Friday, May 30, 2008

Thoughts on the Sexual Double Standard

I read an article on Alternet this morning about the sexual double standard: "He's a Stud, She's a Slut"

This article, based on the author's book of the same name, focuses on the fact that women have traditionally be more negatively judged for being promiscuous than men have been. However, she greatly overstated her position by saying, "'Slut' is applied to women engaged in any activity besides knitting, praying, or sitting perfectly still lest any sudden movements be deemed whorish." She was similarly simplistic when she assumed that promiscuous men are always viewed in a positive manner.

My reply to this article:

I am one of those males with a lot of sex partners the author speaks of. The author is essentially right to say that my female partners are judged much more harshly than I am, though men like me don't go entirely without being judged negatively either.

Men like me are commonly viewed as being "afraid of commitment", "emotionally unavailable", "immature", "jerks", "assholes", "sexist", "misogynist", and so on. Need I elaborate further? I could, because I've heard it all.

But this wouldn't be any more true for me than it would be for a woman who similarly prefers variety and novelty in her sex life.

Nor do I apply a different standard to women who prefer casual sex than I do to myself, as that would be highly hypocritical to say the least. Indeed, where would I be at if all women were strictly monogamous, one-man women? Instead, when I find a woman who is like me, I feel as if I've found a kindred spirit.

And I'm not particularly fond of the words used to describe the actively non-monogamous male than women are thrilled by the word "slut". This is mainly because such words connote a rather mindless, thoughtless approach to sex, rather than the deliberately promiscuous-by-philosophy approach that I have taken.

Rather, I've adopted a term hundreds of years old to self-define my sexual inclinations: libertine. This has the benefit of being a value-neutral term equally applicable to both men and women.

I never refer to a woman as a "slut", nor would I care to be described as a "player". I refer to all people who prefer a variety of casual sex partners as libertines instead.


Thoughts?

2 comments:

transfattyacid said...

There is a fantastic Victorian word, sluttery, which has nothing to do with sexual activity and is a description for an untidy room.

transfattyacid said...

I guess therefore that slut must be the opposite of 'nice' - which is an combination of the words neat and precise - Why perhaps means that a nice girl is one how sleeps around but doesn't get caught because she is neat and precise in her arrangements, whereas a slut is a woman do sleeps around and is not careful about covering her tracks.