A couple of years, my mother got very upset when she heard a female friend of mine referred to as a “slut” by another friend of mine. It was really not an insult. It was an honest description. I will not explain why—I prefer to highlight my own acts of promiscuity, thank you very much. I’m not going to do someone else’s bragging for her.
Here is the thing—it’s just just a description. Slut is a compliment. You probably are not facing this kind of confusion if you have a Sassy Gay Friend. If you are old or have a fairly conservative social group, you might.
Slut is sometimes still used as an insult. Even a non-offensive word is offensive when used as an insult. So, a grouchy old conservative man calling a woman a “slut” when it is clearly intended to be a derogatory term? Yes, that is absolutely an insult.
But otherwise, a slut is a sexually successful person—male or female. They are not just entertaining on television—sluts are great in real life. Sluts are the most fun at parties. They are the most fun on dates. They are the most fun in bed. They are also great to have as friends.
Sluts are not the only group who are, more and more, becoming a group that people value. Other terms that people used to use exclusively as insults are becoming neutral descriptions and compliments. Brainiacs is less common, but I think that most of us know that the most successful people of the last couple of decades have mostly been the incredibly intelligent and well-educated.
Oh, and nerd. Obviously, I am a little biased about, well, all of these. But nerds are awesome. Nerd culture is fairly mainstream, now (The Avengers is an excellent example, as one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Harry Potter may not count because it had an almost universal circulation, and the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy was kind of trying to hide from the fact that it is a superhero story from the DC universe). More and more television is geared towards nerds (I do not* count The Big Bang Theory), and to others who are interested in science fiction and fantasy in various forms.
Anyway, I hope that my fellow slutty nerds and nerdy sluts out there who are still being identified as what they are in a negative light can hold tight. As our culture continues to mature, fewer and fewer people will even think of these terms as negative descriptions.
*In The Big Bang Theory, the jokes tend to mostly have the better people as the butts of the jokes. The audience is, for some reason, supposed to identify with Penny.