Ariana Grande: Tearing Down Double Standards?

Singing sensation Ariana Grande wrote an elaborate, empowering essay about male and female double standards after her split with rapper Big Sean. She said, "If a woman has a lot of sex (or any sex for that matter)... she's a 'slut.' If a man has sex.... HE'S. A. STUD. A BOSS. A KING.... If a woman even TALKS about sex openly... she is shamed!" Ariana touched on one of many examples of double standards when it comes to dating and relationships, and is hitting a nerve because what she wrote about does often seem to be true.

In today's world women want to be able to make mindful choices when they decide to be intimate and sexual with their partner. But that isn't always easy to do. When a woman has an active sex life she might be viewed as being loose. On the other hand, men are expected to seek it out, and if they brag about a few notches on their belt then they are respected and thought of as manly. Women are finally looking to move beyond these images and not let them hold them back anymore. Along those lines, the most recent Bachelorette openly said she made a conscious decision to be intimate with one of the men she had met on the show, because a sexual connection is such an important part of a relationship that she wanted to have a sense of their chemistry before they moved too far forward. She chose a course of action, and so can you.

If you consider what you stand to gain by exercising your sexual expression, as well as what you stand to lose if you are not in touch with it, you will see how important it is to be the manager of your sexual life. By challenging these stereotypes that have trapped, confined and limited women for too long, you can work to redefine your sexual identity and what it means to you in terms of your happiness and your sexual esteem. If, for example, you want to be intimate with someone when you first meet them, if you are on vacation and want to have a fling, if you are at a wedding and want to have a romantic escapade, or just a one night stand, the most important thing is to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. In other words, own it. This means recognizing that you are with that person to enhance your sexual experience and pleasure, and still feel good about it regardless of whether or not it leads to something more serious down the road.

If you are in the driver's seat you can give yourself the permission to say yes to your desires and feel empowered by them when it comes to your sex life decisions, rather than feeling bad about yourself. The essential thing to be aware of is that whatever your action may be you are doing it by choice, one that you are making for yourself and thereby can feel confident about. When you do this, you free yourself from blame and judgment so that you will not feel objectified or used in any sexual experience you share. You no longer have to be in a position where you are compromising your own values or worrying about what other people think.

It follows that if you are in a new relationship and your partner asks how many sexual encounters you have had, you can have a clear sense of your history and how it came to be, free from guilt. You will be able to level the playing field so that what was once only acceptable for men can also be acceptable for women. Saying no always remains a powerful choice as well, what matters most is that you are determining what is going to be most comfortable for you. In this way, you will be a woman who takes charge, is in control, knows what you want as well as what you don't want, and will be better able to build your inner security which will reflect in your emotional and sexual wellbeing.

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