On the Walk of Shame

So, we’re all sex-positive feminists here, yes? Good. We all know that the term ‘walk of shame’ is a puerile little artefact of the patriarchy and we reject slut-shaming because it reduces physical intimacy to a bargaining process that women can only ever lose, right? If you don’t, go sit in the corner for ten minutes and think about the fact that you’re a numpty. Then we’ll get started.
Picture the scene evoked by ‘walk of shame’. A guy with a beer on a couch out front of his house watches hungover women in party dresses carry their high heels home. He doesn’t have to say anything, they know to hang their heads. It is Understood.
But imagine he does. Let’s take the implicit and make it explicit. Let’s break this one down.
“Hey look at you. Way to have fun, loser!
“Looks like you’ve fulfilled your prime biological imperative. Good job there! Way to satisfy the one drive that animates our entire race! Mission achieved. Congrats on probably using modern contraceptives to choose when and if that satisfaction results in a tiny person coming out of your most sensitive parts. Way to exert your primacy over the most basic metric of your biology.
“And shit, as if that wasn’t enough, it looks like you’ve achieved it by being desirable. It looks like a varying combination of your looks, wit and/or balls-out-motherfucking-panache was enough to excite another human being into making the beast with two backs. Looks you’re definitely a failure, then.
“I mean, fuck. With or without the assistance of our society’s drug of choice, you and at least one other imperfect, scuffed and worn soul pushed through your mutual inherent fear of emotional pain, pushed through the social constructs telling you your body is a commodity, to take a crack at real actual intimacy together. It doesn’t matter a jot how fleeting and unsatisfactory that moment might have been. You and someone you know just a little or maybe a lot both rolled the dice and chased joy together. Together you let your guard down and breathed the pollen of life, and it didn’t matter that flying is so hard to tell from falling. Last night, you won.
“Better start feeling bad about that.”

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