Slut

A short meditation on promiscuity.

 

Transcript

I was laid in bed with a young man the other day, slightly sweaty and out of breath after some rather lovely exertions and he asked how many people I'd slept with. Thinking nothing of it, I told him.

I know exactly how many people it is because I keep a little black book. This might seem a little weird to you, but I have a bad memory, and the thought that I’d forget someone upsets me a little, so this works. I don't usually share my grand total as it's kind of personal but he seemed nice.

“Wow, that's a lot!” He said “Oh my god, You're such a slut!”

Which I thought was a bit rich coming from someone I met a couple of hours earlier, who was currently mopping himself down with a hand towel.

His name isn’t important, so let's call him Judy. Since he decided to get all judgy.

Before I had chance to draw breath to tell him where the front door was, and how it was the only thing going to be hitting him in the ass as far as I was concerned, he added “I don't mean to sound nasty but it's quite a lot…”

Now, I'm in my extremely late twenties. Ok, fine, I’m 33. And I live in London. Along with lots of other single gay men, many of whom can be extremely friendly after a couple of gins or some of my weapons-grade flirting, so I didn’t think it was that high a number. It’s all relative, really - what’s a big number for one person could be just a busy weekend for someone else…

So I started thinking about the whole promiscuity thing, and how the whole patriarchal notion of saving ourselves for marriage isn’t as important since we’re not procreating but just recreating. Sometimes repeatedly, if we’re in the right mood and there’s time for a cup of tea in between.

I'm an out queer man who happens to be single, I know how condoms work and so the reasons for having as much sex I like very much outweigh those against.

Speaking of, I started thinking about the pros and cons of promiscuity and my thoughts went something like this:

Pros

  • Practice. It's always a good idea to practice something you enjoy - it only makes you get better at it. And there's nothing worse than a crap shag. The number of times I've had to say “What are you doing?” and that's never a good thing. And Judy definitely wasn't complaining that I knew what I was doing. As far as I know. His mouth was full quite a bit of the time.

  • Second, Confidence - Confidence is sexy. It's one of the things that can be really attractive. And if knowing you’re good in bed gives you a confidence that works, go for it. And with confidence. You can ask for the stuff you like which leads to

  • Experimentation. You don't know what you like and what you don't until you've tried it. In the grand sexual buffet you can stick to what you know like a boring pasta dish, but try something different like a nice beef steak or something extra-spicy that you just might love. You won’t know unless you try it, like sometimes it’s fun to just shoot squirty cream straight into your mouth. Anyway.

  • And another reason - if we really need one - is that it's good exercise. A good shag is like a workout with orgasms and you don't need a membership. Studies have shown that a good hard boning burns the same number of calories as running a half marathon.

Ok, I made that up but still.

And the cons are diseases I guess but that’s what condoms are for. And, while it’s true that you get some diseases from blow jobs (I learned that one the hard way), the risk is pretty small and worth it as long as you go for a regular sexual health check up every few months.

Every now and again some poor misguided person will shoot their mouth off about how all this promiscuity from Grindr and similar apps is killing romance and leading boys astray. But it's complete bollocks really. I'm not suggesting that random sex is better than being in a committed and loving relationship - it’s just sex. And obviously I much prefer it when it’s with the man I like very much, who knows what he's doing in bed. But, until that doof shows up, I’ll make do with recreational sex, as I hope he will, too, because I don’t want to fall in love with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

And it’s not like Grindr makes people slutty. Before that there was Gaydar, and before that, people like Sam Smith (bless him) should remember that the main places to meet other queers was in gay bars and clubs, not exactly the most romantic places. Or to go cruising and hang out in public toilets or bushes in parks shagging whoever came by. At least with the apps you get to see some photos and get to know someone a bit before you meet them and arrange something more than just a dark bar or a bush somewhere.

Not that there's anything wrong with bushes and clubs - they can be fun certainly when you're in the right mood.

When you think about it, there’s this huge dichotomy around sex, generally. Especially in the media, but also in people’s minds. Think of all the advertising campaigns based on it - everything from ice cream to body spray. Especially body spray - the Lynx Effect. All these products whose marketing says, one way or another, if you buy this product, people will want to have sex with you. Lots of sex. All the sex. Because sex is great and everyone wants to have lots of sex, right? RIGHT?

But then on the other hand, there’s all this shame and disgust around the idea of actually having a lot of sex that is completely at odds with all of this media and social pressure.

It’s like Yeah! Use this bodyspray, and EVERYONE will want to shag you, you’ll be beating them off with both hands! But don’t actually have sex. Because playing the Devil’s pink clarinet is dirty enough, without touching anyone else’s.

But drink this bottled water, because there’s a sexy lady in the advert and if you drink it, sexy ladies might want to have sex with you. But don’t have sex with them, because they’ve probably had sex with other people, and that’s slutty and sluts are bad...

And that’s before we even get started on the worlds or sex workers and porn stars. Anyway.

but I'd say people are always going to want to have more sex. It's fun and it makes us feel good so why not enjoy your body and have all the sex you want, however much or little that is, and leave all the judgment and shame behind. (Judy, I’m looking at you.)