“Hookup culture” and judging women

A recent post by Jaclyn Friedman about how embracing a “slutty” lifestyle in the midst of searching for a monogamous relationship has been healing for her has sparked several debates in the blogosphere about “hookup culture” and young women’s role in it.

Jaclyn’s piece is a personal narrative about how, after a particularly rough breakup, she turns to casual sex to ease her loneliness while searching for that “perfect” monogamous relationship that she still hopes to have:

Last summer, I suffered the breakup of a relationship that I had thought would be permanent. Now, I’ve been through my share of break-ups, even of quite serious relationships, but nothing ever broke me like this one.

Since then, I’ve had sexual interactions of the orgasmic kind with 9 different people, none of which I was at any time in a committed relationship with.

I’m not telling you this to shock (though I am specifying the number because we all need to get over the whole “OMG! Be ashamed of your NUMBER! It’s either too big or too small!” thing). I’m telling you this because of something else that’s also true about me: I’d really like to be in a long-term, probably monogamous relationship. That’s right, folks, I’m a slut who craves a stable, loving, committed relationship. File me under “Lookin’ fer luv: ur doin it wrong.”

I agree with Jaclyn. Casual sex and a desire for a monogamous relationship are not mutually exclusive, and should stop being treated as such. Susan Walsh, who blogs about hook up culture and the dangers that this seeming cultural mandate poses for young women, responded to Jaclyn’s post:

Thing is: Relationship science is hard science. Oxytocin is not some disinformation cooked up by the evil patriarchy. It’s a chemical that floods your body after sex, during breastfeeding, and through the early months of motherhood. Men also experience it, though its effect is tamped down somewhat by testosterone. The effects of sex hormones are bound to reside on a spectrum. Some women may produce less, which leads to less emotional attachment. Some men are suckers for oxytocin, and love spooning after sex. Anyone who regularly dismisses a large body of peer-reviewed academic studies in this area is as ridiculous as a member of the Flat Earth Society.

As for self-esteem, the answer to her question is yes. One may love, and pity, a person with low self-esteem. But a healthy, robust, falling in love experience with such a person is surely impossible. How can we fall in love with someone who is wearing a big virtual sandwich board that says “I’m a lemon! Damaged goods! Everything in this bin is 50 cents!”

I was with Walsh until the second paragraph. I’m not just sympathetic to the idea that we shouldn’t discuss women’s worth as though it is inherently tied to their sexuality; I’m adamantly opposed to it, and completely disgusted whenever I hear someone do it. That said, if you feel similarly, I recommend not reading the comments on her post. A few of the commenters there are maddeningly ignorant, judgmental, and mean simply for the sake of it. Not to mention unabashedly sexist.

It’s disgusting to discuss a woman like this because it reduces a person to the status of a commodity that literally loses value after each “use.” And while I don’t believe it’s okay to reduce any person to such a status, I find it particularly infuriating that this conversation is constantly centered around women’s sexuality. We’re the only ones being told we’re not going to be “pure” enough for a man to love us, with all of our self-worth being tied into our preferred method of sexual expression.

And, while biological differences between most males and most females undeniably affect our behavior and other parts of who we are in significant ways, biology does not turn women into valueless things as a result of engaging in certain, or too many, sexual encounters. Oxytocin may be powerful, but it isn’t a magical substance that literally turns us rotten after being used too many times, with the “wrong” people, or under the wrong circumstances.

Meanwhile, Friedman continues her piece explaining how she got to the point of the “healing” casual sexual encounters. She decided, after a series of failed dating attempts, that she’d try Craigslist Casual Encounters, and describes meeting someone who seems to be pretty dreamy:

And then B. responded. He was smart and charming. His picture looked cute. He seemed like a grown-up, and not like a psycho. He knew how to banter. He made a funny joke about punctuation. And, after a few emails were exchanged, he wanted to know if I’d like to meet him for a drink. That night. Then. And, to my great shock and terror and excitement, I found that I did. (What writer can resist a good punctuation joke?)

we spent a lovely hour chatting over a couple of glasses of wine, he used the phrase “male hegemony” critically in a sentence (entirely unprompted by me), and then he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, which was nearby. And once again, to my shock and terror and excitement, I found that I did. Though not before asking him for his address, calling my roommate with it in front of him, and letting him know I had extensive self-defense training.

Reader, I fucked him. Three rounds worth that night. And it was awesome.

This sounds pretty fantastic. Everything worked out well, and they had a great time in the sack. But, as she shares with us, it didn’t work out:

In other ways, too, sluthood isn’t always pretty, and I’m not always good at it. Whether from years of habit or something more intrinsic to my personality, my heart seems to want to attach, and after a couple months of playing together casually, and having long, rangey talks naked in bed together between rolls in the hay, it started to with B. Neither of us handled it particularly well. There were tears; there were accusations. But even that was an education: somehow, the conflict that erupted demonstrated so clearly the ways we wouldn’t work together in a more serious arrangement, leaving us free to pick up where we’d left off as lovers. A thread in a needle in a haystack, I suppose.

Friedman also shares that she’s been sexually assaulted in the past, and that she is, historically, a “serial monogamist” who would find herself sleeping with someone one night, and waking up in a long-term relationship with them the next morning. She displays a great deal of vulnerability to her considerable readership when she describes the heartache she felt after a breakup, and during long periods of time spent without a romantic and/or sexual partner. While I agree with Walsh’s overall assessment that Friedman’s post gives a pretty clear picture of an emotionally fragile and vulnerable woman who lacks a healthy amount of self-confidence, I think the answer to this problem is somewhere in between Friedman’s and Walsh’s points of view. Amanda Marcotte interviewed Friedman about her blog post, which made the rounds amongst the feminist blogosphere quickly. In a concluding statement, Friedman says,

…there is an entirely other way to look at sex that I think more and more people are turning on to and understanding, which is that it really is just a collaborative performance between two or more people. And it doesn’t matter what your gender is. It doesn’t matter how many people are there. It doesn’t matter if it’s anonymous. What matters is: are you both having a good time?

I can get behind parts of this “other way” of looking at sex; it is certainly possible for both women and men to have casual or otherwise non-committed sexual experiences that are enjoyable for all parties and do not cause emotional conflict. But not as the only option. And while Friedman pays lip service to the idea that traditional views on sex and relationships can have value, she really seems to be painting a picture of what she wants to believe is the ideal for all human sexuality. And she, and many others in the “sex-positive” camp, are making it seem like this is the only way that we should strive to engage with each other sexually, that anything more than casual, nonchalant sex is passe or repressed. That’s not the official stance of the movement, but it comes out sounding like it in popular culture, and that can be dangerous for a young woman to read, believe, and attempt if she isn’t really going to enjoy a sex life of that nature.

