I recently read a fantastic article by ‘Boston Single Girl’ (BSG as I’m going to refer to her) published on one of my favourite websites, Kinkly, titled “There’s no such thing as a slut.

This resonates so much with me because I’m beyond frustrated with the use of this word, the ridiculous double standard that surrounds it and its enhancement of gender discrimination.

Along with similar noisy words like whore, slapper, slag and even ‘promiscuous,’ it’s a derogatory term reserved solely to discredit women for being sexual beings.

Whomever wields the word apparently also gets to apply whatever moral code they feel appropriate to decide how much “too much sex” is.

What Does ‘Slut’ Even Mean?

I was in primary school the first time I heard the word ‘slut.’  Whilst waiting out the front of the school one afternoon for my mum to pick me up, I talked to a girl in the year above me to pass the time. She was gossiping about an incident in which a kid in her class had called the teacher a ‘slut.’  I obviously knew that wasn’t a good thing (as the girl had been given detention and a note had been sent home to her parents), but I didn’t know exactly what it meant.

I asked the older girl “What does slut mean?” She looks at me with a smug expression, rolled her eyes as if to say “Oh dear, you unworldly little child” and gave me the obvious instruction: “Look it up in the dictionary.”

When I got home I found the enormous Collins English Dictionary my dad kept in his home office, and rifled through the flimsy pages under ‘S’ until I found it:

Slut: noun A slovenly woman.

Slovenly? What the fuck did that mean? (Of course, primary school Rose didn’t say ‘what the fuck?’ That’s my current potty-mouthed, thirty-something year old inner dialogue chiming in.) I then had to look up slovenly, which is defined as:

Slovenly: adjective (Especially of a person or their appearance) untidy and dirty.

This definition of course what was not the one the child had been using, which resulted in detention and a letter home to her parents. This one originated in the 1400s, first used to describe a man’s appearance, and without sexual connotation. However, over the past 600 years the meaning has changed drastically. During this time, it’s been used to describe dogs, cute things and even rags dipped in lard and used as candles.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the word shapeshifted into the derogatory term used to shame women for sexual activity:

Slut: noun a woman who has many casual sexual partners.

When I read this all I can think is “so basically, a woman who is sexually active.”

More so, how many sexual partners is ‘many’ sexual partners? 20? 10? 2?

How bullshit and archaic to label women who have had more than one sexual partner in a derogatory way.

Stop Calling Other Women Sluts

What equally hurts my soul and makes me so angry is when women perpetuate the shameful stigma of the word ‘slut’ by using it to denigrate other women.

Not long ago I was at the pub with some friends on a Friday night. A pretty young lady, dressed up to the nines walked past our group. One of my partner’s best friends *Sophie clocked her approach, and once she’d walked past us said “I know that girl, she’s Monica, she’s a slut.” I immediately put down my drink, turned to Sophie and said “What exactly makes her a slut?” To which she replied “Oh, she’s gets around, you know.” Three wines in, I was livid and was on my soapbox before Sophie knew what hit her. “What the fuck dude?! What business is it of yours who she has sex with? And exactly how many people does she need to have sex with for you to qualify her as getting around?”

“If you don’t like her, say you don’t like her, but don’t shame her in front of a group of people who don’t know her for however much sex you think she’s having.”

It turns out Sophie barely even knew this girl, and was just continuing here-say that Monica was ‘slutty’ because she’d heard she enjoyed having sex with both men and women. Shaming her for being bisexual is of course equally as unfair and invalid as claiming she’s a slut for being sexually active. Sophie was probably just jealous of the amount of sex she perceived Monica was having, or annoyed that Monica had previously turned down her sexual advances.

Having Sex Does Not Make You a Slut

It’s beyond perverse to shame women into feeling they should be embarrassed of uncomfortable for wanting, participating and taking pleasure in sexual activity.

We’re talking about a natural human fucking need and desire here people, something as normal as eating, drinking or taking a dump. (Not necessarily all at the same though…)

Sex in whatever form it comes in, is not dirty or shameful. If all parties involved are consenting, respectful, safe and enjoying themselves – what is the big deal? Masturbation, group sex, sex toys, swinging, S&M, bondage or whatever sexual act you might enjoy. Not all of them are acts I include in my own sex life, but who am I to judge anyone else by what they find sexually satisfying?

Having basic respect for other human beings includes minding your own fucking business about other people’s sex lives. If other women are doing things that you do not feel comfortable with then that’s fine, you don’t need to do them.

It literally has nothing to do with you.

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