Slut shaming is a national past time, or at least it sometimes feels that way. I myself have been called a “slut” more times than I can count, sometimes based on the assumption of sexual promiscuity that in fact wasn’t the case, other times based on genuine behaviour. I have certainly put it about a bit at certain times in my life and I won’t try and deny that.

What I will do is defend it. Or at least defend my right, everyone’s right, to do so.

If you sleep around, so what? If you’re an adult, and you’re engaging in sexual activities with adults, and you’re all consenting and healthy, so what? If you have one sexual partner or twenty in a month, so what? Genuinely, this baffles me, so what?

The theory is that a woman being in control of her own body enough to decide who she has sex with and when is threatening to men. If a woman can say yay or nay to men on a frequent basis then it gives her the power. She is not having sex out of duty to a man, or to please a man, she is having sex because she enjoys it and wants to. Men, often, cannot handle that. It is threatening. It has been the case since the days the Bible was created. Women having sex is bad, men having sex is good. Women enjoying sex is slutty and sordid, men enjoying sex is biology and natural.

Got to love the equality.

But men slut shaming makes sense on a base level, even if I think it’s wrong they do it. Life, sex, is a power game. If women have the power, men lose the power.

But women slut shaming, that’s where I am lost.

If my single friend sleeps with a man, does it impact me? If she sleeps with a different man every night, does it impact me? If she is happy, enjoying herself, and healthy, does it impact me? The only time I get a negative outcome from someone else’s sex life is if a) it’s with my partner or b) they’re unhappy.

If it is with my partner, then both deserve to feel sadness, but let’s assume that’s not the case.

So therefore the only chance of negativity in my life is if she is unhappy. If a friend of mine is unhappy, I am unhappy. But that sadness could be induced by so many different choices she makes in her life, or by the choices made by others. Quite honestly if someone I love is sad then the reasons for it are somewhat immaterial. What is significant in this scenario is my friend’s pain, and that it needs comforting and addressing ways to prevent it happening again. But the behaviour does not need shaming, it needs guiding. My friend does not need shaming, she needs supporting. My judgement does not need spitting in her face by vile use of language designed solely to hurt just because she made choices I myself might not have made. Legitimate, legal choices.

Ladies, your body is your body. Nobody has the right to violate it in any way, but equally so nobody has the right to violate your name because you choose to do something different with your body than they choose to do with theirs, or that they want you to do with yours. Because it’s not their body, it’s yours. They are your choices. It is your life.

Being a “slut” is not the worst thing you can be. It is not cruel, it is not thoughtless, and it is not violent. Maybe it’s not your style, and maybe it is something you personally don’t want to do. Fair play, don’t. That’s your right. If you do want to, then do it, it is absolutely nobody’s business other than yours and the person you’re sleeping with.

So to my friends, both men and women, I say this. Be honest, be safe, be healthy. If you’re happy, I’m happy. If you want to sleep around, do it. If you get hurt, I’ll be there for you. If you enjoy it, I’m happy for you. Because what you do with your genitalia is, absolutely, 100%, none of my business.


About J.J. Barnes

Author of The Lilly Prospero Series Writer and Podcaster at Blogger at Rose And Mum And More Contributor to The Huffington Post
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