by: Bobby Crowley
So, I was thinking about the word “slut” this week. I was thinking about the word “slut” and it sparked some mental churning. I began to think about how it’s been used in my presence or towards my person. This, then, took me on a magical journey of memories and philosophies that I hold inside my grey neighbor upstairs. I began to ponder the world’s dilemmas and accomplishments associated with the word “slut.” This simple four letter word had a major impact on me.
You see, I always marveled at the glory that is the word “slut.” I love it. I love people who embody it. I am proud to see this word in an entirely positive light. What’s wrong with a good ol’ slut? It just so happens that I am not in the habit of slut-shaming. I happen to be sex-positive; to think sex is great, and people who have it are great, just as great as those who don’t. Sex is not something that should evoke shame. I know this. In fact, recently, I’ve looked around and started to feel like our society is starting to learn it, too. Sex is everywhere: we sell it, buy it, live it. Why shouldn’t we?
However, there is one hangup I have about how we have sex. There is one plot line that riddles televisions and movie screens that I feel we could do without advertising. I began to wonder. With all of the sex in the world and all of the possible encounters, why do we romanticize infidelity?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some judgmental bitch who hates every person who has ever cheated. I couldn’t. There are too many to hate. However, my (what some would call loose) morals entertain a lot of circumstances and actions. Yet, I can’t back up cheating. Sure, I have my reasons, but it isn’t just some personal vendetta. I truly believe that we, as a society, are evolved enough to see that cheating is entirely unnecessary.
In a world that is slowly, but surely becoming more accepting of polyamorous relationships, friends with benefits, one night stands, and open marriages, I ask you, what’s the point of cheating? I mean, practically everything on that list is a movie title. I don’t care if you hook up with a different person every night. I don’t care if you hook up with a bunch of different people in one night. Truthfully, I probably don’t hold much concern about your sex life at all, but I’m trying to make a point.
What is the point of cheating? Cheating isn’t cool. Cheating isn’t cute. Cheating is a form of betrayal, a lie you tell someone you’re supposed to love… or at least like a little bit. To me, cheating never really seems like the answer, not when there are so many other possibilities and escapes. But how would we know better when shows like Torchwood (don’t hate me, I love you) and movies like The Notebook depict such romantic and sexy yet adulterous relationships?
Granted, The Notebook has all of the issues of the 1940s to back up the twisted love story, but Torchwood (like many other movies and television shows) can not say the same. I love Torchwood. I love the fluid sexuality of the people of Torchwood. I love just about everything about Torchwood. However, when Owen and Gwen started have sex behind her boyfriend’s back, as turned on as it made me, I wanted to turn it off. There was no reason, no undying love, no breakup. There was just some hot sex. Usually I don’t put the word “just” anywhere before “hot sex,” but that’s all it was. As quickly as it started, it ended without a hint of remorse or dilemma, like it could have never happened in the first place. So why did it?
I know I’m digging into Torchwood right now, but I just needed an example, and I just watched that season again. The point remains, we don’t need to cheat to have hot sex. We don’t need to cheat, period. Why do we not see cheating for what it truly is? Why do we have this obsession with being in relationships in the first place, if all we really want is sex? Go ahead, have sex, have it all over the place! But, do you need to break someone’s heart to do it? That seems unfair.
I do believe we are too evolved to romanticize cheating. In fact, recent “news” reports tell me just that. I’ve been seeing a lot about Kristen; there has been a lot of talk about the negative publicity she’s been getting and how it’s sad that such hostile slut-shaming is still so prominent. However, I have my own theory. The world isn’t shaming Stewart for having sex with her director, they are shaming her for cheating on Robert fucking Pattinson. In fact, they are shaming her for playing a part in the dysfunctioning (it’s a word, now) of her director’s family. Granted, he didn’t get as much publicity. But, don’t you think that’s because he didn’t break the heart of what many thirteen year old girls, including myself, would call the dreamiest sparkle monster alive?
There is a difference between being a slut and being a cheater. One is not necessarily the other. I find this difference to be alarmingly important to make distinct. I would never shame someone for being a slut. Well, I don’t think I would necessarily “shame” someone for just about anything, but you get my point. Having sex isn’t a crime and it doesn’t hurt anybody… unless it does. If you are legally allowed to have sex as much as possible with anyone of consenting age and willing mind, what more do you want? You could have an orgy, you could have an open relationship, you could just have an endless string of one night stands. Why commit to someone and then break their heart to get something you could have had before all of that?
If you didn’t read all of that because it was so goddamn long, and you, instead, scrolled to the bottom, welcome. For you and the rest I might have lost on the way, I’ll sum it up. Sluts are good. Cheating is not. Torchwood is good. Ryan Gosling is my patronus. These are all, of course, totally my opinion. Except for the Ryan Gosling thing, that’s real. I just thought it should be said.
Bobby Crowley is a Queer woman with a love for all that is fabulous. She is currently working on her Creative Writing degree at Loyola University where she is also on the board of Advocate and a writer for the alt. magazine LUChameleon. She is in love with Andrea Gibson, her labradaniel puppies, and singing loudly in the shower.