Recently, I have come across this phenomenon where people are claiming that they are “sexually free.” As a first-year who is just delving into the realm of feminist research and analysis, I am finding this claim rather laughable.

I have come to realize that most people, especially young women, find it excessively difficult to not equate the objectification of their bodies to their personal worth and, similarly, the amount of people who want to sleep with them.

How many times have you heard of someone hooking up with a random person because they just broke up with their ex? And men desperately pursuing woman after woman in search of one that will help them “get laid” for bragging rights?

In both of these situations, the person isn’t just looking for sex. They are looking for validation. A confirmation, one that means they are desirable enough and good enough to make someone want them. People are simply having sex to boost their self-esteem, and as understandable as that is, that doesn’t necessarily make someone “sexually free.”

Freedom implies that you are not constrained or inhibited. But by equating worth to being objectified, separated from all your other qualities except physicality, you are being constrained. The vague and brutal guidelines of attractiveness don’t allow for everyone to make the cut.

So I am proposing, as crazy as this may seem, that we all start having sex for the other wonderful reasons because sexuality, and the amount of partners you’ve had, shouldn’t be what makes you or I feel worthwhile.

You are enough because you are interesting, funny, smart, creative, fun, adventurous or simply because you are alive. I am tired of sexuality being such a big contributor in people’s feelings of self-worth, and similarly, people engaging in sex for reasons other than you want to.

I hope that this thought will encourage some self-love because I think that loving yourself allows everyone to really embrace that title of which they are so coveting: “sexually free.” It is only after accepting and embracing yourself that you can finally be left feeling uninhibited and can be a sexual person having sex for more than just validation.

You are someone who wants to do it because it’s fun, because it displays love, because you are horny, happy, excited or just because you feel like it.

You are someone who goes into it thinking you’re awesome and leaves thinking just the same.