I’ve walked the walk of shame. I’ve carried my high heels thrown over my shoulder, in the same dress from the night before. I’ve strolled home with my thong tucked away in my pocket after a wild night of sex. I’ve been annotated into the club, a few too many times to count. The club where men walk prideful, long strides back to their rooms while I’m told to walk shamefully back to mine.
I like sex. It feels amazing and through my experiences I have found something both raw and freeing. Multiple partners helped me realize the type of lover I deserved. Toys helped me explore the height of my orgasm. Strutting home proudly the morning after helped me to find the freedom in resistance.
As a woman, as a brown woman, I have to constantly defy the politics of respectability, which claim the way in which my body should move and my curves should form. I live in the tension of the “sacredness” of sex and the need for my body to be decolonized.
I am not a puta. I am not a hoe because I want to feel the maxim pleasure that my body was designed to feel or because I have been with multiple partners. What I am is a strong, beautiful indigenous Latinx mujer who shamelessly loves sex.
More importantly, I did not trade my virtue for sex. My virtue is not attached to my virginity. The desire to help others, to love hard, to care for the cut down, those virtues stand strong regardless of my sexual history. I did not trade the ability to be a fierce mother and to raise radical children who stand against injustices. Nor did I trade the ability to be a loving wife, who protects and supports her husband with every fiber in her soul. I did not trade a damn thing in order to enjoy myself.
I live in the tension of the “sacredness” of sex and the need for my body to be decolonized.
My lowly buttoned down shirts do not negotiate my worth nor does my messy morning after hair. My worth is not tied to my “decency” decided by men who think touching before asking is consent.
This “decency” that criticizes how my skirt fits my brown hips and ass, which has always clung and crept too high.
I am the ONLY one who can determine my worth. My spirit is whole and ready to fight, fight the oppressive idea that I am not decent, virtuous or worth being respected.
Amanda Tello is an indigenous, Latinx theologian and activist. She is the vice president of Latinos En Axion, a grass-roots organization out of St. Louis, Missouri. She is unapologetic in her defiance of the politics of respectability and reclamation of her identity as a brown mujer. She continues to disrupt and defy oppressive structures while teaching her children the importance of resistance.