What is a prude?

Originally Published: January 29, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 18, 2013
Share this

Dear Alice,

Hey! I am a thirteen-year-old clueless girl. I was just wondering what prude means. I mean, I am very curious about it, all my friends talk about it, and I have no clue what it means. If you could help me out, I would be very grateful. Thanks again.

— Curious and Clueless

Dear Curious and Clueless,

It’s good to be curious! And most everyone finds they are clueless about a new term at some point in their lives. It can be difficult to ask for a definition when it seems like everyone around you already knows a term, such as prude, so hopefully this will help clear things up for you. A prude is someone who is concerned about whether what s/he says, what s/he does, how s/he dresses, etc. is proper according to what a particular group of people thinks is “normal” or appropriate according to some standard of modesty. 

The term is often used as a label to judge someone as sexually conservative and “no fun.” For example, a person might call someone that is uncomfortable with sexuality or nudity, or even other behaviors such as drinking alcohol or doing drugs, a prude. In this sense, it’s basically synonymous with “uptight” or “goody-goody.” Being a prude could also describe a person who doesn’t know very much about sex because of lack of experience, or who doesn’t do something sexually that someone else wants her/him to do.

Depending on the context of the conversation with your friends, you may have heard the term prude used in a variety of ways. Are your friends calling each other prude? Other people? Mostly other girls, other boys, or both? Were they saying someone was a prude because of something s/he said or something s/he did or didn’t do? Did you see the term prude used as an insult or as a compliment?

If your friends are talking about prude in relation to sex, there soon may be even more terms that you are unfamiliar with. You can take a look through the extensive archives on the subject, especially Sexual and Reproductive Health and Relationships, if you’re feeling clueless. Stay curious!

Alice

January 28, 2013

522622
I would not worry so much about the word prude, but why they are using it. I find people use such negative works to influence or push you into making a decsion, you might no otherwise make. Name...
I would not worry so much about the word prude, but why they are using it. I find people use such negative works to influence or push you into making a decsion, you might no otherwise make. Name calling is abuse, normally used to control of minipulate someone. To be blunt, they are trying to pull you down and make fun of you or to get into your pants, to put it frankly.