The Ethical Slut
Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.Guillaume Apollinaire
The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities, by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt (pen name of Janet Hardy).
- We are particularly in favor of multiple partners having a chance to meet each other, or at least hear about each other, to dispel our self-created mythology that the other person is younger, thinner, sexier, etc. You might be surprised, when you meet your lover's lover, to find the experience downright reassuring.
- chapter on "Jealousy"
- We believe that it is fundamentally a radical political act to deprivatize sex. So much oppression in our culture is based on shame about sex: the oppression of women, of cultural minorities, oppression in the name of the (presumably asexual) family, oppression of sexual minorities. We are all oppressed. We have all been taught, one way or another, that our desires, our bodies, our sexualities, are shameful. What better way to defeat oppression than to get together in communities and celebrate the wonders of sex?
- A ring around the finger does not cause a nerve block to the genitals.
- A slut shares her sexuality the way a philanthropist shares his money — because they have a lot to share, because it makes them happy to share it, because sharing makes the world a better place.
- "Easy": Is there, we wonder, some value in being difficult?
- It is amazing to us to think ... that most people in our culture have never had a chance to watch another person enjoy sex. No wonder we worry so much about our appearance.
- Joe was very possessive. I was perfectly faithful. He would beat me, screaming imprecations, 'You slut!' when another man looked at me. After I left, I decided he was right — I am a slut, I want to be a slut, I will never promise monogamy again. After all, why would any care who I fucked? I will never be a piece of property again, no matter how valuable that property is considered. Joe made a feminist of me. A feminist slut.
- Myth #3: Loving someone makes it OK to control his behavior.
- Sex is for pleasure, a complete and worthwhile goal in and of itself. People have sex because it feels very good, and then they feel good about themselves.
- So we are proud to reclaim the word "slut" as a term of approval, even endearment. To us, a slut is a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.
- Some people consider any form of sex education to be child abuse, and many do not feel that children should have any information at all about adult sexual activities. ...How are we to teach our children to say 'no' to an abusive adult if we are not frank about what it is that they should say no to?
- To believe that God doesn't like sex is like believing that God doesn't like you: we all wind up carrying a secret shame for our own perfectly natural sexual desires and fulfillments. We prefer the beliefs of a woman we met who is a devoted churchgoer. She told us that when she was about five years old, she discovered the joys of masturbation in the back seat of the family car, tucked under a warm blanket on a long trip. It felt so wonderful that she concluded that the existence of her clitoris was proof positive that God loved her.
- We have been taught by our culture that when our partner has sex with another, we have lost something. Not to sound dumb, but we are confused. What have we lost?
- We measure the ethics of a good slut not by the number of his partners, but by the respect and care with which he treats them.
- We see ourselves surrounded by the 'walking wounded' — by people who have been deeply, if not irrevocably, injured by fear, shame, and hatred of their own sexual selves. We believe that happy connected sex is the cure for these wounds, that it is important, possibly even essential, to most people's sense of self-worth, to their belief that life is good. We have never met anyone who had low self-esteem at the moment of orgasm.
- We've ... been called "indiscriminate" in our sexuality, which we resent: we can always tell our lovers apart.
- When both genders feel free to answer 'yes' or 'no' with no concern for anything but their own desires, a truer understanding, and a more positive sexuality, can be achieved. Dossie tells the story of a woman friend of hers back in the '70s who, as an experiment, sat patiently in a singles' bar one night, being approached by many men, until finally one to whom she felt attracted came along and began to flirt. She asked him nicely if he would like to come back to her place and fuck. He swallowed his ice. It took the poor fellow a couple of minutes before he could talk coherently again, and when they actually got to her place he found himself impotent. That's how deeply ingrained some of these cultural stereotypes can be.
- [Wilhelm] Reich theorized that without the suppression of sexuality and the imposition of anti-sexual morality, you could not have an authoritarian government, because people would be free from shame, and would trust their own sense of right and wrong. Such people are unlikely to march to war against their wishes, and we would like to think they would be unlikely to agree to operate the death camps too.
- Easton, Dossie, and Liszt, Catherine. 1997. The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities. ISBN 1890159018.