I’m a Slut

'2/52  Thats what they tell me at least' photo (c) 2010, Beautiful Insanity Photography - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In November of 1996, I began taking oral contraceptives. And in December of that same year, I started having sex. I don’t remember the exact date, but I do know that it was the first of many times.

I’d messed around a lot the two and a half years prior. Lots of pushing the envelope as far as it could go without crossing over to sex, and at least a little bit of pushing beyond even that. The only thing that kept me from just going ahead having intercourse was a deathly fear of pregnancy. I was not going to be an unwed mother, so I didn’t have sex. But I was sure as hell sexual, and I got as good as I gave.

I’ve had one sexual partner in my life. And I’m married to him. In the two and a half years before we were married, we were completely faithful to one another. He was the first and only person that has shared my bed.

It can be easy to read those first few paragraphs and call that woman a slut. She was sexually active outside of marriage. She engaged in sex as soon as the threat of pregnancy was removed. She was an active and enthusiastic sexual partner.

I knew all of the reasons why I should wait. I even agreed with them. And before I met Jason, there was never any question that I would wait. I wanted to be with someone that I loved and who loved me back. I wanted to be with someone who was fully committed to me. I wanted to be with someone that I intended to spend my life with.

Jason was all of those things.

But he was all of those things for two and a half years before we were officially married.

And this is where the word slut is problematic to me. Not only because it demeans women, but because it is generally used about women who aren’t ashamed of being sexual. Women who say, “Yes, I want to have sex and I want to have an orgasm when I do.” Women who don’t have sex coupled with regret.

When we use this phrase, whether loudly on the radio or in whispers in church, we wrap sex, and particularly the female enjoyment of sex, in a huge blanket of shame.

When we teach our daughters “don’t be a slut,” we aren’t simply teaching them to be faithful to their future husband. We aren’t simply teaching them to respect themselves. We aren’t simply teaching them to value marriage and fidelity and oneness.

When we use that word they may hear those lessons, but it comes with extra baggage. When we say “don’t be a slut,” we’re teaching them that if they do have sex outside of marriage, they had better feel terrible about it. They can never admit to enjoying it. And they should never, ever, ever be the one to pursue it.

These messages stick with you, regardless of your sexual activity. Whether it becomes something that you fear or you pursue recklessly, sex loses that which makes it truly sacred – the ability of two to become one.

You may consider my past behavior to be slutty. You may consider my current behavior to be slutty.

All I know is that I want the same thing today that I have wanted every day since the first time Jason kissed me, and that’s to be curled up naked with him.

If that makes me a slut, then I’m a slut.

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Today I’m linking up with Joy in this Journey for Life: Unmasked, where we share life openly. Click here to see the other posts and to leave your own.

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