Bah Humbug! Slut shaming

I am just not feeling all this holiday-ness.  Bah humbug.  I wanna write about something else.  Ah.. Slut Shaming.

Great Date and I had a rambling all-over-the-place conversation last night and ended up talking about our “numbers”.  I think at some point we already disclosed our numbers and Great Date DOES NOT CARE about my number.  That’s nice and far too unusual.

No I have not been with 492 people.  Jeez.  It’s a little high (compared to what?).  Fuck it.. it’s like 75-80.  That’s a little high I suppose for some women of my age (38) in modern day America and a bit low for some others.  I started really young, and even considering the fact I have been married for a lot of my adult life, most of my years of sexual activity were pretty casual and included very very few one night stands, but a fair amount of seeing 2-3 guys and maybe a girl on a regular basis.  I’m bi, so there’s some good numbers thrown in there too.

I have had people have trouble with my perceived activities or interest in sex for most of my life.  I’ve had girls I was acquainted with comment on this or that activity, or say that I was a slut.  I had guys break up with me.  I had one guy seduce me into having sex with him in front of his roommate, only to dump me the second he came, saying I was too whorish.  (Um.. YOU were having sex with me and it was your idea you perv).

I had a guy break up with me after learning my number (20’something at the time, shaved down to 17 to sound better) because he would never a marry a women with a “bunch” of partners and didn’t want to date me if we could never marry.  I had a guy break up with me because his friend heard I was a huge slut that had fucked two guys at once.  I still haven’t ever done that, but not because I have a moral problem with it.. it just never came up and seems like it’d be a lot of work and not as satisfying in the way that a 69 never seems to be as good.  I have been punched (for having a threesome with another girl, making me “a faggot”), had things thrown at me both in school and from a car, and had my locker decorated with slurs.  I have been the subject of nasty rumors (often about STD’s or my real or imagined exploits).

The weirdest part about almost all of this is that often it was simply just the fact that I really enjoyed sex.  Most of these people had zero idea of my number of partners (with the exception of the dude who broke up with (gasp!) 17.  In my later adult life I started telling people I was dating the truth when they asked questions, because frankly I’m tired of lying.  I found myself getting in trouble in my relationships when this bit or that bit came out, and I just figured I’d weed out scoffers early.  If you dislike women who love sex, I am not the girl for you.  I am not in any way indiscriminate, but I don’t make any bones about liking sex.  It’s fucking awesome and I do seek out opportunities to have great sex.  Sue me.

Why is it such a damn crime to admit as a woman that I really like sex?  Why is it so bad to admit that I like variety?  Men are virtually demanded to go out and conquer.  Who exactly does society think all these men are having sex with?  Women are supposed to pretend we don’t care one lick about orgasms or sensation and that we just want to “make love” and connect to the men we care about.  There are a zillion names for women who like sex too much; whore, slut, tart, Jezebel, harlot, wanton woman, trollup, floozy, hussy, tramp, vamp, hussy, tramp, bimbo, strumpet, skank, ho, hoochie.. it goes on and on.

What are the words for men who like sex too much?  dog?  pimp? player?  None of them are nearly as bad as the words for women.

I made a conscious decision to admit that I like sex and to talk about sex pretty early on.  I accept the consequences of this.  I don’t shout my activities from the rooftops, but I am open about the fact that women enjoy sex every bit as much as men.  I masturbate and get horny and have sexual thoughts like everyone else.  You do too, admit it.

I hadn’t thought about it in a long time because frankly I’ve been monogamous and married until recently, but I think that shame is still out there.  I warn my partners not to ask questions they don’t want to know and I try always to talk with tact and sensitivity, but I’m done being dishonest about this stuff and I was done doing so a long time ago.  If I am with you today it’s because I want to be and I clearly like what you are offering.  It’s not my problem if others have issue with my activities or my numbers or my choices.  I live with the consequences of my actions, whatever they be.  Shame and guilt about this are useless emotions.  I don’t give, accept or pick up guilt and shame today.  If you try to hand it to me I watch it fall to the floor.  That isn’t my shit.  That’s yours.

