my lad friends are calling me a slut #AskBish

My Lad Friends are Calling Me a Slut

My advice to a reader who is having a nice time pulling in clubs but getting ‘bants’ from her lad friends who are calling her a slut. Booooo. 

“So my group of friends is about a 50/50 mix of lads and lasses. When we all go out clubbing together I normally pull a few lads per night. Occasionally I will go home with some of the lads i pull as well. A couple of the lads in my friendship group have been calling me a slut and obviously they just mean it as banter but it’s kind of peak and makes me feel like maybe I am a slut? Idk whether the lads in my friendship group are right or not.”

Well, I don’t think they’re right.

Here’s me reading it out in case you can’t be arsed to read right now.

Slut is an insulting word used to stop women from doing what the f**k they like. Although it can be used in a way that is powerful and valuable (which I’ll explain), when it’s used by others like this it’s, as you say, peak.

Slut vs stud

I’m assuming that you’re a lass, but if you were a lad who pulled people at a club and occasionally took them home with you, what might you get called then? There’s a big difference between what lads get called when they are sexually active, or interested in sex, and what women get called. Lads get status, and lasses get stigma. Why is it not fair for women to be interested in sex when it’s totally expected of men*. It’s a double standard, one rule for one gender, and another rule for another, which means that it’s sexist. In fact, it’s well peak and I don’t think that people should this word towards other people.

*this expectation on men to be always up for sex is a real problem too

*You* can say you’re a slut if you want

Some words that are used as insults can also be used in a way that are not insulting. BUT only by the people that the word was meant to insult. The word slut has been used by some people as a reclaimed word. It’s been given a new meaning by people (often women, but not only) who call themselves sluts in order to take the power of the insult away and to give themselves power.

Which means that some people might be able to hear the word used against them and respond with: “and…? What’s your point?”. Often people don’t mind being called a slut because they think that there is nothing wrong with being a slut. I for one don’t think there is anything wrong in someone of any gender who enjoys having sex.

You might have heard of the term ‘slut-shaming’ where this word is used against women to try to shame them into not having sex. May you have also have heard of slut walks. This is where women came together to protest against the idea that women dressing in a ‘slutty’ way makes them responsible for the sexual violence against them.

Help I’m Being Slut Shamed

However, like with all reclaimed words, a lot of people really don’t feel comfortable doing that. For many people the word is always going to be a negative one: as you say, peak. See also ‘queer’, ‘crip’, and the ‘n word’.

So the word slut is an insulting word, which people shouldn’t use, unless they are using it as a positive word to describe themselves or a movement. These lads in your friendship group should not be using it to describe you, unless you have given them permission to do so.

Leaving aside what people think of you, what do you think?

It’s totally okay to be doing what you’re doing. If you’re happy, and the people you pull are happy, then great, keep it up and have fun. You do you. As I said above, slut is a word used to stop women doing what they want. It’s peak and I want it to stop.

However, maybe you are asking me a question about this because you want to reflect on what you want from pulling. How you feel about you. What kind of relationships you want. What you want to get out of sex.

Even very experienced and enthusiastic sexers have times where they want to stop and think about what’s going on for them. Sometimes they might not be having the best sexy times. Maybe it’s affecting their relationships. Perhaps they are thinking about their sexual identity a bit more. It’s okay to have regrets, or meh feelings, or just some thoughts about how you’re feeling about things. Doesn’t mean you have to stop, or that you’re wrong.

Why do people have sex?

You might find interesting to think about what you are getting out of having sex and how that relates to your sexuality. If you visit this article called why do people have sex it might give you a bit of insight into what you want from sex and whether you are getting that at the moment.

Also you might want to think about whether you are looking for a romantic, or a sexual connection with these lads, or both. You might not be interested in romantic relationships at all and might just be interested in sex. It might be that you just want a bit of a sexual or romantic connection but not for very long because other relationships are more important to you.

Read What is Romance anyway?

Just to be clear, I’ll say it again, this is all fine and if you want to keep doing as you’re doing I think you definitely should. I think what you’re doing is peak (peak is also a positive word, do keep up older readers).

What to do about your lad friends

So you could ask them to stop calling you this word. If you’re looking for a way to word it, you could say something like, I dunno, something like, ummm:

you’ve been calling me a slut and obviously you just mean it as banter but it’s kind of peak, so don’t

You could also get your lass friends to help you. Lasses do sometimes call other lasses this word too. But if they are excellent friends then they might be able to support you by sticking up for you and challenging the lads when they use the term.

You could also just send the lads here and I’ll give them a bollocking for you. Here we go: “hey lads, stop calling your friend a slut. It’s sexist, it’s insulting and it’s not what good friends do. So do better and buy her a WKD, or a Panda pop, or a Curly Wurly to apologise.”

Lads! Play the Being Friends Board Game

Why are the lads saying this?

Maybe the lads don’t realise that they shouldn’t be using that word (don’t use that word at other people lads). Perhaps the lads are using this word because they have underlying concerns about you. That might still be sexist, but different. Or that they are worried about the relationship they have with you. Maybe they are feeling a bit put out that you are all going clubbing together to have a nice time and that you are pulling people and maybe ignoring them a bit?

Read Mates Before Dates

Even if this was true, they should have said ‘hey stop putting dates before mates’ rather than be mean to you. Anyway, they are being mean, and if they want to be good mates they would stop calling you this name. Also, banter can be fun, but it’s a way that lads are taught how to behave with each other. I think it would be better if they could ditch the bants sometimes and just be real about their feelings and be real about how much they value their relationship with you. You shouldn’t have to feel like you have to behave like one of the lads in order to be friends with them.

Hope this advice was not peak, or was definitely peak.

Justin

Comment below if you like. I moderate all comments before they appear, just so you know!

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Justin Hancock

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