I wish someone had told me…

I’ve started to have the condom discussion before jumping in bed with someone. Perhaps that seems obvious. It wasn’t. “Condoms. These will be a thing or I will not be a thing.” I’d like to say that I have this conversation before we get in bed because I’m that solid in who I am. But I do it because I don’t trust I’ll stand my ground once my pants are off.

Every time I don’t stand my condom ground, I feel like less of a woman. Sure, we’ve had the health conversation. I’ve crossed some T’s and dotted some I’s. But I’ve failed. Consented more to his wanting me than my wanting myself. We don’t make ourselves small in big, sweeping decisions. It happens through the accumulation of moments.

Pants on it seems so straightforward to have lines that aren’t crossed. My condom line: if we aren’t in a committed relationship, wrap that beautiful penis up. And then fuck me.

But I let this line get crossed.

Lines. The really important ones. We fight for those. They don’t always feel natural and intuitive. Even if perhaps they should. And sometimes we ignore them. Erase a little bit and let someone through.

I’ve heard over and over again that I, a woman, should stand up for myself. That I’m worth my boundaries. That he doesn’t get to dictate what is and isn’t ok. Hell yes. More of that please. But I what I missed somehow is that sometimes you don’t. Sometimes that system you thought you had in place fails. Because life doesn’t happen in a control.

I wish someone had told me that I’m not alone in the uncertainty and the shame on the other side of an experience that left me borderless. That I’m no less of a woman because of that.

I wish someone had told me that borders aren’t built in one go. That their being knocked down doesn’t erase their foundations.

I wish someone had told me to be fierce and uncompromising with my borders, but to be gentle with myself.

I wish someone had told me that being a woman is also about being a human.

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