I don’t have sex, I get laid.

Language is more powerful than we think. The right word, or the right tone, can change the meaning of a sentence altogether. Our friends, our classmates, and the social pressures that women face every day all affect the way we speak. Language is our way of presenting our thoughts to the world, so it is important that our words and our tone match our beliefs. In conversations about sex-positivity, language is more than the sum of its parts.

A lot of people shy away from talking about sex. They lean on euphemisms and knowing glances to address the subject. Sadly, this taboo leaves much unsaid, contributing to the idea that there is something so embarrassing about sex that it can’t be addressed directly. The language of embarrassment that surrounds sex supports an idea that every slut is sick of hearing: sex is shameful. Language is a weapon against those kind of views. It’s a way to be sex-positive in every day life. So the next time you get laid, fire away.

1. Brag About It

Most women, even some self-proclaimed sluts, acknowledge their sexual escapades like a bad test grade. “Oh, that? Yeah, it happened. It was okay; I don’t know.” End of conversation.

Even women who are comfortable with their sexuality are pushed to use language that doesn’t measure up. You’re don’t mention a one night stand to a friend unless you’re asked directly. Even then, you dodge questions because you’re supposed to act embarrassed. You can talk about how good your partner was, but can’t say a thing about yourself, even if you gave the best head in the world last night. Keeping language under control means that a sex positive attitude isn’t expressed.

What if you came home from a one night stand and announced to your roommates, “Guess who got laid last night?” Be damn proud of going home with the hottest person in the bar last night. In fact, be proud of going home with anyone. You went out to get laid and now you can stamp the night with a big, red “mission accomplished.”

Changing your language to show pride is as easy as changing your tone. Arrive expecting praise, and it will come. Use any excuse to tell your friends, and if there’s no excuse, bring it up yourself. Like any well orchestrated bragging, don’t be annoying about it, but don’t let that stop you from having your say. Being sex positive means talking positive. Not just about your partner, but about yourself. Show off your hickeys and brag about the hickeys you gave out. Talk about sex like it’s an accomplishment. Even if the sex was just okay, be proud of going out and finding someone who understood exactly how sexy you are. Don’t act like you failed a test; act like you aced it.

2. Reclaim Your Name

Bad names hurt, whether it’s the elementary school bully calling you “four-eyes,” or a girl on the internet calling out the “stupid sluts” on her Facebook feed. There’s no way to stop people from writing with malice and fighting fire with fire only feeds it. The only way to win is to take the malice out of the words.

Reclamation has a long (and awesome) history. Words like queer, nerd, and pagan used to be painful and degrading terms. Now, these words are on the path to redemption. Communities that were tired of being attacked started using supposedly derogatory terms to refer to themselves. They turned these words into labels they could be proud of and soon everyone had forgotten that the words used to be offensive.

At Slutty Girl Problems, we’re experts in reclamation. Slut isn’t an insult, it’s a badge of honor. It’s a lifestyle, and a pretty fun one too. Keeping that confidence up in the real world is a big step toward sex positive language. Don’t use slut as a derogatory term, about others or yourself. Announce your slutty-ness. When someone tries to use it against you, don’t deny it, embrace it.

Reclamation can apply to words beyond slut, as well. Call yourself a player. Change the meaning so it’s not “a guy who takes advantage of lots of girls by having sex with them” but “someone who has a lot of sex.” Acknowledge no difference between male and female versions of a word, even if male versions are conventionally positive and female versions are not. No one can use a word against you, if you’ve already claimed it as your own. In the wise words of Albus Dumbledore “fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself.” Don’t fear your label, own it.

3. Call It like It Is

Euphemisms are the death of a productive conversation. If you burst into the apartment and declare, “This slut just got laid, someone tell me how awesome I am!” you’re going to have to elaborate. Freezing up the first time you have to use the word vagina kind of kills that enthusiasm. No one wants to hear how you “got to third base” and now your “hoo-hah” is sore.

Everyone has a different level of comfort with sharing. We’re told for a long time that sex is embarrassing and needs to be kept private. It’s difficult and uncomfortable to break that silence. By opening up a little, you show that you’re not embarrassed to be a slut. There is nothing wrong with saying vagina, because there is nothing weird or offensive about a vagina.

The first step towards talking about your sex life is finding a willing audience. You probably shouldn’t be telling the lady sitting next to you on the bus about your sexcapades. Dragging unwilling participants into the conversation is only going to make everyone less comfortable. On the other hand, when your best friend asks you for details, you should spill some details. Shed the shyness. If you’re uncomfortable, start small. Commit to only using unambiguous words for parts and activities. Say vagina, pussy, fingered, or blowjob. Don’t just tell people you “did it,” explain what you did.

4. Keep Talking

Obviously, you can’t tell everyone in your life about your most recent lay. That just makes you the girl who won’t shut up about her sex life. Luckily, you can keep talking about sex positivity even when you’ve hit your limit for sharing personal experiences. Getting involved in conversations about sex helps show people that there’s nothing to hide. Vocal slutty girls make a difference. They break stereotypes, and set an example. Look for discussions in your community, both online and in the real world. Come discuss on twitter with Slutty Girl Problems. Find a SlutWalk near you and show your pride. The best way to promote sex-positivity is to keep the conversation going, in your friend group, in your community and in your day-to-day.

Be slutty, be loud, and be proud.