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5 Subtle Signs You May Be Experiencing Slut Shaming

by | Jun 7, 2021 | SEXUALITY, TRAUMA, WOMENS HEALTH

Some women experience slut shaming.

At some point in time, you’ve likely experienced slut shaming. In fact, it’s probably happened a lot more than just once.

Slut-shaming is something that happens to virtually all women, not just the ones who fall under the most commonly used term slut.

What’s worse is that it doesn’t matter what the situation is.

Whether you’ve been sexually assaulted, are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, or simply choose to protect yourself by using birth control—there will always be a derogatory comment aimed to judge, blame, and shame a young woman simply for encompassing female sexuality.

Let’s talk about slut-shaming…

What Exactly Is Slut-Shaming?

Slut-shaming is essentially the practice of sexualizing girls and women and then criticizing them harshly for have a sexy image or engaging in sexual activity.

Society has been conditioned to believe that women should behave in two conflicting ways—with innocence and as sexual deviants. So, when a woman’s sexual expression doesn’t align with what others perceive to be the way a lady should behave, they get called slutty, promiscuous, and worse.

Slut-shaming is redundant, illogical, humiliating, and damaging. It’s also something that you may not even realize is happening to you. There’s more than one way to call a woman a slut, and much of the time it’s so subtle that it seems normal.

Here are some of the more subtle signs that you’re being slut-shamed:

1. Are You Really Wearing That?

Whether it’s a friend raising an eyebrow at your cleavage-bearing blouse or a partner expressing their “concern” over your figure-hugging outfit, it’s a form of slut-shaming.

And let’s not forget the unfortunately very common utterance she just dresses like that for attention that comes from both men and women.

The truth is that judging—and shaming—young women because they’re projecting a sexy image is also something that has been programmed into our brains by rape culture.

Wearing revealing clothing has nothing to do with sexual behaviors and everything to do with your own personal expression of style. Believing that girls and women only dress to impress the opposite sex is the same as saying that the primary purpose of the female body is to please men.

Additionally, those who are bothered by a revealing outfit are usually projecting their own insecurities onto you. If it’s your partner worrying that your outfits will attract too much attention, it’s a sign of possessiveness, which also stems from insecurity.

2. Your Partner Acts Entitled to Your Sexual History

Just because you enter into a relationship doesn’t mean you’re obligated to share the roster. As long as you’re being honest with your partner about getting tested and practicing safe sex, that’s all they really need to worry about.

No one has the right to demand every detail about your sexual history—period. Not only is the answer irrelevant, but there’s technically never a right answer. You will be judged whether you’re inexperienced or very experienced, both of which are a form of slut-shaming.

It’s the whole Madonna-Whore paradigm, and it’s tired.

You don’t need to feel ashamed of your “number” and you don’t have to share it if you’re not comfortable with doing so.

3. You Get Punished for Putting Out

So, you decided to have sex on the first date and now he’s no longer into you because you’re too easy.

Or, you never even made it to that first date because they didn’t like what they heard about your sexual behaviors in the past.

Here’s the deal—if someone thinks it’s acceptable to sleep with you on the first date but doesn’t think it’s acceptable that you slept with them on the first date, they need therapy.

Additionally, if someone thinks they can judge your sexual behaviors based solely on what they’ve heardthen they also need therapy.

These people may not realize that what they’re doing is, in fact, slut-shaming, but that doesn’t make it okay. You’re allowed to have sex whenever you want and with whomever you want.

These rules apply to everyone, as long as it’s enthusiastically consensual. It’s really not a difficult concept to grasp.

4. You Receive Backhanded Comments for Having Casual Sex

So you enjoy casual sex and your friends enjoy hearing about it. The only issue is that they’ve turned it into a spectator sport.

While girl talk usually involves divulging in one another’s sexcapades, it may also involve expressions of distaste.

For example, if your friends say things like And how many guys is this now? Or, You’re never going to find a good man if you keep sleeping around, or worse—You’re just like a guy!—you’re being unfairly slut-shamed.

The only person that needs to feel comfortable with your sexual activity is you. Enjoying sex isn’t something that’s reserved only for men, nor does it mean that you have deep-seeded issues. Therefore, your friends shouldn’t be keeping score and they definitely shouldn’t be boxing you into an age-old sexual double standard.

5. When a Risqué Photo Gets Around it’s Your Fault

Slut bashing over nude photos has become almost normal. It’s always the same situation too: You like someone, you’re seeing them casually or seriously, the next thing you know, you’re caught up in a sexting session and sending nudes.

When you’re caught up in the heat of the moment, you don’t always think about what happens next.

Unfortunately, some people don’t have your best interest at heart and they think it’s okay to share your naked body with the rest of the world on social media. What’s worse is that you get blamed for it—not them.

Victim blaming IS slut-shaming. Sure, it’s foolish to trust someone else with risqué photos of yourself, but you’re the one who has been betrayed in this situation. It’s your trust that has been broken, and there’s nothing “slutty” about wanting to please your partner.

It’s important to note that this type of behavior isn’t about your sexy image. It’s about controlling girls and women, which goes beyond slut-shaming as it’s manipulative and abusive.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.

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Author Bio

Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and PACT II trained Couples Therapist. She is the Founder of Modern Intimacy. Follow her on IG @drkatebalestrieri and @themodernintimacy.

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