For many years now I’ve encountered a curious phenomena that seems to follow me wherever I go. It is this strange idea of the “smart slut.” Over on my Twitter account (@TheUcKinkster) my 140 character blurbs encompass pretty much every topic one could think of. I talk about my work, my pets, my kinks, my shopping, my shoes, my life and my comments on pop culture. I’ve been very candid about my journey through higher education and my struggles with getting through the bar exam.
It’s something I’m very proud of – that I’ve worked my way through 19 straight years of school and come out on the other side with a bachelor of science in business management and a juris doctorate. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into educating myself and as such consider myself “smarter” than the average person. I put that in quotes because much like everything, smarts are all relative. There are many people much less educated than me that I feel dumber than and there are people much more educated that I feel smarter than. On the whole though, I’ve used my education to define myself and it shapes a lot of my views on the world.
I have found though that when I go to express opinions about relevant political debates or make intellectual comments, I encounter a wave of responses varying from “no one cares what you think” to “shut up and show us your tits.” Certainly there are people that find my opinions, whether based on my education or not, interesting and engage me in a lively intellectual conversation about them, but there are always those people who basically respond that I shouldn’t be expressing my opinions about educated matters because I am in the same breath talking about my love of kink and sex.
I find it interesting that there is this stigma about being a “smart slut.” That somehow because I’m a sexual woman, not just a sexual person, other people cannot view me as smart at the same time as they view me as sexual. That’s like saying I have to shut down that part of my self because I’ve chosen to be very “out” with my sexuality. Thanks, but no thanks. Those parts of my personality and my intellect are not something I want to cut out of my life. I’ve chosen to work on them through many years of strict intellectual work and study.
There have been rumblings of this and similar dichotomies for years now. Doing a web search for “porn stars with degrees” yields such lovely results as Yahoo question postings of Why would anyone with a college degree become a porn star?” It’s almost a laughable question to me. Just because one is educated doesn’t mean they’re also not into sex. A prerequisite for getting a higher degree is most definitely not having to turn off your sex drive. There are some seriously smart porn stars out there, Nina Hartley being one of my idols in terms of activism and efforts to educate the public on sex. If you’ve followed anything about the recent push by the state of California to mandate condom use in all porn production, you’ve probably heard of Bobbi Starr‘s several posts about the topic in response to CalOSHA’s proposed plans. She is one seriously smart porn star if I’ve ever seen one. Try telling them to turn off their brains and just fuck. Let me tell you, that isn’t going to fly.
A corollary debate that has gone on for years is the idea that mothers cannot be sexual creatures. Sure, we have such awesome labels and categories as “MILFs” but it seems like any woman past the age of 25 is grouped in the MILF category regardless of what should be the most important requirement to be apart of such a group – actually having children. Once a female porn performer stops being able to realistically pull off the “barely legal” look she almost instantly is grouped in with the “mature” performers. There have been recent debates about what constitutes a healthy mixture of mother and sex goddess, from such industry leaders as Madison Young and her controversial project “Becoming MILF.” Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, there didn’t seem to be much disagreement that a woman can be both a mother and a sexual creature. The debate came in as to what mixture and what venues mixing the two would be appropriate. While I agree with statements on both sides, I think that both sides make a similar valid point – nobody is limited to being just one thing.
When I express my political opinions and feelings, I find I encounter even more resistance and only end up getting frustrated. Instead of having an open debate and acknowledging that my views may differ from someone else’s, I receive shock that I could possibly be …. conservative! It’s almost a dirty word in modern American politics now to associate yourself with the party of George W. Bush. Do I agree with all its views and dogma? Goodness no. There is nothing written in stone that someone has to fall in line perfectly with the party line. To me, the idea of conservatism is the idea of limited governmental interference in a person’s life. Social morality has sadly polluted the idea of political conservatism. Legislating morality is about as successful as the most famous example in history – the 18th Amendment, also known as Prohibition.
Politics is not a topic inherently off limits to those inclined to the sexual side of things. When Mary Carey ran for governor of California, people balked at the idea of a porn star (gasp!) intruding into a serious political race. That’s just stupid to me. That’s like saying mechanical engineers are not allowed at all to talk about interior decorating or lawyers not being allowed to be involved in fashion. Putting topical limits on someone without a logical basis just doesn’t make sense to me. Provide me with a soundly reasoned basis for such prohibitions and while I may debate you on it, I will respect your opinion and perhaps even agree with you if the reasoning is sound enough.
There will always be people who think that a sexual woman should shut her mouth and not express an opinion about anything. There will always be people who think women once becoming a mother should essentially shut down their sexuality except for future procreation. There will always be people who want to keep any mention of sex or porn out of politics despite the topic of sex somehow always showing up in every political race. Mentalities like that, once set in stone, are hard to change. My challenge to the world is this – maybe we should rethink those mentalities.