Yes, I’m a Wholesome Slut. And I’m Not the Only One.

6 rainbow Care Bear paper cutouts pasted onto a wall. They are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple (left to right). They are posed in a variety of poses. Their insignias on their tummies are (left to rigth): A bondage harness, a pair of handcuffs, a pig face, a clenched fist, a pink triangle, and the face of a person with dangly earrings and a blond updo
Image by istolethetv / CC BY

“Page, how are you doing?” she asks, and before I can answer, she adds. “You know, it’s really been too long.”

“Oh you’re probably right,” I say. “Fair warning: My sense of time has been all messed up lately. I think that things that happened 6 months ago just happened and that last week was last year.”

“Writer stuff?” she says.

“Writer stuff,” I agree.

“I started reading your blog lately,” she tells me.

“Oh that’s cool. I always assume people who know me in real life don’t read it,” I tell her. Because for a long while, that was certainly the case. Very few people read it and nearly no one who knew me.

“You know what I love about your blog?” she says.

“What’s that?” I say.

“That it’s so wholesome. Not churchy wholesome, but Wholesome Memes wholesome. Y’know, positive. Feel good. I mean, you wrote that article on Mister Rogers. ”

“I mean, Mister Rogers is the best,” I say.

“Well yeah,” she says. “But I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t feel like you have to choose, between sexy stuff and pure feel-good. You’ll quote erotica in one breath and the Care Bears in the next. Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”

I wait.

“You’re one Wholesome Slut.”

“You know,” I say. “I do believe that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me.”

The Wholesome Slut

As Easton and Hardy famously wrote:

The world generally views sluts as debased, degraded, promiscuous, indiscriminate, jaded, immoral adventurers, destructive, out of control and driven by some form of psychopathology that prevents them from entering into a healthy monogamous relationship. Oh, yes, and definitely not ethical.

But this cultural view is a radical departure from many of the self-identifying sluts I’ve personally known in my years in polyamorous social circles. By and large, sure, these “sluts” were adventurous. But they were far from immoral. Not only were they capable of commitment but many of them were multicommitted, displaying what was frankly a level of loyalty and trust I had never experienced in my life prior to this. These weren’t people who wanted to answer to no one. No, they were folks who were accountable to multiple others. And who took that accountability seriously.

People living openly as polyamorous (some of them even proudly identifying as “sluts”) were a far cry from the stereotype of how non-monogamous people behaved.

I actually used to wonder if I were too sensitive to be polyamorous, especially polyamorous and kinky. Too empathetic. Too caring. But as it turns out research has established a positive correlation between being a giving, empathetic person and having more sex partners. Go figure.

And as time bore on, I came to realize that many of my more wholesome personal qualities — work ethic, self-control, courage, integrity, and vulnerability — weren’t incompatible with a non-monogamous life but actually made it a great deal more workable.

Sure, I’m sex-positive. But I’m also just plain positive. Basically, I’m a softie.

I’m a person who isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination — but I do my best to be good to others. I generally want the best for other people, even when it doesn’t directly benefit me.

I think it’s important to follow through on commitments. To be worthy of the trust that other people place in me.

Yes, I’m a wholesome slut. And I’m not the only one.

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Books by Page Turner:

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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