Stop Prude Shaming [Sexy Time]

As of late, I’ve been noticing a subtle trend in the discourse surrounding sex, wherein people go out of their way to emphasize how adventurous and kinky and open-minded they are in bed. Not that there is anything remotely wrong with any of that, but is there any reason to accompany those remarks with a dig at people who are more vanilla/tame/virginal? I’m sure that the need to boast about the amazingly vibrant and multifaceted sex life is, in part, a reaction to society’s aggressive slut-shaming and general sex-negativity. While it’s great when people are able to see beyond our collectively lame perception of sex, it’s not cool at all to shame other people for differing sexual proclivities.

I’m sure that plenty of people would definitely consider me a prude. I’ve only had one boyfriend. Prior to him, I’d had less than 10 remotely sexual encounters. I’ve never intentionally engaged in casual sex/hookups – when it happened, I was wrought with anxiety and discomfort. I don’t like anal, nor am I interested in threesomes. And in this post-Katy Perry world, I’ve never even kissed a girl. In some circles, these truths would totally render me an uptight prude. Which, really, I fail to see much of a problem with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to be super experimental, or lacking any desire to try to win a “who’s kinkier?” contest.  Being sex-positive doesn’t mean imposing your own ideas onto others — it means respecting that there are tons of ways to express your sexuality, and they are valid, whether you’re choosing to save yourself for marriage or save yourself for the next guy who makes you a jello shot.

It doesn’t matter if missionary is your end-all and be-all or whether you devour the Kama Sutra, if you enjoy fingerbangs or need to be gagged, bound and slapped to enjoy yourself, or if you have absolutely no interest in sex whatsoever; you shouldn’t feel shamed or looked down upon for your proclivities. We have such a messy societal narrative when it comes to sex. If you’re having too much sex, you’re disgusting, but if you’re not have enough, you’re boring. We need to stop buying into these arbitrary notions that there is some sort of barometer for what is the “right” kind of sex life. As long as it’s consistently safe and consensual, that’s all that matters. Everyone finds different things appealing, so let’s stop policing everyone’s behaviors and start accepting people for who they are, instead of who we think they should be.

[Lead image via CREATISTA/Shutterstock]



  1. kate says:

    fabulous article. i'm on the kinkier end of the spectrum, i find myself making fun of people who aren't as adventurous. it's refreshing to realize how unfair that is, I hate how people are judged for being kinky, so why should people who are a little tamer be labelled prudes. women need to stop insulting each other and labelling each other!

  2. :C_Sad_Day says:

    In all honesty, it sucks to be on the prude side. It becomes extremely difficult to keep guys around cause they realize that there are kinkier girls available. It takes a gentlemen to be okay with it, and normally they aren't.

    I think girls can hurt each other when they get competitive to be over adventurous, just because it keys guys into the idea that sex should be expected in every relationship. And idea neither here nor there, and completely a personal choice for everyone involved.

    I will stick to my personal moral code, but sometimes I wish people would consider how their compeitive actions affect the dating pool, cause boys really don't like to say no.

    1. Darbanville says:

      I just wanted to say I know how you're feeling. Just remember that if he won't respect your choice enough to wait until you are comfortable, then he is NOT the guy for you. Good luck. :)

    2. Meg says:

      unfortunately it seems that most people commenting associate those who are more open sexually to sluts. Let me just point out this is called stereotyping. Just because you are kinky or adventurous in bed, doesn't mean that you've had multiple partners and have no moral code. C'mon folks think about what you're saying. And by the way, the idea of each person doing what they want in their own bedroom…..should also apply to those who choose same sex partners. Just saying.

    3. Meg says:

      What I hear you saying here C_Sad_Day is that women who are adventurous in bed are to blame for the fact that some guys expect sex from every relationship? "Boys don't really like to say no"? Are you blaming the more adventurous women for corrupting the boys who would have otherwise been attracted to someone not adventurous in bed? Please don't give men excuses for their poor behavior. I have observed many times when a man cheats on his spouse or girlfriend and the girlfriend blames not the man, but the other woman. As if that other woman somehow forced the boyfriend/husband to cheat, or seduced him, or tied him up so she could have sex with him. Please recognize that there are many men who will cheat for reason that have nothing to do with sex. The blame for cheating rests squarely with the person who was in a relationship and cheated. Period. In many cases "the other woman" is not even aware that he was in a relationship with someone else. If your spouse or significant other cheats on you–blame them for their behavior—not the person or persons they cheated with.

  3. […] • Stop prude shaming right now. Promise! (CollegeCandy) […]

  4. Krista says:

    This is a fantastic article. I am one of the more adventurous girls, but I have several close friends who aren't. They don't judge me, I don't judge them, we both understand each other and what each other can deal with. In my mind, this is a great part of our relationships as friends.

    I also kind of linked this in my mind to all the skinny-hate going on, there was recently an article on that as well. While I am doing my part to understand and accept as many people as I can fit with my ethics (I'm not going to say everyone because that is just entirely unrealistic).

    Labeling people can be helpful, sorting people into groups that you might want to emulate trends from or avoid based on views you don't agree with, but the shaming and degradation that so often comes with labeling is only being amplified in negative ways. Many people want to change this, indeed many people are, but just as many or more want to push themselves above everyone else so they find the worst thing about a person and slap that label on them as their only feature. I find it quite sad, but it isn't something that is likely to ever be completely eradicated.

  5. Danielle says:

    Thank you for this!! Like the word "slut", I think the word "prude" should also be erased from our vocabulary because it's just as hurtful. Everyone has different sexual appetites and different levels of comfort in sexual situations. Likewise, some people have different religious or moral beliefs and some people have never been in a relationship yet (with the fear of commitment among guys these days, this is becoming more and more common). Basically, what you decide to do or not do in the bedroom is your own choice and shouldn't be judged by anyone else.

  6. Kris says:

    Thank you for this article! I've been getting sick of reading around the net about how so many women are so proud of their slut status and how every woman should be too because it's supposedly so GREAT being a slut. I've always been sexually conservative. I've only had sex with one man – my husband, and not until after we were married. I chose to respect myself, and in doing that, turned down any man who tried to push the physical aspect of our relationship. I will never be one of those girls who looks back with disgust at the men she's been with and wondered why in the world I slept with them. I will never have to worry about STDs. I was able to find a man who loved me for me and not solely for what I did in the bedroom. Thank you for standing up for those of us who are proud to NOT be a slut!

    1. Beatrice says:

      You seem to have missed the point of this article, Kris. I believe the point the writer makes is that we should all respect each other's sexual choices, not that one attitude is *right* and the other is *wrong*. Your comment is an example of slut shaming at its finest, and makes you no better than the people who you feel are judging you for being more sexually conservative.
      Women who have a number of sexual partners are perfectly capable of respecting themselves, and viewing sex as an empowering, enjoyable, guilt-free pleasure. Obviously, it's vital to be safe, but multiple partners is not something that everyone looks back on with regret. Those people who don't feel comfortable with casual sex are absolutely justified in not indulging in it. I'm very glad you are happy with your partner, and in a loving relationship. One day I hope to find the same. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy safe, casual sex, and I will respect your values if you will try and have a little more respect for mine.

    2. LittleMiss says:

      Congrats Kris, way to miss the point. And I say this as someone who has had two sex partners her whole life.

    3. Meg says:

      I think you missed the point of the article which was to NOT judge the sexual behavior of others. LOL

  7. Jdw says:

    Thank you for writing this article! I think we all need to stop comparing ourselves to others in every aspect, not just sexualy. We all have some anxiety about being "normal" and it usually is totally unrealistic.

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