Sluttish was created shortly after I started exploring my sexuality at the age of ... 36. I’ve been sexually active for 20 years, but, in so many ways, I have been limited by my own understanding of what is "ok" in a relationship or sexual experience. Big part of it is me coming from a post-communist country, where patriarchy is the default, and women are still seen as full-time care-takers, without this being even acknowledged. Meanwhile, the approval rate for same sex marriage only reaches as high as 17%, and relationships follow the heterosexual, monogamous model.
I was, from a Bulgarian perspective, rather brave in experimenting, but never really made a point to dig into my own sexuality. I sort of half-assed my exploration with isolated cases here and there and looking back now, it is a wonder no one, including me, ended up being hurt. In a society where conversing on any emotional and sexual topic is considered pretty much taboo, where you never have "that sex talk", and you are left pretty much on your own to deal with coming of age (which includes all sexual experiences), it is indeed hard to know where and when to start exploring. I was assuming and believing I enjoyed "serial monogamy" with heterosexual men. Over time, it was getting obvious that I should be looking for something else, but I felt stuck to it, unsure what would be the alternative.
When I moved to New York 9 years ago, the world provided endless opportunities for re-defining my desires and reaching out for my new found female sexuality. I was married briefly, but when this didn't last I started questioning my core beliefs and emotions such as monogamy, sharing, cheating and jealousy. I experimented quite a lot, found non-monogamy, discovered (or more likely finally admitted to myself) that I am bi-curious, and finally started thinking about sex and pleasure without feeling guilty, uncomfortable and ashamed. These years in Brooklyn, were the best years of my life (so far, but the ones to come are even better) and were full of discovery and joy. I also learned how to openly talk about sex, use proper protection, keep my emotional and mental health in check while navigating the waters of complex relationships.
Meanwhile, my frustration with the current state of sexual education, the orgasm gap, and the lack of resources for women to explore their sexuality, continued to grow. The fact that mainstream pop culture is bombarding us with sex messages and visuals, while we still have issues to talk openly about real sex is creating this gap between expectations and reality. We also do not talk enough about mental and physical health while discussing relationships and sex, and the high percentage of teenage birth in the USA shows how inadequate the promoting of protected sex is. So, to me it’s clear how important it is to finally start talking about our pleasure and not be afraid to ask about, or express, our sexuality. And through it I believe we will feel empowered, comfortable in our skin, and confident.
I am a web developer and lived in Brooklyn for the last 8 years of my life. Last year I quit my job as a dev at VICE and traveled around USA, Europe and South America. After a year and a half of traveling, I am settling down for a bit in Berlin.