About Her · Non-Monogamy

What is Slut Shaming and Why is She Such a Slut?

Wikipedia says that slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing women based upon the sexual expectations of others. I’ve gotten my share of raised eyebrows due to our living situation. In fact the leasing office for our apartment had to get “authorization” to rent a one bedroom to three people when we told them of our plans to move in together. So why do others feel the need to impose their values of appropriate sexual behavior? It is bugging me so in this blog I’ll dig into it and give you a story that happened during our Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday.

As most of you know, I live with two amazing boys. One is my permanent boyfriend, Kevin and the other is our good friend Andrew. Long story about how it all came to be but we don’t intend for Andrew to be part of our lives long term due to some differences in where we want to see ourselves. It is mutual and certainly nothing tragic that needs to be fixed. This isn’t a happily ever story, we are are simply living in the now. We found that we enjoyed each other’s company and simultaneously found ourselves having no lives due to the pandemic. We grew closer to those in our immediate circle and things happened from there.

I certainly haven’t been ashamed of our situation. My friends are quite open minded and we talk about it frequently an openly. We know that parents won’t approve and we’ve withheld it from some of our family for that reason. Most of that is religious, I’ve mentioned a religious background before and Kevin had a similar upbringing on his end.

One of Andrew’s friends came over to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with us. We haven’t socialized much during the pandemic due to generally being homebodies and trying to steer clear of the dreaded Covid-19 bug. Andrew’s friend whom we will call Frank was visiting from out of town, we figured he would be minimal risk but kept our distance anyway. We aren’t paranoid but we are trying to be careful. Anyway, he was coming through town on a road trip and Andrew asked if he could share our turkey dinner. We discussed it and agreed.

Andrew called Frank a few days ago, invited him to join us and gave him a quick heads up about our living situation. Although Frank wouldn’t be staying over, our one bedroom apartment is borderline uncomfortably crowded with stuff. Andrew said that Frank seemed intrigued but said it was fine. Frank arrived yesterday and we introduced ourselves, offered a cold beer and told him that we were still getting dinner ready.

Andrew and Frank caught up in the kitchen while Kevin and I popped the last of the dinner in the oven. We came back and joined the conversation with Frank and Andrew. When we came back, the conversation abruptly got silent. I didn’t know what to make of the silence and tried to make smalltalk to get to know Frank but the conversation didn’t seem to go anywhere. I noticed that Frank was looking me up and down as if he wanted to say something but didn’t know how to approach it. Finally I just asked him straight out, so what do you think about our living situation. Two guys and a girl. Crazy, right? Frank looked at me for a moment, then responded unexpectedly with “Yeah, crazy. What do your parents think about it?”. To that I told him that its really none of their business so I haven’t told them but it is certainly different. Does it make you uncomfortable, Frank? Frank looked me up and down as if he wanted to say more but replied with “nope, to each their own”.

The afternoon went on normally, we didn’t come back to the topic at all but it’s hard to explain the way I felt after that. His comment didn’t seem supportive, it seemed critical. The way he sized me up made me feel judged and slut shamed. Since we don’t go out, this is really one of the first times that I’ve felt like I should be ashamed of how we are living. I don’t feel ashamed but the interaction with Frank made me question whether I should be. He left as abruptly as he arrived and didn’t hang out too long after the meal although he was very cordial and thanked us for inviting him into our home.

We had a conversation about it as soon as Frank left, we all felt it and Andrew apologized profusely. I brushed it off because it certainly wasn’t Andrew’s fault. We all noticed that the shame was directed exclusively at me and it made our topic turn to why female sexuality is discouraged and shamed. Why is a woman getting her period such a shameful thing for a young woman to experience. Why don’t we have parties for our first period rather than shamefully ask the females around us for feminine hygiene products.

Frank is of course a male but I don’t feel like this is a male-dominated opinion. I feel like women are just as guilty as men with the suppression of sexuality. Our conversation went through various hypothesis for a while but eventually settled on something that might felt quite controversial. We felt that some women may support this sexual oppression because “slutty” women are giving it away for free. This premise assumes that the only item of value about a woman is her sexuality and I of course object to that. This article entitled cultural suppression of female sexuality seemed to support some of our theories and made for some interesting reading. Although long, it made some compelling points. One of which is the social exchange theory of sex being an item used for bartering.

How does cultural sexuality play into male orgasm denial? Does the practice reinforce women being a sexual object or does it tear that wall down? While Frank seems like a jerk, he didn’t outwardly insult me or my guys. He did make us feel uncomfortable and judged which wasn’t a great way to spend our holiday but I am thankful for a topic which caused a great deal of debate in our household and hopefully starts some great conversation amongst you fine folks.

