Illustration by Sam Taylor
I can’t remember the first time I got called a slag – probably around the time I started cocking my leg up in alleyways and acting like one. But I never had a problem with that, about being a slag or announcing myself as such. The problem I've always had is other people thinking that being a slag is a bad thing. Because it's not; being a slag is glorious.
This debate about promiscuity is largely about judging and shaming people – thinking that you know what’s best for them. Well, sluts really don’t need your disapproval or advice on how we should live our lives; we’re actually quite capable of making our own, terrible drunken decisions. What I can deal with, though, is your disapproval; it’s actually kind of hot. I don’t know why, just as I don't know why other people’s boyfriends taste better – they just do. And there are more and more people like me these days; come and find us on Tinder, Grindr and all those other hook up sites that, like, EVERONE (even your mum) is on. We’re all sluts now.
I prefer the term "fun" to "promiscuity" because I’m a fan of good, clear English. I can only speak from my own (admittedly vast) sexual experience, but if I get into a car with a strange man, for example, and I’m pouting and he’s looking at my legs and tits and stuff, he doesn’t drive me off for a "bit of promiscuity", he drives me off for a "bit of fun". I even looked up how the Oxford Dictionary defines promiscuity, and it says: “The fact or state of being promiscuous; immorality.”
The word is defined as "having or characterised by many transient sexual relationships". Of course, it doesn’t tell us how many is many, because – like so much of this debate – the exact amount of people you need to sleep with to qualify as promiscuous is an arbitrary judgment imposed by other people.
Also, where does time fit into all this? Let’s say an 80-year-old has had ten sexual partners over the course of their life. Are they promiscuous? Would we consider them to be a promiscuous person? Probably not. But what if they had slept with all ten of those people in the same week – back in the summer of '69 – and then never had sex again for the rest of their lives? Would that "equal it out"? And, if so, why? What does the gap do? Why does spacing your booty calls out lend them respectability?
None of it makes sense because it’s just an idea, and a shitty one at that. Promiscuity doesn’t exist – it’s just a word people came up with to describe and judge certain human behaviours. It’s about as real as doorism. Never heard of doorism? That's because I just made it up. It describes a tendency to open doors. I opened the bathroom door this morning to take a pee, and I also opened several doors to get me from my bed to my breakfast table. And when I finish writing this article I’ll open lots more because I’m a dirty, door-opening doorist, and I’m pretty sure that you are, too.
We don’t apply any particular significance to how many times someone opens a door on a given day, but we do tend to have an opinion on how many times someone opens their legs. I don’t see why. Unless you’re the lucky dude I’m opening my doors, legs and heart to, what has it got to do with you? And all this shame is almost always directed at women. This is an ancient point, I know, but it's time to point out yet again that when a guy fucks around he’s considered a stud, but if a woman does the same she’s a slut and a whore.
Do you remember when you were very small and learning to read? I do. I love to read; reading is what I did before I discovered fucking. Like fucking, though, reading is something you have to "work on" until you "get there". Getting there means when you can read a book like an adult and it doesn’t feel like a chore any more. That it comes naturally. I was always pleased, as a kid, when my reading age improved, but I remember – when I was about 13 or 14 – noticing that some people in my school just gave up. They’d never made it to the part where you read for the joy of it, and that made me sad. It still makes me sad today when I meet people who say they haven’t read a book since their school days. I feel like they’re missing out on something that’s been such a profound and pleasurable part of my life. And I feel exactly the same way about fucking around.
I was invited to speak at the Oxford Union last night, debating the motion that promiscuity is a virtue not a vice. I was "for" the motion, obviously. I was going to come up with lots of clever reasons to back up my position, but the truth is that there aren’t any. Promiscuity is neither a good thing nor a bad thing… it’s just a thing. Some people aren't promiscuous and are totally fine. Some people are promiscuous and are totally fine. Some people are promiscuous and have horrible lives. Some people aren’t promiscuous and have horrible lives. Whatever.
A few years ago I walked into a nightclub. It was a kink night with a freaky crowd. I asked a guy if he wanted to come back with me. He did. I asked him if he minded extra company. He didn’t. I invited his friend to join us. And another. And another. We got a cab. I invited the cab driver to join in too, but he was too scared (he did take my number, though, and we did the dirty at a later date). If two’s company and three’s a party, five’s definitely an orgy.
It turned me on, standing in the hotel reception with four hot guys, that the chap on reception knew that we were booking into one suite and what we were clearly planning to do inside – me, in a word. It must have been obvious that they were all going to fuck me. I wonder if he fantasised about that. I’ve fantasised about him fantasising about it. It was good, dirty fun. One of them was inside me. One of them was working on me. One of them gave me something to shut me up. One of them gave me something to keep my hands busy. It worked because I was the centre of sexual attention. I wanted it. I was in control. I was shameful but not ashamed; I was wanton, almost a caricature, a porno fantasy, a make-believe slut. I came with their hands all over me, their eyes watching me, their dicks prodding me. I was drunk. I was high. It was fantastic; fantasy made flesh. Like my genitals were eating a pot of honey.
And that’s why I’m so passionate about people’s right to be promiscuous. If that’s what floats your boat, stiffens your penis and creams your vagina, go for it. Wouldn’t you rather be on a beach somewhere right now, with beautiful people, cumming? Cumming is brilliant. Why shouldn’t we strive to do it as often as possible and with as many people as possible? So much of our lives are spent taking the bin bags out, brushing our teeth, waiting for the microwave to end, wondering when we can take our shoes off because our feet ache.
Life isn’t fun or glamorous, it’s dull and tedious and savage and cruel and you have to go to work and feed your kids and send people birthday cards – all that old shit. Those moments of pure release, though – that hedonistic abandon – they’re the bits that make life worth living. Sure, you can have special moments with the person you love, but don’t look down on those of us who like to rub genitals with anyone and everyone. Like you, we just want to feel alive.
Life is like a cock; you have to grab it with both hands.