What’s in a name? That which we call a whore…

When I was at school, I used to flirt with the barista at my local Starbucks to get free syrups and espresso shots, as well as the occasional lemon and poppy seed muffin.

Sometimes, when I’m out in da club, I make ‘the eyes’ at random men so as to milk them for free drinks.

Last summer, I gave my friend a blow job in exchange for him purchasing me an ice cream.

Which one of these sounds the worst to you? No, you’re wrong. Try again.

Trading actual sexual favours for material edible goods may seem like the most slutty and whore like thing to do here, but, if you think about it, it’s really the most honest and forthright. Are you thinking about it? Do you get it? Let me explain –

So, it was the first week of September and London was going through some kind of disgusting heat wave. I’m talking old men with their moobs out on the tube, sweaty fannies gasping for air, everything smelling like balls, and thunder thighs everywhere chafing in full force kind of disgusting. It was grim. To make matters worse, W and I were holed up in a classroom on campus, slowly losing the will to live. He was revising for an exam and I was line editing my thesis. LINE EDITING. Do you honestly know of anything worse?! As the day wore on and we started to become more and more unfocused, he started to subtly suggest that we have sex. But, alas, I was on my period. IN THAT HEAT. Like I said – slowly losing the will to live. Now, we all know that in boys’ minds, period week = blowjob week, so it’s no big surprise where the discussion quickly headed. Due to aforementioned heat and leaky vagina, I wasn’t in the most selfless of moods – so we started to barter.

Did I want a coffee? No. Did I want an IOU? No. Did I want a gin ‘n’ tonic? No. Did I want to just make a mess and have sex anyway? No. Did I want an ice cream? Fuck yes.

It was literally that simple. We got under the desk and got to it. 8 minutes later I was skipping down the stairs, excited to wrap my tongue around something far sweeter.

We both knew exactly what was going on. We knew exactly what we were giving, and we knew exactly what we were getting in return. No miscommunication. No misdirection. No bullshit.

What’s so bad about that?

We’ve all been – or encountered – the girl who bats her lashes, flashes a smile and somehow ends up with a double vodka and lemonade in her hand. We all know that look on the guy’s face when the girl walks away – that really sad cross between bewildered and defeated. It’s kind of pathetic. Having said that, men shouldn’t be so fucking naive. It is highly unlikely that the girl way hotter than you is actually interested in what your mother said on the phone this morning or how you deal with your receding hairline. You need a reality slap. Moreover, no one likes girls who do this! Obviously I’m okay with it, though, as I do tend to do it from time to time; only when I’m really drunk, though, and my conscience has been rendered to that of a free loading slut. I feel bad in the morning, if that means anything.

Anyway, as you can see, this kind of situation is full of deception and manipulation, people not knowing where they stand, and people getting let down. Now, that’s bad.

If you hadn’t realised, I like to be candid. It makes life infinitely easier, and, let’s face it, more entertaining. So I propose this – next time you want something, ask for it. Don’t lie and cheat your way to it. Ask for it straight up and then haggle your way to it. This is literally how civilisations are built. Anth 101 – Gift Exchange, bitches.

I know, I know; you’re sceptical and you still think I’m a whore. Frankly, I think I undersold myself.

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Double Standards

I’ve had a casual, friends with benefits type relationship with W for coming up to two months now. He goes through occasional phases of saying that we should stop having sex because it’ll be bad for our friendship ‘long term’. That is, until he wants to fuck again.

When we first started fooling around and having sex in public places, I didn’t feel like it was particularly slutty. Grimey? A little. But slutty? No. Because I knew him, and it was always with him – not multiple random people. 

During one of said phases, when he had decided that we should ‘just be friends’, he came out with the following:

W – Now that we’re friends, I can tell you that you shouldn’t be doing stuff like that in toilets..

Me – You did it too..

W – But if I tell people, I get ‘lad points’; if you tell people, they’ll think you’re a slut

Me – It’s not like you’re a stranger though. I know you.

W – Can you not see why it’s bad?

Although he later backtracked when he inevitably decided we should continue to bang and insisted he just meant I shouldn’t do it with randoms – which I wouldn’t anyway – the issue of the double standard in attitudes to men and women’s sexuality has been on my mind since. 

Even in 2013, sexual double standards are constantly perpetuated throughout modern society. Women are still not given free reign of their bodies and their sexuality without being perceived as ‘sluts’, ‘whores’, ‘dirty’, and ‘easy’. Men, on the other hand, are considered ‘lads’, ‘studs’, ‘players’, and even ‘gods’. This is maintained by both genders, with women playing a prominent role in calling each other out on being promiscuous, regardless of their own sexual history; otherwise known as ‘slut shaming’.

The most recent example of this in popular culture would be Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance with Robin Thicke. Her ‘twerking’ and grinding up on a man who is over 15 years her senior earned her the title of a slut. She was called out for being overtly provocative and sexual whilst no one blinked an eye at Thicke, a married middle-aged man, for singing, ‘I know you want it,’ to a 20 year old girl. Whilst I, personally, did not like the performance – the bears creeped me out – I would not call Miley a slut. Sure, she was wearing minimal clothing and dancing provocatively on stage, but don’t the majority of female artists? Is Rihanna a slut? Is Beyonce? No. So why has Miley been singled out for being comfortable with her body and sexuality, and owning it? 

We are of a generation where girls are told that they can do what they want, they can be what they want, that the world is theirs for the taking. In reality, however, empowered women are not valued in the way that they should be. Whether it be women who are at the top of their career or women who are open and comfortable with their sexuality, attributes that are lauded when found in men are faults when found in women. This ‘slut shaming’ culture, which is nothing new, only serves to perpetuate it. Bold, fierce, and proud women should be praised. They should not have to fear being judged by society for being who they want to be and doing what they want to do. How many women do you think haven’t gone home with someone because they think it makes them a slut? It’s not just other people who ‘slut shame’, we do it to ourselves, cowering behind society’s expectations instead of defying them.

Ultimately, people have different values and different variations of what they think is appropriate behaviour. But it’s not their place to force those values on other people. If you only want to have sex with someone you’re in a relationship with, in the missionary position, once a week, then that’s cool. But don’t look at the girl who’s banging three people and loving her life and call her a slut. You do you. She has other people to do her. 

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