“I’m not a slut, I just love love!”~P!nk, “Slut Like You”
The term “slut” is obviously a pretty loaded one in our culture. In vanilla world, it’s a pejorative term, and labeling someone (almost always female) a “slut” practically by definition makes them undateable and unmarriageable—a girl who’s fine to fuck, but not fine to introduce to your mom and your friends. Kinkworld, meanwhile, has been enthusiastically reclaiming the term and the concept of “slut” with the same kind of passionate intensity that Queers have been reclaiming “queer.” The 7th most popular group on the fetlife is “Sluts, Cunts, and Whores,” and the most prized camper award at Dark Odyssey Summer Camp is the Camp Slut award—an award that people sometimes actively compete for. I think it’s pretty telling that my husband once fucked the Camp Slut during her gangbang, and then tried to figure out how to ask her to dinner. Now admittedly, he’s clearly got a taste for a certain kind of girl since he’s been married to me for many years, but as a more general trend, I’ve never heard anyone in Kinkworld complain or indicate that someone being a “slut” made the person undateable (except that it sometimes means they don’t have a lot of time), and only one person complain that she couldn’t get a date because people thought she was too slutty.
Suffice it to say that I come from an alternate sexual universe where being a slut is actually a desirable characteristic. Since I assumed that some people might be reading this who come from a sexual universe where a gangbang won’t get a girl a date (and I think a few earnest marriage proposals too, actually), I figured I’d do a little quick research to see what it means to be a slut to the rest of the world. I consulted the almighty urbandictionary, which informed me first and foremost that a slut is “a woman with the morals of a man.” That sentence is pithy and obviously intended to be humorous, and it certainly says a great deal about how our culture understands sex in relation to femininity and masculinity (i.e. having sex with a lot of people is something that is only socially acceptable for men). It does not, however, say much about what it would mean in practice to be a slut. The second-most popular definition (and there’s a big gap here) is more practically informative: “Someone who provides a very needed service for the community and sleeps with everyone, even the guy that has no shot at getting laid and everyone knows it. She will give him a sympathy fuck either because someone asked her to or she just has to fuck everyone she knows. These are great people, and without them sex crimes would definitly increase. Thank you slut, where ever you are.” Grammatical and spelling errors aside, this definition also emphasizes the idea of “slut” as a term to apply to women and suggests that, morals aside, sluts provide a social good by fucking everyone and thereby helping to decrease sex crimes (I’m not even going to touch the implicit assumption here that men would uncontrollably rape lots of women if some women didn’t agree to sex readily…)
I don’t claim to know with certainty what it means to have “the morals of a man.” I do know that a guy once asked me the morning after we had sex if it “meant” anything, and I quipped, “It means we had sex.” One of my best (lesbian) friends informed me (equally sardonically, I think), that this response meant that I am, “in fact, a boy.” If it’s masculine to believe that chemistry, attraction, friendship, love, and romantic love are more inherently meaningful than sex itself, then I guess I have the “morals of a man.” But I know that I don’t indiscriminately fuck boys (although there was a time when I indiscriminately fucked girls), so I definitely lose out on the second definition.
That said, these definitions don’t seem to apply very well in my world anyway, because in my universe, “slut” is basically gender neutral—I call both women and men sluts (especially most of my partners…). Hell, the Camp Slut award this year was given to a guy (who I fucked… I’ve never not fucked the Camp Slut actually). My peeps decided that “slut” can be a BDSM-type role (as in, “she’s my slut,” the same way you might say, “she’s my sub”), and two of my partners actually address me as “slut” the same way that one of them calls the other one “sir.” We also decided that “slut” can be a sexual orientation as well—a sort of slang term for “polysexual,” meaning that variety is a key aspect of your sexuality and sexual attraction.
In my experience, there are three main types of good sluts: 1) Sluts of Yes, 2) Sluts of More, and 3) Sluts of Poly; I’ve met them all, but there may be others. Sluts of Yes encompass the second definition in urbandictionary: women and men who really just don’t turn down sex very much, and appear by most people’s reckoning to have no standards. When you ask them what it’s like to have sex with people they’re not attracted to, they stare at you in puzzlement and assure you that they’re basically attracted to everyone. These people make kickass escorts, because they have such a damned good time with whoever they’re with. They’re very unlikely to turn you down for sex because… well, because you asked. It’s not that they’re afraid of hurting your feelings, but if there’s no good reason to say “no,” why wouldn’t they say “yes”? Sluts of More want sex… allll the time. Sure, lots of people say they “think about sex constantly,” but sluts of more actually have all that sex. And then some. It’s sometimes hard to get that much sex from just one or two people, so they often end up going to lots of different people to get it all. Sluts of Poly often seem to be in love with sexual pleasure. They say things like, “It’s only a one-night stand if it’s not very good.” They also utter statements like, “I don’t usually have sex with people I’m not at least friends with.” Then you ask them, “How many of your good friends haven’t you had sex with?,” and they start counting on their fingers—and often can’t fill up a hand; they’re frequently left with the friends who are into a different gender. Sex is one of their and their friends’ main shared interests and hobbies. Sluts of Poly often cluster in (sometimes fairly large) friendcestuous networks where everyone fucks everyone else. They tend to have a massive collection of “regular partners,” and still somehow manage to pick up more people.
