First of all, no one, no one has the right to touch your body without your permission. That may seem obvious, but abusers and assaulters have a way of victim shaming and gaslighting to the point where victims can't differentiate between truth and the abuser's lies. NO ONE touches your body without your permission. Period. End of sentence. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
If you are having sex, know this: Even if you've said "yes" before, you can always say "no." Hear that boys and girls? A former "yes" is not an always "yes." In dating relationships, in engagements, and yes, even in marriage, sex is not and should not be a given. You can say "no" for any reason. You're a person with thoughts, feelings, and desires, and if you don't want to, you don't have to. Sometimes you do want to, and sometimes you don't. Either one is absolutely, positively fine. Don't ever let anyone tell you any different.
A lot of religions tell women that if their husbands want it, the wife should provide it. I grew up in churches that preached that, and here's what I have to say to that mentality...No. No. No. No. Women were not put on this earth to be at the beck and call of men. We are fully realized people, and we should be treated as such.
If you're having sex, and your partner makes you feel bad for electing not to engage in sex one night or several nights or however long, you don't need to be with that person. If your partner shames you, forces you, manipulates you, claims "it's how he feels love so you have to do it," get out. GET OUT! Run as fast and as hard as you can in the other direction. To those people, sex is about power, so run like hell.
We've talked a lot about what sex isn't, but what is it then? It's about love, respect, mutual pleasure, and mutual consent. I'm not talking about "mutual consent," where one person pressures the other into it and calls it consent. I'm talking about two people choosing to share their bodies with one another. And let me tell you, with the right person, it's transformative, transcendental. You should walk away from sex feeling like a million bucks. You should never feel dirty, used, or injured.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like the movies. There will be times when you bump teeth or get tangled in a sheet awkwardly or have a foot cramp. Sometimes it will be fast and passionate, sometimes slow and tender. But it should always be a choice. And when you've freely made the choice and joined mind, heart, and body with the right person, it's more magical than mere words could ever express.
Remember, YOU have a voice. YOU have a say. YOU don't have to do anything you don't want to when it comes to sex. Never, never, never.
Until next time, be smart, be safe, and be fierce...