Can A Woman Be A Slut & A Mom?

I remember the first time I was called a slut. I had been sleeping around a group of friends at our “brother” high school, including the boy with whom I lost my virginity, and the “body count” was piling up faster than a John Wayne Gacy biopic. I was fifteen, horny and thrilled to finally be getting male attention. They liked me they really liked me. Once they slept with me, they didn’t seem to like me as much, but I was remarkably unfazed by this. Ah teenage love… One fine day another kid from the aforementioned boys’ high school came up to me at the train station. He had light red hair and I thought he liked me so I talked to him, although he had kind of a weird vibe. Apropos of nothing, he said, “Why are you such a slut?”

I walked away, my heart pounding in humiliation, but resolute I wasn’t going to let him see me sweat. Even then I wondered why there wasn’t a word for a promiscuous boy? Calling a boy “Casanova,” “Don Juan,” or even “man whore” just didn’t seem insulting enough. The Sluts at my school and I were having a competition to add notches to the bedpost, even collecting ties from boys from the other school, and yet other girls would label them disparagingly. Where was the female James Bond, with a dude ready to roll around the sheets with in every port?

My career as a Slut progressed impressively, mildly impeded by being married for twelve years, in a relationship for fourteen. I was in the middle of bedding the strange and wonderful world of New York City men in my early twenties, when I met my ex-husband, and instantly knew we would get married, have kids; the whole works as we would say if we were ordering our relationship on a sandwich.

Throughout the fourteen years of my relationship with my husband I was 99.9% monogamous (except that one time at a yoga retreat in Oregon, but I confessed right afterwards.) The least I felt I owed my husband was to report my occasional platonic crushes on other people, male and female, the mere act of communicating them negating the dramatic experience of having a secret crush. As our marriage became more strained however, these crushes became much more like what the Internet would call “emotional affairs” but still not consummated (except that one guy who kissed me in a parking lot and I kissed him back, not in Oregon. But that’s it I swear.)

During the marriage, and as a mother of two small children, I saw myself as an ex-slut: someone who still loved sex, but had systematically negated its importance in my life. By the time I emerged from the marital cocoon, I was ready to take back the term and be the slutty butterfly I was always supposed to become. As a woman in my late thirties, I found that true to the old homily I was indeed at my sexual peak, with no shortage of suitors, in an age range I had not even considered when married. Apparently that whole MILF thing is really a thing, and there are plenty of guys who are excited by women who are confident in our own bodies, in a way we hadn’t been in our twenties when all the bits still had their media-approved perkiness.

I am a mother first. Also I am an artist- writer, actor, film-maker, comedian etc. I’m a friend, a daughter, and a person with many interests and personality “quirks.” I am also having the best sex of my life with other single people who want to have the best sex of their lives, but I’m not going to pretend that sometimes it doesn’t get emotionally messy.

As my views on sex have become more liberated, I have also found that the chemicals released when you sleep with someone (Oxytocin, Dopamine, Adrenaline) and their subsequent withdrawal, have been a great vehicle to understand more about myself and my expectations. What am I looking for exactly? Am I trying to fill my emptiness through another person? In order to be a truly self-actualized,ethical slut it is necessary to come from a place of wholeness—nothing is missing from my life—I simply want this sexual experience because I was lucky enough to be given a life to live and a body that functions perfectly. I am hereby taking back the word “slut,” just as female rappers have taken back the word “bitch.” I am a Slut. And loving it.

So the answer to the question: “Can a woman be a slut and a mom?” is “Yes. But not at the same time.”

*originally published at MalibuMom

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