Help me I'm being slut shamed

Help, I’m Being Slut Shamed

Advice for someone who is being slut shamed at school. A must read if you like to gossip about people or judge people for their sex lives. (Another long one, sorry about that)

***this post mentions some non-consensual sex***

“I’m a girl. I really enjoy hooking up with guys that I like. I feel like I can express myself physically on how much I want them and care about them. I’m am aware of disrespect, I’m aware of when a guy isn’t right and I never choose that path. About a month ago, [with a guy you’d been chatting to for a while you went round to his place] he fingered me and we were both partially naked. I felt a little pushed to give a blowjob. At first I didn’t want to, but he wanted to and I ended up giving in.

After this I got excited and I told my best friend. I left out certain parts about what we did so she was happy for me. Her and my other best friend started feeling weird abt how I hook up with people. They starting drifting from me, telling me these things weren’t okay [because they associate sex with love] and that they didn’t wanna be my best friend anymore. I was very hurt because I felt like they should be here for me no matter what.

Now I get the slut shame. I live in a very small town and people that I thought were close to me were the ones who actually spread it. I’m a new freshman on the soccer team along with my old best friend. Everyone knows about what me and the guy did. They all give me weird looks and stares bc I’m young?

I believe in my friends and I keep going back at them trying to get them back trying to fix it and now I’m at a time where I don’t really have any group of good friends. I have good people here and there but I don’t spend time with them much and a lot are afraid to be seen with me.

Along with everything else, a popular girl on the soccer team thinks I am after her boyfriend when really we r just close friends. He lies and tells her he doesn’t talk to me but really we talk about everything very often. Now her and her friends don’t like me very much along with what I did with the boy.

I feel alone now and freshman year is starting. I have no idea who I will sit with or rely on and I don’t wanna look like someone with no friends, which I am. I don’t want to be hated I have tried to fix my image but it doesn’t seem to be working. It has been like this the entire summer and I don’t know how I can change my image and be liked.”

 

Hey

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It is totally unfair and you are not to blame for any of it. So I’m going to explain why some of this stuff might be happening. This means I’m going to say why I think society is sexist AF, how schools can be awful places, and how your people are treating you very very badly. There’s some advice for you at the end however, this is all the fault of other people, not you.

Society

For many hundreds of years society (this means: the law; government; authorities; schools/colleges; telly; film; news; religions) has said that it’s not okay for anyone to enjoy having hook ups. As you can read from this brilliant article, the idea that we shouldn’t really be enjoying sex has been around since at least the medieval period. Whilst it’s not really okay for anyone to be enjoying just having sex, it’s more okay for men to do this for women. For example think of all the words used to describe men who enjoy hook ups. Now compare those words with those used to describe women just enjoy hook ups.

Why are men called studs and women sluts?

Society says it’s only okay to enjoy sex if you are in a loving (ideally married) relationship. In fact, society says that if you are in a relationship that you should have sex, even if you don’t really want to (which is also shit for asexual folk).

Just because society says it’s wrong, doesn’t mean it actually is. It’s okay to have your own thoughts, ideas and values about what is right. A lot of people would say that so long as what you are doing is consensual, that you treat the other person right, and that you can do it as safely as you can then hooking up is chill. There’s a difference between what society says is okay and what people actually do (this has always been the case). For example over 50% of 18-24 reported that their most recent sexual partner was a casual or dating partner.

A lot of people would say that there is nothing inherently wrong in people your age having sex, other people would say there is (my advice about this is at the end). I know that a lot of people have sexy times under the age of 16, in the UK about ⅓ young people have sex before 16. However, just a quick note that you should probably be aware of the legal age of having sex. In the UK it’s 16 (though you are very unlikely to be prosecuted if it was with someone of a similar age and the relationship was consensual) – I think that it’s 16 where you are, but I’m guessing about where you live.

School/College

Sounds like a lot of this might be happening in the context of school and that can be making it worse. This is because big building + lots of bored kids = lots of gossip and drama. Gossip gives people power and influence — it makes people feel in or out. Because you’re now at HIgh School people are feeling vulnerable so gossiping in this way can make people feel a bit safer. They might not all agree with the content of the gossip and some of them may want to stick up for you, but right now they are being awful. Stop being awful people in this girl’s school!

