They all do it.

I wrote this, drunk, on a subway back from a fancy restaurant in SoHo one night. I was on my way home after following a saddening conversation with my dearest and closest sister. I hope it sheds some sort of insight into the perils of marital distress and the anxiety that relational rifts can truly have on those close to you.

” I once foolishly believed that marriages could work out. That they could be happy and joy-filled, and I don’t know… purposeful.

I’m not sure where my belief sprouted from. I certainly never got a healthy picture of marriage from my parents. They stayed together, God knows why. My emotionally abusive alcoholic father controlled the dynamic of the household. If he was angry, it was like walking on eggshells. His temper flared at the slightest thing – talking about college, for instance. Or anything, really – even down to the milk he put on his morning cereal.

None of my siblings ended up in happy marriages, either. My oldest sister married an abusive alcoholic as well, my brother ended up divorced at the ripe age of 35, and my three other sisters carried their own share of grievances – from affairs and infidelity to heartbreak in vast religious and philosophical differences.

But when my sister, my beautiful sister, sat on the floor of my college dorm room and started crying, I’ll never forget the feeling of panic that washed over me. Sobbing she cried claims of having never loved her husband, of not knowing why she married him, and feeling trapped now that they had a child together.

“I always wanted to have a way out” she said, “because Mom never left.”

And then because I didn’t know what to say – couldn’t know, really, I didn’t have the experience to give advice to a married woman – she blew her nose, wiped her tears and said “I’m fine.” and got into a cab.

Her marriage had been so much stronger than the others. Little did I know, as the youngest sibling, that they had their own share of heartache. And when I looked into her eyes, I saw such grief and disparity. It was one of many times I swore to myself I’d never get married.

She promised me that not all marriages were like that. That there were lasting, good, and strong marriages out there. But somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to believe her. How could I? There wasn’t a single one I had witnessed. “

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Suck it.

Dear M-,

I’m not “worth more than that”.

I’m not cheapened because I express my sexuality in a way that does not live up to your standards. Which is funny, because I express myself in the same way as you and your partner, just outside of a marriage. That makes me worthless?

This isn’t a question of sexual orientation, really, but rather one of sexual exploration. I have spent countless years of my life being convinced that I was only worth how pure I was on my wedding night. They told me that I would be the perfect blushing bride when that “one” man decided to love me enough to make me his bride. That blushing bride would be pure, virginal, and clean.

Those years had me convinced that I was only worth how each man viewed me. The countless groups, studies, and sermons had me convinced that any side-step from the purity track would have me thrown in Hell and worse – a trampled rose that no man would deem as “worthy” of his possession.

That was wrong.

That IS wrong.

This is why:

Human beings are not, nor should they ever be property. Human nature may be propagating horrendous, demeaning and dehumanizing acts such as the sex slave trade, and in a terrifying way, propaganda and doctrine are furthering similar principles. That means, that my identity as a female should not subject me to a lifestyle in which I’m immediately considered to be less than equal with my sexual partner.

When I choose to express my sexuality, I choose to do so under a construct that should not ever live up to the expectations of society or organized groups of homogenous beliefs.

I am a woman. That makes me wrong about 70% of the time according to a lot of the male populace, who believe that we’re irrational, emotionally unstable beings who make rash decisions based off our menstrual cycles.

I am a woman. That makes me wrong about 40% of the time according to the “anti-feminist” woman populace who believe that we’ve already achieved equal rights, equal pay, and equal standing with men. When I earn the right to express my honest opinions within my career field without being called a “bitch” because I’m merely outspoken, come talk to me.

So no, M-. I’m not “worth more” than giving head, having sex, or anything that lies on the sexual spectrum that both my partner and I enjoy, together, regardless of our “relationship status”. I’m worth every single second of it. Because my inherent value does not lie within the precious (dare I say “white, American, middle-class POST MODERN”) constructs of traditionalism and Christian purity. My value lies within myself, and living truthfully as best as humanly possible.

That’s why I like giving head. Suck one. But really.