You know who I don’t fuck with? I don’t fuck with people who think the number of people a person has slept with has any bearing on their worth as a human being. My sex education was presented to me at 13 years old by a nun at my Catholic, all-girls high school. Presenting two toothbrushes, the nun told us one was used, and one was brand new. Which one would we rather brush our teeth with? “The new one,” thirty impressionable, barely teenaged girls replied. This is what happens when you have sex, she told us. You become a used toothbrush, and no-one will want to marry (or brush their teeth with) a used toothbrush. Unfortunately, it’s not just Sister Mary who holds these views.
Slut-shaming, or sex-shaming, is where someone (usually a woman) is called names and shamed because she enjoys sex. “Slut”, “whore”, “slag” (grown-up versions of calling a woman a used toothbrush) all attack women who decide to have lots of sex. What is the correlating derogatory word for men who have lots of sex? There is none. When hundreds of celebrities had their photos hacked and distributed online, it wasn’t the hacker’s fault. It was the women who dared express their sexuality in picture form. When Miley Cyrus gyrates on stage, she is called all manner of names, but have you heard any directed at Channing Tatum for his equally thrust-y role as Magic Mike?
Women are begged to take their clothes off, but are faced with disgust and disrespect if they do. We live in a society where men are told to want constant sex, but if women put out on the first date, they lose respect.
And no, before someone says it, vaginas do not get looser due to lots of sex. They are a muscle, designed to potentially push a baby out and go back to the same size. That’s pretty impressive.
Sister Mary’s view was a damaging lesson to internalise. Sex isn’t something that makes you dirty, or used. Sex is a natural, fun, pleasurable act between (consenting, adult) humans.