Love, Sex

I'm A Feminist Who Likes To Be Called 'Sexist' Dirty Words In Bed

Photo: courtesy of the author
feminist who likes being called dirty words

Talking dirty during sex is a bit like spicy food: some people love it, some people don't see the point, and some go bright red and need a glass of water at the very thought of it.

But regardless of how you personally like to spend time in bed, there's no stopping the fact that there are plenty of women who want that spice. And a lot of the women who happen to love being called dirty, cheeky words during sex, are feminists. Yes, I'm a feminist who likes being called dirty words.

B*tch, slut, dirty girl, filthy slag — you know the drill. These names have a certain power to them that can make us feel the protagonists in our own Rocky Horror Show production.

Wait, aren't these words incredibly sexist? You may ask yourself. And you'd be right, when said in anger or jest by men who aim to hurt or patronize. But the point is that feminism is partially about reclaiming terms that were used against us as weapons.

RELATED: Sexist Men Most Likely To Have Psychological Issues Says Science


There's nothing wrong with wanting to stay the hell away from these words. I mean, hey, I have a list as long as my arm of words I don't ever want to hear again, but it's all about choice. The personal decision to grant someone the consent to use those words is and always will be up to you.

But let's set the scene already: you're in bed with your partner, it's so hot and heavy that you're past the stage of whispering I love you's and pressing your forehead against theirs. That was a half hour ago, and things have turned deliciously erotic. 

When sex gets to a certain level of kinkiness, you don't always want to be sweet and delicate, you want to be bad. You want to do taboo things and be immodest, and you want to show it not only with tantalizing acts but with indecent vocabulary.

So you do something you're “not supposed to”: you take a bad, sexist word, and you make it your own.

Mind you, if I were in bed with a guy who randomly pulled out the word slut without asking me if I rolled that way, then I'd probably get up and leave. Because without consent, you don't know why they're really using that word.

Are they objectifying me? Are they more turned on by the idea that I've slept with other people than they are by my body itself? It becomes an entirely different word when that element of consent and role-play is taken away.

When you have that initial conversation of what words are okay and what aren't, it becomes incredibly sexy. If I ask someone to call me a slut, it's on my terms. And this can be reversed; your boyfriend can be your b*tch if he's into that.

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Also, the concept that it's automatically sexist to want to be called those things kind of falls apart if your partner isn't a cishet guy. Two women calling each other b*tch and slag in bed doesn't hold the same weight as it would with a heterosexual couple. In that situation, one partner doesn't hold any social power over the other after all.

I do personally draw the line at words that relate to sex work, because as a sex-worker-inclusive feminist, I don't feel I have the right to reclaim words like wh*re, as I'm not a sex worker myself. It would actually defeat the point in my eyes, because you can't reclaim something you don't have experience with.

At the end of the long, hard day, it's all about what works and doesn't work for you. My motto with any kind of reclaimed word is never use it to define anyone who doesn't want it, regardless of whether or not you're trying to be progressive or make it into a compliment. Similarly, never let anyone do the same to you, or let anyone take away words that make you feel empowered.

After all, if you can make something good out of something sh*tty, then that's pretty sexy in itself.


RELATED: I'm A Mother Of 2 Boys, And I Can't (And Won't) Support Feminism​


Stephanie Watson is a freelance journalist, specializing in social justice, wellness, and pop culture. She is the editor-in-chief of feminist website Fembot Magazine, creator of the zine Cyberrriot, and has contributed to such online publications as HelloGiggles, Bitch Media, Bustle, and many more. Follow her on Twitter @Stephie__Watson.