I keep talking about being a Wanton Hussy - but what on earth do I mean? Why choose a pair of words with such convoluted histories, with shades of prostitution and sex-negativity, which echo thousands of years of virgin/whore opposition?

Because I love words. And while I won't say that I'm reclaiming them, I like twisting them to suit my purposes. That, too, is very in line with what I intend to evoke when I say Wanton Hussy - taking what you like, what you need, what you want of our culture and history and using it to suit yourself.

So what does it mean to be a Wanton Hussy? I'm so glad you asked.

Being a Wanton Hussy means...

1) Being in touch with your body. Learning to love it and take pleasure in it. A sensible diet, some fun exercise, and eight hours of sleep are good places to start. Strive for your best-possible state of health. Make wardrobe choices that flatter your figure and feel good to wear. Use affirmations or meditations to learn to appreciate your body. Regularly practice self-touch exercises and body appreciation.

2) Owning your sexuality. Owning your desires. Working on overcoming our culturally inherited shame and being courageous about sex. Being confident and comfortable in your body, with all of its functions and responses. It means knowing, understanding, and believing that your desires are not unique or weird or scary or wrong -whatever they may be.

3) Being able to articulate your desires, both verbally and in writing. Words have power (and I'm not just saying that because I'm a writer.) Words give you the ability to understand your emotions, to attain true self-knowledge. Being a Wanton Hussy is about being true to yourself and not hiding in any way through avoidance.

4) Being unafraid of your sexual power. Cultivating an awareness of how others perceive you is not arrogance, but an exploration of how you fit into the world, and if you are perceived in the way you intend. It means being neither victim nor aggressor, neither virgin nor whore.

5) Being honest, with yourself and with others. Always. It means taking time for reflection, both alone and with your partner(s), choosing words carefully, and making sure they are understood. Take the time to communicate deliberately, honestly, and lovingly about sex. Learn to let go of judgment, of yourself and of others.

6) Being playful with sex, unafraid to try new things and explore new ideas. What do you have to lose? Why not? (Boring sex is the #1 master killer of so many relationships! Even if you love chocolate, the same candy bar day after day after day after day gets boring.) Creativity is life - create.

If something goes wrong in bed, talk about it. It doesn't have to be a huge tragedy if you can't get into the position of the fortnight or if toe-sucking is more ticklish and annoying than erotic to you.

7) Flirting - with your lover, with yourself, with other people. If you're in a partnership, talk about this with your lover first so that insecurities don't get triggered, and if you're a new flirter, start small. Chat with the cashier at the grocery store. Smile a lot. Compliment people. Channel Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, RuPaul, or Captain Jack Sparrow - be sassy, flamboyant, flirty, vivacious. Be bold! Flirting is fun!

8) Reveling in sensuality, always and everywhere. Being open to pleasure. Learn to occupy your mind with sensual data when you're bored - what can you see, hear, smell, taste, feel? Look around you, be aware of your world. It's beautiful - enjoy it!

Practice appreciation - there's always something. Find the silver lining. Make the effort to try new things, break old habits. Rather than mentally list all the reasons why not to do something, just do it. Take risks. If you've always wanted to try painting, for example, buy some paint and brushes and do it! Sign up for a class. Carpe diem! Don't let another day go by without doing the thing you want to do or, at the very least, taking a step along the way to get there.

9) Making having relaxed and sensual fun a priority in your life. Play! Play with yourself. Play with others. Always, always play, during every moment of your life. It takes more energy to clean the house while you're singing and dancing around, at first, but by the end of thirty minutes, the house is clean and you feel happy - a win-win situation all around. And that's just mundane housecleaning.

See how much fun being Wanton is? Sometimes we all get stuck in our ruts and need some help prying the wheels out so we can get moving on a better road instead.

Don't stay stuck in your rut. Get out and dance around, flirt and smile and laugh until you come up with a plan for how to get out. You don't have to do it alone either; that's what I'm here for. Being a Wanton Hussy will fill you with energy, gratitude, and joie de vivre.

What are you waiting for? Be Wanton!

(c) 2008 Julianne N. Bentley All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Julianne Bentley, the original Wanton Hussy, works with individuals (and couples) who want to bring the passion and joy back into their bedrooms.

Drawing on over fifteen years of experience discussing the ins and outs of sexuality, in all its forms, Julianne brings compassion and energy to the process of supporting you in making the changes you need in order to have the sex life you want and deserve.