heart off, because the world needs more authenticity and vulnerability, and while I can't change the world, I can definitely hold myself accountable to help make it a better place.
So, whether you've been following me since the very beginning or just became acquainted with who I am and what I do, I'm happy to have you here, and I hope you'll stick around for a while.