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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Feeling like a "slut"

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Author Topic: Feeling like a "slut"
Michelle96
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Okay I am a feminist, and in theory I am completely against slut shaming, and think women should be allowed to be as active as they like in their sexuality.
But in practise I feel different. I'm 16, and a week ago, I was at a party and I had too much to drink and fooled around with a friend for ages. I'd done zero with a guy before. We were both partially clothed in bed, we kissed, and he kind of rubbed me and did a little dry humping. At the time I just thought it was fun, and I still do think I had fun. I'm pretty certain he doesn't want anything more, and tbf I don't either because I don't feel ready to have any kind of committed relationship. But I still feel embarrassed and like a "slut", because I wouldn't have done that sober. I just feel crap. I don't even know why. I wish I hadn't done it even though I enjoyed myself. The regret far outweighs the enjoyment. I guess I don't have high expectations of guys (or anyone in a relationship, just talking from a straight POV) although I wish guys were what I want (not shallow, caring, loving etc) Maybe I feel sad because the experience confirms how I feel. I guess I'd just like someone else's input on my situation, and advice on how to not feel bad.

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Michelle96
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Sorry I think this is in the wrong forum, but I don't know how to change it.
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Saffron Raymie
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This isn't the wrong forum, no worries.

The theory against slut-shaming is about what's called sexual agency - that is, the right for everyone to make their own, fully informed, not-influenced-by-anything-but-our-own-wishes choices. In other words, full active consent.

However, I don't think you had those types of choices, because alcohol influences our decision making, and it stops being 100% our choice, and we stop having full sexual agency. When we engage in any kind of sex without full sexual agency, we do tend to feel pretty crappy - and it can even be traumatic, leading us to blame ourselves, which might be the reason you feel you are a 'slut'. Does that make sense?

It sounds like casual sex like this really isn't what you'd choose without alchohol - as not feeling ready for a committed relationship and feeling ready for casual sex are two very different things - therefore, it isn't really slut-shaming, as such, but more about feeling bad about a decision you didn't have full agency in?

Also, was the other person this happened with as drunk as you were?

For more on active, not-influenced-by-anything consent, see this: Driver's Ed for the Sexual SuperHighway: Navigating Consent.

[ 08-21-2012, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: Rei ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Saffron Raymie
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Also, while it's true that some guys do like casual sex, that's not about their gender (although, I see that you only said 'guys' because you're only interested in guys). For as many women and guys out that that like casual sex, there are just as many who don't, just as many who like committed realtionships, and just as many who like something different altogether or none of those things. As well as just as many who try it but find they don't like it, or liked it at one point in their life but find they later don't, or later like it more. Everyone is extremely diverse and flexible with sexuality. I mean sure, you might not have met many people yet, but you'll find many people you're a better fit with sexually as time goes on. Also, in order to like casual sex, people don't have to be shallow. There are plenty of loving, caring people who prefer casual sex, and also plenty of shallow folks who will only have long, committed, serious relationships. However, there are also many guys like you are; seeking a loving, caring person. Does that make sense?

[ 08-21-2012, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: Rei ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Heather
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Wanted to add a little to this around your sentiment that you're feminist.

While feminisms vary, the core of basically all feminism is that feminism is about equality for people of all genders -- and certainly for women -- and about respect. The issue with slut-shaming isn't about some notion that everyone should be having (or not having) casual sex, that sex in those contexts is right for everyone, or empowering, and so on.

The issue with slut-shaming is that affixing a value to women based on their actual or perceived sexual histories or conduct isn't in alignment with the core values of respect and equality.

So, the face that you had a "casual" sexual experience and don't feel good about, doesn't mean you're somehow going counter to feminism. In fact, some of the way you're feeling bad about it -- feeling like a "slut" -- is exactly what many feminists are talking about when they talk about the impact of this stuff. In a different (IMO, better) cultural context, you could have a sexual experience you decided you don't want to repeat, and just wasn't for you without feeling like this. You might also be able to more easily suss out the parts of this you did like and those you didn't, like enjoying the freedom of some sexual expression with someone, yet knowing that if there's a next time, you'd probably enjoy it more or feel better about yourself if you were sober. Or maybe you'd be able to think more easily about if, given your lack of sexual experience, you perhaps just moved too fast for yourself, not "too fast" by some larger standard that probably isn't even your own.

Get what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Michelle96
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Wow those responses were really helpful! I felt better just by reading them.

To Ray's comments, I think that really pinpoints what was wrong. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was the lack of proper consent that bugged me the most. He was really drunk too, in fact probably drunker than me. I think one thing I've taken from this experience is to be way more careful with drinking excessively.
And yeah, I guess I do know about the diversity of people, it's just it's really comforting to be reminded of it! I wasn't really thinking properly about it, and it helped to read that.

And also thank you Heather. The idea of just moving on and just knowing that's not what I want, and learning what I do want, is really good. That's what I'm trying to take from it now, that it just has let me know that it's not for me at this stage in my life and so I can look for what I do want. I guess the thing with feminism is sometimes it's hard to know how it fits into your own life, and it was great for this issue to be explained properly, as I was a bit confused about it.

I didn't want to admit feeling bad to my friends, I just wanted to laugh it off and not make a big fuss over it, and it's great to have this place to work out what's annoying me, and how to move on. Thanks again!

[ 08-22-2012, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: Michelle96 ]

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Heather
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Happy to help.

Why do you feel like you can't tell your friends -- or at least some of them -- you felt bad?

In terms of feminism, I think it's a lot like clothes. Clothes, ultimately, all do the same thing, they all have the same basic purpose. But all clothes don't fit all people, not everyone wants the same clothes, and for some people, buying off the rack fits them fine, while others need to shop specialty stores, have things tailored or altered, or make their clothes themselves, custom.

So, the goal, I say, isn't so much as finding the ways to fit feminism into your life, it's constructing a feminism that fits your life: in other words, it's the other way around. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Michelle96
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I don't really know. I think I'll hopefully talk to my closest friend about it eventually, but I think it'll just take me some time. I'll usually tell either a close friend or a family member about things that have upset me pretty soon, but I feel like I don't want to turn this into a big deal, if that makes sense?

That's a really good way of explaining it, thanks! [Smile] I'll try to think of it that way from now on.

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Heather
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Sounds like it was a big deal for you though, no?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Michelle96
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It's really confusing, because I do feel like its been something that has upset me, but I also feel like I should just try to move on and do my best to not let it continue to upset me.
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Heather
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Well, I don't know what your own way usually is of working through things that upset you so that you *can* move on. Usually, to move on from something upsetting, we have to work through it. For some people, talking to friends is part of that, for others, it isn't.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Michelle96
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I guess though my usual way of dealing with things that upset me is to talk to someone, so it might be best to stick to what I usually do... So yeah, I think I will talk to that friend [Smile] thanks again!
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Heather
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You got it. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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