How to be a slut

Be the ultimate patriarchal boner-killer by putting it all out there

dolphin panties

Is there a way to be a bad feminist? What does it mean to be a female writer? In conjunction with our Girls Rule issue, some of our favourite writers, activists and artists will be musing on these questions for Girl Guides, a series of how-tos and thinkpieces on the state of modern womanhood. Here, Dazed writer Steph Kretowicz demonstrates how you can subvert the sexual status quo.      

Executive summary

Own your own body. Now that's a directive that’s more complicated than it sounds, especially when applied to women. As the property of capitalist patriarchy – meaning a collective of people living under ruling economic structures and the narrow perceptions of gender binaries – the form defined as female is the property of all. 'All' being (mostly straight) men and their 'property' perceived in relation to how it fulfils their own needs and desires, that is. 

This deeply ingrained misogyny places the blame of any masculine misdemeanour squarely on the shoulders of the second sex; it’s become the responsibility of ‘woman’ to preserve the image of her own chastity and virtue. That way, she maintains the machinations of a monogamous double standard – the one that keeps other men at bay, keeps her male mate’s offspring legitimate and preserves a profoundly unjust political structure.

Basically, as much you, woman, are responsible for the apparently rapacious sexual appetite of Man-at-large, you too are to blame for your own subjugation. Free yourself!

Here’s a report on the economy behind sexual and gender inequality and how acting like a slut can disrupt it. 

Luxury goods

Seeing we live under the occupation of political structures that operate on capital, let’s put this in terms that everyone can understand. As woman, your body is priceless. It’s a designer item available to the highest bidder; the more rare, beautiful and untouched – the better the condition – the higher the value. As an object among other competing objects, it is in your best interest to stay appealing on these terms in order to attract a buyer, a patron. You’re not for sale to just anyone. Once you’ve been bought, you will remain the exclusive property of that buyer until you die.

In order to oppose this unhelpful abstraction and commodification, there are two things you can do: one, remember that there is nothing special about you. Two, remind everyone else. By exposing your body and ‘putting out’ without discretion, you are decreasing your sexual value as a luxury good. Why would anyone want to invest in something everyone else has had a piece of? As humans, we naturally want what we can’t have, so why would we want something we can? Display and distribute your body without scruple and soon no one will be interested in the purchase. Be liberal – not a limited edition.

Artificial scarcity

As mentioned above, your goods are only as valuable so long as they're hard to get, like diamonds. Insight into the woman’s form and access to her bits in this consumer economy of sexual desire is like the Disney Vault: catch a glimpse of a movie once and soon there’s a mystique, a connection to a past memory that develops around it before there’s even hope of another screening. 

aza shade
Abandon the pantsuit and relinquish the mystery Aza Shade

As a woman, you trade on this whether you know it or not. There are all sorts of conditioned behaviours, overt and not so much, that reflect an inclination to ‘tease’. Keeping your legs crossed. Wearing knee-length dresses that imply easy access but feign modesty. Even a lipstick emphasising the labial nature of your mouth, while wearing a contrasting pantsuit – all point to certain ‘feminine’ accoutrements that say you’re potentially available, but only as an overture. Cut the dress short, tear off the neckline, abandon the pantsuit and relinquish the mystery. Own your abjection and establish visibility. You are flesh and bone.

Compatibility

Here’s where being a slut can get super fun. Why limit a sexual appetite to a particular type of opposite? In an alpha male-female, masculine-feminine context there are implied and structural power differences. Move your experience across the spectrum and you not only open yourself up to more equitable pairings, but you also become a threat to patriarchy by refusing the binary model of gender, sex and sexuality.

“Have pride. Don’t be objectified, be subjective. Don’t just be desired, desire."

Think of it like a restaurant franchise. Said model tries to maximise the number of satisfied customers by offering low-grade and dull food, while using advertising to convince them it’s all they’re after. Be the start-up business: be different, be defiant and refuse to be defined. Allow yourself to be branded, packaged and commodified and we’re back right where we started.

A new growth model 

So, how do you disrupt a trajectory toward a bleak future of sexual subordination? How do you subvert the monstrous inequality of woman’s objectification? You can stand in opposition to it. Have pride. Don’t be objectified, be subjective. Don’t just be desired, desire. Tattoo yourself, get fat and get naked. Make that your brand and advertise it. There’s strength in numbers and the only way to negate power is to refuse its influence. And that’s not by being the exception, but by making it the rule. Decrease your property value, increase your autonomy and don’t buy into the bullshit. 

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