Also people in schools, colleges and maybe even small towns like to police other people’s behaviour. When we’re growing up we are always under pressure to ‘be normal’ because people fear being bullied like you are at the moment. However, you are living your life and doing what you want. There are so many people who are so afraid not to ‘be normal’ that they don’t want to do what they want. Some of these people may go through their entire lives not being the person they really want to. I’m sad for them too (just not as sad as I am for you right now).

If this stuff is happening in school then there should be someone that you should be able to report this too. Schools should clamp down on bullying (by punishing those doing it) and I believe that there are laws in your part of the world that require schools to take bullying seriously. They should be doing more to educate everyone on sex, relationships, sexuality and gender (they could start with this if you want to send them a link). They should also have someone that you can talk to — like a school counsellor, or someone like that.

People around you

So the people around you are not behaving in a good way to you. You’re absolutely right, your friends should not have drifted away from you when you needed them. They should be supporting you, not just leaving you. The guy who you gave a blowjob to did not treat you well either, because he made you do it even though you didn’t really want to. He should take a good long look at himself and do a better job at hook ups. Also the guy you’re friends with who isn’t being honest with his girlfriend about you? STEP UP SON. He can’t be confiding all his business with you and then not being honest about this — because of course that is going to make his girlfriend suspicious of you (though, again, she is in the wrong too).

You

You have done nothing wrong so I don’t think you should do anything to change your view about sex. If you want to carry on having hook ups (and are okay with the law, sorry about having to mention that again but it’s a thing) then you might want to consider some of the following.

I don’t want to sound finger wagging but you should know that the majority of people your age are not having sex. To be kind to your friends for a minute, they might find it a bit upsetting that you are having sex because it’s not something that they are interested in doing right now. They should actually be supporting you and giving you really great advice and they shouldn’t be so judgy. However some people you may speak to may be a liiiiiittle bit concerned about you — particularly if the people you have sex with aren’t looking after you.

In my experience (I’ve worked with thousands of people in person) what makes sex difficult for 14/15 year olds is when other people use their power, influence and experience to make the younger person do things that they aren’t totally up for. I think this is something for you to consider: how can you make it clear that even though you are interested in sex, you do want to have the sex you want. This responsibility for this should be on the people who have more power (in this case, the guy who pestered you into giving him oral sex) but it might be useful for you to think about how power works in sexual relationships and how you can make this work more for you.

Why power is a thing in sex

You mention in your question that you are careful about who you hook up with. That’s good — because even for hook-ups it’s important to have enough trust, communication and honesty. If you are going to carry on having hook ups can you have conversations with people you are having sexy times with beforehand? As well as talking about what sex you do and don’t want to do, can you talk about how you can treat each other well? Like, is it okay for either of you to tell other people? Is it just about sex or do either of you want something more.

However you deserve to be treated better than you are being treated now. I think that you have now just started high school (right?) which means that there are now loads of other people who you might be able to hang out with. There will be other people who either don’t care about your sex life, or will have similar experiences, and these might be better people for you to hang out with. You might be able to make friends with other people on the soccer team or on another team or by doing another hobby outside of school.

Meanwhile, if your friends continue to be awful to you then it might be best to think about ending it with them. Perhaps it might be worth trying to have a conversation with them about what you will and won’t put up with. Just like with any relationship, if they aren’t prepared to support you, be nice to you, be honest with you, or if you can’t trust them then maybe it’s time to end it?

Get a check-up for your relationships here.

Whilst you sort out your relationships with people or find new ones, maybe you could try and, find some people to talk to online about this. The excellent Scarleteen have some excellent (moderated) forums where you might be able to find some like-minded people to chat to.

No matter what the cause of this is, you are being bullied and it is not your fault. I understand why your mom might not be someone that you can chat to very much about this (in your longer question), but is there someone else? An adult that you can trust? Tell them, because I think that you need some support on the ground there. Even if they can’t make it go away straight away you need some support in the meantime. I think there might be someone that you could talk to about what’s happening at home too…

Give yourself a big up

I really hope this all helps

Justin

© Justin Hancock, 2017


Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment