Sexual Healing: Worldly Wisdom from a Wholesome Ho

How to be a whore in these trying times…

I wish that I could begin this with the same longing Marvin expresses at the beginning of Sexual Healing with “Baaaaaaybeeeee”… but alas I am not nearly that cool. Until recently, I was with the same man for nineteen years. I met my husband at age twenty, a year later we got married. It’s like what they say, when you meet the right person, you know in your heart that they’re the one and you want to start the rest of your life right then. This is very true. I was sure that he was the one after the first time he begged me to let him go down on me. I knew right then, deep down in my vagina, that he was perfect for me. 

As far as marriages go, we had a good run, and we are still friends. A contributing factor to the dissolution of our union was that we were perfect for each other. We had complimentary lifestyles: he’s a musician, I am an artist. He was a liberal atheist, and so was I. We liked all of the same things. We hated all of the same things. We had a similar sense of humor. In fact, we had so much in common that we had matching childhood trauma that caused us to react to our intimacy in diametrically opposing ways. Our ability to continuously trigger each other was the overarching theme of our relationship. We soon developed a toxic cycle that eroded our trust for one another. Either way, I had been sleeping in a separate room from my spouse for almost two years just as quarantine hit. Having no way to distract myself from my failing marriage while stuck inside, left me longing to explore the single life. I found an apartment, and told my husband that I was leaving.

Once I was on my own, I felt as though a burden had been lifted. The euphoria of freedom soon faded however, and was replaced with loneliness. Although, I was single again, a lot had changed since 2001. I wasn’t sure that I could navigate the world of dating apps, hookups, ghosting, and sexting. To be honest, it was a challenge even figuring out when someone was flirting with me. As someone who was raised in a conservative, evangelical household, I was taught very early on that my body was a shameful, shameful object of desire. So I did not have much of a wild single life prior to my marriage. I had a couple of boyfriends, along with a couple of girlfriends, although those were kept mostly secret from family. I never even had a one night stand. Still, I often felt like there was a whore somewhere inside me, aching to be unleashed.

I first became cognisant of her when I was twelve years old and I got super aroused by that Herbal Essences commercial where the woman repeatedly moans in the shower. I quickly squashed the whore back down inside me, after recalling the pastor at my church assuring me that I would definitely go to hell for those feelings. I repressed her urges as best as I could, but my inner whore managed to reveal herself to others. 

She was always there, just beyond the veil of wholesome decoration and southern manners. Adults always seemed to recognize her hidden just beneath the surface. The female teachers would question my motives for my tight fitting shirts. The male teachers would stare at my tight fitting shirts. My stepfather’s friends would comment about how much I was developing into a young lady, after staring at my tight fitting shirts. My grandmother would chagrin my voluptuous frame as though it were a curse. I had a male friend take me on a date, and after meeting his mother beforehand, he mentioned to me that she had described me as “worldly”. For those of you not familiar with polite religious lady shade, worldly is not a compliment. That is southern-evangelical for ho. At the time, I was sixteen, a virgin, and hardly a ho by any stretch of the imagination. My feelings were hurt, and I became defiant. I was shook by the way my date laughed as if he knew something about me that I didn’t. I was seriously taken aback, clutching my pearls, and by pearls I mean a figurative pearl necklace, not the metaphorical pearl necklace that he gave me later that night. Okay… maybe I was a little bit of a ho. It was her critique of my character that gave me license to embrace my whorish urges that evening. If I was going to be called a whore anyway, then I might as well enjoy all the whory benefits. The point is, I wasn’t a full throttle ho, but maybe like a smidge enough of ho that “normal” people could notice.

After being married, I realized my full whorish potential and embraced my sexuality with an unyielding veracity. I realized that I had been conditioned by my family and my church to feel guilty about my natural, healthy sexual desires. My inner whore, was just me, being the sexual being that I was meant to be. I became like a whory phoenix rising from the ashes of sexual oppression and denial. It was exhilarating. It’s just like Marvin sang, it’s something that’s good for me, and now I feel free to be my crazy whore self, unjudged and unpunished.

However, my pandemic post-marriage has been like a tropical depression. A chaotic system of emotional wind and rain. What do I do with all this sexual freedom now? How does a whore traverse the treacherous gorge of pandemic dating? I have crawled through these mystic canyons to bring to you a message of ‘worldly’ wisdom, in the form of a helpful Dos & Don’ts list on how to be a whore during these trying times.

  1. DO- flirt with anyone and everyone you fancy.

Life is short, I spent a lot of my time prior to my marriage agonizing over whether or not I should say things that I wanted to say. If they don’t like you, they’ll let you know. No one needs to feel awkward about miscalculated flirtations. Just be respectful, don’t be gross, and you’ll be fine. 

  1. DON’T- Be Scared.

It might surprise you to learn that most people, regardless of their social media clout, are just as nervous as you are about expressing their attraction towards someone. What if he or she doesn’t like me back? This is no way to live your life. I had the biggest crush on a sexy neighbor and there was one evening when we were headed out for a gathering together, and I noticed her staring seductively down at my chest as I helped her do her eyebrows. Our eyes locked for a moment and you could feel the sexual energy pulsing between us. Did I grab her cheeks and pull her lips to mine? No. Instead I made an excuse to run to the next room to grab something I definitely didn’t need to get. I avoided it. Why? Because I was afraid to be wrong about the signals I was receiving. Now, don’t take this as ‘Naomi told me that I could just grab ladies’…That is not at all what I am saying. I could have asked her at that moment, “Can I kiss you?” and it would have been hot as fuck. Consent is incredibly sexy. This was a missed connection, years later when we met by chance at a party, she asked me about that night, but by then I was deep in a lonely marriage, and I am nothing if not loyal. Now I don’t have a problem telling someone exactly how I feel, provided that they are unattached, and you shouldn’t either.  The best way to earn a mountain of regret is by wallowing in your fear and anxiety. Remember that confidence is sexy.

  1. DO- Be Honest and Direct.

This is something that cannot be overstated. People are dropping like flies all around us. Nobody has time for mind games in a pandemic. Just be honest, what is the worst that could happen? They don’t like you? They did you a favor! Would you rather invest a lot of time and emotion into a person, only for them to figure out months later that they don’t like you? Just be direct and honest from the start and you can save one another a lot of time and heartache.

  1. DON’T- Waste Time Texting.

Texting is cute, but you can spend too much time in the texting phase and build a person up in your mind without all of the pertinent information. For example, conversation is everything for me. I found myself falling for a guy via text message. He had strong vocabulary skills–which is super hot–a great sense of humor, and he tackled musicology with a similar nerdish tenacity as my own. However, once I had the opportunity to hear his voice on the phone, the attraction quickly dissolved. I had no idea that someone’s voice was that important to me. I learned a valuable lesson. People are organic creatures, and there are other qualities outside of personality that can attract and detract us. You need to get a feel for all aspects of their energy before you become too emotionally invested in one side of them. You don’t want to fall into a deep fantastical “like” with a person who pronounces your name in the most irritating manner possible. It sounds shallow, but is this the voice you want calling out your name in bed for the next three to four years? Is this the voice you want to argue with about how many cats you will rescue? These are the things one must consider before a relationship can progress.

  1. DO- Ask Questions that get them to Reveal their Character.

I am not saying interrogate them. That would be psychotic, although if you can convince them that a lie detector is your kink… go for it. Outside of massive amounts of persuasive charm, simply asking a question that I like to ask men is sufficient: “Do you like strong women that may or may not be smarter than you?” I usually follow it up with, “Answer Carefully, because I will be judging you.” The way they respond to this form of question can be very revealing. Do they appear threatened by the question? Do they react indignant, or hostile to the question? Do they laugh and answer it? Do they come back with a witty response? I have found that it is a great way to weed out toxic assholes, and also see how much their humor matches up with my own. 

  1. DON’T- Be Obsessive.

Here is one that I personally had an issue with in the recent past. There is such a thing as liking someone too much. I was crushing so hard on this guy, that I repeatedly had to loudly reality check myself in the mirror before chatting with him. A quick: “SLOW YOUR ROLL, homie!” before I responded to his message was marginally successful at tamping down the crazy. At this point, you might be wondering, but you said we should be honest and direct. Yes, and I meant it. Let me clarify: there is being direct and honest, and then there is being a stone cold weirdo. It’s a fine line. Hot Tip: Don’t spend too much time looking at their social media, that shit will fuck you up! You are a human being, and you can 100% fall in love with a fantasy. Fantasy can quickly slide into obsession, and before you know it, you are IG stalking their stories and crying because they take too long to reply to your messages. It’s not a good look. Remember that people are attracted to people who love and respect themselves. Take time for self-care and do things that fill your emotional cup. Another person cannot be your only source of joy, otherwise you will DEFINITELY become unattractive to them. 

