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'PRUDE' OR 'SLUT' ?

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Some years ago, I made the decision to embark on a relationship with Mr Texan, tall, lean and ten years younger, with an American drawl that made my knees go weak. I was smitten; as well as possibly bored with my life at the time, but that’s another blog.

However, this blog, isn’t about me or Mr Texan specifically, but rather, the reaction of those around me, regarding my decision to date said gentleman.

This varied from being admonished, that I was ‘behaving like a teenager’ and should have done so, ‘when I was a teenager’, to certain friends impressing on me, that all the women she knew, were either glad they had slept with only one partner or deeply regretted that they had slept with anyone, except their husbands. (Mr Texan was scandalously the second boyfriend I had slept with; to the present day, one of three.)

The climax (again, not referring directly to my liaison with Mr Texan here, although I will say, that there were less than some people think, but again, that’s another blog for another day) came when  I went for a drink with two old school friends, and sandwiched between them in a Dublin establishment, was interrogated as to how the relationship was going. The message was clear, that these women, who had married their first serious boyfriends (which I think is absolutely lovely by the way) were unhappy that I hadn’t followed suit and made the same choices as themselves. There was a nastiness to it which floored me and the inference that they now regarded me something of a 'slut' was obvious.

I remember, as I sat in the taxi, on the way home from the pub, that evening, recalling a conservation, with work colleagues who had expressed surprise to hear that I was in my late twenties before I had slept with anyone, as I had been patiently waiting for my elusive Mr Perfect to show up, which they clearly judged prudish.

It was a rude awakening and my personal experience, of the adage, that you just can’t win. As a single women, it really is true, that people will feel the need to judge you and affix either the  label of ‘prude’ or ‘slut’, which can become even more confusing when different camps judge you both ‘prude’ and ‘slut’ simultaneously.

So, for myself,  I have banished these female shaming, adjectives from my vocabulary, and stir clear of anyone who thinks of women in these terms.

We are all different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to these choices.

Sophie