It seems to me that the arguments forming over this idea that women can engage in casual sex, or “hook up culture,” are missing the point. The point isn’t that women are by nature incapable of enjoying or benefiting from casual sexual relationships. It’s not that casual sexual relationships are always (or ever) healing or healthy. It’s not that men all want sex and women all want (monogamous) relationships (with men).

What’s really important, and what’s been missing all along from this dialogue, is the importance of each person being completely sure, ready, and enthusiastic about the sexual encounter; it’s about honesty and communication between partners, and ensuring that the people involved have the same goals. Of course a sexual relationship will end in heartache and pain for a woman if she’s having sex in order to form a monogamous relationship with a person who isn’t interested in the same thing. This isn’t rocket science, and need not be debated so ferociously. And if it turns out that, after having done some soul-searching and getting to know oneself means that, ultimately, fewer women will be engaging in non-committed sexual relationships, then, so what? The goal shouldn’t be to have as much sex as we think men are having, or in the same ways, or for the same reasons. We don’t negate our goals for equality between genders or sexes by saying “no” to casual sex if we don’t want to engage in it. The goal is to make sure that when we are having sex, we are doing so because it makes us happy, because we enjoy the experience, because it’s something that we want. Walsh agrees with this in later comments on her post responding to Marcotte and Friedman’s interview:

I do not have a negative view of sex without commitment – which is how I’ll define casual sex. In truth, I think it’s very, very difficult for women to get commitment first, and I don’t want to encourage women to embrace a strategy that will work 10% of the time. Although my discussing the sexual marketplace drives these women crazy, the truth is that there just aren’t many guys around who will commit without knowing that the hooking up is good. I also have sat around my kitchen table with girls who had positive, and sometimes hilarious, casual experiences. The ones that work best, IMO, are those where the woman has ZERO expectations for further contact, either because she doesn’t even know the guy, the geography is impossible, or she has no desire to interact with him on any other level.

That is the kind of casual sex I had in my own youth, and I never once felt badly about myself afterwards.

While I’d disagree with the broad generalizations of men’s intentions that Walsh employs, I agree wholeheartedly that a casual sexual encounter between two (or more) people who have the same goals and the same desires is not doomed to end in heartbreak. I also believe, though, that there are many, many men who don’t want casual hookups, and are more interested in committed relationships. In my experience, which I don’t consider to be particularly unusual, the majority of men I have dated in the past and know now are only interested in committed relationships.

It’s not about policing anyone’s sexuality or expression; there is not an objective good or bad way to express sexuality. There is no universal sexual behavior or desire that we should all strive to achieve. It’s about learning how to identify what you, as a person, want and need, and acting accordingly. We shouldn’t be arguing about how, when, and with whom other women should be expressing their sexuality; this is pointless. We should be focusing on how to ensure that young women are equipped with the tools needed to make sound decisions about her own sexuality, for herself.

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71 Responses to “Hookup culture” and judging women

  1. Clarence says:

    April:

    Respectfully, whatever you may think about it, I do think most guys (certainly the ones I”ve ever talked to and most on Susan’s blog) start to feel a bit skeevy if the girlfriend had double digits before seeing them, esp if she is under 30. I’m thinking between 10 and 20 is where most het men would place “probably not good for a long term relationship”. It’s also true that male playa’s get more leeway – for one it takes skill to seduce many women, though I’m sure you’ve heard that before. That’s how it looks “on the ground” as a man to me. Still, once you start getting into triple digits even many men will start getting a bit of a skeevy reaction to you: after all , with SO MANY women you are probably banging anything that moves and you probably have a disease.

    I don’t make any judgments: if a man wants a virgin (esp if he is chaste and religious) I understand that, if a man or woman gets skeeved out by how many her/his partner has been with, I understand that. Personally, to me, it’s not so much a number it’s : how did she reach that number. I’m not interested in nor do I particularily respect as being either wise or of good ethical character women who commonly have drunken hookups with either just the “popular guys” or one she barely knows. An occasional ONS is one thing, multiple monogamous partners is good too, but if you make a habit of having most of your sex drunk and anonymous I might RISK your vagina, (honestly, I’m not controlled by my penis so probably not) but I’m not going to risk a relationship with you.

    • Danny says:

      It’s also true that male playa’s get more leeway – for one it takes skill to seduce many women, though I’m sure you’ve heard that before.
      More leeway in one direction maybe. Just as women are “supposed” to keep them numbers low men are “supposed” to high numbers as a mark of experience. I recall a few years ago I was talking to a few coworkers (about 3 -4 women and myself) and one of them flat out said she would never let a guy perform oral on her if he had no experience. I asked why and she said because “he should already know what he’s doing”. (Curses and treasures and all that.)

    • Clarence says:

      Danny:

      Good point. Though there are PUA’s and all who don’t want to deal with virgin females either, I think that men get more shame for not having sex than women on average. You were at college for four years and didn’t get laid once? Dude, what’s WRONG with you?

    • Danny says:

      Funny you should mention that. I actually did go to college for four years and didn’t get laid once.

    • Melissa says:

      ditto

    • Clarence says:

      Duuuuuuuuuuude, what’s wrong with you? 😉

    • April says:

      On this blog post, I didn’t discuss how potential partners will feel about their significant others’ “number,” but since you brought it up…

      There is always a risk for contracting an STD from a sexual partner who has had at least one sexual partner. The chances of contracting an STD do, obviously, increase if a person is engaging in risky behavior; risky behavior meaning anonymous and unprotected sex with many people who are also engaging in lots of anonymous and unprotected sex. And it could be worth wondering whether people who are engaging in lots of anonymous, unprotected sex are doing so because they really feel that’s right for them emotionally, and that that’s what they want, or if they are using that behavior to react to a traumatic situation or because they feel pressure to do so. It’s unlikely that a person who chooses to be sexual with multiple people in NSA relationships and has made the decision to do so after a healthy and rational thought process, considering their emotional reaction to sex, and other factors, would be engaging in risky behavior. Someone happy and content with their decision is likely to be less risky, and use protection and/or not sleep with lots of people they don’t know. Anyway, I never even discussed drunken, anonymous sex on this blog post, so I don’t know why you’re responding to my post with reasons why men don’t want women who do that.

      Now, as far as your anecdotal experience with the men you know and what they do or don’t want, that’s largely incidental. The het or bi women I know who have “numbers” well into the double-digits have no goddamn problem meeting men and forming meaningful, long-term monogamous relationships with them. And the people who care about “numbers” are either hypocrites with tons of past partners, or were broken up with for doing things like controlling and physically abusing her. But hey, that’s just how it looks to me, “on the ground.”

