The Ins and Outs: I'm not a slut, I embrace my sexuality

By Mehgan Bowers, special to Xpress

Looking back on my days as a college freshman, where I am today amazes me. Through the blurs of alcohol, the smell of dirty sex and unknown names of the many conquests I had, I have never called myself a slut.

Slut is a derogatory term many people use to refer to a woman who has sex with a lot of people, even though men are often rewarded for their conquests. Slut shaming is the implication that a woman should feel guilty and inferior because of how she lives her sexual life, and sometimes just because of how she is dressed.

Instead of bashing a woman on who she’s sleeping with, you may want to consider the facts. According to the Kinsey Institute, 85 percent of males aged 20 to 21 have already had intercourse versus 81 percent of females the same age.

We shouldn’t judge women by the number of people they’ve had sex with. A few of my girlfriends were marked as sluts at almost every party, even though they’d slept with no more than five guys in total. I too have been called a slut because of my openness with my sexuality and active sex life, but I think a slut is someone who absolutely has no conscience, no self-confidence and no respect for herself. We need to stop pointing our fingers at the woman who is merely embracing her sexuality.

Lately, I’ve realized that it’s getting worse and we are branding ourselves with the label. SlutWALK, a series of rallies worldwide that began in 2011 dedicated to reclaiming the word slut in the name of feminism and fighting against the use of the word to justify rape, started because Toronto Constable Michael Sanguinetti suggested that women stop dressing like sluts to avoid sexual assault.

As SlutWalk LA’s Hugo Schwyzer said, being a slut is a choice.

“Some of us embrace the word slut. Some don’t. But we’re all marching for two vital liberties: both the freedom to be sexual and the freedom from violence, harassment and rape.”

I embrace my sexuality both in everyday life as Mehgan and on the radio as Sapphire, host of KSFS’s Erotic City Radio. I choose to be open with my sex life because of the stories behind it; every person I come into contact with leaves with a little more knowledge than they had originally. It may make others feel uncomfortable but both Sapphire and Mehgan feel it’s necessary to fly the freak flag high. We always speak the truth, no matter the outcome.
But there are not enough men and women in this world who actually sit down and think about these shameful labels associated with sex.

As a person who has to hear and deal with situations like slut shaming frequently, I like the ability to talk it out with someone and slowly make a change that others can see. You can start making a change by simply trying to rephrase your communication between friends to eliminate the use of this harmful language, and participating in activities such as SlutWALK when it comes to your area.

If you’re a victim of slut shaming, remember this: Screw what society says and just be careful. Stop being afraid of walking into your local clinic or hospital for STD checkups. Stop listening to what the media is portraying as the perfect sex life and just be you.

Xpress sex columnist Cassie Becker will be featured Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m on Erotic City, as part of the KSFS/Xpress crossover project. Listen here

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