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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

The world is slowly changing and women empowerment is growing stronger and stronger. We have a growing array of strong and influential female role models such as Michelle Obama, Queen B, AOC, Ruth Bader Ginsburg…. the list goes on.

Yet, as much as we preach about girl power and treating people with kindness, there is still this taboo and shaming of girls who are in a ‘friend with benefits’ situation.

It stems from the old school patriarchal mindset of ‘girls shouldn’t be involved in that kind of behaviour’; it’s either a relationship or nothing. Or that we need to be put into the categories of a ‘relationship kinda girl’, or a ‘friends with benefits kinda girl’.

But let’s face it, we shouldn’t feel any pressure to label ourselves as one or the other, it’s 2021, we can be and should be whomever we want.

I branded myself in the ‘relationship only’ category, but with a severe change of circumstances and life hitting at the worst possible moments, things changed.

Gradually, I accepted the ‘transition’ and my mindset towards it changed as I became more confident within myself and who I am as a person. I didn’t think you can be both types of girls and that we must pick who we want to be. But in reality, why do we need to pick? Why can’t we just be who we want to be?

It should be what we all do, and not feel ashamed or judge someone for wanting something with no strings attached. We’re young and in control of our own life, we should be experimenting with what we like and what we don’t know; its part of the thrill.

I know many people, maybe including yourself, who might think of sleeping around or casual hookups as ‘dirty’ or ‘wrong’. When in reality, when you strip it down, what is so wrong with it? If both sides are on the same page and set clear unambiguous boundaries, who’s to say that it is a bad thing? I think the fear of being caught or talked about as the ‘girl that sleeps around’ is so forced upon us by society, that it is looked down upon; even though for guys it’s fine and even something celebratory.

A girl that doesn’t have sex isn’t frigid or prudish, in the same way, a girl who sleeps with different people isn’t a slut. We’re only judging what we’re not used to ourselves and are scared of when in reality we shouldn’t worry about what other people think or do. It’s their life, not yours. We find ourselves in this comparative mindset when we ourselves are insecure about our own lives. So next time you find yourself judging a fellow girlfriend based on their sex life, think twice. You do you and they’ll do them; that’s all there is to it.

Isabel McDonald

Nottingham '20

I'm Izzy and currently a second year Architectural Environment Engineering student at UON. I'm a kind, ambitious, and optimistic individual and am a part of the BUCS Volleyball team; also regularly staying active through running, badminton and squash. Staying entertained during lockdown without these hobbies I think was something everyone struggled with, but staying connected with friends and adhering to the rules (obvs) was the saving grace this year, and even allowed the friendships to grow stronger than before. I came across Her Campus on Instagram and wanted to get involved in such a supportive and informative community to share my input, advice and ridiculous lessons on life :)
Jess Smith

Nottingham '21

2020/2021 Editor-in-Chief for HerCampus Nottingham. Aspiring Journalist, with a lot of love for all things bookish. Final Year Sociology student, with a primary interest in Gender Studies, Film Analysis & Mental Health!