      What you’re talking about is risk assessment. Everyone does it before entering a relationship. Smart people talk about STDs, long-term goals, and feelings. When that happens, people find out whether or not they’re on the same page. Then they can use that information to decide whether or not they want to move forward in a sexual or romantic relationship. The point of my post is that that communication is the key to healthy sexual relationships and behavior. And that just because someone has had– what did you deem acceptable, 10 or fewer?– more than 10 partners does not mean they are not LTR material.

      And as long as you continue to imply that men with more partners are more forgivable than women with more partners, I’m not going to take your arguments on the matter seriously. Both women and men are capable of being “risk factors” for STDs. Both men and women are capable of making informed decisions about their sexuality. I’m for eliminating these stupid double-standards and giving young women and men the tools they need to make informed decisions about their sexual behavior– not for giving young men the impression that they should watch out for women who have had sex with 10 or more people, or telling young women that they’d better not have sex with more than 9 people, or men won’t see value in them anymore.

    • Clarence says:

      April:

      I didn’t give you MY “number” now did I? I merely told you what I observed on the ground. I also told you that I look for explanations and clustered behaviors.

      As for your friends, I’m sure that they all are totally honest to their partners about how many partners they had “before” and I’m also sure that they will all not only get married but stay married and only divorce- if at all -after any kids are grown right?

      Now if you want to check with your cohort of female friends in say 10 years and see if a greater percentage than normal of the more promiscious ones are either divorced, childless, or having a kid out of wedlock, you might be able to make a case that the majority of men are fuddy duddies whose risk assesments are all wrong.

      Like I said, to ME it’s not so much a number unless they are very young – not even in college. It’s the behavior that led to the number.

      And by the way – I don’t, and never have engaged in drunken hookups myself.

    • Melissa says:

      “Now if you want to check with your cohort of female friends in say 10 years and see if a greater percentage than normal of the more promiscious ones are either divorced, childless, or having a kid out of wedlock…”

      You are planning to do the exact same assessment of your male friends in 10 years, right? The ones who had more than 10 sexual partners before age 30?

    • Clarence says:

      Melissa:

      Most of my male friends who have had lots of sexual partners (probably half my male friends are geeks who have trouble getting laid at all, so I’ve seen both ends of it and been on both ends of it) aren’t interested in marriage. Ever, or so they claim. Of course quite a few are in their twenties and things might change. However I’d say about 1/3 of my PUA/Player friends are 35 plus, and if they are still insisting they don’t want to be married, I believe them.

      This whole conversation is predicated which behaviors are good for men and women who are in or want to be in long term relationships.
      Since April is just SO SURE that what her friends have done will make no difference I think it makes sense of her to check out how things go over a decent amount of time.

      I’m not so sure. If I had to bet if April is talking about a bunch of girls who made drunken hookups a lifestyle I’m willing to bet that in ten years a greater percentage than normal of them will be unhappy with their relationships or inability to snag or keep one.

    • Melissa says:

      “Anyway, I never even discussed drunken, anonymous sex on this blog post, so I don’t know why you’re responding to my post with reasons why men don’t want women who do that.”
      -April, 1 hour ago

      “If I had to bet if April is talking about a bunch of girls who made drunken hookups a lifestyle…”
      -you, 10 minutes ago

      Reading is fundamental.

    • April says:

      It sounds like you’re arguing that the act of hooking up with several people fundamentally changes a woman’s ability to maintain a successful long-term relationship with a man. Why is this? Do you feel like women who have had sex with many people are inherently prone to infidelity? I don’t know if you believe that, but I don’t. A person is either prone to monogamy or they’re not. A “cheater” isn’t born from several sexual partners. A lot goes into the decision to be unfaithful in a monogamous relationship, but I see no evidence that several partners or “promiscuous” past behavior causes it.

      And I also don’t see any other way in which a sexually promiscuous period in a woman’s life will cause a marriage or LTR to ultimately fail.

      For the most part, I think we’re on a similar page. If a very young person (teens or early 20’s?) has had several sexual partners, there is *probably* an unhealthy motivation behind it. I say this because people are being pressured to engage in sexual activities at younger and younger ages these days, before they’ve had the opportunity to discover for themselves what a healthy and enjoyable sex life is for them. This isn’t likely to be the case, though, if young men and women weren’t given the impression that they need to have sex with as many people as possible before actually figuring out whether or not they really want to.

      And this is consistent with how your “clusters” or “explanations” are important to you when making a judgment about whether or not you would consider a LTR relationship with someone. WHY and HOW a person has engaged in sexual activity with several people is relevant, but women and men who have had an unhealthy sexual history (and “unhealthy” is subjective and unique to each individual) and have not yet moved past it may not be likely to have a healthy LTR until they’ve figured out why they engaged in behaviors that were harmful *for them* and are able to reconcile that with themselves.

    • Jim says:

      “It sounds like you’re arguing that the act of hooking up with several people fundamentally changes a woman’s ability to maintain a successful long-term relationship with a man. ”

      It’s bullshit. I’m a man, but can’t see why that makes it any different. I met my partner of 11 years in a bath house, pretty much the definition of casual sex. Eleven years is the same length of time I was married; the difference being that this relationship is healthy and strong, primarily becasue I am not trying to hold a relationship together with someone who was socialized as a narcissist.

      Oh, and another thing. The partner and I still go to a bath house now and again. It’s not at all unusual with other couples either.

    • Jim, that’s awesome! Dan Savage asked his readers to send in examples of couples who started out w/casual sex and have since been together for long periods. He was inundated with stories! It’s FAR more common than people think; people meeting in bars, bathhouses, grocery store lines, church, you name it. (My favorite was the one who met his partner when she flashed him at Mardi Gras.)

      Chemistry between humans is interesting, and I believe once you get the “right” people together (by any means: work, casual sex, neighbors, whatever) it is practically pre-ordained. Some people just CLICK and stay together. I don’t think you can predict the reasons why… (says old lady married for almost 23 yrs).

    • Clarence says:

      Anecdote doesn’t trump data:

      http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/09/sexual-partner-divorce-risk.html

      Now, for nearly a month no one has been able to find anything to fault with the numbers which were collected by the CDC.

      My personal opinion is that it’s not so much partner count as it is WHEN a young lady starts having sex, but there is definately something seriously disturbing going on here.

  2. Melissa says:

    The paragraph beginning with “what’s really important” (about 5 paragraphs from the end, I’m not gonna copy-paste the whole thing ’cause it’s long) is pretty much an exact paraphrase of Jaclyn’s argument. I think you and she disagree on fewer things than you think. 😉 Great post, btw!

