In the Kingdom

The triumphs and travils of the little kingdom of Camelot

Posts tagged sluts

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The Day I Became A Slut

I don’t often, if ever, take offense to anything I believe does not apply to me. And usually, whomever is making a disparaging comment is not referring to me. I am not even on their radar. I will, however, take offense when, by the very definition and connotative value, the word is charged and meant for me no matter how indirectly I am involved with the person who said it.

This includes a few things typically under the category of racism and sexism. We’ve heard the slurs. They are the types of words that make us stop and gasp, swiveling our heads to see who the perpetrator is. Even if you use these words, you know they’re wrong. You know what you’re saying.

Sometimes, though, words become so ingrained in our collective consciousness and daily speech that we don’t even understand what’s wrong with what we are saying. Words like “crazy” and “retarded” come to mind. There is another word that has long escaped our critical thought as well: slut.

What is a slut, exactly? Much like its other slippery cousins, slut doesn’t really have a meaning. Technically, someone is allowed to be called a slut as soon as she engages in sexual activity that makes a person or persons uncomfortable. More importantly, that person doesn’t even have to be involved in that woman’s sex life to be allowed to call her such a thing. While many who proudly brandish the term try to put up a wall, suggesting it only applies to women who “sleep with everyone” (and really, who has the TIME to sleep with everyone?), it is often misused if we accept this definition as true.

Now, I’ve only had three sexual partners in my life. I have not been in a formal relationship with any of these partners, but I have loved them all fairly equally—and if not on the same level, I have loved them a great deal regardless. But at which point in my sexual life did I become a slut? How old was I? Which partner was the one who made me a slut?

The first one.

I always used to roll my eyes at the term “slut,” believing it was some a stereotype people made up and used any time someone even slightly resembling the sort interacted with them. It wasn’t until about a year after my first time that I realized they were talking about me. A slut wasn’t measured by how much or how little she loves who she sleeps with. A slut is not measured by what she does in her spare time. A slut is not judged by how many people she sleeps with or how often. A slut is born the second she is penetrated. Nothing else matters thereafter.

Even more baffling is that the proverbial slut is just like anyone else, only those who use the term to vilify women cannot see it. What honestly sets myself and my partner(s) apart from the rest of the world, particularly those who are married? We text each other. We go grab coffee. We make inside jokes. We buy groceries. We pay our bills. We go to school and/or work. We exist on the same dimension as all other humans. In fact, if you didn’t know us, you might not even think we have sex at all.

That’s when being a slut started to offend me. It was the fact that my love for a man did not matter. It was when my education was questioned, even mocked, based on the number of penises I let near me. It was when sleeping with anyone outside the “morality” of the person I was talking to made what I was doing “wanton sex.” It was when my decisions, which took an extensive amount of time to make, about who I slept with were disregarded as irresponsibility, lack of morals and dirtiness. And it continues when I say: “No, I will not sleep with this man because I respect myself too much to let him control my body when I really don’t want anything to do with him” and having that be null and void because of the previous partners I DID have.

This is why I will call you out if you call me or any other woman a slut. I will not let you decide what my life is like and how I shall continue to live it based on your idea that you’re on some moral high ground. I will not let you mask hatred, misogyny and controlling women as benevolence or concern. I will not let you use a word that you are constantly redefining to fit your purposes against me or others. I will not have my sexual experiences homogenized so people can further ignore the identities of every individual woman*.

My having sex does not impede on your right to abstain and I would never like it to. I am just as valid as a virgin and I would never use my sex life or experiences to exert control over yours. And just because the guy I slept with the other day was not the same as the one last month does not make me any less of person. Your views on my sex life and the sex lives of many are not true and they will not be tolerated.

Filed under conservatives feminism feminist misogynist misogyny reproductive rights sex sexism sexist sexuality sj slut shaming sluts social justice theheartofamerica

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Tearing down slut shaming and the purity myth

Slut shaming - noun -  When a woman is accused of having too many sexual partners and is thereby called a “slut” or a “whore.” These terms imply that sex is unnatural and unacceptable while simultaneously dictating who is allowed to have it, with whom and how many times.

Slut shaming stems from a purity myth that women should remain virgins until they wed. It also makes the wild assumption that sex and relationships should be as the way the person using these words defines them. It implies that there is a singular and “correct” view about sex and relationships.

But, Megan! I don’t care who wants to have sex, but I start having a problem with it when “drunk bitches” get hog wild and sleep with whoever they happen to talk to that night!

While I agree that ANYONE who is sexually active should practice some level of care to avoid unwanted consequences, the fact is, you cannot control everyone’s sex lives. How is it any of your business who someone sleeps with while drunk unless it’s rape?

No, Megan. This is ridiculous! Sex should only be with someone you love while in a COMMITTED and SERIOUS relationship! Really, you should be married or ready to be married before you even THINK about it. What are you talking about!?

Let me tell you a story. I met a man a year ago. He was beautiful in all forms. He was attractive, breathtakingly intelligent and a great aspiring journalist with ambition and drive. He was going places. And I was taken with him.

So you know what I did? When the opportunity came up, I had sex with him. It was my first time and I was 21 years old.

He was not my boyfriend.
I was not necessarily “in love” with him.
I was not drunk.
We were safe.

So we had sex many more times.

He is still not my boyfriend.
I was not drunk at any time.
I still wouldn’t say I’m “in love” with him.
We were safe every time. 

And you know what? I am happy with my decision. I regret nothing about it. Know why? Because while we weren’t in a traditional relationship, I CARED about him. I cared a lot about him and still do, regardless of whether or not we ever get into an actual relationship and regardless if I ever say I’m in love with him.

And the next time I have sex, whether it be with him or someone else, I will care about them. I will have sex because I think it is appropriate, whether I’ve known the guy for 10 years or 10 days.

I had sex out of wedlock with someone who was not my boyfriend because I felt affection for him. If anything like that happens again, I wouldn’t change my actions. I am confident with MY decisions about MY body.

That does NOT make me a slut. So if you call me one, it hurts because it devalues me and makes it seem like I am not capable of making decisions about my sexual life. It takes away from the meaning and emotional connection I had with my sexual partner because it deems our experiences as “wrong,” “disgusting” or “sinful.” It was not. What he and I had was wonderful. So don’t you DARE think you have the right to define that to fit YOUR mold—a mold I do not fit.

I am NOT a slut. No woman is a slut. So don’t ever call any of us one. End of story.

Filed under slut shaming sex feminism sexism sluts sexual virginity purity whore virgin purity myth sexist feminist relationships