I don’t consider myself a slut but even if you do, what of the double standard between men and women? How would a living situation with one man and two women be received? I really enjoy our living situation and both of my guys do too. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is how temporary our lives can be. So why not live our best lives and enjoy the time that we’ve got?

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jonboy75

Years ago there was a tv show 3’s Company on network tv. There has been years of were it’s ok for a man to have or even live with multiple women. YES IT IS A DOUBLE STANDARD. If there are other shows in society it’s like the Ryan Reynolds show 2 Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place. The guys lived together and the girl lived in her own apartment. The only show that has 1 women live with multiple men is New Girl. There needs to be things in society that changes peoples understanding of it.

Multiple religions have men having multiple wives. Women were treated as property. You have a host of different things from the centuries but there really has been a misconception. The key to a home has always been the woman. Women during the centuries have maintained the households which are key to society. They have managed the money, budgets, etc. and if it wasn’t for them then men really wouldn’t have anything. Let’s face it women have been managing large companies for years because that’s what a family is a large business with limited resources.

Men are more in the now and quick easy gratification. Women look more to the future with the ability to live in the now.

Have Andrew ask Frank if he’d been living with 2 women what his thoughts would have been.

There are 2 men and 1 Lady in my current relationship. I know my place in it but the other gentleman is learning his. It’s hard for him. I’m 10 years younger than him but I was raised by a single mother and he had the father in the family unit. Note the 3 of us do not live together we have our own homes.

Last I would like to say the next time someone tells you what Frank said tell them this, “Bless your heart.” Being from the south this is a great way to throw someone off. It’s a polite way to make them think they said something off, that they are simple, that they are wrong in their thinking.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bless_your_heart#:~:text=Look%20up%20bless%20your%20heart%20in%20Wiktionary%2C%20the,precursor%20to%20an%20insult%20to%20soften%20the%20blow.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonboy75
Submissivedanny355

I don’t think you need to worry about what other people may think. Our situation is a little different except during the quarantine my wife’s lover moved in with us for 3 months. Her family knows she has a lover but she is married to me. We were open about it so when gatherings came up her lover can attend. I call him her lover or boyfriend but the relationship is really about good sex for my wife. I am not able to give her what she needs sexually to her takes care of that for her.You can’t always worry about what other people may think but I understand sometimes you have to.

subhubphx

Certainly you don’t me or anyone else to validate you. As great as you are at understanding and speaking to the human condition and the importance of open, genuine communication, you are still human … and as such are subject to real emotions that affect us all, good or bad. I summarily reject the notion that anyone could justifiably consider you a slut, whether they might use the dictionary definition or whatever ridiculous variation they may have. I’m sure that if polled, many people would probably think that if it was one man living and having sex with two women, that they would wrongly consider the two women to be sluts and the man as some kind of conquering hero. In the end, it’s their problem.

How does cultural sexuality play into male orgasm denial? Does the practice reinforce women being a sexual object or does it tear that wall down?”

I firmly believe that it tears the wall down. Cultural sexuality is changing, albeit slowly, but it is changing. There will always be people that will believe what they believe, which is why there is prejudice, racism, sexism, etc., but as long as there is progress (and I believe there is), those things will continue to abate.

For some (especially some men), ignorance about male orgasm denial, chastity and female led relationships make it nearly impossible to be able to understand the unbelievable benefits to the marriage/relationship. When reasonable people with open minds have the opportunity to consider the “lifestyle”, most will embrace it, some even openly. Like you, I look forward to day when it no longer has a dysfunctional stigma based in ignorance.

I don’t feel ashamed but the interaction with Frank made me question whether I should be.”

Frank may very well be a nice guy that was having his senses bombarded in a way that he didn’t how to react to … or he could be a jerk. Whatever he is, his thing is HIS thing and not yours. Don’t let it become yours. I’m sure by now, a day later, you already shed whatever doubts you may have had.

Your work here is important, so keep it up. There are very few venues for like-minded people. The three of you are living your best lives … and we’re grateful for benefitting from it.

Thank You.

subhubphx

I’m the one that needs to apologize Emma … I didn’t feel like you needed validation although it may appear that was my intent. We all have our “works for me” aspects of things and yours is enviable.

Perhaps the general concept of putting women on a pedestal could be seen as counter productive, but I don’t I don’t believe it does. Depending on the relational dynamic of the individuals involved it can, but I don’t believe it does in and of itself. The determining factor I believe has everything to do with the Wife’s acceptance of and comfort in her role as leader of the relationship, and that the husband genuinely receives pleasure by being in service to her, and not just using her as as fetish dispenser. But of course that speaks to a specific man/woman relationship and not to the broader conversation of men/women.

