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Are you a prude… or a slut?

It’s a weird thing: if you are fond of sex and tend to talk a lot about it, you are easily assigned the term “slut”. However, if you are a bit reserved, perhaps even shy (or simply feel that your sexlife is no one’s business), you may get labeled as a prude. Both labels are incredibly dangerous as they are about to set limits to female sexuality, within the framework of the patriarchy’s self-absorbed preferences.


 

Okay, we understand why. For centuries, a woman was considered to be a property, only existed as an extension of her father or husband, and served her best purpose if she gave birth to several male heirs while “accepting her fate silently”.  Female sexuality, in this context, is extremely dangerous: a woman who technically enjoys sex may want to have more than one partner throughout her life. What is more, she may even have expectations when it comes to married life, and – oh, horror! – may even expect her man to satisfy her physical needs. These issues can be easily avoided if she has no clue about her own body, and never talks about her desires as she is not even aware of them.

Seems like we are still following this pattern, even though nobody is considered to be other people’s property, luckily – at least in developed countries. However, there is a weird double standard in the 21st century with some weird contradictions: we are expected to be irresistibly attractive and ready to have sex, we should be familiar with the “twenty cool tips to pamper his balls”, whereas we should still give birth and “accept our fate silently”. We could list a million examples of this, but everyone knows the golden rule of dating: no sex until the third date. This is what women’s magazines say, and that’s what older sisters tell their younger siblings. If you open your legs sooner, you are labeled as a cheap, easily available chick, good for a one-night-stand only, as guys here at work say. However, if you wait too long, you are risking the label of being a prude, and losing the your partner’s interest altogether.  

There is no reason to deny that I’ve seen both sides of the story. It happened that I just met a guy a couple of times, and then we spent months just talking, getting to know each other, but I also know what it’s like to be one before we truly know what the other person’s about (it only happened only but why should I clarify my decisions?). Perhaps you are wondering now: which connection was more intense, and which has turned into a long-term relationship? This has nothing to do with the golden rule of dating, the third date-rule. What matters is a set of common values and goals to go on. What are your experiences in this field?

One of my good childhood friends, Eva has often been labeled as a prude. Eva comes from a super-religious family, though at the age of twelve it was her decision to wait with sex until marriage. When we were fifteen-eighteen, and everyone was messing around with hot guys at parties, Eva perhaps took a walk with a decent, mainly deeply religious boy, then said a polite goodbye in front of her house. She made it clear from the start that she was willing to wait, and guys went by her rules as they believed in “purity” themselves.  

Eva was lucky as she got to know her future husband within the first year of college, and then they got married at the end of her junior year. “I thought that it’s enough to have shared values and purity kept until the wedding night, and these things would guarantee a happy sexy-life. At least, that’s what we were told at church. But then… things took a very different turn…” – my friend set at our class reunion. To cut things short, it’s enough to say that Eva was still technically a virgin in the second year of her marriage. Her husband was struggling with phimosis and premature ejaculation, while she simply “couldn’t let herself go” in bed. It took two years to get the courage to ask for professional help, as they were both ashamed of the situation. As if they were prudes, or even worse: sick, unlike all the “normal couples”.   

In the third year, they finally had sex, but the relationship was in ruins by then: her husband was so frustrated that he started to drink, and had such severe anger-issues that even Eva had been beaten a few times. When she had her first serious breakdown, Eva decided to call it quits. Luckily she had a family to support her after the divorce, but it took years to be able to close the issue and start a new relationship. “I’ve a learned a lot in my first marriage. I was twenty-one, and know nothing about my own body, and the same was true about my husband. Even worse, I had no idea what I wanted out of a relationship, and I believed I just need to follow the rules and expectations of others to be happy”, she concluded.    

“We do talk a lot about sex in my new relationship. We discuss what we both like, people who said I was a prude at twenty would not even believe their ears. But you know what is funny? I often get catcalled if I wear a short skirt, and the other day a random guy told me that I shouldn’t wear such sexy clothing, as I look like a cheap slut. I had to laugh, it was so absurd”, she added with a faint smile.

Well, it’s not easy do live by double standards for sure. Have you ever been called a prude… or actually a slut?


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