  1. DO- Take Time to Reflect.

We are still dealing with pandemic predicaments. Take time to work on yourself. The best part about my marriage ending, aside from getting rid of a toxic cycle of drama and pain, is that I have more time for myself now. Breaking up during a pandemic was a challenge that many people experienced. I have met so many people this year who said that quarantine allowed them time to reflect on the true nature of their relationship. There is no reason why you should not allow the post quarantine social distancing experience to translate into personal growth as well. Reflect on the true nature of yourself. Become a better human, and you will become a better lover.

  1. DON’T- Spend a lot of Time on Dating Apps.

But how will I find my perfect someone?  Guess what…they’re not on that app! I spent the first few months of my new single life perusing dating apps and discovered the following to be true:

Tinder: Hookups, Hookups, Hookups.. And a lot, I mean like an exorbitant amount, of 

married couples looking for a freaky bisexual girl like me to enhance their boring sex life.  HARD PASS!

Plenty of Fish: WOOOOOOOOOW. Creep city. Mostly married men stepping out on 

their wives, and desperate toxic women who have exhausted the available partners in their local area. No… I am not meeting you on snapchat… 

Hinge: This app should be called Unhinged. Every person that I matched with on here 

was obsessed with their ex. 

Ok Cupid: Ok No. I’m sorry but y’all have got to get your lives together. The profiles on 

this app are depressing. You can’t take a picture that’s in focus? If you can’t even work 

your camera app–how am I gonna trust you to work this vagina? 

These apps are demoralizing and dehumanizing. They feed the very worst parts of the human ego. Imagine dismissing an entire human being out of hand simply because they wear cargo shorts? You reject people on dating apps that you might actually have given a chance in real life. Why? The protective shield of anonymity and the powerful superego driving the clicks. I am not saying that there isn’t a space for some form of app that allows you to meet people, I am just saying, don’t invest too much time on them. The truth is, most meaningful connections happen organically. Dating apps allow people to be at their most depraved behavior without fear of consequence. There are only so many times one can receive the message: “You got big ass titties!” before you start to question the validity of the service being offered.

  1. DO- Be Yourself.

It may sound like a cliche, and there are those who might say, but what if ‘myself’ is a total A-hole? In that case, see #7–Reflect on that, and be better! As far as sounding cliche… cliches became as such because they were known truths. Honestly, this is by far the best advice I have given myself. You know who you are and what you want out of life. Don’t try to cater to the personality whims of someone you like. Firstly, it isn’t sustainable. You can only pretend to be someone else for so long, eventually you will need to let the weirdo come out. Secondly, you can’t be confident pretending to be someone else. Being yourself is liberating and you will be astonished at how much it increases your sex appeal. I feel more sexy when I allow myself to embrace my oddball sensibilities. If they don’t like who you really are… they’re not right for you.

  1.  DON’T Worry About Being a Whore.

So your family thinks you’re a ho because you talk to a lot of different people… I’ve been a whore for years and honestly, it’s not that bad. First of all–who cares what other people think? Most likely, they’re jealous of your carefree lifestyle. They want what you have, but have internalized American culture’s demonization of sexuality. Society has been labelling the people who don’t fit into the cis- hetero-male normative as selatious whores for ions, and yet the whore perseveres. Dating around is fun, why is everyone in a rush to settle down and find THE ONE? Responsibly playing the field, and allowing yourself to indulge in the occasional debauched evening, is not only healthy and not whorish at all, but decidedly human

What myself, and I think Marvin as well, wanted to say is that you have our blessing, for what it’s worth, to fall deeply in love with yourself and embrace your sexuality like never before. Let’s make the post-pandemic era the next sexual revolution. The ability to enjoy sex emotionally and intellectually is what separates us from the rest of the earth’s inhabitants. The greatest gift I ever gave myself, besides my wireless rechargeable electric vibrator, was the freedom to be the whore I always knew I could be. Go my children, be fruitless and multiply your orgasms!

Published by Naomi

M. Naomi Fuqua is an Art Educator and Multimedia Artist from Houston, Texas.

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