    Clarence:
    “I do think most guys (certainly the ones I”ve ever talked to and most on Susan’s blog) start to feel a bit skeevy if the girlfriend had double digits before seeing them, esp if she is under 30.”

    I don’t doubt that this is true of many guys…but the important thing is to emphasize how fucked up it is to think something like that. No, I don’t have any interest in burying my head in the sand and thinking that ALL men don’t care about their sexual partners’ “numbers” (and I don’t even think it’s wrong to care, as long as you hold yourself to the same standard), but whenever something like that comes up in a discussion it’s important to be clear that a man who wants sexual partners with significantly lower “numbers” than their own are buying into outdated, sexist, and downright fucked-up tropes and probably need an attitude adjustment.

    (That said, I see nothing wrong with wanting a woman to be a virgin as long as you’re a virgin yourself, wanting a woman whose number is in the single digits if yours is too, etc. As long as you’re holding yourself to the same standard, it’s not a problem. It only becomes sexist when you hold women to a different standard than men.)

    • April says:

      I think you’re right that I agree with Friedman more than I thought. Mostly, I was arguing against the vibe that the sex positive camp tends to (probably unintentionally) give off, which is that whole “everyone should have casual sex and be happy with it” vibe. When you talk to anyone from that camp individually, they aren’t usually subscribing to that silly mandate, but have views similar to mine, or the ones Friedman laid out in the interview.

  3. Clarence says:

    An “attitude adjustment”?

    Is that like a spanking? Are we talking re-education camps with men consigned there by young ladies in prefect uniforms and holding canes? Because if so, sign me up 😉

    Seriously, I understand this is one of the few double standards that favor men, but it is what it is, and I think its probably partly genetic and was alot more defensible in the past when a man couldn’t be sure that a child was really his or not in most circumstances. There’s still something to be said about a number indicating risk of disease and of course this goes for both men and women though women tend to be more forgiving of high numbers than men are, Melissa. Pre-selection is the term used in the PUA communities. It’s like I said, on the ground: double digits for women (excepting the minority of highly religious men) and triple digits for male players. This is on average, and of course some men – many of the players themselves but not all- don’t care.

    In any case, considering how much stupid behavior one sees the “typical” high number women and men engaging in, I don’t find them very wise. I also can’t care much about this “double standard” as I see few females caring about the “double standards” that benefit them.

    • Melissa says:

      “when a man couldn’t be sure that a child was really his or not in most circumstances”

      See, I don’t buy this argument. Whether or not you contributed the sperm for a child, if it’s the same child that YOU have been fathering since his/her birth, then it’s your child. I can totally understand the feeling of betrayal that your partner slept with someone else when she was supposed to be faithful to you, but that has everything to do with her and nothing to do with the child. Whether or not a man is sure that his genetic material is part of a child has ZERO bearing on whether or not the child is “his.” (Just ask any adoptive parent in the world.)

      “There’s still something to be said about a number indicating risk of disease”

      This is totally valid and I don’t disagree with it–I only take issue when people hold their partners to a different standard than themselves.

      “women tend to be more forgiving of high numbers than men are, Melissa.”

      Also true…but you haven’t really said anything to indicate that that fact isn’t a social issue (rather than a biological one), or that it isn’t problematic.

      “In any case, considering how much stupid behavior one sees the “typical” high number women and men engaging in, I don’t find them very wise”

      Fair enough, but it all depends on how you’re defining a “high” number. I mean, if double-digits are high for women under 30, then women would have to average sleeping with less than one person per year. That’s pretty damn low.

      “I also can’t care much about this “double standard” as I see few females caring about the “double standards” that benefit them.”

      LOL, oh boy, you really wanted to wade into this on a feminist blog? Care to name a few of those “double standards that benefit women,” ’cause I’d be happy to name at least 50 that benefit men.
      And for what it’s worth, you’re right that many women don’t fight against the double-standards that benefit us (not being able to be drafted or sent into the front lines of combat spring to mind), the subset of women who fight against double standards (typically feminists) tend to be equally concerned with ALL double-standards, whether they are to the benefit or detriment of women. (And those feminists who don’t, should.)

    • Danny says:

      See, I don’t buy this argument. Whether or not you contributed the sperm for a child, if it’s the same child that YOU have been fathering since his/her birth, then it’s your child. I can totally understand the feeling of betrayal that your partner slept with someone else when she was supposed to be faithful to you, but that has everything to do with her and nothing to do with the child. Whether or not a man is sure that his genetic material is part of a child has ZERO bearing on whether or not the child is “his.” (Just ask any adoptive parent in the world.)
      Personally I think that its not only hard to keep the feeling of betrayal by your partner separate from how it would affect the child but I think its almost unfair to expect a man to do such a thing. To expect a man to do that is pretty much telling him to “man up” and not care about the betrayal. And there is a big difference between an adoptive dad and a betrayed dad. The adoptive dad STARTED from get go knowing that he would being taking in a child that was not genetically related to him. That means he has already confronted that fact and has made peace with it. On the other hand the betrayed dad was cheated into believing the child was genetically related to him and then LATER found out he wasn’t.

      LOL, oh boy, you really wanted to wade into this on a feminist blog? Care to name a few of those “double standards that benefit women,” ’cause I’d be happy to name at least 50 that benefit men.
      If I didn’t already know how it turn out (by way of looking at privilege lists) this would be interesting to see play out. Long story short while its worthwhile to point out how men and women have advantages over each other most conversation on it usually devolved into using privilege to shut people up.

      the subset of women who fight against double standards (typically feminists) tend to be equally concerned with ALL double-standards
      I’m not so sure about that. And by that I mean the “typically feminist”. I’ve crossed paths with a lot of feminists who simply have no problem speaking on the lives of men rather than listening to the lives of men.

    • Melissa says:

      Oh, and FWIW (totally anecdotal evidence here, but nonetheless), some of the best sex I’ve ever had was with a virgin, and some of the worst sex I’ve ever had was with someone for whom I was number 65ish. These were men. It’s all about chemistry, not experience.

  4. imnotme says:

    There is an implied and unanswerable question at large in this discussion, which is, what got us counting and caring in the first place? By the time this argument is sussed out I bet social trends will have already moved past it.

    There is a lot of evidence available suggesting that (many fucking eons ago) females were subject to multiple insemination attempts by males and that human monogamy developed as genetic families were made, which later led to tribes and clans in which women were either matriarchal and free with their own sexuality, or controlled and and owned. Both, I think, were attempts at protecting women from the pre-family/tribe threat of constant rape (although, I am hesitant to label it as such since our consciousness at that point would have arguably been JUST more sophisticated than a rhino’s).

