Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Brand-new? This is the place for your questions and discussions on any and all topics, with fellow users or staff, while you get your feet wet.
just18someone
not a newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Age: 23
Awesomeness Quotient: I can speak cat
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Female pronouns
Sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: India

Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by just18someone »

So, a few months ago I decided to trust this 'friend' of mine and tell him about a past relationship that ended up getting quite physical. He accepted it and moved on, until I got into another relationship but broke it off because the spark had faded off. Now he goes around publicizing everything because he thinks I'm a whore.

This wouldn't be that big of a deal, if my 'friends' didn't periodically mock me about my sexual experience, and if I wasn't paranoid about any of this reaching the ears of an older person (the community around me is majorly old school). This has been going on for a while now, and although I've overcome such a scenario before I feel a lot more closed off towards people. I feel stressed and somehow guilty and perverse when I find someone attractive. I know it's all in my head and their opinion must not affect me, but being the only pansexual I know has been hard enough without having people bog me down because of an experience that happened a long time ago.

I don't know what to do about it, and I am losing what little of a social circle I have because I feel I can't trust them anymore. What must I do?
Redskies
not a newbie
Posts: 1281
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:33 am
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: they/them or she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: bisexual/queer/pansexual
Location: Europe

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by Redskies »

I'm so very sorry that "friend" behaved like that! You're right in thinking that someone who betrays your trust and speaks badly of you to other people is no kind of friend at all.

It's also not okay for people to mock you about your sexual history. It's never okay to mock anyone about their sexual history! I'm glad that you know they're wrong and that you're trying not to let it affect you, but I also understand that it's very difficult and unpleasant when people who are supposed to be your friends are judging you and being unpleasant to you, especially when it might cause you trouble in your wider community. I don't think anyone would feel unaffected by that.

Can I ask what this social circle is like, generally? Have you felt like they're people you can usually rely on? Do they usually care about you, support you? Are there one or two people who you feel particularly close to and think might support you about this? Can I also ask, what things have you already tried: for example, have you asked for all of you to simply stop discussing or mentioning anything about your sexual history, or asked them to stop mocking you because it's hurting your feelings?

Do you think any of them might be receptive to information about how someone's sexual history doesn't change their worth as a person? If you think anything like that might help, we have some pieces on the site that could fill in that information for them. Perhaps you'd also like some of those just for your own self? I know you already believe that worth isn't measured by sexual history, but it sounds like you're feeling a bit isolated with that at the moment and maybe getting a boost would help you.

Have you ever been connected with any LGBT groups in India? It can certainly be hard and isolating not to know anyone else of our orientation, and sometimes having some kind of contact can really help with not feeling so isolated, and it can also be a way of making new, more suitable - and kinder! - friends.
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.
just18someone
not a newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Age: 23
Awesomeness Quotient: I can speak cat
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Female pronouns
Sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: India

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by just18someone »

Thank you for replying!

I'm not really close to any of them but I am forced to spend a lot of time around them since we are in the same class, which is why it affects me a lot more than it would otherwise. They aren't particularly caring or supportive I guess, and I have tried talking to them about it but they disregard it as 'friendly teasing' and that I'm being too sensitive. They are quite sexist in their opinions too, for example they are quick to accept a male acquaintance's humorous sexual experience, but are harsh about female friends who want to explore themselves and their sexuality. Moreover, our teacher isn't particularly supportive about females trying to explore their sexuality (she said 'girls turn lesbians' when discussing an incident she heard from a student) because 'girls must treasure themselves' and that 'our parents haven't taken the pain to bring us up for us to be like this'. This heavily influences them since she's well respected and is a wonderful teacher otherwise. I've tried talking to them about it, even making it a debate so that it will help them analyze the issue better but it doesn't really stick. I feel like they are apathetic to the problem.

