Proud to be a slut.

A recent twitter study into the use of the word slut in derogatory context, found that the insult was equally prevalent coming from men and women. This isn’t the first article I have read recently regarding ‘slut shaming’, there was a high-school in America that posted patronising pictures regarding a prom dress code, and an American lecturer who implied the way a woman dresses implies intent. And it is this kind of content that got me thinking, in a world clearly riddled with slut ‘shaming’ – what is so wrong with being a slut?

 

So, I’m recently single, and it’s safe to say that finding my footing as a single in this world took its time, after 5 years in two committed relationships, I wasn’t particularly used to being alone. I wasn’t used to being allowed to look at men, allowed to flirt, allowed to make my own decisions. Flash forward, I can do whatever I want, and I do. And this is what I’ve found.

 

When a man doesn’t want a relationship, do we have a significant reaction? Nope. When a man wants to make connections just for sex, any strong feelings? No, that’s natural, right? Because men need sex more than women, men don’t get emotionally attached that easily, yeah? When a man says goodbye after a consensual night together and doesn’t feel the need to get back in touch, what do we feel? We think to ourselves, that’s life, that’s normal, move on. When a woman does it? Slut.

 

So here I am, a self-proclaimed slut, standing up for the word, standing up for what it means, standing up and saying, I am okay with being a slut. Because, I do like sex, I love sex, sex is awesome. Because I can find a man attractive, enjoy an evening with him, go to bed with him, and not need anything else. I can move through my day to day life without the emotional support of someone from the opposite sex, and yet still appreciate their presence, on a date, on a night out, in my bed.

 

My heart was broken, my life completely changed, I was not ready to find someone to be with me, I was not ready to belong to someone again. Equally, I was not ready to be celibate, not ready to be alone, not ready to be invisible. So, I’ve dated, and I’ve enjoyed those dates, and some of those dates have been allowed to stay the night. When I feel down I will make myself pretty, fix my hair, put on lipstick, throw a nice top on over my pyjamas, and take a picture. I will do that for myself, to feel pretty, to feel desirable, to feel seen.

 

And these decisions I’ve made, these things I do, things I have no shame in, they are criticised constantly, they are picked apart, everyone offering their own explanation for my new ‘behaviour’. Friends and family have plenty to say, this isn’t you, you’re not like this, you’ll regret them all, you’re acting like a slut. Well here I am, 5 months on from my break up, I’m a healthy, happy, regret free, slut.

 

And this is my proposal, reclaim the word, be happy in your sexuality, post your perfectly put together selfies at any time of the day or night, stop apologising. Don’t make a commitment because it’s what’s expected of you, don’t deny yourself what you want because of what someone else might think. Be a slut. Because what does that word mean anymore? Is it really an insult? For me, being called a slut means: I am too openly sexual, too comfortable with sexuality, too comfortable with casual. For other women, they will hear it because they are too confident, too provocative with their words, their wardrobe, their make-up. No matter what we do, or who we are, these words will be used against us, they’ll be thrown like knives to tear us down, to knock us back into ‘our place’; wherever that is. And what is the remedy, how do we escape the judgement coming from everyone, from men and women alike? Should we change ourselves, try and meet whatever social standards would protect us from this chastising word? My suggestion is the same advice that was offered to me as a young and bullied child, laugh with the bullies, and laugh louder. Call yourself a slut, wear the red A, wear it proudly. Be yourself in a world that will ask you to be everything but. Be a slut. And I’ll be one too.

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