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She is Sexual, Not Slutty

If I were to ask you to define what being a “slut” really is, what would you say? The majority would likely resort to the go-to, “safe” answer of “someone who has a lot of casual sex with a lot of different partners,” and by “someone” more often that person means a woman. However, I see the identifier “slut” getting thrown around more often than actual “sluts” are throwing around their vaginas. You could be a slut. I could be a slut. The girl walking down the school hallway in a low cut shirt and short skirt could be a slut, even the girl who has a birth control pack in her purse, you guessed it, can be a slut too.

Though I personally had never engaged in casual sex, from the time I knew what sex was, I liked talking about it; I like asking questions about it; and eventually, I would learn that I really like to do it too. As a result, I was no stranger to being identified as a “sexual girl.” Oh, you like talking about sex? Well, that’s because you’re just one of those sexual girls—usually said in a hesitant, condescending, and slightly frightened tone of voice. Most often, I would shrug off these comments with a quick acknowledgment that yes, I was very in touch with my sexuality, so maybe I was a “sexual girl.” Taking the time now, I realized that being called a “sexual girl” was simply a nice way of saying, “well, you act like a slut.”

As I grew up, I faced the harsh reality that the term “slut” extended to any woman who was sexually expressive, initiated sexual acts, or was simply comfortable with her own sexuality. Though at first, it was a tough burden to bear being thrown into the “slut” category, I realized that my behavior was not the problem—the problem was the culture I lived in. No one would ever think to call a man a “sexual man.” Being a man itself suggest sexuality and sexual expression; men are intrinsically horny—and that’s “just the way it is.” However, as a female, the world around me seemed to scream “it’s the man’s job to be sexual, not yours!”

Yet, I still remained confused as ever, wondering why everyone around me condemned and criticized female sexuality as if it was a punishable offense. Why did discussing sexual topics, and admitting to liking sex, automatically insinuate promiscuity? Could a woman openly enjoy sex without being defined as a human mattress? This culture of slut-shaming is particularly puzzling when we realize that male promiscuity is simply passed off as “boys being boys,” while female promiscuity is something the collective must work to correct.

Sadly, only two types of women seem to exist in the minds of common man: sluts and virgins. No one allows for the possibility that a woman could balance herself between the two, or hold an identity much more complex than “prude” or “whore.” Despite these harsh critiques of womankind, I will not shy away from my own sexual expression, because our society is uncomfortable with the mere concept of a woman loving sex. We should be celebrating women who empowered to challenge the status quo and liberate themselves sexually—not cringing at the very thought. Yes, I am very happy and confident with my own sex life, and in case anyone was wondering, no, that doesn’t make me a slut.