WHAT IS A SLUT? DISCOVER THE TRUE MEANING.

If you ask anyone what a slut is, you’ll probably get a variety of answers, and some people will be offended that you even said the word. “Slut,” after all, is a loaded word! To some, it’s an insult while others are reclaiming the word, and the word “slut” can even be used to perpetuate sexism against women. We’re here to break down some of the stigmas and explain just what a slut is exactly.

what is a slut

WHAT IS A SLUT?

Although there is a lot of variance in the definition of the term “slut”, most everyone can agree with one premise of what a slut is: a sexually promiscuous woman and/or a woman who has low morals. Because of this, the word is often used as an insult in the following situations.

  • When a woman has multiple sexual partners at once.
  • When a woman has had many partners in her lifetime.
  • When a woman dresses immodestly.

You can see why this word is often confused with other words, including “whore” and “ho,” that describe a woman’s sexuality and are typically insults. You may even know of differentiation between a slut and a whore or prostitute: the latter get paid, but a slut has sex without payment.

However, you’ve probably heard this derogatory term used simply to imply that a woman dresses in a slutty manner, even if there’s no indication of her sexual activities. What makes for a slutty outfit, anyway? Some would argue too much makeup or tight and/or revealing clothes. But trends change. Crop tops, for example, come and go into style. This sort of judgment sounds awfully familiar to religions that ban women from showing even their ankles to men.

SLUT AS AN INSULT

In young people, especially women, “slut” is used as a more generalized insult. Consider the man who will call a woman who rejects his advances a “slut,” even though she’s not engaging in sex with him.

Usage of the word has also been linked to bullying between women, and social status can render the word more or less powerful as an insult [1]. In fact, that study showed that the student labeled as sluts were often not the most sexually active women in the dorm. Use of the word simply placed certain young women, the “sluts,” into a social class that was below others, even if more affluent women were actually having more sex than those whom they labeled as sluts.

Even when used as a description of a woman’s sexual behavior, you’ll find it’s nearly impossible to determine when a woman becomes a slut. Is it when she sees two guys at once? Or is she a slut because she’s slept with more than five men? Over a course of a lifetime, this doesn’t seem very high, of course. Perhaps a woman needs to have slept with ten, twenty or even more men to qualify as a slut? A lack of agreement on the definition is apparent.

What is also apparent is that a woman can be labeled a slut when a man wouldn’t be. There’s definitely a double standard between the genders, and it may simply be because we still live in a society which is often misogynistic. Even when a man is called a slut or called out for promiscuous activity, he still gets a pass at it. This is why we recommend considering whether to use the word slut at all because it quickly leads to slut shaming and is most often used as a way to control a person or group of people. More on that in this post.

Because of this, some women try to do everything in their power not to be or even look like a slut. They dress modestly; they wait until marriage to have sex; they refuse contact with girls who are sluts (even if this isn’t verifiable, as we’ve seen above), and they’ll even avoid media that a slut would like. All of this is done to avoid a false association of sluttiness despite the fact that no actual slutty behavior has to occur for someone to find themselves at the losing end of this insult.

Some women take the opposite approach, however.

RECLAIMING THE WORD SLUT

Feminism and the woman’s sexual revolution bring forth an entirely new definition of  slut. Instead of an insult, it’s a badge of honor. Women can and do enjoy sex, and they won’t apologize for this. I mean, why should they? These women participate in “slut walks” to raise awareness and money for causes such as women’s reproductive health and to fight against rape culture. Of course, there are perks to being a woman who enjoys sex: you can better please your man and improve your relationship (tips here). There’s no reason to live in a sexless marriage (get tips for fixing your sexless marriage here) or grin and bear sex that isn’t doing anything for you. And you should be able to enjoy sex and sexual activities that some might consider “kinky” without shame.

Not only is the word “slut” used by women who are proud of being sexually active or having the option to be so, but people who are friends might use it among themselves – just like a member of the LGBTQ community might call him or herself a “queer” in an effort to reclaim a word that was previously an insult. However, this can still be offensive to others who don’t understand reclamation of the word. Furthermore, you should never call someone a slut, even if you know that she uses that word with her friends. People can choose how they refer to themselves, but if you’re not part of the crowd, you don’t have the same right.

IS YOUR SEXUALITY A PROBLEM?

We’ve already discussed how slut-shaming can be a problem, but sometimes sexual activity can be a problem, too. We’re not talking about when you’re enjoying sex with your partner or even casual sex, which can be a lot of fun. But if any of the following applies to you, you might want to reconsider how you go about your sex life, even if you don’t fit the definition of slut.

  • You take risks with your sex life such as not using condoms, dental dams or birth control. Not sure which option is the best for you? We’ve got advice here.
  • You use sex as a replacement for affection and real human connection.
  • You can’t remember sex because you were drunk or on drugs.
  • You have sex even when you cannot legally consent to it – or don’t care if you can consent.
  • You cheat on your partner or engage in sexual relationships with people who are cheating on theirs.
  • You ignore rules such as not sleeping with a friend’s ex.
  • Your sexual activity leaves you with low self-esteem; you don’t feel good about yourself.

These things don’t necessarily make you a slut, but they do indicate that you’re having sex for the wrong reasons or doing harm to yourself with the way you engage in sex.

As long as you do feel good about yourself at the end of the day, you should enjoy sex, and the Princess Fantasy is the right place to learn how to get more from your sex life.

It’s clear that you can’t tell who actually is sexually active by the way they dress or by who else calls them a slut. Because the word has become an insult and a form of control, it makes even less sense to try to define what a slut is and to make that definition stick. It may be time to reframe the way we look at the word “slut.” If you use the word as an insult, reconsider it. If you’re sexually active and proud to be a slut, good for you. After all, no one would be here if humans weren’t interested in having sex!


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