    Since the number of sexual partners a given male or female has had is a modern dialog, I believe the best approach is to gain a better understanding of our prior trajectory, and be a little more respectful/less judgmental on all counts towards all parties. Men didn’t create the problem, neither did women. It’s really nobody’s ‘fault’ that we are getting smart enough to have these discussions without using violence to end them.

    One other thought: this is not a feminist issue. I think that’s a really selfish way to box it up. Most of the relationships we’re talking about in this dialog are between two young white people. There is not a wealth of alternate perspectives on this discussion, yet there is a wealth of one group’s opinions on the matter.

  5. Melissa says:

    “Personally I think that its not only hard to keep the feeling of betrayal by your partner separate from how it would affect the child”

    That’s your prerogative, but they key word in that sentence is “personally.” Just because you think you might have difficulty separating it doesn’t mean that “men” as a larger group do. Plenty of them have no trouble understanding (not only intellectually, but, for a lack of a better word, viscerally) that the mother’s betrayal was not in any way the fault of the child. A dear friend of mine, for example, was pretty damn angry when he found out that his (now ex) girlfriend had been cheating on him (including around the time when she found out she was pregnant), but it has not affected his love for his daughter in any way.

    “To expect a man to do that is pretty much telling him to “man up” and not care about the betrayal”

    This is absolutely not true. I never said that the man wouldn’t have every right to be angry at the woman who betrayed him. He’d be free to dump or divorce her if he saw fit. But loving/not loving, parenting/not parenting a child has nothing to do with that betrayal. The child is a different person from the mother. And anger at the mother shouldn’t translate into anger at the child. So yes, the man is free to care about the betrayal a lot–just not to take it out on the completely innocent party. Besides, biological fathering takes one moment and is over forever. Active fathering starts the moment the child is born and continues (ideally) until either the father or the child dies. For my friend, for example, it was a no-brainer. Even if that momentary and long-ago biological fathering happened by another man, it doesn’t change the year and a half of actual fathering that he did for his daughter. He couldn’t erase his love for that little girl just because he was angry at her mother. Love doesn’t work that way.

    • Danny says:

      Plenty of them have no trouble understanding (not only intellectually, but, for a lack of a better word, viscerally) that the mother’s betrayal was not in any way the fault of the child.
      That’s not the problem I’m talking about. What I mean by “affect the child” is more how the dad may react to the mom in front of the child than how the the dad may react to the child. As in will there be arguments between mommy and daddy? Will daddy suddenly seem to visibly switch from cold to warm when I (as in the child) come around? Will I start seeing mommy and daddy sleeping in separate rooms? I think children notice these things more than we realize. That’s what I mean by how it may affect the child.

      Just because you think you might have difficulty separating it doesn’t mean that “men” as a larger group do.
      And I’m not trying to say they would.

      He’d be free to dump or divorce her if he saw fit.
      You really think that a breakup, even a justified one, wouldn’t affect the child? Oh and also if he does divorce her (meaning they were married) I wish him luck because if things go sour that love for the child is all he may have left when the smoke clears.

      Besides, biological fathering takes one moment and is over forever.
      True it only takes one moment but if that one moment is a deception… And also I think another factor that may affect things will be when the deception comes to light.

      Again I’m not talking about direct effect on the child. I’m saying that something as large as a paternity fraud changes the child’s environment in a major way and may affect them in ways the parents don’t intend or realize. And when I talk about me personally I say that if I were in such a situation I would certainly still love the child but I can’t flatly say that my reaction to my hypothetical wife’s betrayal would have no affect on the child. I’d I’m betting I’m not the only one who thinks that.

    • Melissa says:

      Well sure, I never said that it wouldn’t affect the child. I was responding to this statement of yours: “I think its almost unfair to expect a man to do such a thing. To expect a man to do that is pretty much telling him to “man up” and not care about the betrayal”

      I know the discussion has taken some terms, but this started when someone (Clarence, I think?) said something about men worrying about whether or not their children are really “theirs.” Which, of course, is bullshit which doesn’t matter. I never meant to imply that, in a situation where it comes out after a child’s birth that one parent cheated on the other that it would not affect the child.

    • Melissa says:

      turns, not terms. lol

    • TK says:

      Hmmm, really? You really don’t think it matters if the male has a biological connection to the child?

      Let’s turn this around, how about we start taking black babies (immediately after delivery) and trading them with white babies, we will also switch the hispanic and asians, hell we will create a lottery to randomize it. This way you get to raise someone elses kid, and they will mother yours. I doubt most women would see that as fair.

    • Danny says:

      Lets go back a bit. I said:
      “I think its almost unfair to expect a man to do such a thing. To expect a man to do that is pretty much telling him to “man up” and not care about the betrayal”
      in reaction to you saying:
      Whether or not a man is sure that his genetic material is part of a child has ZERO bearing on whether or not the child is “his.”

      The problem here is that it actually has a lot of bearing. Its just that as long as his feelings on the matter line up with those of the mother (and the courts by extension) he’s fine. But if they don’t its amazing how much bearing it can have.

      Now I’ll be fair and say that when I said that above I was thinking worst case scenario when his feelings don’t line up with those of the mother. If he is not the genetic father and wants to stay in the child’s life he might get pushed to the away because “he’s not the father” If he is not the genetic father and wants to leave he might get held up to child support because “he’s the father”. And this is a big problem with father’s rights. Genetics or not the rights of the father usually end up at the bottom of the list of priorities.

      But let me ask you point blank. To some men that genetic link is important while to others its not. (I’ve never been in that situation before so I can’t say for sure when way I’d go on it.) Is it really fair to tell those who think the genetic link is important that they are wrong for thinking that way?

    • Melissa says:

      People can think whatever they want. What I can say is that yes, it is wrong for someone to stop being a parent to their child just because it turns out the child isn’t biologically “his.”

    • Jim says:

      I think what Danny’s saying is that what you think is right or wrong is neither here nor there when it’s someone elses’s life and experience and feelings you are erasing. Quite simple point, really.

  6. Clarence says:

    Melissa:

    Let me put it to you quite bluntly:

    You have NO call to accuse me of being someone who would abuse a child.
    But your ridiculous argument basically amounts to telling me to “man up” for a possible genetic death. After all , if I’m cuckolded and I don’t discover that till I’m too old to make a baby..well, your inability to understand that it is VERY MUCH LIKE A NORMAL WOMAN would feel upon learning she is infertile, except you have to deal with betrayal on TOP of that… Well, take your argument and your snark and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Men in the past had to trust or watch, as they had no other way of assuring themselves of a genetic lineage. Insofar as a large number tends to make a woman less trustworthy or less able to bond (and don’t try reminding me of “exceptions”) it’s about playing some very important odds. Men shouldn’t have to apologize that such behavior evolved to do that.

