Slut Shaming and Other Social Stigmas

In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as slut shaming and all consensual forms of safer sex would be extravagantly celebrated and would be the subject for festive revelry.

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Swooping in to prevent this from happening are the emotionally detrimental naysayers– known by most simply as slut shamers.

Even the most wonderful sexual experiences can include harsh social stigmas as opposed to a general positive appreciation, understanding and a happiness for all those involved. Take, for example, the stigma of contracting mono, strep throat or HSV-1 from making out. No one wants to admit that they may have came down with these viruses because of engaging in a sexual act, for fear of being slut shamed for it.

The Stigma of Buying in Bulk

The negative stigma attached to buying condoms in bulk is another example. Young women in particular seem very concerned about purchasing a large amount of condoms. In this sense, social stigmas can be somewhat of a catch-22 since you are damned if you stock up on protection, and you’re damned if you don’t– due to the possibility of getting or giving a STD/STI or having to deal with an unexpected pregnancy (leading to further slut shaming).

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Truthfully, the main difference between buying in bulk and buying a retail pack is the price and owning a cardboard box you can hang them up in. Unless you have a retail area set up in your home, there is no need for a display box. And, since the condoms come loose, and not in a box, you can get way more at a lower price. Think of it as the Sam’s Club of condoms.

To illustrate my point: a bulk pack containing 102 Crown condoms is currently $19.99. These same Crown condoms, sold in a retail box of 36 condoms, is $17.99. Basically, you get 66 more condoms for $2 when you order in bulk. What up, 3 cent condoms? There’s no shame in that game.

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Now, your nightstand or decoupage condom box may not be able to accommodate this many condoms. A good tactic for avoiding the negative stigma attached with having an overstuffed drawer full of condoms is to only keep 5-10 in the drawer and keep the rest in a shoebox under the bed or tucked away in a closet away from direct sunlight. Not only will this proper storage keep your condoms safe, it’ll help you avoid the OMG face from your sexual partner when you reach for a condom.

Recently, I’ve even heard of people claiming that their new partner has too many toys. Really? I had no idea that there was such a thing. That’s like saying you have “too many porn pages” in your browser history. Or, too many dating apps on your smartphone. But, who gets to decide how much is too much? Shouldn’t it be a personal judgment call?

Leave Judging Out of the Bedroom

In the Myers-Briggs personality test, results are made up of 4 letters which define your personality.  The letter J stands for judgmental and the P stands for perceptive. These are polar opposite traits, which makes it difficult for judgmental people and perceptive people to understand where the other may be coming from, outlook-wise.

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Considering what I do for a living, you may not be shocked to find that I am a perceiver, not a judger. Really, I can’t even judge the judgers for what they do. It’s in their nature and society needs judgmental people in order to make judgment calls. Just consider that there is a job with the title, Judge, and no job with the title of Perceiver. So, be aware that I am not putting down the judgers, whatsoever. They are needed!

Free Speech and Slut Shaming

That being said, sexual acts and general sexuality should not be the subject of judgment, in my eyes. Slut shaming has become a real problem for many people, regardless of age, race, religion or socio-economic standing. In the media, feminists have been the most prominent group to be associated with putting a stop to this type of vengeful reaction to sex and sexuality because slut shaming attempts to take away personal freedoms tries to rock the very essence of free will and our ability to make our own life choices, without feeling remorse, guilt or self-doubt.

The word slut itself implies that this person is not fitting into the acceptable and orthodox societal norms of dress code, behavior, sexual preferences and number of past or current sexual partners. Feminists have become the voice of the sex positive movement which derides slut shamers as being extremely negative influences on the development of female’s sexual identities.

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I can’t help but think that perhaps some of these slut shamers are just really sexually frustrated individuals who are basing their judgments on the basis of being really backed up down there. In rarely, if ever, hear slut shaming from those who are genuinely happy with their own sex lives. Perhaps if they bought in bulk…

The flip side to the feminist coin is always this: if feminists are free to convey their feeling about slut shamers, then others are free to express how they feel about “sluts,” even if the effects are negative.

If you hear someone slut shaming another or you are the direct victim of slut shaming, try to keep this in mind and focus on the fact that they are expressing their opinion, not a fact, which is based upon their own upbringing and life experiences. These are likely to be very different than your own, and while you may not agree with slut shaming– and you feel as though it shouldn’t be allowed– bear in mind that freedom of speech goes both ways. And, that you are free disregard their opinions and consider them to be totally insignificant or completely irrelevant to your life.

When discussing the sex lives of others, always remember that your attitude towards their sex life can be helpful and supportive, which creates a positive set of outcomes for them, like high self-esteem and pride. Or, your opinions and words can be intentionally negative, hurtful and harmful (which ultimately can take both an emotionally and physical toll on the shamed person). When it comes to sex shaming, it’s completely up to you to decide which road to take, but remember that your judgements can quickly cause them to either feel accepted and loved, or for them to develop grave ramifications such as depression.

About Condom Depot

The Condom Depot Learning Center provides free safer sex ed and has recently been resourced by Men's Health, Go Ask Alice, Her Campus, LifeHacker, Scarleteen, Bustle, Madame Noire, Jezebel, Vice, Stallion Style, aPlus, Sex Talk Tuesday and Adult Sex Ed Month.

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