I'm fascinated by this thread. I am especially interested that some folks have connected slut with being a sexual healer. That sluts (who are female - there is no male equivalent in English) are althruistic, sharing themselves with others to help them heal in some way. (I believed Grounded Spirit noted the altruism aspect.)
I consider slut a shame word thrown at women and girls who enjoy sex, who experience and share the pleasues of sex. Slut, as a derogatory term, is sometimes used about women or girls who often haven't had sex with lots of partners - but gave some sort of indication that she enjoyed it. This dovetails with Redpepper's ideas on what a slut is. It's not the number of partners, but that she enjoyed it!
The connection with sexual healing intriques me because, personally, it has never occurred to me to have sex with someone because they are damaged or hurting in some way and sex with me can help. I've had sex for lots of reasons - to express love, to connect, for pleasure, to pass the time, to touch and be touched, to get off, among others - but never to heal someone else (or heal myself for that matter). Literally never occurred to me.
I also don't have that common female compulsion to take care of everyone around me. I use compulsion intentionally - it seems to me that women are often pushed or push themselves, to heal, to take care of, to mend, everyone but themselves. And, yes, men do this too but it seems much less accepted by men and women for men to behave in this manner.
I'm also intrigued that the sexual healing encounters described have all been heterosexual. I racked my brains trying to remember if any lesbian or queer friends have mentioned a similar experience. I haven't come up with any. Of course, just because I haven't heard about sex as healing in this manner among queer people doesn't mean it doesn't happen. But I wonder if all this sexual healing is one-sided. All of the stories in our small sample were of a woman healing a man - not the other way around. Of course, this doesn't mean it doesn't happen but it is very suggestive to me.
TruckerPete, honestly, the pity-fuck aspect of your sexual experience with your friend occurred to me too. Yes, pity is an emotion of comtempt which you clearly did not feel toward your friend. You felt sorry for him and wanted to help him see himself differently, see himself through your eyes, through your body. That is a great gift to be treasured.