For me, Sexual Autonomy means having age-appropriate access to the wealth of information that exists about different types of relationship styles, different sexual activities, fetishes, and interests, as well as safer sex practices and contraception. I think this will only happen when we live in an environment that encourages open communication, mutual respect, and an understanding of the important role that sexuality plays in every person's life. I think that's what sexual freedom is, too. Perhaps autonomy means that technically, we all have a choice in what type of sexual life we engage, whereas freedom means that people in your life won't harass you for your choices... even if they might be the "wrong" choice. We can all screw up or bless our own lives equally!
I don't think any one moment in time created sexual freedom in my life. If I had to pinpoint a time when I became free, I would probably choose the day that I drove back to my hometown after leaving a religious training school a day's drive north of here. It wasn't any one sexual act, but it was the fact that I was disregarding other people's rules, and making them up for myself. Each day in the journey to sexual freedom, I loved myself and knew myself a little bit more. After years of suppressing and ignoring my sexual being, finally, enough was enough and I wanted to be in control. It wasn't just my sexuality that got freed up, it was the rest of me as well! I went back to college to get the degree I knew that I wanted (Women's Studies / Feminism), I took my stuff out of storage and found my own place to live, and about a year later, I met Dana. I wasn't expecting to like her as much as I did, but she pretty much blasted all of my "preconceived notions" out of the water. Our family histories are so similar, and we have made it our number one priority to talk about anything and everything as soon as it comes up, so that we don't hold onto confusion and anger. The best part is that it's not "too good to be true" - our relationship together has snags in all the right places, so that we build each other up instead of tearing down the one we love.
For the longest time we lived in a state of constant fear. "What if we break up?" and "If we're still together by that time, then we'll..." But that's no way to live. So for now, we're together indefinitely - which means that there is no end foreseeable... until further notice. And I'm very happy with that.
I know this post was meant to be about sexual freedom, but that is what being with Dana means to me. She means having all my sexual needs met, and being allowed to ask for what I want, and being allowed to spread my love around. Being with Dana means getting to explore new things, talking about our likes and dislikes openly and honestly. It means me being able to experience sacred sexuality gatherings, and to talk to her about my girl crushes (and precisely the same for her as well!)
It's good stuff, I tell you what. I found a letter last night that she wrote to me back in July. She said, "You are the perfect seasoning to my very hearty broth!" Now if that doesn't make you laugh freely then you need to get your heart checked.
Let's be free to be, you and me, shall we?