    • Melissa says:

      Wait, what? When did I say anything about child abuse? (Here’s a hint: I didn’t.) Where the heck did you get that?

      Look, your children are still your children regardless of whether or not they technically have your genetic material. That’s hardly a ridiculous argument. If I were to suddenly find out that my father isn’t my biological father it doesn’t mean I’d feel a connection to some random man I’d never met–and my father wouldn’t stop loving me either. Because the bond we’ve spent 25 years forming is a lot stronger than genetics anyway.

    • April says:

      Insofar as a large number tends to make a woman less trustworthy or less able to bond

      A woman who has had several casual sex partners is unable to bond and is inherently less trustworthy? Why? You keep bringing up hypotheticals about infidelity, but several casual sex partners does not equal infidelity. If a woman in a monogamous relationship is still engaging in casual sex outside of the relationship that has been decided by both parties to be exclusive, then she’s an untrustworthy partner. How is it acceptable to deem her untrustworthy if she’s never been unfaithful in a monogamous relationship?

    • Clarence says:

      April:

      I’ m making a hypothesis. You are disagreeing with that hypothesis. I dare you to put your convictions to the test over time. I think I’m right, and you are wrong.

    • Flutterby says:

      Erm, over here. Promiscuous woman. Has yet to cheat on or otherwise deceive a romantic partner. Hangs out with men and women with similar values, and all of them willing to be in a sexually monogamous relationship evidently have no problem with it. Has a sexual liberation era hippy aunt who’s happily married to her first and only husband. Sexually liberated hippy aunt has buddies who are similarly committed (not all of the commitments are legal marriage, but that has more to do with disliking the whole concept than being anti-commitment.)

      Anecdotal, sure, but the thing is that everyone who’s actually looked into this sort of stuff has been left going, “Wait a sec…” when attempting to confirm sexist stereotypes. You’re welcome to make all sorts of hypotheses, but we’re just not going to take you seriously if you don’t base them in reality, and it’s just not the case that women who like casual sex are going to randomly become less trustworthy and choose to be unfaithful to their partner. It’s as if you and others like you are convinced we become so addicted to multiple partners that we can’t bear to stop.

    • Motley says:

      Not so much an addiction as a habit, I think. I mean, I have a certain amount of coffee every day, and have, almost every day, for years. It’s about three cups.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that I’ll have three cups of coffee every day next week. Nor is it unreasonable to be skeptical if I tell you that, starting tomorrow, I’ll never drink coffee again. People who won’t date coffee-drinkers are probably better off not dating me, even if I tell ’em that I’ll quit drinking the stuff. And even though tea will satisfy the caffeine-addiction just as well.

      Sure, it’s not a foolproof indicator, but I don’t really see a problem with the idea that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. Exceptions exist, sure enough, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good way to guess.

  7. Clarence says:

    Melissa:

    If I was cuckolded and discovered the kid wasn’t mine sometimes in the first five years I’d be VERY happy to leave the kid with the mother and never see them again. Of course I’d have to be pretty stupid to not by hook or crook have availed myself of a paternity test by then anyway as the child support system would lie in wait to make sure I supported the kid that wasn’t mine on pain of imprisonment.

    Still, you are right. I can’t see ANY situation in which I could hate the kid, and the longer I was with the kid the more I would bond. It’s sort of like taking in an orphan in that regard – which is why I say that if I was to leave, I’d leave early in the kids life, first five years, preferrably first 2.

    • Melissa says:

      Replace the word “years” with “days,” and I would totally understand your argument. If you hadn’t had time to bond with the child yet, then sure that’s different. But do you honestly think you could go five years without forming a parent-child bond? Do you honestly think you could go one year, even one month without forming a parent-child bond?

    • Clarence says:

      Melissa:

      Believe it or not, it’s not ME I’m worried about. It’s the kid. The earlier I leave the more freedom I have and time to undo any damage to my psyche and chance to have a kid of my own. But the earlier I leave the less damage is likely to be done to the kid.

    • Danny says:

      I can agree with that. Because that’s an actual strategy used in cases where a child was put up for adoption without the father knowing. String the case along for several months maybe a year or so and then all of a sudden, “It would be do damaging to the child to take them out of the adoptive home.” Mind you that totally ignores the fact that the father never even had the chance to form that bond with the child…

    • April says:

      I’ve known men who have been told by a recent sex partner that they were pregnant and intended to keep the child. They weren’t in exclusive relationships with the women at the time of conception, and in both instances, the woman had slept with at least two men that could have been the father. They went to the drug store and got a paternity test. Problem solved.

    • Clarence says:

      April:

      Did the woman have to agree to have the paternity test done?
      If so, imagine running this by your pregnant wife after she’s just conceived. Personally I advocate the law stepping in and making paternity tests mandatory at birth.

    • April says:

      I don’t remember if the first woman had to agree to it, but she was honest with both potential fathers about the possibility that he may or may not be the father. As for the second guy, I am not sure if the mother needed to be convinced.

      If my husband were to ask me to take a paternity test if I were pregnant, I would not react well. Why? Because his request would imply that he believes that I’ve been unfaithful in what we’ve agreed is a monogamous relationship, which he has no reason to believe, since I haven’t been unfaithful to him. But then we’re back to why he would believe he has a reason to believe I am untrustworthy. You haven’t yet answered why a woman with a history of casual, NSA sex (while NOT in a monogamous relationship) is automatically deemed untrustworthy to a future monogamous partner without a history of infidelity.

    • Clarence says:

      Ohhhhhhhh but you ARE aware of how the law would totally screw him over if he FAILS to get that paternity test and you did deceive him aren’t you? Or areyou perhaps willing to reform the laws so that there is not this ridiculous “you have to challenge paternity within 2 years” b.s.?

      Like I said, I’d make this mandatory for all women. .Barring that, I advocate daddy take a swab of the kid himself and send it in.

    • Motley says:

      You haven’t yet answered why a woman with a history of casual, NSA sex…

      I think the general line of thinking is “If somebody’s had a different partner every week for ten years, who’s to say they won’t want a different partner next week?”

      I can see some merit to it; I spent about a decade like that, and then had a monogamous relationship (and then got married, about ten years ago). Honestly, the fact that I’ve actually been monogamous that whole time would’ve surprised the hell out of a twelve-years-younger version of myself.

    • April says:

      Oh, and as far as the law stepping in a mandating paternity tests, sure, why the hell not.

  8. Clarence says:

    Melissa:

    April wasn’t talking about her friends until a little while ago either.

