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How to have sex and not be labeled a slut

This post is part of my sex-ed series. To get these posts in your inbox sign up here

Slut [derogatory noun]:

  • Dated meaning: A woman with low standards of cleanliness.
  • Present day meaning: A woman who has had many casual sexual partners.

Never in my life did I think I would be offering advice about sex on my personal blog. But here I am and here you are, reading it.

If you type “losing virginity at 14” into Google, my blog is the first result.

I wrote What it’s like to lose your virginity at 14 just over a year ago and the response has been overwhelming. True, I get a lot of sick perverts coming to my blog…if my keyword search terms are anything to go by…

keyword-search

But for every one thousand sickos I attract to my blog, there’s one teenager who comes here looking for advice. And it’s my responsibility to give it.

I’m writing this post for teenage girls, but if it adds value to men and women of all ages, then that’s great too. I want young women to live their lives as freely as they choose without the consequences that often come from having sex.

I’m not talking about unplanned pregnancies, STIs and HIV – those consequences are real and should never be overlooked. The consequences I’m referring to are the judgments we place on young women who have sex openly and freely. If we lived in a totally equal society, where men and women had the same rights, we wouldn’t need to talk about this. But sadly we don’t.

From my experience, women have to be a lot more calculative about their actions and behaviours than men. We’ve all experienced the double standard in one way or another: Men can sleep with whomever they please without any real impact on their lives or reputation. Women on the other hand – there’s a lot more expected of us. If we fall out of line from what society expects, there can be significant ramifications to our careers, lives and freedom.

And I don’t want this happening to you.

 

My story

This is my story of how I grew up, living the best of both worlds. I’ve had an active and fulfilling sex life from the time I was 14-years-old. Despite this, my reputation as a strong, smart and accomplished young woman remained untarnished.

By the time I graduated high school, I had slept with a total of five guys, was voted Most Likely to Succeed by my peers, received the Ontario Scholar award, and was admitted to one of the most prestigious universities in Canada. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this because my accomplishments were key to neutralising any salacious activity on my part (sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll).

Looking back, I was never overly calculated at achieving this balance. Truth be told, I was 100% focused on my education and my extra-curriculars. The other stuff – the sex and partying – I didn’t give it a second thought. I just worked hard and played hard. And that’s the message I want to give to you…in order to have sex and not be labeled a slut, you need to have an abundance of self-respect. When you take care of you – your health, education, career – everything else falls into place. Respect yourself first, and the respect of your parents, teachers and peers will follow. And to you will never be labeled a slut.

 

Sex by numbers

27. The total number of men I have slept with.

18. The total number of random hookups I’ve had.

3. The total number of pregnancy scares.

3. The number of times I’ve taken the morning-after pill.

0. The number of abortions I’ve had.

0. The number of STIs I’ve contracted.

Again, I’m not bragging here. Actually…Who am I kidding? I am bragging a bit…

I’m pretty proud to say the number of men I’ve slept with is 27. Most women would abhor sharing this fact with the internet. I, on the other-hand, see it as a badge of honour. I had the time of my life achieving this feat. I did who, what, where whenever I wanted with almost zero regrets.

By the time I was 25 I set out to get as many experiences under my belt as possible. Never in my life did I want to settle down and have kids knowing deep down that I didn’t make the most of my youth. For some people this is travelling the world or teaching English overseas. For me it was moving abroad and living life with passion. (Which more or less included having sex with as many men as reasonably possible.)

Perhaps it’s my form of feminism. My way of saying “fuck you” to the system. But I always wanted my daughter to feel like she could fuck whomever she wanted unscathed. (If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter…)

I also wanted my son (again, if I’m lucky enough to have one) to grow up knowing that it’s OK for women to have sex like men. I want him to grow up knowing that as the norm and not the exception, so he never judges a woman again for pursuing her ultimate sexual pleasures. Part of setting this example for my future children is leading by example.

