The way we view women and sexuality definitely can be impacted by their portrayal in the media. Because of this, it’s easy to note when a female character in your favorite TV show or book series embraces her sexuality. In a world where female sexuality is still a little taboo, it’s important for writers to create female characters who are complex, interesting, and have power, beliefs, and passion within their sexuality.

Of course, Slutty Girl Problems has its own empowering definition of slut. Accordingly, these twenty-one fictional women fall into that category. Whether they are from books, film, or television, these twenty-one women all embrace their sexuality. Some are good, some are evil, and many fall somewhere in between. Some are from children’s books, while others are from your favorite R-rated HBO show. But these women all have something in common: they have been judged by their sexuality, and they haven’t given a single shit about it.

1. Amy Elliot-Dunne from Gone Girl

Amy takes advantage of the expected roles of women – the perfect daughter, the cool girl, the damsel in distress. She despises these gender roles, but uses them to her advantage. No matter your opinion about her, you have to admit she does so masterfully.

Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

2. Amy Townsend from Trainwreck

Amy Schumer’s character in Trainwreck is unapologetic about her love for partying and casual sex. In media, bachelors are often portrayed as needing someone to tie them down. In this film, the woman is the one who isn’t ready to be tamed. What’s even better about her character is that she goes through her own changes in life that don’t only have to do with her love interest.

Amy: Oh my god, he’s calling me.
Nikki: Why would he call? You guys just had sex.
Amy: [answers phone] This is Amy. I think you butt dialed me.
Amy: This is Amy. I think you butt dialed me.
Aaron Conners: No, I dialed you with my fingers.
Amy: [to Nikki] He called me on purpose.
Amy: He called me on purpose.
Nikki: Hang up! He’s obviously like sick or something.
Aaron Conners: I was calling to say I had a really good time last night and was wondering if you wanted to, um, hang out again.
Nikki: I’m going to call the police.

3. Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair

In a historical classic, it’s rare to see a woman who is so direct in her sexuality. Becky from Vanity Fair isn’t a good character, but she’s a complex one, and she certainly uses her sexuality to reach for power in a time when women had little of it.

Revenge may be wicked, but it’s perfectly natural.

4. Blanche Devereaux from Golden Girls

Blanche is the “slut” of her friend group, and though she’s often teased for it, she doesn’t let it stop her from doing her thing. Every lady from the Golden Girls is basically an honorary slut. They really show how wonderful female friendships can be at all stages of life!

Some of the things we did in high school aren’t necessarily appropriate when we’re adults, like staying out all night, carousing around, dating every other man you meet… I’m losing credibility here, aren’t I?

5. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones isn’t perfect. In fact, she’s pretty average. But she still has her way with a number of handsome men, and eventually winds up with Mr. Right. (Or does she? I haven’t seen the most recent film.) Her struggle to get everything “right” in life is pretty accurate for many women out there, and she definitely feels that single struggle. Both the book and movie versions of Bridget Jones show us that what we need from friends, family, and lovers is to be loved for ourselves, just the way we are.

[answering phone]

Bridget: Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess, with a very bad man between her thighs… Mum… Hi.

6. Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

A recent realize, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo plays on old school Hollywood drama and definitions of beauty, including race and sexuality. Evelyn goes from being a poor girl in New York to a silver screen queen. All of her relationships are complex, interesting, and important, and her friends and lovers make up a diverse, representative cast of characters.

People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “you’re safe with me”- that’s intimacy.

7. Feyre Archeron from A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre and her friends are sex positive, and the erotic fantasy scenes are to die for. Furthermore, Feyre’s love life, and the love lives of her friends, truly show that it’s possible to fall in love many times in life, to have multiple partners, and to have one person who is “right for you” – whether you end up with them or not. And sometimes, the person who is “right for you” might not even be the person you love most in your life.

No one was my master— but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.

8. Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter

Ginny’s just a teenager, so I hesitate to use the term “slut” to describe her, but the Harry Potter series touches on slut-shaming when it comes to her character. Ginny’s brothers Fred, George, and Ron express disapproval at her active dating life, but Ginny ignores them and continues to do her own thing. Spoiler alert: She ends up with Harry, who refreshingly is attracted to her for her personality. When he admires her, it’s often for her bravery and athleticism. And though he feels envy when he sees her with other boys before they start dating, he never feels insecure or jealous about her previous relationships once theirs begins. My exes need to take a lesson from their relationship.

Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

9. Gloria Pritchett from Modern Family

She’s gorgeous, she’s feisty, and she’s married to an older man. Gloria knows she’s sexy and is unapologetic about it.

Phil: You’re probably one of those beautiful women who doesn’t even know it.
Gloria: No, I know it.

10. Izzie Stevens from Grey’s Anatomy

Okay, Izzie’s Season 1 rant about the sexist response of her coworkers to her previous modeling gig is amazing. Like most of the characters on the show, she goes on to have an extensive dating life. She loves passionately and fully, and she’s a doctor. You go girl!

[to Alex, after he made photocopies of the picture of her posing in the magazine and put them all over the locker room] You wanna see it? You really wanna see it? Fine! Let’s look at that tattoo up close and personal, shall we?
[she rips off her shirt and throws it at Alex] What are these? Oh, my God! Breasts! How does anybody practice medicine hauling these things around? And what have we got back here? Let’s see if I remember my anatomy.
Gluts, right? Let’s study them, shall we? Gather around and check out the booty that put Izzie Stevens through Med school! You wanna call me Dr. Model? That’s fine. But just remember that while you’re still sitting on 200 grand in student loans, I’m out of debt.

