I am a slut.
There. I said it. I said the unspeakable and admitted to the gravest of sins. I admitted that I enjoy sex. I admitted that I enjoy sex with many people, sometimes at the same time! I admitted that I have ownership over my sexuality and that I can choose who I have sex with and, more importantly, who I don’t have sex with.
But being a slut is more about than just enjoying sex. It’s about enjoying pleasure and my body for its own sake. It’s about recognizing that pleasure is good and allowing myself to enjoy pleasure. It’s about denying a sex- and body-negative culture that teaches us every day to hate our bodies and the beautiful things it can do.
Being a slut means that I prize consent. It means that I know yes only means yes and no always means no. It means that when someone says no, I don’t ask or cajole them to change their minds. It means that no is a complete sentence and requires no justification or explanation. It means that I always ask permission before hugging someone. It means that I know that consent is fucking sexy.
Being a slut means that I am honest about my emotions and where I am coming from. It means that when I’m angry or upset with my sexual or romantic partner, I tell them. It means that I disclose any pertinent sexual history that I have to my sexual or romantic partner. It means that I make sure that I communicate my boundaries and limits clearly. Being a slut means that I advocate for myself. Being a slut means I take care of myself.
Being a slut means that I know how to keep myself safe. It means that I know how to put on a condom and use a dental dam. It means that I know the risks involved in certain acts and I can revaluate whether I want to take that risk at any point. It means that I take the time to protect myself and my partner and still enjoy myself.
Most of all, being a slut means that I love myself.
At this point you may cry, “But Morgan!! How can sluts love themselves? They are indiscriminate slatterns who wreck homes and only have all this sex precisely because they don’t love themselves! They use sex to boost their self-esteem!”
To which I would reply that yes, people like that do exist. People use sex to harm themselves and others. Just like some people use alcohol to harm themselves and others. I’m not denying that. What I am denying is that all sluts are like that. What I am denying is the heterosexist, monogamy-centric culture that tells us that the only healthy way to have sex is in a committed monogamous relationship. What I am denying is the erroneous assumption that sex should only be had as a means to an end. That sex should only be used to get a relationship. What I am denying is that I can’t be a healthy, well-adjusted (whatever that means), young adult and also have a lot of sex and enjoy it.
What I am affirming is that sex is a means in itself. What I am affirming is that I love myself because by making the conscious decision to have sex with who I want, I am affirming ownership over my own body. I am affirming that I can do what I want with my body. Conversely, by consciously making a decision to not have sex with someone, I am reaffirming that ownership by withholding sex when I want to. I am affirming that I won’t let anyone have ownership over me, unless I consent to it.
Don’t get me wrong. If monogamous relationships work for you, then I encourage you to follow your bliss. I merely would like to motivate you to think critically about the narratives that you have been given by society, and question whether those narratives reflect what you truly desire. If they do, fantastic. If they don’t, that is also fantastic and I would say that it’s time for some exploring and experimenting. Its time for all of us to create our own narratives.