Wednesday, March 19, 2008

on being a slut.

I have just recently returned to the frozen Tundra I unwillingly call home after 10 days of straight debauchery. Well, really, the insanity of the last five days made up for the relative lack of activity during the first. Overall, Spring Break '08 was everything it should have been. And then some. For the first time, I took a trip back Home (after spending a few days at my old college), and spent the 100-some-odd hours seeing practically every person I know, and sleeping with, or at least kissing, about half of them. Yes, successful trip indeed.
Detailed and only mildly romanticized accounts of my exploits will be forthcoming in the next week or so, I promise. First, though, some more theoretical thought. I had little else to think about as I spent 15 hours traveling yesterday, so I began reflecting on the distinct lack of guilt I felt for my blatant hussy-ness of the past few days.
I am comfortable with guilt. In fact, I'd say we have quite a long and storied history together. Spending a half-decade in an "exclusive" relationship gave me plenty of opportunity to commit all sorts of transgressions and, if we're being honest here, I rarely passed up the chance to do so. I was called "slut" periodically, and it hurt, but likely not as much as it should have. Perhaps because the reasons people were calling me names weren't actually true. Sure, I was running around, but not with who they thought I was. And then these periods of infidelity would inevitably be followed by periods of unwavering commitment, adoration, and fidelity, almost assuredly trying to reconcile what I'd done with how I actually felt about the person I was committed to. I was very much in love, but I was also, and perhaps more importantly, very young, and above all very inexperienced.
In any case, that relationship ended abruptly and (from my end) unexpectedly, and I had every intention of fully enjoying the benefits of being single for the first time since I started dating. Instead I found my fuck-buddy glued to my hip, and somehow even more inexplicably, proceeded to stay with the lying, alcoholic and mildly abusive asshole for another year. I finally rid myself of him, and have since been very single and quite content to be so.
Which brings me to the present. Of course, most of you knew this backstory, but sometimes you just have to get things out in the open. In any case...
The past two years have been very much about experimentation and discovery for me. I have discovered more clearly what, precisely, I want to do with my life and consequently found a way to go about achieving that, I have discovered a passion for learning about sexuality and again, consequently, made new discoveries about my own sexuality. Of course, talking about sex all the time leads one to think about it theoretically, but also to become acutely aware of the sex one is (or, in my case isn't) having. So I resolved to fix that. I was doing relatively well for myself here in the Tundra, at least for someone who'd never gone about anything like this before. Then I went Home last week.
And somehow managed to sleep with four people in five days. Men, women, older, younger, strangers and best friends.
I've been trying to make myself feel guilty all week. I simply can't do it. I am a slut, certainly. Proudly, in fact. For the first time in my life, I'm embracing what I want to do, and I'm not making any apologies for it. I am safe in every possible way. I am honest about it. Each person I slept with knows the terms and limits of our respective relationship. Indeed, some I'll never see again, and one I might well end up staying with forever. And so the question I'm posing, I guess, is what is so inherently wrong with being a slut?
Formerly hurtful words are reclaimed all the time, and I'm not necessarily saying that "slut" needs to be reclaimed, but I fail to see the sting in the word any longer. At the same time, the connotation of the word, or at least the contemporary usage, seems to imply a person who has acted outside the confines of her (I would say "or his," but the word is rarely used with such a heavy hand when referring to members of the male gender) relationship. Be it her relationship with a partner, or her relationship to her place in society. But does the term need to be so negative? Yes, cheating is wrong. Of course, I use the term cheating in the less-traditional sense of acting outside the limits of one's relationship, which I fully believe need to be explicitly stated before one can be held accountable for them. Yes, lying is wrong (in almost all cases, though there are notable exceptions).
But if I feel I'm a good person, if I genuinely believe that I'm living my life with the best intentions and a sincere desire NOT to hurt anyone around me or myself, then where does the harm lie? I don't associate promiscuity with an automatic condemnation of the "offender." Certainly, I have a queer view of many of these roles, but that doesn't dis-count them as invalid. I simply refuse to feel guilt about being positive about and aware of my sexuality. Without question, I am a very sexual person.
At this point in my life, I have become disenchanted with monogamy. That isn't to say that I will never be in another monogamous relationship - in fact, I think my freedom to define my limits now will likely make me a more faithful partner in the future. There is some kind of affirmation in knowing what you're capable of doing, who you're capable of being with, what it feels like to bed-hop. I'm learning so much more about what I like, and the countless different ways to have sex, or fuck, or make love, or any of the other euphemisms you might choose. Perhaps it's a traditionally masculine quality, to think of prowess as determined by number and variety of partners, but there is some sense of accomplishment, of conquest. But really key for me is the sense of learning. For example, in the same week, I learned how much I enjoy topping and making my partner scream in pleasure, as well as the erotic fun of being tied up, told to shut up, and fucked senseless. Different people for different pleasures. I simply cannot see the problem in discovering more about one's own sexuality. I don't see how that's a bad thing. I think the experience makes me a better lover, a better partner, a better person, even.
So these are my thoughts on being a slut. I know that I am. I am proud of that fact. I refuse to accept the negative connotations of the word and choose, instead, to embrace the word as accurate to describe my sexual appetite. I would say it's not my fault that appetite is so voracious, but I promised I wouldn't apologize for being a slut, so I similarly won't skirt responsibility. I am, very simply, a slut. And right now, I wouldn't have it other way.

3 comments:

Will said...

I must say I agree with your analysis of the connotations of the word, "slut."

What you've outlined, in detail, is not anything to feel guilty about. These were encounters with people you know, consenting adults.

There is a double standard when it comes to sex.
Let's just say, I'd be "slutty" with you any day!

(that's, as they say, "as good as it gets!")

x,Will

Anonymous said...

Good for you...the key is that you have evaluated your situation rationally and that you see no reason why you should not enjoy whom you are. And, if slut is how some might describe it in all its 'negative' connotations, that's their view...it need not be yours.

Frozen Tundra said...

I applaud you and your love of sex. Though I'm in a relationship now (not a very spicy one unfortunately) in the past I LOVED being a "slut". I had such an incredible time and did whatever I wanted with whomever I wanted. I felt free and confident and sexy. I learned a lot of techniques that my current boyfriend is very happy about. My problem was that I let other peoples' talk trigger my guilt. Started looking down on myself. Which was ridiculous. I'm more of a "respectable" woman now... but it's not near as much fun. And I'm also not nearly as confident as I once was when I (safely) banged multiple people in a night. Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously thru u. Enjoy the freedom!.