Bending Good Girl Rules

Give yourself permission to be sexual equals

Issue #38

By Vivienne Arkell

It’s been over a decade now that I no longer feel the need to be a good girl. Yes, I still apply a few common sense rules. That’s why I stay discrete with images of myself online, and why I only discuss sex in front of men I am intimate with at the time. But no old-world idea of good girl/bad girl is going to lock me in the past, scorned by double standards. Why should I wait for permission, while men are free to experiment with casual partners and fraternize without judgment.

After the courtroom fiasco a few weeks ago during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, I am sure more than a few women aren’t feeling very sexually open. Some men aren’t feeling so sure of themselves either, but that’s probably not a bad thing. Sad to say, most females have lived through an episode of sexual assault or other forms of harassment. No matter what was experienced, the guilt and shame remain in our memories and we still cringe at the kind of person and situations that led up to it. We were being open and vulnerable but whoosh, in came the dragon to prey on us. Often we were perceived as being a ‘bad girl’ and asking for trouble. In any case, the overall anger or numbness created means this is the perfect moment to challenge your discomfort and find a new path through the murky waters.

It’s time to quell that good girl voice in your head telling you that challenging the rules is too big and messy of a task. And instead of negativity, the time is ripe to take ownership of your emotions and start bending conventional ideals. Help the word permission take on a new, more positive meaning. Let women’s permission to flirt, make polite advances, and be sexually free create a positive shift towards making women and men sexual equals.

Why do we women often mask our special powers of flexibility? Being wise and bending means you’ve modified the rule just a bit, usually to serve a higher purpose. This is even more important than the purpose of the rule itself. No need to re-write every rule but bend a few: to equally own your pleasure, have freedom to experiment without shaming, and reduce criticism of others.

Mix feminine ways of being well-mannered, modest, selfless and flexible with the braveness of a hero.

Many men don’t like women to be as forward, clever, or sexually astute as they are. There’s nothing guaranteed to level the playing field faster than being more like a man in areas such as self-reliance, ambition and assertiveness. Resistance may be palpable, as most men are just not comfortable when a woman approaches sexuality with the gusto of a male. This new cause or idea maybe be quite scary to others, especially men. But leading by example is often the best way.

Challenge perceptions, while you pursue truth and meaning. Envision a world where you can take risks, express sexual feelings and be supported through it. Be flexible to bend rules and create your new reality and narrative, creating positive shifts in the universe. The power of permission is yours to choose and use.


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