There has been a lot of talk recently about sluts. And I’ve been trying to stay out of it because I fear I’m just going to repeat much of what’s been said, but I just can’t keep quiet any longer.
First of all there is the obvious debate going around that any woman who has sex before marriage recreationally is a slut. So, basically, most women. Right. But, that’s sort of like the hahah joke. It works to make the argument about women’s reproductive rights seem ridiculous while at the same time still undermining women’s sexual choices by not acknowledging a sex positive stance. There is still an underlying puritanical phobia about women being sexual.
We can joke that any woman in a monogamous relationship that’s sexual is a slut, because she’s not really. She’s actually following the new standard script for relationship structures. Just because the old fuddy-duddy republicans seem to still be obsessed with marriage and God doesn’t mean the general population agrees.
But the general population may agree that there is a real definition of a slut.
And that slut-type is not acceptable.
Gayle Rubin talks about this in her now classic theoretical essay, Thinking Sex. In fact, she has a whole graph designed that shows what is deemed “good” and “bad” types of sex. Heterosexual vanilla monogamists—are good. Not being married, doing it for non-reproductive reasons is like middle ground but not bad.
Is it possible to erase these ideas of good v. bad and just accept that everyone has different expressions of their sexuality and should be able to act on their desires as long as everyone involved consents and it’s safe?
And isn’t consenting and being safe also related to access to birth control?
It reverts back to the ideas of controlling one’s own body, what goes in, what stays out. And part of that control is keeping it healthy; being sexual can keep it healthy for some, not having babies can keep it healthy for some, (actually not having babies can keep it healthy for the planets population control but that’s a whole other argument).
What I’m trying to get at is that everyone has the right to be a slut. There is nothing wrong with being a slut. Being sexually expressive (consensual and safe) should not be shameful. It should be respected and actually encouraged.
What’s wrong with people experiencing pleasure?
How does someone’s pleasure hurt another?
Why should anyone be able to control, manipulate, and coerce others into experiencing sexuality a particular way? That isn’t pleasurable at all. But that’s pretty much what’s going on. And no one should approve of this kind of behavior/policing/power-play.
Let’s get our freak on.
All the way back in 93–they knew what was up.