I have no use for this word. It’s patriarchal and antiquated, as you pointed out, and although I support the reclaiming of it by some people, it’s not something I’ll ever engage in. I was in a recent Twitter discussion about when a lover uses this word, and there were many women who said they find it very hot and sexy. One woman even acknowledged that it was due to internalized misogyny — she was being a wontan woman and it felt sexy and empowering to have that acknowledged. OK — you get to do that if it makes you and your lover happy but I just can’t relate.

Since I do not accept the validity of patriarchal rules about my body and what I do with it, the thought of breaking those rules gives me no inherent pleasure. I can think of few other things that would be as much of a buzz kill for me than being called a slut in the middle of sex. And, other people get to do what works for them. If that feels excitingly naughty or otherwise empowering to you, be my guest. Just don’t use that word with me, or you’ll have to spend the next half hour explaining to me why you chose that particular word. 😁

Every once in a while I hear of a man being called a slut, although sometimes it’s “a male slut” — as if that word rightly belongs only with women. There’s still a very deeply entrenched belief (although it’s mostly subconscious at this point, I think) that women and women’s bodies exist for the pleasure and enjoyment of men. It will be a better society for both men and women when that is dismantled.

Oh, and very insightful comment about some men feeling like any woman they are attracted to at least partially belongs to them. This is what catcalling and street harassment are all about. This is why women get yelled at, hassled and sometimes killed for refusing to give a guy her phone number or otherwise rejecting his interest. “You are an object there for my enjoyment. What right have you to deny me access to that?” It’s time for that nonsense to be over. I just don’t know how long it will actually be before it truly is.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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