Embracing the Slut Within: Being Sex Positive in a Sex Negative World

Published on July 15, 2012 by   ·   2 Comments

00000000 Slut TreeWhat’s the big deal?  Everyone is doing it, wants to do it, dreams about doing it, wishes they could forget the last time they did it, wishes they could do it more, lies about doing it, lies about not doing it, and spends way too much potenitally productive time thinking about doing it.  But we don’t talk about doing it.  Sometimes we brag about doing it or tell stories about doing it (see above, under “lies about doing it”) but we don’t really talk enough about what it means to be sexual beings.  In a sex positive way, I mean.

There are lots of ways to talk about “doing it” in negative ways.  We focus only on the risks: how you can get pregnant doing it, what you can catch from doing it, or how doing it too early/too late/too often/not enough can ruin your relationship.

We can talk about it in self-help-y, COSMO quiz kind of ways: how to do it better, faster, longer, on your head, etc.  It’s all about doing it better, about improving performance, because we all secretly fear that we aren’t doing it “right.”

We also like to talk a LOT about where it’s appropriate to do it, how often, with whom, why, and under what circumstances.  For other people, that is.  We love to talk about how much or how little other people are doing it, and what we think about it.  As with most things of this nature, our own personal experience is also our benchmark: people who do it less than we do are prudes; more, sluts.

00000000 Slut ManWell, sort of.  For straight men, having a lot of sex doesn’t make you a slut.  It makes you a stud.  Experienced.  An “elligible bachelor.”  Hugh Hefner.  Straight men might be douchebags or womanizers, but never sluts.

Therefore, straight women are stuck in a pretty negative place.  After all, unless these men are experimenting with their sexuality, their sexual conquests are women.  The culture says that you should look sexy and act sexy and “be” sexy, but not be sexual.  If you are sexual, you’re a slut.  If you have the audacity to enjoy yourself, you’re slut squared. Or cubed.  Or you become some sort of isosceles triangle, polynomial vortex of slutdom.  What can I say, math was never my forte.

For us queer folks, things get even more complicated.  On the one hand, we have this very sexual culture (especially for gay men).  No one gets too upset if you talk about sex; heck, I’ve made a career out of sharing my salacious escapades with drag show audiences far and wide.  It’s not that big of a deal…unless, of course, you think that you might deserve, oh, I don’t know, the same basic rights and privilleges of citizenship that everyone else has.  Much of queer politics has become focused around getting queer folks to look and act as much like the straight folks as possible.  Part of that act includes shaming our sluts.

00000000 Slut Sex BookI keep hearing about how we need to “take the ‘sex’ out of homosexual.”  That if we take focus off of our sexual lives, then straight folks won’t have a problem with allowing us to have equal access and fair treatment.  Well, excuse the fuck out of me, but I’m not sure I want to take the sex out of anything, especially not out of my sex life!  And how do you separate your sexual identity from sexual activity?  Your sexual identity is all about who you like to do it with, where, when, how, and sometimes what you are wearing while you do it.  It’s ALL about sex.  That’s why it’s your SEXUAL identity.

So what’s a poor, politically-minded, sexually-active drag queen to do?  I embrace the slut within.  I’m going to enjoy my sexuality without shame, without comparing and judging my sex life against someone else’s.  I’m not going fall into the self-help and magazine paranoia that I might not be doing it right.  Heck even bad sex teaches us something (even if it’s just that we never want to do that again!).  I’m not going to fall in with the negative finger-waggers and sexual doom-sayers; taking care of yourself and practicing safer sex is a far cry from obsessing over every potential misfortune that could befall your vulnerable genitals.

And I’m going to work really hard on not participating in the shaming of sluts that happens in our culture.  If someone is embracing their sexuality and letting their freak flag fly, it’s a reason to celebrate.  Their particular freak might not be our particular freak, but so what?  Then we just don’t have to freak with them!   And the more we can all open up and talk about our own personal freaks, our own happy and satisfied inner sluts, the more we can come to see that we are all complete human beings with a sexual nature, filled up with different kinks and freaks and fetishes and curiosities.  And once we start to see all of this diversity of sexual expression and experience, maybe we can start to bring down the walls a little bit, stop building up these divisions between the worthy and the not worthy, the in crowd and the out crowd.  Maybe we could even start to learn a thing or two from one another about being whole, vibrant people.

Even if it means we’re all just a big bunch of sluts.

00000000 Slut Respect

 

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Readers Comments (2)
  1. Heather says:

    I think this is amazing! You hit the whole negative sex thing right on the head! If your a woman or gay your a slut if u sleep with more than one human being in your entire life,but if you are a straight male youre like a sex god! I hate it! Being sexual is a very good thing, in fact you can tell a lot about a person on how they have sex or how you feel with them while having sex. It’s a wonderful thing that god or a “higher power” created for us to enjoy..we shouldnt have to feel shame about doing it, who we did it with, how young or old we were when we did it…ect. I think the world would be awesome if more people would be open with sex and sexuality. Sex is not a bad thing!! I remember when my step grandpa told me him and my grandma were still sexually active at the age of 75..instead of being grossed out thinking of the fact 2 older people were doing it…none the less my own grandmother..i took it and said you know, i hope im still sexually active when im your age! BE OPEN WITH WHO YOU ARE!!!!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • janessajaye says:

      Thanks for the comment. I think we all need to work on being more sex positive, in all of our communities. I’m going to have another post soon about similar stuff, especially how our culture views femininity, so I hope you will come back for more…we need to start these conversations!





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