If you’re contemplating a life as a slut, I recommend thinking carefully about which aspects of sluttery most appeal to you: do you want to have lots of NSA (No Strings Attached) sex with people you are loosely connected to or don’t know, or do you want to have lots of sex with people you’re relatively close to? Is the key factor having lots of sex, or lots of partners? If your priority is having lots of sex, it’s usually easier to get a few regular partners than to try to constantly go out and recruit more people for sex. On the other hand, if the appeal is the newness of people and having more variety in your life, you can usually accomplish your slutty goals more successfully by having one or two main partners and then hooking up with a variety of people.
One of my partners, who is pretty much a Queen Bee of sluts, somehow manages to be all three types of slut at once, I think. For myself, I usually think of myself mostly as a Slut of More and most particularly as a Slut of Poly. I like having a lot of awesome sex with a fairly large number of people, and in my experience, it’s easier to have awesome sex with people I know well and care about than people I just met. Both despite and because of this preference, I had to make a “guideline” for myself awhile back that I wouldn’t have sex with someone by myself (group sex rules are more flexible) unless I was actively attracted to them or at least suspected that I was. I learned through trial and error that the sex generally just wasn’t especially good unless I was actively attracted to someone, but I experimented back in an era where I had a lot fewer regular partners. I’ve now accumulated a rather impressive number of awesome regular partners, and having mediocre sex with new people usually just feels like a waste of time unless one of my regular partners is unavailable. But I issued the guideline for myself because I’m a slut, and I’m usually tempted to say “yes” to people (well, women, at least) just because they asked. That desire to say “yes” to sex and kink is the heart of what makes someone a slut, in my opinion.
So the short answer is, if you want to become a slut, start saying “yes” A LOT—more than really feels comfortable to you. (I’m taking for granted here that you’re going to follow some version of my Slut’s Creed and practice safer sex, try to keep yourself physically and emotionally safe in other ways, and be honest with yourself and your partners as much as possible, etc.). After you’ve said “yes” a lot, you can winnow down the things and people you say “yes” to based on what you enjoy most. Being a slut is first and foremost a state of mind, with the idea of being desired and saying “yes” feeling like a great turn-on; after that, it’s all about learning how to actualize your fantasies.
The longer answer is, I think, to try to figure out exactly what appeals to you about sluttery and try to manifest your desires. I personally think it’s helpful to have an idealized role model. For me, my idealized role model has always been courtesans, first the Venetian courtesans of the movie “Dangerous Beauty” (which I watched repeatedly as a teenager), and later the sacred courtesans of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books.
I’ve slept with guys who admitted they idolized Casanova (there’s a great movie of that one too), and one (bisexual) guy who said he always fantasized about being the girl in really slutty porn. But the main reason that those kinds of role models are helpful is because they can help you figure out what it is that you like: for the Casanovas out there, it’s all about leaving people awed with stunning sexual prowess; for the slut-tastic would-be porn stars, it’s often about stunt sex; for some sluts, it’s about pleasure in degradation; and for the switchly would-be courtesans like me, it’s about being someone’s fantasy made flesh, and often submitting to Desire while still being in control of a sexual situation. I think everyone’s pleasure in sluttery is different, and the key is to delve deep into your fantasies and figure out what your pleasure is.
“My reality is your fantasy”
The most important thing about becoming a slut is to start trying to figure out how to manifest your fantasies. Admit what you want, and try to shed a lifetime of social nonsense that says you shouldn’t want it or have it. That can take a lot of work for some people. It’s also about believing that what you want is possible. When I say “what you want,” the most important element is not what you can find or get, but what you can be or give. The most successful sluts I know (of all genders) get really good at something and wait for awesome people and situations to turn up, rather than going out to try to find something specific. And that’s what I recommend to you: get really good at whatever aspect of sluttery appeals to you (this requires practice and diligent application!), and then see what happens.
 I’m staying sex-positive here, so I’m going to ignore the “sluts” who promise monogamy and then cheat on their partners, although I assume they are the most common category statistically.