Let's start this post off with a female mindset I was exposed to. The mindset that leaves many females with the assumed obligation that they must "caution" or "warn" their hook-up: "I can't have sex tonight," prior to hanging out or getting booty-called. The warning stems from the fact that as females, we do have a menstrual cycle (gasp!) And part of this lovely biological process means that we want to stay clear of sex (and the bloody mess that would come of it otherwise.)
Or perhaps something else is going on: we're feeling depressed and intimacy sounds like too much effort, we have some sort of vaginal infection, or we simply just don't want sex. In any case, it's okay to NOT be able to have sex, or to not want to! What is not okay, however, is the assumption that we must advertise this fact to our hook-up to avoid the humiliation or disappointment that we think will result in person.
I've certainly heard multiple times before that women share their "situation" with their partner as a way to make sure they're fully "educated" on what they're getting into for the night. "I don't want to just go over there and then he finds out I can't have sex!"
This is perpetuating the feeling of objectification: that women are solely used as sexual objects, and should we not be able to perform sexually, then what good are we anyway?
Of course, this statement itself is founded on some irrationally and a history of dating fucked up men, and yet it is a very real thought that many women actually have come to believe.
We warn our hook-ups of the temporary no-sex policy as a way to ensure we're not going to "force" them into having to hang out with us if they're not getting anything else (AKA sex.) I want to remind you of something: it is more than possible for your company to be enjoyed without sex having to be the foundation of it. Along these same lines, I've heard the statement, "but we've just been hooking up. He doesn't really owe me anything." What about respect as a human being?
Can't say I haven't had this same mindset. I was "dating" a guy in undergrad for less than two months. He was your epitome of a traveling bizz man who was only in Chicago by job request and our "relationship" was stationed in hotel rooms. I was well-aware of the probable fact that I was his Chicago woman while there existed many others in different states. I met him out for one of his work events (where I was wildly underdressed, my hair was greasy from refusing to wash it, and I lacked any knowledge in how to do my make up in a way that made me look older than 18), and as the night was wrapping up, I could feel the indirect pressure of "let's take this back to the hotel," I blurted out these words: "just so you know, it's that time of month..."
Silence fell amongst what felt like the entire city of Chicago. And then I was face to face with a look of hesitation, frustration, and a very visible cringe. Had we not made direct eye contact, I think I would have been hailed a cab and sent on my not-so-merry way home. Yet, we did make eye contact. And he was met with the face of 22-year-old desperation, and then with little effort said, "you can still come over." So, I did, like the fool I was at the time, and we both got room service chocolate ice cream out of it.
IF ONLY ...
I had known my value and my worth at the time. Or, maybe I had, but I was under the false assumption that this was normal, that a hook up was purely for sex and that I was a sex-object, and that's the role I allowed myself to fall into. The other really fucked up part about this whole situation is the initial shock or disbelief when it doesn't actually matter that we can't have sex. I've heard the following statement: "I told him I couldn't have sex, and he said he was okay with it. So we just hung out for two weeks while I couldn't. And it was so nice!"
The shock was stemming from realizing that it is possible to be more than just a body, and to offer more than just our body. The disbelief stemming from the thought that a hook-up/significant other could genuinely accept the situation. Remind yourself that periods are normal, a beautiful process, and in essence, a miracle.
It is in fact possible to be romantically or intimately connected with someone, without sex having to be the sole foundation of the two of you.
Remind yourself that casual sex is of course fine! - until it really isn't anymore.
Until it makes you question your worth. Until it makes you feel that your body is being used versus appreciated. Until it makes you fall into a role that feels as though your values and respect is being taken away. Until it makes you question whether this is the type of relationship you even want to be in.