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Walk of shame is a term for the act of walking home or to work the morning after spending the night at the residence of a sexual partner, or rumoured sexual partner. It typically occurs after a night of heavy drinking at a bar or party, which leads to a one-night stand or casual sexual encounter, and it typically involves the individual wearing the same clothes they wore the day before. The term is most commonly used in reference to women, but can apply to any person of any sexuality.
During the walk of shame, “walkers” typically pass strangers and even their peers. These encounters may intensify the walkers’ embarrassment. Walkers often feel self-conscious about tell-tale signs of their sexual dalliances, such as if they are wearing inappropriate evening attire or the same clothes they wore the day before, or clothes belonging to their sexual partners, as well as sporting a general state of dishevelment.
The term walk of shame can be seen to have negative, slut-shaming and anti-feminist connotations, implying that the "walker," usually a woman, has made "poor choices" or acted like a "slut." Alternatively, the term can also be used cheekily, or substituted with the more sex-positive term, stride of pride.