Magazine Issues 2016 FS157 No more sex shaming: why my 2017 will be sex-positive By Vish | @VishDelishUK I want to be a ‘slut’. There, I said it. You might be thinking, “why would anyone want to be a slut?” After all, this word is deeply misogynistic, where women are criticised for dressing a certain way and for having openly active sex lives. Heaven fucking forbid! This negativity also spills into the gay world to some extent, particularly when STIs are involved, and people get on their high horse by labelling people as sluts for being diagnosed. The trouble with the word ‘slut’ is the insinuated shame that surrounds it. Eurgh, enough of the shame! I’ve come to the conclusion that some people just love sex and as long as they are clued up on the risks and look after themselves, then who is anyone to judge? Perhaps it’s time we banish the world ‘slut’ from our vocabulary or at least reclaim it to mean something more sex-positive. I predict 2017 will be my year of sexual liberation. I want to be someone who indulges in sexual encounters at times when I demand them. You wouldn’t think this would be difficult in the age of hook-up apps and the Guardian’s weekly blind date feature (where bewildered individuals are flung together and their date is featured for readers to poke fun at). However, my sex life never really took off. You could say my prospects of any kind of sex life landed in the Bermuda Triangle, never to been seen again. The main barriers that stand in my way of a ‘slut of the year’ sash are my confidence and prudishness. I’m afraid that in reality I’m kinda ‘sex negative’. I was also brought up on Bollywood. In these movies, kissing and sex scenes were and remain a complete no no. Whenever the hero and his bae leaned in for a smooch, they would abruptly stop and jump behind a rose bush to carry on, and usually a song and dance sequence would follow to cement their love. The Bollywood movies were cute and they helped to maintain my innocence, to the relief of my parents. I guess that another factor is my family. Being the baby of the family, it meant I was overprotected and the outside world was filtered before I got to absorb it. Forget sex, I can’t even remember what it feels like to kiss someone. The last time I got ‘intimate’ was when I lined up for a Chinese buffet and this guy with a plate full of spring rolls who was trying to get back to his table smashed into me and our mouths awkwardly collided. It was embarrassing, but he smelled nice and we blushed. You could say it was a personal 2016 highlight. The truth is I’ve never been considered sexy. I’ve been told I look like a camp Asian Ed Miliband. I guess this says it all. The truth is, geeky fem individuals like myself who don’t fit Eurocentric beauty standards usually don’t fit the preferences of many white gay men – but that’s OK. I don’t care if people have racial, body and masculine preferences. The older I get, the less fucks I give and I honestly don’t say this with hostility. At the end of the day, people’s preferences come from their lived experiences, and after all people are a product of their upbringing. This of course doesn’t mean I won’t call people out on their ridiculousness, but I’m safer taking a step back and letting people be for my mental health’s sake. This certainly shrinks my pool of interested parties who wish to plough me. Hey-Ho, it’s how the cookie crumbles and I accept I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I can blame external factors for my prudishness and lack of sexual adventures until the cows come home. But things will change in 2017. I will take a chance to have physical relations, which could be random fumbles or involve love. However it plays out, I hope for sexual liberation where the current me will let go of judgement and insecurities to embrace the ‘slut’ within and spin my sex negativity to sex positivity. For advice about sex and sexual health, visit www.fsmag.org.uk/Pages/Category/sex THIS ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM FS ISSUE #156. TO READ THE ISSUE IN FULL CLICK HERE.