    And her friends might be the kind that love to do drunken hookups.
    I brought up my personal criteria in the first place. I was honest enough to do so. It wasn’t all about Aprils post. I guess I was wrong thinking women might want to hear from men as to their personal feelings on this issue, wasn’t I?

    • April says:

      I guess I was wrong thinking women might want to hear from men as to their personal feelings on this issue, wasn’t I?

      Sigh. No. I enthusiastically encourage men’s participation in discussions such as these. I also take issue with many of the things you’ve said, so I’ve responded to them. Just as you’ve done with me and Melissa.

  9. ballgame says:

    I have a problem with the notion that our biological connection with our children is, on some level, meaningless. Some adopted children go to great lengths to find out who their biological parents are, for example, even when they’ve had no interaction with them previously.

    For those women who can’t empathize with how men might feel here, I’m curious how they would react to this scenario: Two and a half years after giving birth, you learn from the hospital that they’d made a terrible mistake and switched your baby with another couple. Would you really not consider switching back? Perhaps you wouldn’t. Do you think all women would oppose it?

  10. Clarence says:

    I just want to say to both Melissa and April:

    Thank you both for sharing your opinions on this thread and letting me share mine.

    Melissa:
    From this man to you as a woman heart to heart: I could never hate a kid for whatever happened between me and its mother whether it was mine genetically or not. And of course if its over five years old I kind of would view it as an ethical obligation to the child to keep him or her in my life in some manner, even though that person would remind of the wrong doing of someone who supposedly I could trust.
    Yes, if I was faced with some Sophies choice between the a kid that was mine genetically and one that wasn’t as to which one would starve I’d choose the one that shared my genetic legacy to live. And yes, I could see in some hypothetical disowning a bio child and passing my *imaginary* fortune onto the better son/daughter even if he/she wasn’t biologically mine. It’s complicated and painful and to be fair, I’m not like all other men. Men’s reactions on this range from who cares (relatively uncommon) to those who would murder the child or child and mother -also relatively uncommon. And I’d probably sacrifice my life to save some child who was unrelated biologically to me : that protective instinct is strong.

    April: While you and me are not going to agree on what I suspect is the main gist of this : That there was and possibly still is a good reason for the sexual double standard, and I think it is a very real force and partly biologically based- I’m glad we could talk through our disagreements enough to find some areas of common agreement.

    I hope other men chime in with their own thoughts and observations on these things. To some men this sort of stuff isn’t that big a deal -however, I suspect mostly anecdotally that this doesn’t apply to most men. So I would urge women to listen and TO THE EXTENT that
    A. They sympathise with men’s concerns about this issue
    B. The recognize that some behaviors such as *an example* drunken hook-ups are more potentially dangerous than others
    I feel they should make changes in their lives after carefully reflecting upon what they do want out of relationships. Because this isn’t going away anytime soon, for good or ill.

  11. Dan_Brodribb says:

    April wrote – “I was with Walsh until the second paragraph. I’m not just sympathetic to the idea that we shouldn’t discuss women’s worth as though it is inherently tied to their sexuality; I’m adamantly opposed to it, and completely disgusted whenever I hear someone do it.”

    I agree with you, and I also think the world would be a better place if everyone belived this. But not everybody does. A lot of times the question becomes “do we make decisions based on the way we think people SHOULD be or the way they are?”

    I find it easy to pay lip service to ideals like tolerance and open-mindedness when people aren’t disagreeing with me about anything I’m senstive about or an issue where I’m convinced I’m right.

    The other tricky situation that comes up is there are times when people don’t know what they believe or worse don’t want to admit it to themselves because it goes against the person they see themselves to me. I’ve picked up a lot of prejudices over the years that I don’t think are useful or even good, but I can’t do anything about them until I admit they’re there.

    So often what seems like a very black and white argument changes when it comes off the interent and touches them where they live.

  12. Dan_Brodribb says:

    *correction*
    end of paragraph 4 should read:
    “when people don’t know what they believe or worse don’t want to admit it to themselves because it goes against the person they see themselves to ‘be.'”

    Sorry bout that.

  13. Clarence says:

    Dear flutterby:

    Based on results (a nationwide almost 40 percent out of wedlock birthrate among other things) you haven’t taken anything seriously SINCE the 1960’s so I don’t find your anecdotal experiences particularly compelling.

    Heck, the closet things I can find to real studies on this do tend to show an effect, alas, I can’t be sure they are non-biased.

    It is what it is.

    • Motley says:

      Based on results (a nationwide almost 40 percent out of wedlock birthrate among other things) you haven’t taken anything seriously SINCE the 1960′s so I don’t find your anecdotal experiences particularly compelling.

      … Man, what?

    • Clarence says:

      Motley:

      My point was that her generation changed a hell of a lot of things and didn’t stick around over the long haul to see if those things actually worked or not.

    • Motley says:

      In Legalese, my objections are on the grounds of:
      Relevance.
      Assumes facts not in evidence.
      Mischaracterizes testimony.

    • Clarence says:

      Motley:

      What is the legal phrase for “subjective opinion”?

      Because that’s all anyone has at this point as concerning the topic of this thread.

    • Motley says:

      Are you changing the subject again?

    • Clarence says:

      Dear Motley:

      I have no idea what you mean. Perhaps it’s this threaded system. I already explained why I brought up out-of-wedlock birth earlier -strictly an example to one poster about why I wouldn’t give her opinion any more weight than she gave mine.

      Now unless you have other examples, I’d prefer if you NOT live up to your name.

      Thanks.

    • Flutterby says:

      Perhaps I’m just not thinking clearly because I was up until 6 a.m. last night, but what the hell were those stats supposed to prove? The only substantial, objective info I was able to get out of that was a) there’s a 40% out-of-wedlock birthrate, and b) you evidently think you know about how old I am even though I’ve said nothing to indicate my age.

    • April says:

      I think he was referring to your friend who is a hippie, or something. But yeah, I’ve been trying to get him to answer the same question. Also still waiting for an actual answer, backed up by… anything… about how women who are or were promiscuous (but with no history of infidelity) are automatically deemed untrustworthy for, apparently, the rest of their lives by potential male partners.

    • Clarence says:

      April:

      I left you a post farther down in the thread that you never responded to. I think this comment system sucks.

      Anyway for MUCH more of this than I thought you were interested in:

      http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/defining-slut.html

      http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/several-commentators-have-raised.html

      http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/defining-slut-more-data.html

    • April says:

      Please explain what an increase in children born out of wedlock have to do with monogamous women with a period or history of sexual promiscuity prior to the relationship has to do with your theory that these women are untrustworthy. You have yet to back up that claim with anything. Children born out of wedlock has nothing to do with marital infidelity– it can’t have anything to do with the potential for marital infidelity, since those women aren’t married. And why don’t you mention anything about the men who help create the pregnancy? Promiscuous women aren’t knocking themselves up before they get married.

