Rethinking "Slut"

I've written a lot about sluthood before, and about how I had trouble reclaiming that word because of my personal history with it. When I was first called a slut, it was not at all cute or kind. Even though I was fine with the sex I'd been having, the shame behind the word got to me when my closest friends used it against me. It's taken me a long time to heal from that.

But heal I think I have. The more beautiful sex I've had with more people, the easier it's gotten to gladly think of myself as a slut. An ethical one. A happy one. And one who is proud of her sex life and sexual history.

Jaclyn Friedman, editor of the book and contributor to the blog Yes Means Yes, just wrote a lovely piece about what sluthood has done for her. One of the best quotes from the piece is this:
Sluthood...reminds me to enjoy the life I have now, instead of waiting for someone to come start it. It helps me know my heart better, and my libido. It makes me better at communicating about both of them, and much less likely to confuse the two. To my mind, far from ruining me for real love, sluthood is preparing me for it...

...Sluthood isn’t just a choice we should let women make because women should be free to make even “bad” choices. It’s a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling. I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me, in a small but life-altering way, and I want it to be available to you if you ever think it could save you, too. Or if you want it for any other reason at all.
I've made so many great connections, had so many fun and interesting experiences, and learned so very much that I wouldn't have if I weren't happy to jump into sex with new, interesting people. There have been a few bad experiences, mostly because of somebody deceiving me or treating me disrespectfully, but that could have happened even if I was trying to have a relationship with them. In fact, usually the reason they were being deceiving and disrespectful was that they assumed I wanted a relationship and that's what they had to do to get me into bed. Dummies.

I've also made great friendships and found really wonderful relationships. My promiscuity has never stopped me from finding love, just the opposite. My life has been filled with love, all kinds of love, from great friendship to a four-year commitment with a man I'm still close to. And so much in between. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

So I'm done hiding from a word that should just mean "someone who has a lot of sex with a lot of people." If that's the literal definition of a slut, well, that's what I am. And there's not a single reason to be sorry for that.

So here's my shouting from the mountain: I'm 23 years old (on Saturday!), I've had 64 sexual partners*, and I'm proud of it. I am a good slut, and happy to be one.


*This is based on my definition of "sex," which holy crap I've never written about here! I will fix that immediately. Update: I wrote about my definition of sex here.

1 comments:

Jordan said...

Well said!

Promiscuity is only a crime in a society dominated by biological determinism or taboos or proscriptions against leisure, all of which can lead to an attitude that sex-must-equal-babies.

But sex feels good so we, who have the ability to choose to abstain and who might, in ignorance of biology, choose NOT to do anything with those funny looking organs between our legs, have an incentive to do it. But those sensations can be taken advantage of for entertainment absent the purpose of procreation.

As a result, "slut" can be considered a socio-religious slur: "You're abdicating your responsibility as a God-fearing human being to only indulge in SPECIFIC pleasures after a hard day's work, the goal of which is to raise lots of healthy kids. Any other actions are wasteful of your God-given resources."

But "slut" can be reclaimed in the manner you describe: you are USING your God-given resources to accumulate a richness of experiences and relationships, rather than descendants or material goods. I thoroughly approve (whatever THAT'S worth!)

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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