Monday, August 20, 2012

My Thighs Have Been Involved In Many Accidents

So, last night I read a book called "Fast Girls, Teenage Tribes and the Myth of the Slut" by Emily White. Honestly, without delving into a book review, I can say that it honestly wasn't my cup of tea.

I'm not sure how it ended up on my bookshelf in the first place, and I pulled it out during my current exploration of my bookshelves, a quest that I have given myself in an attempt to pare down the insane amount of books that we currently posses. (I've already culled more than 50 books and not made a dent in our shelves.) Any way you shake it, I was expecting the book to be educational, enlightening and entertaining. It was none of these things. Really, I wouldn't recommend it, I rather would like that two hours of my life back, but then again I mostly finished it to make a point to Kitten, who says I never read new books. If I wanted to, I could have picked up another book and read it, but lost the point.

Either way, it got me to thinking about sluts, and while I was having dinner with the girls tonight (is our 2 year anniversary with Oscelot) I was discussing the book and told them I was pretty sure by the book's definition, everyone sitting at our table was a slut- in fact, most of the people we know are sluts. Which brought us around to the definition of sluts in general. Since its relatively hard to define in terms that aren't relative to the people you know or the moral standards within which most people operate, it got to be a bit of a trick to make a firm definition that didn't include every person who hasn't had sex outside the confines of marriage. So when I got home I took it upon myself to look up the meaning of the word slut in the dictionary. says slut means "an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute"

This seemed hardly like a help since most of the people I have known to be called sluts were not prostitutes and some of them weren't even female, so I went to Urban Dictionary instead and found a few more enlightening entries, the most useful of which is:

"A derogatory term.  Refers to a sexually promiscuous person, usually female.  One who engages in sexual activity with a large number of persons, occasionally simultaneously.  Also refers to one who engages in sexual activity outside of a long-term relationship within the duration of said relationship.  These sexual activities include but are not limited to: passionate kissing, manual stimulation of genitalia and/or breasts in the case of a female; oral stimulation of these parts; sexual intercourse.  In some cases, used to refer to a woman who is wearing "skimpy" or tasteless clothing.  Less commonly, used as a derogatory term by one female for another during periods of conflict.

Synonyms: whore, tramp. Derivations: slutty (adj.), sluttier/sluttiest (superlatives). Related Adjectives: easy; immoral; loose; cheap." 
This, I think, is a definition that I can work with. It does seem more, uh, specific, especially within the confines of modern (if often slang) usage. 

I suppose the reason I was so interested in the definition was because of this discussion with my partners. I mean, I suppose the definition really makes no difference- I know, and have known for some time, that I am a slut. By most definitions. Maybe not, since I am not a prostitute (despite this popular belief held by Kitten's co-workers- a rumor, I think, started by her ex). But, if you look at the other one, really, I'm pretty sure I fit the bill. I can't deny that I've done all of those things. 

I don't say this because I am proud of being a slut, but more because I am not ashamed of it. Its something that, I suppose, I was looking for in the book I was reading, because I assumed there would be some sense of empowerment, some sense of the futility of slut-shaming, because I don't think there's anything wrong with being promiscuous, if you are being safe about it. I think you can sleep around, have a good time, be safe, and still have your morals intact. For the most part, I didn't find that in the book. Was there a lot of talk about the slut archetype? Sure. Was there talk about the horrors and damage that slut shaming can cause? Oh, yeah. But there was a significant lack of women in the book who were taking up the flag of the slut with pride. That was what I think bothered me. 

I felt bad, I really did, about those poor girls who graduated virgins but who had been accused of sleeping with the whole swim team, or passing out blow jobs at parties. In no way do I feel that what happened to them was okay. But to me, it seemed like there was a lot of ladies protesting too much, and not enough of anyone talking about how it was okay to be in control of your sexuality. 

I do understand we are discussing a book that centers largely on teenagers. I get that. As a teenager sex is a mystery, there is a lot of questioning, a lot of need to explore, and in the case of many teens- the need to subjugate their burgeoning sexuality. Here's where I depart from the author, and where I think I depart from this not book review that is somehow turning into a book review- someone needs to take up for the sluts. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I embrace my sexuality fully. I don't make any excuses, and while I'm always willing to offer explanations, I rarely do it as a means of justifying myself. Are you interested in why I call myself a lesbian despite the fact I've slept with men? Are you curious why I call myself a lesbian despite the fact that I have enjoyed sex with men? Or why I am in a triad. Or why I don't think masturbation is shameful. Or why, for the most part, I have no problem showing myself off in person or via photo, even though I'm not the fittest woman in the world (well, certainly not the way I used to be). I'll talk about those things all day. I have no problem admitting that I've had quite a few sex partners. More than Kitten and Oscelot put together. Actually, probably more than the two of them put together and doubled. I don't think that makes me a bad person. I don't think that makes me anything but someone who is in touch with their sexuality and their needs, and frankly, pretty good in the sack. 

