10 Signs of Slut Fear

and some critical reflections


Do you recognize this inner voice telling you: 'I cannot date this person and at the same time that other.' If it's three other people at the same time it asks: 'isn't this getting out of hand?'. I thought I was pretty open minded about this, but when it's about myself I catch myself on judgemental thoughts and beliefs: 'something must be wrong with me.' 'I cannot date this person and that person at the same time.' 'I cannot see people romantically if they know each other as well' If I do see more people, It's better to keep it discrete. Don't tell too many people about it, or perhaps no one at all. Because...'

Yes, because of what? Is it because I'm afraid to hurt my reputation of a virtuous girl? How is being virtuous  related to being sexual anyway? Is it because I'm afraid to hurt other peoples feelings? Or something else? I'm not saying  this inner critic is wrong, it helps me to judge what is ethical and what not. However, I figured it is good to ask myself: what are my thoughts and beliefs about initmate encounters exactly, why am I doing what I'm doing? Is it really necessary? And if it's not necessary, does it matter?

Here are some of the subconscious judgments that I came across in myself and perhaps you can relate to them. 


10 signs of Slut Fear I recognize in myself:


  1. If I see more than X flirts a day/ week/ month I am a slut. (and a slut is a woman with shameful sexual habits who has gone off the rails, probably is a bit mental or is actually longing for one true love but somehow had not managed to see that and deal with that). 


  2. I have to keep my sensual/sexual encounters a secret because else it can ruin my reputation. 

    Other people will think about me:
  3. She is unstable, out of control and doesn't know what she's doing. 
  4. She is probably traumatized and/ or sexually abused.
  5. She is unethical and being mean because she's playing with someone else's feelings.
  6. It is unvirtuous. Not in lign with religion or that what is good.
  7. She is easy. And difficult is better.

  8. If I like to have intimate touch with someone but don't want genital sex I am either holding them on a leash or have fuzzy boundaries. This is related to a subconscious belief of me that clarity is better, and clear is even clearer when it is duality: 'It's right or wrong, it's true or false, it's black or white, it's romance or not, when I say A I also have to say B'.


  9. Monogamy is natural, normal, safe and stable. I should look for a partner that fits all my needs and desires. If not, see 1.


  10. It's not possible to have al my needs met in one partner so then I should either settle for less or let go of a person to search for The One. 


*And the overall belief that this is more true for women than for men.  


Overthinking these assumptions:


  • The holy number.. So apparently there's this idea in me that there is a certain number of romantic encounters over a certain time that is still tolerable and exceeding that number means that something is wrong with me. But is it really about a number? Or is it about something else? If I think about it longer I realize it is more about recognizing when I start to loose track of other things in my life that I consider important like my work, my family, my friends and myself. Especially the last one is important to me. That may sound egoistic but it is in the time that I take for reflection, feeling my own body and being with my own thoughts again after experiences that makes me feel more centered and clear again for what I want to do next. Seeing multiple people romantically can be challenging and even exhausting. On the other hand, sometimes one person can do that to me as well. Isn't it better to focus on when it starts to influence the focus on my own life too much instead of stressing out on a number?

  • Reputation.. Then about reputation and what other people might think of me. I often hear: 'there will always be people who will always think something about you, so worrying about it doesn't make sense.' On the other hand I often hear people worrying about it all the time: 'what if they don't like you anymore?'. One camp says: 'you just have to do what ever you want, the people who like you as you are will stick around and the others' were just not your type of persons anyway'. The other camp says: 'you have to make people like you, you have to put an effort to adjust yourself sothat other people appreciate you more'. To me, both sides don't really feel attractive. Yes, being able to be myself is important and nice, but not to the point that I'm running all over other people. The other side, doing everything to make peoplelike me really sounds like loosing track of who I am and what I want, which can be very dissatisfying and can even dangerously encourage em to do things I will regret later. I'd like to find the nuance betwee those two sides; seeing the other and finding where we can meet each other. This is what I think is attunement. And it is what makes it possible to spend joyful time with people that are different than me while still being myself. 

