Latest Movie :

What Is a Slut, Anyway?


    We love sluts. We were very strong advocates of SlutWalk Chicago. And we thought we'd keep conversation going around the topic of being a 'real man' on the converse side. What does it mean to be a slut?

    Though we all have the same needs and desires, women often face scrutiny for embracing their sexuality while men are celebrated for it. This stigma has led to very negative implications for both women and men. Here, our friend Dr. Jenn offers her thoughts and questions as to how the term "slut" results in such negative consequences, as well as why being a "slut" is considered to be such a bad thing.

    * * *

    Rush Limbaugh’s “slut-bashing” incident brought to light how we Americans perceive and experience our sexuality. If you missed this or want the full story, read about Limbaugh’s slut slandering of a female Georgetown law student, in response to her testifying before Congress about access to birth control. The incident is fraught with controversy, so for now, let’s just look at the use of the word “slut.”

    What is a “slut?” 

    Generally, it is a derogatory word used for a woman who is considered too sexual. This begs the question, what does “too sexual” mean, and who decides how much sex is too much for an adult woman? It’s a funny world we live in, where women are highly desired for their sexuality, yet criticized by both women and men if they want to be in control of that sexuality.

    Why is there such a low threshold of acceptable sexual expression for women compared to men? I know a lot of men who like sex, and wish that women were encouraged to like it just as much! However, there is a distinct gender difference in who is allowed to be sexual without stigma. Research shows that women often report a lower than truthful number of sexual partners. Men, on the other hand, report a higher number. Clearly, both genders have internalized what is appropriate sexual behavior.

    Why does it matter if we call a girl or woman a slut? 

    When a woman is labeled a slut, the stigma can be very real in its impact and consequences. For example, labeling a high school girl a slut has long been one of the top insults that can be hurled and can negatively impact the girl’s reputation, enjoyment of high school, and circle of friends. This hasn’t changed in the 20 years since I was in high school, and with the recent recognition of the dangers of bullying, perhaps this is something to which we should pay more attention.

    I believe the reason why there is so much controversy around “sluts” is because sex is powerful and provocative. People make a lot of decisions based on their sex drive, some empowering and some pretty damn foolish (e.g., look at the fall of so many male politicians and religious leaders who can’t keep their dicks in their pants). I think sexual women have long been the scapegoats of powerful men. Our sexual decisions sometimes have big consequences, but labeling women for choosing to be sexual, when it benefits the women AND men, shouldn’t be one of those consequences.

    I think a slut is a woman who seeks sexual experiences and enjoys being sexual. That doesn’t sound so bad to me. Last year, the “Slut Walk” movement in many major cities was a way to reclaim women’s sexual expression, and stop blaming sexual assault on women’s fashion choices. Perhaps a chant of “Two, Four, Six, Eight. Women are Sexual and Sluts are Great!” is something we should all take to the streets.

    Cross posted with permission from Dr. Jenn's Den.

    Have you 'Liked' GetLusty on Facebook yet? Do it by December 1st and you'll be entered to win the ultimate in sex toys for couples--a LELO Tiani 2 vibrator.

    Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, is a sociologist, sexuality speaker, and sex therapist, with a passion for challenging people to sexually think outside the box.

    Dr. Jenn is a public speaker on topics including healthy relationships, love, gender, mindfulness, erotic play, and happiness. She counsels individuals and couples, in person and over Skype, to assist in creating and maintaining open communication and fulfilling intimacy. Dr. Jenn is a contributing writer for Pacific San Diego Magazine and is a sex and relationship expert on Fox 5 news and San Diego Living. Follow her on Twitter at  @DrJennsDen and Facebook.
Share this article :

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2011. thecunningone - All Rights Reserved
Proudly powered by Blogger