11. Kathryn Merteuil from Cruel Intentions

She might be a villain, but Kathryn is definitely sex positive and smart. She hates doubles standards and calls her step-brother out on his shit. Every time I watch this movie, I admire her more than I hate her. She’s such a great bad girl.

Eat me, Sebastian! It’s okay for guys like you and Court to fuck everyone. But when I do it, I get dumped for innocent little twits like Cecile. God forbid, I exude confidence and enjoy sex. Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady? I’m the Marcia fucking Brady of the Upper East Side, and sometimes I want to kill myself. So there’s your psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud. Now tell me, are you in… or are you out?

12. Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

Lydia gets hate for being a “slut” – in modern adaptations, she’s even referred to as one. (Lookin’ at you, Lizzie from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.) Okay, I’m a little obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, but I’ve always felt bad for Lydia. She’s a teenager girl. She’s desperate for love like many are at that age. Perhaps she was meant as a moral tale back when Austen wrote her, but now I think we should look at her like we should look at all teenage girl characters. Damn, don’t you remember how hard it was to be that age?

And we mean to treat you all,” added Lydia, “but you must lend us the money, for we have just spent ours at the shop out there.” Then, showing her purchases—”Look here, I have bought this bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see if I can make it up any better.”

13. Maeve Millay from Westworld

She works in the sex industry in multiple ways. Maeve is a madam, but also a robot in a universe where humans use robots for fun. They kill them, they have sex with them – they do whatever they want with them. But Maeve doesn’t have time for that, and as she begins to understand that the world around her is an illusion, she fights back. She’s one kickass slut.

At first I thought you and the others were gods. And then I realized you’re just men, and I know men.

14. Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones

Margaery will do whatever it takes to become the queen, as do many other women in the GoT/ASoIaF universe. However, she does so in a way different than the other women. In her society, women are traded in marriage like livestock. At the start of Season 1, no women are in complete power. Margaery works with this by marrying influential men – again and again, until she becomes the queen.

Some women like tall men. Some like short men. Some like hairy men. Some like bald men. Gentle men, rough men, ugly men, pretty men, pretty girls. Most women don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it. And, sadly, so many of us get to try so little before we’re old and gray.

15. Nicky Nichols from Orange Is the New Black

There’s nothing not to love about this smart-talking character. Nicky puts her lovers, peers, friends, and even supervisors in their place when they need it most. She’s confident in her sexuality, as opposed to her love interest, who ~totally isn’t a lesbian~ and embraces the negative and positive aspects of those she loves. Is she flawed? Yes. But that’s what makes her story, and the stories of many women on OItNB, so compelling.

Lorna Morello: If you could have anything in the world, what would you have?
Nicky Nichols: Vaginal orgasms. I hear it’s a thing.

16. Olive Penderghast from Easy A

Olive’s story is so fun. It plays on slut-shaming, showing that it’s all about perception and societal beliefs. In the end, Olive comes to some realizations. She realizes that she does care what people think about her, but only what people she cares about think about her. The snotty judgmental girl in class? Some guy who only wants to get in her pant? Their opinions are bullshit. Easy A also shows that even “sluts” don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat. No one does, whether or not they vocally enjoy sex, and whether or not they’re doing so for pretend.

Let me just begin by saying that there are two sides to every story. This is my side, the right one.

17. Rebecca from Rebecca

She never has a scene or a line in the novel, but she’s the titular character and such an impactful part. Rebecca is a villain, certainly, but she is also intriguing and sensual. Readers become just as obsessed with her as everyone else in the novel. Rebecca is a woman who hates men and enjoys sex, and knows how much men enjoy sex, too. She uses this fact to her advantage, and creates some serious drama by doing so.

Her shadow between us all the time. Her damned shadow keeping us from one another. How could I hold you like this, my darling, my little love, with the fear always in my heart that this would happen?

18. Betty Rizzo from Grease

Hickeys, pregnancy scares, and more – sure, Rizzo judges “Sandra Dee” for being a prude, but other than that, she’s pretty amazing. And when men make inappropriate comments to her? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I also love her awkward love-hate relationship towards her hook-up. It’s a struggle so many slutty girls can relate to.

I’ve got so many hickeys people will think I’m a leper.

19. Rose Dewitt Bukater from Titanic

A woman truly ahead of her time, Rose was born into the wrong social class and era. It might take a man for her to realize that it’s all nonsense, but what’s really amazing about Rose isn’t what happens during the film – it’s what happens after, in that time between her teenage years and when we meet her again as an old lady. Rose’s life doesn’t end with Jack. She goes on to be an actress and had a family and do all of the things she wants to do with her life in a time when many women couldn’t.

A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.

20. Samantha Jones from Sex and the City

You can’t have a list of fictional sluts without including Samantha. While all of the SatC women have more male lovers than I have male friends and relatives (I don’t say this with disdain – I’m jealous), Samantha is for sure the most sexually active and sex positive.

Listen to me. The right guy is an illusion. Start living your lives.

21. Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood

She’s that traditional southern bell, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a slut. Sookie’s blood is like crack to vampires, so of course she has an extensive dating life with supernaturals. (I’m still wishing she made it with Alcide, because damn, that guy looks amazing naked.) In the end, it’s clear that Sookie puts herself, her family, and their combined emotional well-being as her first priority.

Hey, you just shut your nasty mouth, mister! You might be a vampire, but when you talk to me, you will talk to me like the lady that I am!

Any sluts we missed? Comment below with your favorite!