Dear Reagan,

I’ve been single for a while now and have gotten pretty comfortable with it—except I am no longer having sex. I’d like to pursue sexual relationships, but I’m worried my friends or others will judge me if I pursue this course of action. I’m also not entirely sure how I’d go about it anyway! What should I do?

Best,

Happy but Horny

Dear Happy,

Honestly, it’s hard to get sex-positive messages from anywhere—including our ostensible friends—without feeling like you’re being thrown a bit of shade. This certainly does not mean you are doing anything wrong, however.

If you are looking for advice on how to flirt specifically, you should check out last week’s “It’s Complicated” column for some tips.

People judging you, on the other hand, may actually be harder to figure out. First off, remember that shame is different than guilt. We may not be conscious of this shaming happening. In conservative societies with a focus on purity, shame surrounding sex is bound to happen. A Bustle article about slut-shaming by JR Thorpe says shame is an emotion that can only happen within a group of people.

 “As [people] police themselves to attempt to avoid the punishment of further shaming [they] worry themselves into knots about the volatility of other people’s judgments,” Thorpe explains.

Shame can be managed or, if it’s minor, ignored. If you are feeling bad after having non-committal sex, try examining why. If guilt is present, you may need more work. If you find that you are running to sex to get away from something, it would be best to hold off until you figure things out.

Though incredibly difficult, you ought to do what you want. It’s hard to behave the way you wish without fearing what people will think of you. So long as you are being careful (using condoms, getting STI tests regularly, etc.) — go on with your fun activities.

Happy playing!

Reagan

For more Review coverage like this:

Arts & Culture Assistant Editor

Share This