      And I’m not even going to entertain the debate that we should be placing moral judgments on women who carry a pregnancy to term without being married. While it’s obvious that a single-parent household is more likely to be less economically privileged than one with two parents or caregivers, the fact that the parents aren’t married says nothing about whether or not they’re together, whether both parents are involved in the children’s lives, etc. Your claims are unsubstantiated, and also completely unrelated to the topic we have been discussing.

  14. Clarence says:

    Sigh.

    April my point was it’s a social pathology directly traceable to policies implemented under the great society and to an extent carried over into today.

    It really has nothing to do with this thread but was an example that I hardly trust the Boomer Generation to know the right thing to do.

  15. Paul says:

    Sorry for dragging up an old thread (and feel free to ignore if that’s verbotten on your blog) but something occurred to me about the paternity fraud tangent.

    I think that what I would find most galling about the situation (aside from the obvious infidelity issues, naturally) is not that I would have to continue to support a child that wasn’t mine (indeed I think I would want to, and I suspect most men would) it’s that I A) I would be *forced* to by the state (While it’s not an option I agree with, I believe any man should be able to walk away from supporting a child thats not his) and B) That she would not be held accountable for how she spends the money. (at least, thats my understanding of CS laws, at any rate)

  16. Clarence says:

    Paul:

    You are indeed correct, for the most part. Some states, I believe Maryland is one of them do not have limits on when one might contest paternity, though if I recall correctly most do, and the standard seems to be one or two years. Thus you will in most cases be forced to support the kid in the vast majority of cases unless you were smart enough to explicitly or surreptiously test the paternity on your own before the time limit ran out.

    And to my knowledge no state tracks expenditures of C.S money. There’s many a horror story of mom moving in with her new boyfriend/hubby in the house that the old hubby purchased and still collecting C. S. which she puts to frivilous use. Sometimes to put the cherry on top momma moves thousands of miles away, thus making pops an infrequent visitor to the kids lives, unless he is well off enough to routinely take intercontinental flights.

    But to me personally the worse part of the situation isn’t that daddy might become a jailbird for being unemployed, it’s that he might be too old or too impoverished due to this stuff to ever have a chance to have his own genetic kid. And thus it’s possible his family line ends there on the whims of a lying woman.

  17. Danny says:

    Clarence:
    Thus you will in most cases be forced to support the kid in the vast majority of cases unless you were smart enough to explicitly or surreptiously test the paternity on your own before the time limit ran out.
    More like “….unless you were strong enough to not be shamed out of asking for a paternity test before the time limit ran out.” I’ve read a few commenters over the years who say when a child a born the nursing staff will ask the father about a paternity test right in front of everyone or sometimes will not ask at all or sometimes even only ask the mom if she wants a paternity test done.

    Sometimes to put the cherry on top momma moves thousands of miles away, thus making pops an infrequent visitor to the kids lives, unless he is well off enough to routinely take intercontinental flights.
    And some are even willing to engage in international kidnapping as well.

    • Clarence says:

      Danny:

      I had no idea that any hospitals were pulling crap like that. My understanding was that most hospitals didn’t even mention testing for paternity unless it was required by state law or something. I assumed both the hubby and wife or male and female partners would have to sign off on the procedure or something. I am aware that if a man is being assessed child support he can request a paternity test. This is ironically one of the few ways that unmarried fathers have more rights than married ones because in marriage the kid is assumed to be yours, and thus you must request testing explicitly.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think there are a couple reasons why a guy might want a girl with a lower number, but it’s more of a multidimensional assessment, than anything clear cut, that you can just say “easy equals bad”.

    Let’s assume there are guys with bimodal sex partners: some geeks or committed guys who have low numbers and some pick up artists with very high numbers. (I’m a geek although I’m apparently attractive, I have to do the dating site thing though as I don’t know many women.)

    If you’re in the pick up camp, you don’t really care whether a girl is slutty.

    So let’s assume you’re in the geek/committed camp. Then you have a relationship with a woman, but maybe before and right after she has a FWB/FB, or multiple partners. (This sometimes happens while dating a girl too, sigh). So obviously that’s a little hard to get over emotionally if you’re trying to bond with her. And you know you won’t get the same thing, to feel better after a breakup, without basically either getting escorts (expensive and illegal!) or treating women like shit (PUAs very often lie to women in order to get more reliable sex without the context of long term relationships). Men are emotional beings too, so it’s hard to be like, oh I don’t really care at all, if she breaks my heart and then sleeps with all my friends.

    In another sense this is actually an advantage for a girl. After my divorce I wanted to feel good about myself and desired, by dating, but as a guy, dating is hard, sleeping with girls is even harder, and requires a lot of partying, pickup practice, but most importantly, time. So rather than raising my confidence this whole situation kind of shattered it. Occasionally I would get ONS, but the girls would just leave, that made me feel even worse somehow, since my emotional state was so fucked up, and I wanted a friend/partner. As a girl having a casual friend, that guy is unlikely to up and leave, since he likes you at least for some reasons :-), so you can get some intimacy/healing. Also as a guy, the main part of attraction is confidence/hunting ability, whereas as a girl it is being nice/pretty, so being emotionally messed up your attractiveness will go way down as a guy, and as a girl it won’t really change.

    Now if I’m in a situation like that again, I might just get escorts if I felt awful.

    Back to some reasons a guy might not prefer an easy girl. We know that *some* easy girls will cause infidelity, but of girls who like being chaste *almost none* will cause infidelity. So while we can’t conclude that a slut will cheat on us, it is something of a red flag. The reason being as a girl one is offered sex constantly, if she has other impulse control problems it could result in cheating. This doesn’t preclude an easy girl from being relationship material, it is just a red flag.

    Also, in the context of intelligent career women, promiscuity, or fewer long term relationships, is quite common. I wouldn’t consider these low quality girls at all. They’re smart and know how the system works, and that it’s super easy to get laid as a gal, and they can get a guy who takes care of them, then swap him when it’s time to move for the job. So of my intelligent/successful friends I know a bunch of guys who are geeks who probably could get laid (due to success, health, personality) but don’t really have the time, and a bunch of gals who always have a relationship, since it doesn’t take much time for them to have one :-). I guess it swaps more as people age, where the relative advantage of successful guys is higher, since they’re so successful women start picking them up. But hey there’s the whole cougar thing now too.

    So I think there’s a couple reasons a guy might want to think it over first if a girl is easy. And a couple reasons being easy could be an advantage to a girl.

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