But before I give you, young woman, the impression that you can fuck whomever you want whenever you want, you need to learn that there’s a right a way to do it. And what better way to teach you then by showing you a graph…

high-school-years

If you look at exhibit A you’ll see that the number of sexual partners I had remained relatively steady throughout the first phase of my sexual history. This was largely the result of being in a relationship for the first few years of high school. Looking back I’ve realised that having a dedicated sexual partner throughout those formative years was a great way of fulfilling my sexual needs while keeping my number of lovers low.

By the time I turned 17, my relationship with that guy – Paul* – had ended. I was a junior in high school and he had graduated. He started working full-time and wanted to settle down. The thought of settling down at 16 repulsed me. In fact, I spent the last year of our relationship avoiding sex, and then the better half of six months trying to dump him.

(*names have been changed to protect their identity.) 

Now I’m not advising you should rush out and dump your boyfriend/girlfriend. I think you should enjoy young love as it comes your way. But at the same time, don’t lose sight of who you are. Spend time alone and learn to enjoy your own company. It’s the best training for later in life, when you go off to college or move away from home. So many girls I know jumped from relationship to relationship, never spending time alone. What a waste! How do you ever truly learn what your dreams and desires are if you’re constantly thinking about the dreams and desires of another person?

The fact that I was no longer interested in sex concerned me. But after freeing myself from the chains of that relationship, I realised how exciting and thrilling life was again. Low and behold, my libido returned.

In the time that followed, I had sex with three different guys. Under normal circumstance this could have been construed as “slutty” behaviour. But the circumstances surrounding each one helped to neutralise any potential slut-shaming that could have happened to me.

 

My first random hookup

I was newly single, and quite frankly, horny as fuck. But I was also finishing my second to last year of high school, so I was heavily focused on my education. I was on the yearbook committee and student council. I was keeping up my dance classes as I had since I was 12 years old.

I was also going through the application process to join the Canadian Army Reserves. I know this sounds crazy and it absolutely was. But my best friend’s older sister had done it the summer before and she was in amazing shape when she returned home. I won’t tell you all the details of how I came up with this deranged idea (maybe I will in another post), but in preparation for my summer away at boot camp, I was working out hard at the gym and taking kick boxing classes. Between all my extra-curriculars and homework, I literally had no free time to sit around and think about boys.

Don’t get me wrong. I definitely partied and got drunk pretty much every weekend. But my Monday to Thursday was packed with activities. It was seriously one of the best times of my entire life. Never have I been more centered, healthy and accomplished then during this period. And I attribute it all to focusing on the most important thing: me.

But a girl’s got needs. So when my classmate Jon asked me to hang out (the 2002 equivalent of Netflix & Chill), I was more than down for it.

Jon and I were an unlikely pair. He was a bit of a bad boy and I was this straight-A student. But our sexual chemistry was undeniable. I would go over to his house on Saturday night and we would get it on in his parents’ basement.

I was down for having sex pretty much straight away. Jon, on the other hand, was a virgin. The first time we tried he couldn’t get it up (performance anxiety I suspect). But the second time was a success, and I ended up going to his house every Friday after school for a month just to have sex before his parents got home from work. I remember because that was the only day of the week I wasn’t busy!

But all good things must come to an end. And so did this.

Despite the fact that we were both very fond of each other, it was not our time. I was not looking for anything serious, and between me robbing him of his virginity, and never having enough time to spend with him – I think he felt a bit used.

Jon was the first guy I slept with where there were no strings attached – my first random hookup if you will. We weren’t dating, we weren’t talking on the phone every night for hours. We were just having sex. And despite this, I was never called a slut. And here’s why I think that is:

  1. Discretion – Almost no one knew we were hooking up. I was very discreet and only told my closet friend. I suspect that Jon didn’t tell many people either. It wasn’t something we agreed on when we started our arrangement, but the casual-ness of our set-up made it such that we didn’t want to tell the world. We weren’t ashamed, we both just knew we had a good thing going and we didn’t want to ruin it by getting more people involved in our business. Plus he knew I’d kick his ass if he did.
  2. Maturity – I did develop feelings for Jon. But I was so focused on my own personal goals and the things I had going on in life, that I couldn’t let myself get too infatuated with him. I was very rational and removed as much emotion from the equation as possible. This wasn’t easy, but I did it.
  3. Mutual respect – We both had a healthy level of respect for each other. I imagine he respected me because of my focus and drive, and because I wasn’t at his beck-and-call. I had my shit together, I was a top student, and I had class. I respected him because I genuinely liked him as a person, but I also respected the discretion he practiced around our arrangement. He didn’t violate my trust once by telling all his mates or blabbing about it.
  4. Safe sex – Despite the fact that I was on birth control at the time, we religiously used condoms. This is key for establishing respect in a casual sexual arrangement. If you do not insist on using a condom, you’re basically telling your partner that you have no self-respect. If you’re not making this random guy wear a condom, then what does that say about you? That you’re basically willing to let anyone inside of you. This screams slut. It also says you have low standards when it comes to personal hygiene. You’re nothing but a vessel to be filled with his cum. Gross. Have respect for yourself, girl. When it comes to casual sex, it’s gotta be no glove, no love.

 

But I don’t want to give you the impression that I handled everything perfectly. I made a lot of mistakes along the way – these are just some of the things I did right. Now I’ll tell you about some of the things I did wrong so hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes…

Risky business

After Jon, I continued to have more casual affairs. But by this point I was in senior year and approaching my 18th birthday. Most of my classmates were now having sex, and we were all much older and more mature. In general, the older you get, the less people care about your business.

My first ever sex-mistake was sleeping with James. He was my second random hookup, and the fourth overall guy I slept with. We took swimming lessons together as children, and our mothers used to be friends. He was cute, smart, and went to a different high school than me (which, by the way, is a great strategy – if you can expand your mating pool to different social circles and networks, people are far less likely to know your business).

James however, was friends with Jon. This is a massive red flag, and one that I ignored. Lucky for me, it never backfired in my face. But it seriously could have. If two guys can easily trade notes about you (this is especially true if they’re close friends) then your chances of being labeled a slut dramatically increase. If they’re friends, it’s highly likely that they will talk about you. And the more people talk about you, the greater likelihood people will call you a slut. So do as I say, not as I do – and don’t do friends. Got it?

James was also a virgin when we had sex. We ended up at his place one night after a party and did it in the dark, on a bed in the corner of his room. We used a condom and everything, but it was drunk and sloppy and not that great. I never really figured out what his deal was, but I felt like he always resented me for what happened between the two of us.

Maybe he resented the fact that I stole his virginity, and the circumstances surrounding it were less than ideal. Maybe he had feelings for me that I didn’t reciprocate. I never really found out, but he did message me once after the event, at 2am and drunk.

On this occasion he called me a slut. I don’t remember the conversation vividly, but in no way did I tolerate that behaviour. I must have exchanged some strong words with him, but he was never rude to me again after that. Sometimes you just need to put them in their place. In no way was I going to allow this guys to call me a derogatory term and get away with it, especially as there were two of us having sex that night.

If at any point the guy/girl you are dating is rude, derogatory, mean, spiteful or anything but nice to you – cut them off immediately. Do not tolerate any kind of mistreatment, especially if you’ve let them in your bed. I cannot emphasise this point enough. If you allow them to mistreat you, they will learn that you do not deserve respect and they will treat you accordingly.

No one will give you respect unless you command it. And allowing people to trash talk you to your face or openly to others without any consequences to your relationship with them means you’re OK with it. Be prepared to cut people out of your life no matter how much it hurts – if they don’t have your back and if they don’t want what’s best for you, then chances are they won’t have any problems hurting you further.

That was the first and the last time I was ever called a slut to my face. It was also the first and last time I was ever called a slut by a former lover. Do not allow the guys you have a consensual sexual relationship ever call you a slut or a whore. That is the most hypocritical, indecent, low-class and spiteful thing they as a human being can do. Call them on their bullshit, and cut them out. They obviously are not respecting you, so they do not deserve your respect. Period.

My next big mistake was Matt. Though I don’t regret having sex with him, I do regret not using a condom, especially considering he was known for having sex with loads of girls. That was just sheer stupidity on my part.

He didn’t know how to put on a condom on, which was the first red flag. The condom itself was then too small. It just wouldn’t go on his penis, so I compromised my ethics and values and had sex with him anyway. That was a new low for me.

Had he been organised and responsible, he would have carried around extra large condoms, and everything would have been cool. Had I been responsible I would have refrained from having sex with him altogether. But a time will come when you’re hot and heavy and in the moment, and you’ll say yes to things you will later regret. My hope is that you learn from my mistake and enter every situation with this in mind.

I was lucky I didn’t contract any STIs or HIV.

On the bright side, Matt was never once rude to me. And because he went to a different high school no one ever knew or cared about our business. So my reputation remained unscathed.

 

Becoming an adult

Most of the stories I’ve told you have happened to me during my adolescent years. Though I would love to tell you the story behind each and every guy I slept with after that, eventually you would get bored. And, quite honestly, it’s not as important. Your first few years as a sexually active woman, however, are crucial.

It’s during this time that you establish your values and your self-worth as a woman. How you behave and conduct yourself during these years sets the stage for how people treat you for the rest of your life. A few unfortunate events early on can have a drastic knock-on effect to your self-esteem, reputation and future. It’s vitally important that these first experiences are healthy ones with people you respect and trust, and who respect and trust you back.

But trust me it gets easier…

The older you get, the less people care about your business. Your social circle will expand beyond the walls of your tiny school, and before you know it you’ll have a complex network of friends, classmates and colleagues and every one of those people will be having sex.

Take my experience for example. If we go back to my trusty graph, you will see the number of guys I had sex with skyrocket after age 24.

adult-life

What happened here? Well, I moved to a big city (London, England), and started working full-time (in fashion), and was surrounded by young, smart, cool, upwardly mobile people who were just as keen to get it on as I was.

From the ages of 25-27 I slept with more guys than I had during all of high school and university. I had the time of my life, and at no point did it affect my health, my reputation or my career.

In terms of being labeled a slut – it turns out that cool, smart, successful people never use that word. Who would have thought? Just another reason to surround yourself with the smartest, coolest people you can find.

And remember my goal? To have as many experiences under my belt as possible before I settled down. Well…I liked to think I achieved it. And I like to think my future daughter will be proud of me for living life on my terms and forging a path for her to be, say and do whatever she pleases without judgement.

As for numbers, you’ll see there are no more entries past the age of 27 in my graph… That’s because I met the love of my life at 27.

At the time of writing this post, Mark and I been together for four very happy years and we’ll be getting married in 3 weeks time. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to spend my life with. I was blessed to find him at such a young age. For some people it takes a lifetime to find their soul mate. I like to think he came to me so perfectly because I wasn’t out there looking for him. I was too busy focusing on my career, having fun and living my life to the fullest.

 

Conclusion

To recap, here’s how to have sex and not be labeled a slut:

  • Do well in school – it’s your meal ticket for life and your get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • Stay fit and healthy – exercise gives you endorphins and wards off depression and anxiety. Looking good naked is also a bonus.
  • Get involved in extra-curriculars – this keeps your mind occupied on things other than boys, and you’ll make loads of friends from different social circles.
  • Don’t contaminate the mating pool, don’t sleep with two guys who are friends and basically don’t shit where you eat.
  • Have a zero-tolerance abuse policy – have no fear and put anyone that calls you a slut in their place.
  • Always, always, always use a condom.
  • Don’t send naked pics – Ok you got me. I didn’t talk about this in the post. But if you don’t want to be called a slut, it’s vitally important that the internet doesn’t see you naked. That tit pic you sent to that cute dude will end up on his mate’s phone and you will forever been known as a hoe bag. Don’t do it.

If you liked this post let me know in the comments below.

-BR

 

You might also like:

Blowjobs: An act of submission?

Why wasn’t I told?! Learning how to masturbate and what it could mean for gender equality

What to do when the condom breaks or falls off?

What it’s like to lose your virginity at 14

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