This post is a response to this post on Essays And Wine on the phenomenon of “prude shaming”.
My name is Alice, and I don’t have casual sex.
Yep, I’m one of those girls. Maybe you are one. Maybe you’re friends with one. Or maybe you live in a bubble and would rather deny we exist. But I’m one of those girls who say things like “I need to feel a connection”. One of those girls who is on Tinder looking for a relationship. One of those girls who would happily be married with a couple of kids by now, but just never met the right guy. Maybe I’m just the kind of girl you want to be mates with. Or maybe I’m your worst nightmare.
While I’ve kissed guys here and there, I’ve only gone further with one guy who I was in a relationship with. And I have zero regrets or wishes to change that anytime soon.
For some people, a one night stand is a bit of fun. Some people are happy to fuck on the first date, and be happy if he wants to see you again but easily move on if he doesn’t. Some people find value in a “friends with benefits” style arrangement. Others may prefer casual dating to serious relationships. But for me, sex is a very intimate thing that I only want to share in a more meaningful relationship. I don’t not enjoy sex, but I just don’t find the idea of doing it with someone who doesn’t care about me appealing. To me, sex is inextricably linked to emotions. If I liked someone enough to have sex with them, I’d want a relationship with them. And if I didn’t fancy them, I wouldn’t want to have sex with them.
Casual sex is like alcohol (hear me out). I really like partying and drinking. I think it’s the best thing ever. From underage drinking in fields and car parks, to nights at the Student Union bar, alcohol was a formative experience for me growing up and it’s how I made most of my friends. For a long time, I thought people who didn’t drink were boring, stupid, and missing out on an important part of life. But then I realised, maybe they just don’t enjoy those things. Perhaps they have other hobbies, and partying just isn’t their idea of fun. And if it’s not something they enjoy, what are they missing out on exactly? What one person values, another might not, and vice versa.
If you have casual sex, you may become the topic of what we call “locker room talk”. There may be whispers behind your back about how you’re a slag, a slut, or a whore. Weirdly, often coming from the men who were involved in the liaisons, and presumably it takes two to do the horizontal tango, right? But if you don’t have casual sex, prepare to get abuse straight to your face. The media is full of condemnation of “slut shaming”, yet the opposite, “prude shaming” is considered A-OK. If you fall into the “emotional connection” category, I’ve prepared a little game of bingo for you. If you want to get lashed on a night out (or maybe at home alone, reading through your blog comments, Twitter account, and WhatsApp messages), take a shot every time you hear one of the following:
(Note: this is mostly aimed at women, but if you’re a man and want to do the male version, please go ahead)
For me, fun is a house party with mates, a deep intellectual conversation over a chai latte, or a solo trip to a country I’ve never travelled to before. While sometimes I wish I had a partner to have sex with, I have at no point felt like I’ve somehow “missed out” by not going home with a stranger, as to me that’s not fun.
No-one has the right to not be judged. However, unless someone has specifically asked for your input as to how to conduct their sex life, maybe just assume that they don’t want it?
I don’t have casual sex, but I’m still fun. I’m still interesting. I’m still worthy of being your friend, or your girlfriend.
And I refuse to be ashamed of my choice.
Check out the follow-up to this post “I Have Never Had Sex And I Talked About It On National TV“.
Have you ever experienced “prude shaming”? Let me know in the comments!
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