20 Comments

  1. After my ex left, I went nuts. I had about 20 some partners before I met Husband. (You know, I was a bartender, if I wanted laid, it wasn’t hard to find somebody at 3am!) My sister still thinks I am this gigantic whore, and tells me almost whenever she sees me. She has NO IDEA how many. None. She knows I had a bf I lived with before Husband and assumes we had sex, and there was my ex husband, but that is all she knows. Husband knows exactly how many, and he couldn’t care less. Like you though, I was and am willing to live with the consequences, I didn’t hurt anybody, I never lied. I don’t go announce it at Christmas dinner, but, I am not real ashamed or guilty feeling about it when on the RARE occasion someone has asked. But, it is so rare anyone asks. Most people like to assume and slut shame.

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  2. People can be awful. I’m sorry you had all those things done to you. I’ve had people treat me like crap for being a “slut” too. Mostly it was MEN who were having sex WITH me and also had slept with way more people than I had. Mind boggling. I wrote a blog post awhile back about slut shaming too. The shame is really that it happens. There is nothing wrong with a woman enjoying sex or enjoying it with more than one man at a time. Somehow men find this damaging to their ego, I guess. They don’t want to recognize that females have just as much sexual desire and right to have it as they do. Even in todays world there is sadly way more slut shaming than there should be.

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  3. THANK YOU for writing this. Perfectly stated. It’s been a topic on my mind a lot lately and one that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about with both male and female friends. The double standard is degrading and unfair, and at times in my life I have earned a reputation because people simply THOUGHT I was sleeping with multiple guys (at the time, I wasn’t). Those words and judgments can be hurtful, embarrassing, and damaging, but somehow only for the woman. Men expect women to be good at sex, but god forbid they practice with multiple partners, much less enjoy it!

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  4. Reblogged this on Shadow in the Mirror and commented:
    This is one phenomenon I’ve always had trouble understanding. Just the thought of a woman enjoying sex or sexual behavior seems to be a big no-no to people, as if it’s the most impossible thing. Unless they are actually sex addicts, though (who actually get very little pleasure from sexual acts), real people who have relations with many others has been something that’s happened since humanity first existed. As long as everyone is being safe, sane, and consensual it really is no one else’s business! The hypocritical attitude toward men and women who have had lots of partners is one of the most ridiculous and bizarre set of beliefs. My number is nowhere near Seattlepolychick’s yet ant number other than 0 appears to push people’s buttons. I urge you to never take on unearned guilt. You’re the only one living your life.

    Merry Christmas (totally random, I know)

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  5. I fell prey to stereotypes after my divorce and felt shameful for the first six months for sleeping with multiple guys. I more than tripled my number in that first year but quickly realized there are more benefits to variety than otherwise. I think it would be so great if more people would share the idea of sex positivity – that it’s good for us, healthy, and we shouldn’t feel shameful. Thanks for choosing the topic you did! Not much of a holiday person myself. 🙂

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  6. I can so relate to this! I too had a long monogamous spell, when this wasn’t that important..but I am out there again, and you know what? I am taking slut back – I am owning it. I love having sex with men, in any and all configurations – and some women too. I will try anything once, 2 or 3 times if I’m on the fence. I don’t need to be in love with anyone before we fuck – just like them. Sometimes that takes as little as 30 minutes. So what? If a slut is a woman who loves sex, does it with a lot of men and doesn’t say “No!” a lot, that defines me. So, I am out, I am proud – I am a Slut. And a big juicy raspberry to those who don’t like it.

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  7. Agreed!
    I’ve often been referred to in such negative ways
    That is until I decided to embrace it.
    I started saying upfront, “yeah, I’m a slut. I love to fuck-big whoop”
    Now, I find it a turn on and a compliment to be called slut.

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  8. Pingback: He admitted he replaced me for being a whore | SeattlePolyChick

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