How many times have you heard women in particular complain about the sexual double standard that exists for men and women? A man who has multiple sexual partners and/or a lot of casual sex is labeled a “player” or a “stud”, because it is seen as a huge accomplishment. On the other hand, a woman who behaves the same way sexually is labeled a “whore”, “slut” or “easy”. All negative words.
While in one way I can understand the frustration of freely promiscuous women, I can also understand the reasoning behind these labels.
In general, although of course there are many exceptions, men have to try harder to have sex with someone.
Women in general are taught to be more reserved sexually; and they are taught through socialization that they should be pursued rather than pursue themselves.
Also, men in general are not as fussy about who they have sex with. Maybe this is something to do with the fact that women, due to hormones, are in general more sensitive creatures than men. While I am not for one minute labeling men as animals, maybe it’s just the truth that men usually crave lust, while women usually crave love.
I could go on about evolution here but I’d rather not. I don’t wish to speak about a topic I know little to nothing about. However, from my observation and human experience, I choose to believe that this difference between men and women is down to hormonal differences.
A woman in a nightclub could easily have a one night stand with a man in the nightclub if she chooses. What does she have to do to achieve this? She in general doesn’t need to be charming, she doesn’t even need to be well presented or funny or smart. She can select someone who is interested in a casual sexual encounter and go home with him. There is not much accomplishment involved in this.
A man on the other hand, has to try harder to have a one night stand with a woman in a nightclub. He in general has to be charming, funny, likeable and well presented.
Women tend to be fussier about who they have sex with. Maybe this is partly due the fact that we as women are prone to such severe body issues. We feel through a result of the media and socialization, that we need to prepare ourselves for sex. We need to sort out our body hair and be clean before we can engage in sex. Sure, it is in a way quite messed up that we women feel this pressure while men don’t. But this, in my opinion, is a huge part of where the double standard comes from.
A man who behaves promiscuously is normally praised socially, while a woman who behaves in the same way is shamed and possibly ridiculed.
Sure, this is wrong. I’m not denying it isn’t. But it is a direct product of our upbringing and the exaggerated gender division that we experience from childhood.
Take all of this into account, and the “sexual double standard” kind of makes sense.
When you look at it this way, it makes sense that men are labeled “studs” while women are labeled “sluts”.
Now, I want to make it very clear that I don’t agree with the “slut” label. The slut label can in fact ruin a woman’s life. These women are deemed undesirable in potential relationships as a result. Often, they are ridiculed by other females; essentially for challenging social norms.
Anyone who challenges social norms is often prone to judgement, social exclusion and ridicule. The same can be said for boisterous women and flamboyant men. Of course this is wrong. I am a firm believer of person over gender. I think that in this world we exaggerate the differences between men and women to a dangerous extent – so much so that we begin to identify women and men primarily by their gender as oppose to their personalities.
I don’t think it’s right that men get praised for being promiscuous and women get shamed. But when examined, it makes sense why.
Here’s another piece of food for thought: are women born to desire love and commitment over lust, and are men born to desire lust over love and commitment? Or is it in fact a product of nurture rather than nature? I do not have the answer. But my assumption would be that we are how we are partly due to hormonal, biological and evolutionary factors, but mainly, we are how we are due to a direct product of our socialization.
Just imagine how much freer we would be, if we could be our true selves without gender expectation getting in the way? I strive for this world, but I know in my heart that I won’t see it in my lifetime. But it is because of this that I am so determined to spread the word now, and urge others to do the same, so that one day, our world will be different. One day, there will be no studs or sluts, but just promiscuous people.
Sure, there is a double standard. But the double standard makes sense when you take the above into consideration. Personally, I think both label is damaging to both gender. I would like to see each label being used less.