I feel apprehensive about contacting any LGBT groups in my country since its still illegal to be anything other than heterosexual. Moreover, even openly supporting them, regardless of your sexual orientation, results in political lashes such as death threats and the likes. People around the country are largely apathetic or against LGBT groups although a few of the youth openly support them. Even with all the awareness brought about by the US legalizing homosexual marriage didn't do much to sway their opinions, but has actually uncovered more negativity in the population, regardless of the person's education, age etc. Plus my parents don't know about it since they are strictly against me having a heterosexual relationship, let alone me being pan sexual, and me being a part of such a group could put me into deeper trouble.
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7366
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 30
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Just18someone,

That sounds like a really stressful and frustrating situation, and that can really suck to deal with. With your "friends" (which I m putting in quotes because honestly they are not acting like friends), one possible option is the next time you point out that what they said was not okay and they say it was just teasing is to say "Even if you mean it as teasing, it doesn't feel like teasing. Please stop." It's not guaranteed to work, but may be worth a try. Beyond that, are there people in your class who seem to share more of your worldview, or who at least don't tease you or spread your sexual history around?

If you're not comfortable meeting with an LGBT group in person, are you open to finding some LGBT spaces online? That would give you a way to connect with people and maybe not feel as isolated.
just18someone
not a newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Age: 23
Awesomeness Quotient: I can speak cat
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Female pronouns
Sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: India

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by just18someone »

Hello!

I'll definitely try that out. There are 2 people who are a lot more open, but they have a different social circle which has been together for longer than they've known me so I can't really call them my friends. It seems like the only option is to distance myself from everyone and be a little bit of a loner, but I don't think that would last really long since I love talking to people.
Yes, I do feel more inclined towards an online LGBT community. Do you have any recommendations?
ashleah
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:14 am
Age: 34
Awesomeness Quotient: "I'm a woman phenomenally"
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: She/Her
Sexual identity and orientation: Straight
Location: Atlanta

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by ashleah »

Hi just18someone,

I hate that you feel like you have to pull back from people :( It's not fair when you can't comfortably bring your "whole" self into relationships, especially with friends. Maybe this an opportunity to step out of your circle a bit to meet people who are more supportive and accepting. Would you feel comfortable reaching out and trying to build more of a relationship with those few people at your school who are open?

I'm checking into some good online communities for you! I'll get back to you when I find a few.I will say that you have a great and safe resource right here with us! Our members are extremely supportive so, please, continue to post whatever is on your mind.
just18someone
not a newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Age: 23
Awesomeness Quotient: I can speak cat
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Female pronouns
Sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: India

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by just18someone »

Hello ashleah,

I do have a few friends outside this circle, except they are generally busy with their own lives and so we can't really hang out. It's probably annoying that I'm being negative about every solution, and I'm sorry about that.
Thank you for your help! I can't seem to find one on my own that seems reliable enough.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8614
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by Heather »

Have you made a new efforts to ask some of these friends to hang out? I don't know about you, but at least a few times in my own life I know that when I've been in a big need for support, and have also wanted to reconnect, I have certainly said to a friend or two, "I know you've been really busy, but I really need some support right now, and I also just miss you. Is there any way we can work something out to get together soon?" Generally, I get a taker or two that way pretty easily.

(Just a reminder, FYI, that Scarleteen is queer owned and operated, and our user demographics usually reflect that about half our readership is either queer, gender no conforming, or both, so you certainly have community here if you want it! :D)
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
just18someone
not a newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Age: 23
Awesomeness Quotient: I can speak cat
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: Female pronouns
Sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: India

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by just18someone »

I did what you suggested and I did get a few friends to hang out with me. When I spoke about it to them they were supportive and did boost up my morale and self-esteem quite a bit, so that was great. I feel much better right now, although I do still feel a little guilty about being attracted to someone, but I guess it might work itself out as time goes by. But over all I do feel much better about myself and even hold up well around him (the 'friend'). Thank you for helping me through it :)

Also thank you for bringing that to my notice. I did see quite a few posts from people in the LGBT community but didn't realize it was that big :D
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7366
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 30
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Indirect slut shaming resulting in withdrawal.

Unread post by Sam W »

I'm glad to hear those suggestions worked, thank you for the update :)

And yep, we definitely have a big LGBT community here!
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic