R-E-S-P-E-C-T

BlogHer Original Post

Contributing Editor Liz Rizzo also blogs at Everyday Goddess.

Is it just me, or do the polyamorous people think everyone's judging them? Oh wait, I'm sorry, maybe that's the modesty people? Or the sex bloggers? Sometimes it seems like the whole spectrum of sexual opinion is just full of people demanding acceptance for what they believe while simultaneously judging everyone who's not like them.

I don't think you can have it both ways.

Just today I read this over at one of my favorite, must-read blogs, Modestly Yours:

For my refusal to hang my personal and emotional lingerie on the public clothesline for all to view and analyze, and to view that of others, I was labeled closed-minded and uncomfortable.

Why is it, that when we exploit ourselves, and ideas that are by nature sensitive and personal, we are considered 'open-minded' and not just cheap? And when we respect the intimate nature of the topic and preserve our personal integrity, we are considered closed-minded?

I hear where she's coming from, but I also question her perspective on the other side of her coin.

Here's the thing. Personally, I don't engage in casual sex. It's not something that I desire, and it's not something that I find pleasure in. That's my personal choice, made from a deep understanding of who I am and what works for me.

Because of this, I am often judged to be sexually uptight. Surely, I must have issues with my sexuality. Or - my favorite - why am I "denying myself pleasure," if not because of some external, dysfunctional pressure?

I always use the example of saving money. By the argument I am usually faced with, why wouldn't I spend all my money today? Why would I "deny myself the pleasure" of spending it all right now, future benefits of saving be damned? I do feel driven to find ways to explain my way of being. To gain acceptance. To increase understanding and openmindedness. To deflect unconsidered judgement.

Here's the other thing I get a lot: If I choose not to engage in casual sex, surely I must judge those that do. If I choose monogamy, surely I must judge those who choose otherwise. Frankly, it's really annoying.

But it doesn't come from nowhere. People assume people pass judgement on people different from them because a whole hell of a lot of people do.

In a blogosphere of individual voices strongly, bravely, and openly sharing what works for them and what doesn't in their lives - in the face of undeniable evidence of a wide spectrum of sexual diversity - how long can anyone seriously stand up and declare their way is best for everyone?

Not I.

I don't even know you. Therefore, until you tell me otherwise, I respect that you are making choices in your life that work for you. I expect you to respect me the same.

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