  • About clarity.. I feel like many people mistake clarity for duality. I sometimes got the question 'ok, so you do want touch but don't want to have sex with me, do you have sex at all or is it something you never have?' Even though this is a simple question with a simple and straight answer there seem to be some implicit assumptions here, bringing up lot's of questions in me. For instance, does touch imply sex? Is touch always related to sex? And, íf there is sexual arousal with touch, does it imply that genital and/or penetrative sex will follow? This really boils down to the question of 'What is sex?' and to one person it can be different than to the other. Touching hands can be sex. Looking at someone can be sex. What is it to you?
    Then about the second part of the sentence: do I have sex with no one at all or just not with this person and right now? Well, what if I would say that I never have genital sex with anyone, what conclusions do you make up from that? What would I think if I was a happy celibate person? Would I feel like something was wrong with me? And what conclusions do you make up when I say I do have sex with someone, just not with you and/or not right now? Would you feel rejected, betrayed? something else?
    The conversation goes on, 'so, if you don't want to have sex with me, why are you being with me any way?' 'What do you want?' 'Isn't it that you do want it, but are playing hard to get?' Or is it that you don't want any of it but just have been going along with it until now?' -At this moment, my mind is just blown and I'm thinking, ok, this is why I need reflection time after seeing someone-. Because what is happening here? This is about mistaking clarity for duality. Clarity doesn't mean 'all or nothing'. If you want to know more about how to enjoy touch within your boundaries, here is a video about The Wheel of Consent from Betty Martin.














       If this is interesting to you and you want to learn more about it, you can
       contact me:). 



  • About monogamy as haven of tranquility.. Is monogamy the natural and safe have where we have to go? It can be. Being with multiple people there's a higher chance that your mind is blown by other mind views than yours and other bodily preferences. On the other hand it doesn't have to be like that. Monogamy can have it's rough waters too. Lately, I also hear people having doubts about monogamy more often like, 'am I missing out if I am with only one person?' 'Am I boring and old-fashioned when I am monogamous?' This trend really shows to me how these ideas about sex and relating are cultural beliefs that are fluid, depending on peers, family, and broader cultural values that are presented as given in the media and in everyday life. And these cultural beliefs are so strong because they help us to fit in, which is directly linked to our need for safety and connection. Being different is unsafe, if everyone is different than me, then I must be abnormal, which is unsafe. Being the same means being safe because then and only then I am truly accepted and being loved. We continuously seek the fine line of following the trend, the just normal enough while also wanting to be different, so that we can stand out. All to be seen as a unique person that is still accepted as member of the group. And this is not a problem. It does become a problem that when we have found our group and have been feeling safely connected and accepted for a while, we start to believe that this group is the only and right group and we start tp convict people that are different. Problems start when we loose our humility and eye for the bigger picture. When we loose our openness to learn from other people that are different than ourselves. To me, the question is not 'how do I fit in?' which often implies, we have to change either ourselves or the other. I prefer the question we ask when we interact: 'how do we connect? What can I learn from the other?' 'How can we meet eachother even though we have different opinions and different values or different looks?' 'How can we cultivate the willingness to learn again and again?'
     
  • Searching for the one(s).. It has something romantic to it which is a beautiful idea to me and at the same time it feels naive and like a fairy tale. Even though we live in the legacy of romantic times, with movies and stories of finding the one and true love, there is also this idea that romance should be difficult and hard work. The romance is then in being able to still choose each other in the hard times, implying that true love should be a struggle, that that's the bittersweet part and so fulfilling. I'm not saying that that's never true, I'm just asking does it always have to be true? What if someone chooses to not want difficult and wants to be a happy single? Is that ok too? Does that mean that having multiple partners is easy and supervicial and you'll never find a true love? No, relations with more than one person can be deeply profound, longterm, going through struggles and relations with one person can be supervicial and distant. Don't have to..

  • Men vs. women's reputation of a slut.. I often hear: 'women are ultimately looking for safety and security to raise a child in a stable environment, while men are hunters looking to fertilize as many women as possible. That's why it is unnatural for a woman to go and lay with many men and if she does, she is just a little lost'. And then they start to give examples of comparisons of animal behavior. Well, there's just as many examples in the animal kingdom of females not being true to one partner, but I'm not going into that any further. In this argument sex and intimacy is seen in the light of reproduction while it can be that much more. In intimate or sexual encounters we get to explore and learn about ourselves in meeting the other. We can be challenged and accepted on a spirtitual, mental, emotional and physical level and for some that works best with one person and for others it works with more than one person. 

  • There is much much more to say about all of these points. In fact, there is a whole book written about it. If you want to know more: I especially like The Ethical Slut from Janet W. Hardt and Dossie Easton. If this title is attractive to you or aversive to you, it might be interesting to read the book.
  • All in all I believe it is not so much about how often we are intimate and with how many people, but more about being conscious about it, reflecting on our beliefs and motivations for our behavior while staying connected to our own mind and bodies. If you think you need a little more help with that, you can always contact me. If you liked reading these reflections or have some of your own, feel free to share them on instagram or facebook @EmbodimentHouse.

Boxes. Cultural boxes. self-belief boxes.They help to organize, and sometimes they need re-organization.


I need some re-organization tools

Leren vanuit het lichaam. Hoe we dat dagelijks al doen.


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Want to get rid of your judgemental ideas about sluts? 


Great book!