The Weekly Mindfuck: Shame

January 10, 2017 | Posted in Editorial Features by colette-callaway


Have you ever imagine what you would do if a sex tape you had taken with a partner was leaked? If your friends, family, coworkers could watch you having sex with the click of a button? Would you be mortified? Ashamed? Angry?

I think about this often - not because I fear an imminent security breach, though I'm sure that's possible - but because it seems like an almost comical premise. Of course, my friends and family and coworkers (especially my coworkers, considering my career) know I'm having sex, and I've never been particularly embarrassed by my own nudity, so why does my heart rate rise so drastically at the thought?

It's the shame, of course. We live in a world where our sexuality is one of the most unifying things about us, but we're not supposed to talk about it. You can have sex if it's an ambiguous, ambivalent activity, but the specifics? No one should know those. I left most of my sexual shame behind in another life, but sometimes it still gets me. After all, I'm so open about mine - and in this world, it often feels like an act of defiance. Some days, I have to remind myself I'm owning my sexuality for a reason. 

It's hard some days to ignore the noise that says that I - and everyone else I know - would be less if our sexual acts were exposed to the world. It's engrained so deeply in us, and so hard to forget. If a sex tape of me were ever leaked, there would undoubtedly be people who looked down on me. I can only hope that if it ever happens, I have the strength to take it as the challenge that it is.

I am not less for owning my sexuality, and neither are you. To be so authentic in a world that doesn't want you to be is very, very brave. 

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