By: Natascha Jones, IATG ContributorJanuary 14, 2016
I should have waited to have sex.
It took me 20 years to realize that.
I admit I have a bit of shame around my decisions, but that's not why I wish I would have waited to be sexually active. It's not because of anyone else's opinion of me and it has nothing to do with all the guys who never became my boyfriend and it's not because having sex is something “you can't undo.”
I wish I would have waited, for the love of me.
I believe we're going to have sex when we decide to, whether it's the right age or not, but I wish I would have known that I should be putting myself first in any and EVERY intimate situation. Some girls may think this is obvious and some girls may think putting yourself first has nothing to do with being intimate with someone. I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with being intimate with someone.
If I had known about loving myself first and unconditionally, I am confident that I would not have sought that love and acceptance from a majority of the men I've been with. I am certain that I would have listened to that voice in my heart or my spirit or whatever you want to call it and I would not have done that thing I wasn't really ready to do.
Because I was almost never really ready to do it.
If I'm honest with myself, 75% of the time I was doing something I wasn't really comfortable with, just to get someone to accept me, love me, validate me, care about me--everything that my father and my family should have done, that I should have been taught to do for myself - I sought in someone else.
Of course I never got the result I was looking for because it was typically with someone I hardly knew. I did this for more than 20 years.
I started having sex when I was 15 years old. I'm not going to tell anyone when the right age is for them, but for me it was too soon. I did it for all of the wrong reasons and I got my heart broken. I put myself through this cycle for 20 years until it finally dawned on me that I could say “no” to anyone at any time. No matter how far we had gone, no matter how many drinks we had, no matter the context of our relationship I didn't owe anyone anything except for myself.
I owed myself love and respect. I actually learned this through my friends.
The fact that they didn't care about whether someone thought they were a “tease” and they didn't care if they led a guy on or left him hanging; the fact that they would just stop if something didn't feel right to them was amazing to me. I always feared making the guy mad or hurting his feelings - I never bothered to think about my own feelings or whether or not he would consider how I felt afterwards.
All this time I had a voice inside of me that I wasn't listening to and it turns out when I decided to listen to her and make her more important than the man I was with, I made really great decisions for me.
I made decisions that felt good to my body and my soul. It had nothing to do with making a guy wait, or playing a game with him so he would be crazy about me, or worrying about what the other girls said about me. It had everything to do with being honest and upfront with the pace I was comfortable taking. I decided I wouldn't care if he would stay or not, because I chose myself and that was the best thing I could do.
It so just happened, maybe by luck, maybe by manifestation, that the first guy I tried this with fell in love with me. What I was looking for for so long fell gently into my lap. He had been waiting for me for eight months and when I was ready to date him, he took me exactly as I was, with my flaws and fears, at my own pace, he wanted all of it. He was happy to wait.
Getting the guy wasn't my motivation, self-love was. But getting the guy was a great by-product.
When was the last time you tuned into your gut in a dating, romantic, or intimate situation? What did you learn? What did you discover about yourself? Tell us below
While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.