I think the interaction with Frank was an anomaly and rightly should be placed in the category of “it’s a Frank thing” only.

Ron

Interesting post
It sounds like Frank had already passed sentence on your lifestyle before showing up and all that was left, was to put a visual to it.
It could be Frank’s upbringing, or contemptuous envy that made him react the way he did.  He did his best to be cordial, but his demeanour left no doubt to how he felt. This is the reason most people keep their alternative lifestyles and fetishes private, because while we are now a more enlightened society, we haven’t reached the stage where some of things we do are accepted. There is a history of how society expects women to behave and how they are perceived. Women have always been the gate keepers of sex, and been treated as a prize to be won. The value of the “prize” is diminished when it is so easily won. You, with your excellent website, are showing other women, and men, that alternate lifestyles can be enjoyed.
Sorry you had an uncomfortable dinner guest, but it was inevitable that you were going to encounter a person like Frank, and unfortunately there are more out there like him or her. Enjoy what you have now, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

jd

Emma, I know that at times I have come across as judgmental and I know that relates primarily to my own domestic issues influencing how I might look at others, bringing a wounded or jealous sensibility with me wherever I may go. Perhaps this informed Frank’s feelings or thoughts- not to excuse them. With regard to the term slut it is a terrible word when applied to others in a disparaging way and without their consent. I suppose there might be room for the term to be used in a playful way or when self identifying certain behaviors or desires. Partly setting aside the particulars of your chosen domestic relationships with Kevin and Andrew, my mind is boggled by the transgression of just general good manners as a guest that Frank perpetrates. He was rude to his hosts on the occasion of their inviting him in so he wouldn’t be alone on thanksgiving and he shat upon whatever friendship he might think he has with Andrew (I am judgmental). He knew whose home he was coming into and he should have declined if he knew he couldn’t be polite, generous and thankful for the hospitality. I like to think that a good parent, even with the most traditional religious values, would view this young man’s behavior as reprehensible and mortifying and, were he younger, taught him a basic lesson in manners. JD

gallifreystyle

Personally, I think that the word slut is, or should be, completely redundant. As you say, Emma, there is nothing wrong with a woman (or anyone) enjoying sex. The number of partners someone has is entirely up to them. There is a double standard at play that roots in this bizarre idea that men want sex and women do not. Women who openly enjoy their sexuality therefore have to be seen as deviant, as their existence defies this nonsensical construct.
This idea that men pursue women but that women must resist being pursued in order to retain their value is one of those screwed up things that hurts everyone in society and is perpetuated by women as well as men. The truth is that women have wants and desires, the same as men. There is no one single model for what constitutes a healthy relationship and people should not have to conform to other people’s expectations of behaviour. Fortunately more and more people are willing to challenge these outmoded ideas and I think all of us here are a part of that change. In my book, there is no such thing as a slut.

Brianforfun

To be completely honest I understand exactly where Frank is coming from. Hold on and hear me out on this, please. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I had my 1st experience with pegging. Up until that point my sex life had been straight-vanilla. I thought that women who slept around with men, and especially women who had 3-somes, 4-somes, etc… were sluts. I never understood how they could allow themselves to be “used” like that I assumed that women who slept around outside of monogamous relationships were cheap whores suffering from some sort of childhood trauma or simply lacked a moral compass. Pegging not only expanded my own sexual universe, but it completely altered my opinion about female sexuality. Understanding what it felt like to be on the receiving end and how that made me feel physically and psychologically changed things. For lack of a better word and simply stated getting “fucked” feels great. It’s an entirely different experience than the feeling you get when you’re thrusting a penis, and it’s impossible to understand unless you’ve actually experienced it. In the past, I’d never would have contemplated judging my guy friends (or any guy for that matter) based on how many women they slept with. That would have been preposterous! Having been pegged countless times I now have a completely different perspective. Being on the receiving end is much more pleasurable, and and intimate than I’d imagined. It doesn’t feel shameful, which I assumed it must. Consider me enlightened, and my perspective has done a 180. I couldn’t ever be that “judgy” guy again. I’m not a woman, and don’t claim to be, but I understand where you’re coming from. Slut-shaming is what people with closed-minds do to try and control a woman’s sexuality. Men can be especially hypocritical. You’re not a slut Emma, you’re just a woman that men are attracted to. Take it from me, the only reason you felt judged is probably because of Frank’s own ignorance and lack of sexual experience.