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April 28, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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I’m just a slut, where’ my parade?

Okay, so there was this one time I went to buy lube from a supermarket downtown. I was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing really, why wouldn’t I be, right? It sat in my basket like all the other groceries, politely awaiting the check-out. When it got there, however, something most peculiar happened. Not only did the rotund little man behind the counter deliberately wait to scan it through last, he also asked me if I wanted a separate bag for it. I couldn’t really say anything. My face was locked in that kinda anguished, pursed shape you get when you either swallow something ridiculously sour or you’re trying really hard not to laugh. The latter was the case, of course.

Anyway, I shook my head and scurried out, promising myself to mention it in a column. It’s interesting how one simple bottle of lube added to a basket of telegraph cucumbers, amongst several other less suggestive items, can turn a healthy grocery list into a supermarket fuck-fest in the minds of some check-out operators. We’re not talking about equality for lube in supermarkets, were talking sexpositivity, kids. And this was merely a convenient segue.

In my experience, queer people seem to have so much less of a problem talking about sex than non-queers, and there are reasons for this. I wouldn’t want to reinforce the binary or anything but it all kinda makes sense. I mean sure, we know that we’re not our sexualities, but if we’re unified by one thing it’s simply by who we sleep with. It’s because the distinction between ‘them and us’ is based on sex, that sex plays a big part in queer identities. It’s where we stand out and where we fit in, and whether my prudes out there like it or not, it’s part of the heritage.

Being sex positive, to me, is nothing more than acknowledging your control over your sexuality. It doesn’t mean you have to put it all up in people’s faces all the time, or surprise your grandma with vulgarisms, and similarly it doesn’t mean that doing whatever, whenever with a consenting partner (or several) makes you a slut. ‘Slut’ is a horrible word that, when used seriously, is used to control and manipulate people into a guilt-trip over their feelings. No one has the right to tell you what to do with your body, and you don’t have to hold back just because your flatmate, or whoever, has the jaded sexual desire of a sixty year old colonel.

Some associate sex positivity with pornography, but I think the opposite is the case. Pornography promotes such hideously unrealistic expectations of people’s bodies and is so superficial that, if anything, it denies people’s universal right to have sex. It’s like it creates a hierarchy of who is most eligible to have sex, or who is most deserving of it. Beth Ditto from The Gossip would probably be a good size 30, but that doesn’t stop her from posing near naked on magazine covers or stripping down on stage, and just because I don’t find it hot personally, it doesn’t mean she has to shy away or go to the gym so she can be ‘conventionally’ sexy. She’s hot and she owns it, so good on her.

There’s only so much I can say on the topic right now and I’d like to say a lot more. I’m not justifying wanton sex with no regard for anyone’s feelings but your own, and there are lots of unsavoury motives for sex, but my main point is that there’s nothing wrong with promoting your own sexual freedom. No church, grandma or check-out operator should be able to tell you otherwise either. So, I feel, as long as you’re keeping it safe and your intentions are good, keep it up, so to speak.

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