Continued from Part 1 Shameless Love: Embracing Your Inner Slut

Play it Again – Man

It was October 2007 when, once again, the shame of my sexual choices emerged. Again I felt bullied and punished like I had in high school, only I was an adult and the setting was a legal one. My bully, this time, was a man with whom I had shared five years of my life and someone I trusted. He knew most of my intimate secrets and plenty of lurid details concerning my sexual partners. You see, I had felt no need to hide anything from this person I had loved. My sexual experiences were a smorgasbord that involved straight sex, gay sex, fetish, hardcore bondage, fisting, oral and anal sex — all with a myriad of willing partners.  He made it obvious from the beginning of our relationship that his love for my “weirdness” was what turned him on. He was fascinated by my willingness to try anything with him in bed.

Over time, he changed. Just a few months before he locked me out of the home we shared, I was accused relentlessly of cheating and taking pornographic photographs of women “in his home.” He must have been hoarding this resentment for years because he never mentioned that my sexual history was an issue. However, how he really felt was finally revealed through his final words just before shutting the door on me: “Well, at least I didn’t have all that weird sex with all those people. You f***ing whore, I’m going to ruin your life.”

Let the Games Begin

One can only imagine how many words it takes to fill a journal. When you multiply years upon years of intimate thoughts and observations about life, love and sex, you wind up with stacks of diaries, an archive of one’s life. All my words were written in complete confidence, with never a thought that one day those same words would serve as priceless tidbits of information for an adversary.

I’ve been archiving my life for a very long time. With state-to-state relocations, I have left behind various possessions but never a journal. I seem to have a bit of ADD when it comes to organizing my life, and keeping those journals played a significant role in understanding my life. Every so often, I would do a review just to see how far I had traveled. So, I was devastated when I discovered that the man I trusted had violated the laws of decency by snooping through my private writings. He not only read my writings, he stole my journals and made copies to share. My life – the good, the bad and the ugly – was eventually placed in the hands of lawyers, judges, complete strangers, and even the Secret Service.

 
After much reflection, I came to this conclusion: this ex-boyfriend did not like what I had to say about him. Toward the end of the relationship, he was openly abusive and I recorded his behavior in my journals. Intimate thoughts and some deep, revealing truths about our relationship obviously did not sit well with him. So he used the court system to publicly shame me.

To make a long story short, I sued him to get my journals and all my personal possessions back. He responded with a counter-suit claiming emotional distress and other wrongs perpetrated against him. He continued a legal offensive against me relentlessly over the years with his substantial legal resources. His attorney subjected me to three separate depositions, in which I was questioned repeatedly about my sexual experiences and moral character.

Here Comes the Shame Again

Seven years of legal sparring culminated in a civil trial. My ex-boyfriend’s attorney strode into the courtroom, along with an entourage of assistants wheeling in boxes of evidence, much of it generated from my journals. He had a projector and screen set up. The show was about to begin. I sat nervously in the witness box.

“I see in your own handwriting . . . Isn’t it true that you called yourself  a whore, slut, deviant, weirdo, goddess, lover and prostitute,” his attorney asked as he pounded his fist on the lecturn. “Well you wrote it, so it must be true, right?” This kind of character assassination went on and on for two days. The judge surprisingly allowed him free reign with his questioning.

While I sat there, the whole situation seemed unreal; I could not believe that this was happening to me. It was like a tabloid story, where I played a scandalous celebrity with no morals. The attorney constructed a story of my life with the building blocks of my own personal thoughts, musings and imaginings. The trial was like an episode of “This is Your Life” gone wrong. I felt like I was on trial for my life, and I felt vulnerable. He started with me in first and second grade and moved his way forward to the present.

Thus, the personal history I had openly shared with the “ex” was used to punish me in an open courtroom. Along with select pages from several journals, the attorney presented nude photographs of me and love letters from ex-partners. Lurid details as courtroom entertainment served as a distraction from holding him accountable for stealing my journals and possessions.

One of the outcomes of my courtroom slut-shaming was a surprising insight:  I became aware of how I have used sex in my relationships. What I discovered was a repeated pattern of mixing adventurous sexual exploration with giving my power away.

Archetypes are Jewelry to the Self

A book jumped out at me while browsing in a bookstore. (I’m not a slacker when it comes to learning more about about myself.) The book was Sacred Contracts by Carolyn Myss. It consists of an extensive series of questions that determine which archetypes may be connected with certain behaviors. One archetype especially resonated with me: the Prostitute. I realized the archetype’s role in undermining my own integrity. I had used my power of seduction with men for financial gain and security. I did not exchange money for sex with my “ex” but it amounted to the same thing. I gained a nice home, fast cars, and a closet full of shoes. But I was never happy. As Carolyn Myss describes it:

 

The Prostitute archetype engages lessons in integrity and the sale or negotiation of one’s integrity or spirit due to fears of physical and financial survival or for financial gain. This archetype activates the aspects of the unconscious that are related to seduction or control, whereby you are as capable of buying a controlling interest in another person as you are in selling your own power. Prostitution should also be understood as the selling of your talents, ideas, and any other expression of the self—or the selling-out of them.

 

I understood that there was nothing wrong with my sexual experimentation. I now use my sexual power in a fulfilling way, sharing it with a person who reciprocates, an even exchange of power, not one-sided. When I’m looking to evoke a certain mood, I can now confidently don a mask, play a character, or surrender to a role. What I’ve realized is that I have an arsenal of sexual archetypes at my disposal. I can be a whore, slut, tramp or prostitute, because I “own” my sexuality. This tiny nugget of truth feels like a priceless jewel.

 

Angela LiebenAngela Lieben is a contributing writer to the Liberator UnZipped Blog. She lends her creative talents to the Liberator family as a Marketing and PR Manager. Her vast knowledge of sex toys, erotic art and the world of BDSM, along with her shameless humor, makes her a natural for promoting sexual wellness. A Pleasure Activist at heart, Angela loves sharing her passion with people and gets tremendous joy out from sparking intimacy and dialogue between couples. When she is not working hard producing engaging content for the Liberator website and the Liberator UnZipped blog, she spends time practicing the art of Shibari (rope bondage) on her willing husband.

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