Most people would think it makes me a slut. 

Okay. Sure. 

Tell me, what's wrong with that? To me, I think there's nothing wrong with the way I've experienced sex. I have come out of it happy (most of the time) and disease free (all of the time) and for the most part pleased with the partners I have had. And I'll tell you something- every sex partner I have had has taught me something about myself. They have taught me about the way I experience the world. I don't regret most of my sex partners. There are a few, but they are in general emotional mistakes and not sexual ones. Truth me told, some of the people I liked the least were the ones I had the most fun with. I generally don't ask questions except for the pertinent ones- when were you last tested, are you clean, and do you have protection? 

Take Kitten, for example. When I slept with her for the first time I barely knew her. Granted, we slept together more than once, and I did like her very much by the time we both foolishly ended our first relationship. But here's the truth- Kitten was and still is (and this is NOT partner bias, she doesn't read here and I have no reason to lie) the best sex partner I have ever had. She was the standard by which I held every partner after her to, and forget about the people before her- she obliterated them. No one ever measured up. Now, when she and I got back together I was cheating on the person I was with when I started sleeping with her again. By both counts, sleeping with her when I didn't know her well or love her and by cheating on a long term partner, I was a huge slut. Best decision I ever made. Both times. 

I get really tired of the people who somehow feel like sex has to be something secret, or taboo, or something shameful. I like sex with the lights off...but its not because I feel ashamed or like I need to hide what I'm doing. I masturbate with a blanket over me, but its because I get cold and I can't climax if my feet feel like blocks of ice. I think there's be a lot more people out there who were happier and healthier if there were less stigma attached to the sex act. Whether you want to procreate or have a good time, there is simply nothing wrong with sex. There isn't. 
There is something very wrong with people who equate sex with love and assume that to have sex without it means you are somehow lacking in morals or emotion. That is simply not the case. Can sex be amazing when you love a person? Oh yeah. But it can also suck. Same as sex with a stranger is sometimes awesome and sometimes awful. It depends on the people, the situation and the skill of those involved.  Now, I can hear someone saying now that there can be good sex with an unskilled partner. Yes, yes there can be. You can even have nice sex with that unskilled partner several times. Here's the catch- you either love them (which isn't what I'm here to discuss) or you are learning with them and -gasp- having sex for fun (which is exactly what I'm talking about). This whole notion that sex is some sort of gift you bestow on your partner because you care about them is silly. It truly is. Because sex, done right, is a gift to yourself too. I could ramble all day about the health benefits of sex, or the emotional benefits of sex, or whatever. Its boring, though, and I don't think any of us care. If you do, google it and post it in my comments and I'm sure we'll all read it. 

But the slut flag...why does no one take it up? Why oh why, in this day and age, is there still a stigma attached to making yourself feel good, especially when you're a woman? I try and puzzle it out, but truly, I think I wouldn't be able to without lots of research, and reading, and a lot of talk about politics and women's rights and human rights and in the end I think the result is the same. I may not like it, but if I got slut tattooed anywhere on my body that was visible, I wouldn't be reclaiming the word. I won't reclaim it by proffering, as I do here, that I am a slut and I'm proud of that. I'll still be judged, and most of it won't be nice. I don't see a lot of people going "That Alecya, what a slut. Man, I am lucky to know a woman like her...witty, nice, well spoken and totally unashamed of the fact that she loves to have sex." 

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. After all, being a slut is, if anything, loving the act of love and pleasure- and I don't see a lot of people loving that about me. Even if I do. 



  1. Hm. I think regardless of how you define the word, "slut" is essentially used as a derogatory term, and no matter how much you try to reclaim it, if it is used in that sense, the semantics of meaning are ultimately not that important. In that sense, it's similar to "nigger". It's the hate behind the usage that causes the problem, not the word itself. It's just a word, right?
    Obviously. I'm with you though, petal. Just as some people are hated for their skin colour, and that's ridiculous, so too is it laughable to hate someone for the way they choose to lead their life.... especially if it doesn't hurt anyone.
    People are fascinating, right?


  2. For what it's worth, I've always held the same belief as you on this matter. I hate it that people are vilified for enjoying the most wonderful of pleasures, it's simply wrong.

    And, given the opportunity, I'd be a full on flag waving whore!