If You Don’t Respect Sluts, You Don’t Respect Women

In all of the discussion and debate about Rush Limbaugh’s recent attack on and pseudo-apology to Sandra Fluke, there’s a piece that I want to call out: if you don’t respect sluts, you don’t respect women.

There have been other articles, like Yasmin Nair’s In Defense of Sluts, that touch on this. As she said,

The widespread support for Fluke is built entirely on the idea that she is not a slut and that she has been, as Andrea Mitchell put it, “victimised.” Fluke, we are constantly being assured, does not have promiscuous sex and Limbaugh is entirely wrong because his “slur” is based on a misrepresentation not only of her position but of her very character. Recently, Fluke has been reported to be toying with the idea of suing Limbaugh. But what would she sue him for? Being an asshole? That’s protected, rightly so, under all kinds of amendments. Slander is the only charge she could bring against him, something to the effect that Limbaugh’s calling her a slut caused some sort of great harm and, more importantly, that she is not a slut. I imagine that testimony will be collected from friends, family, and perhaps a long-standing significant other of some sort with whom she has monogamous sex with an aim to building a family in the future. She will never, of course, be proven to have sex for the sake of having sex.

Can we please remember that it’s also perfectly fine that women need access to birth control because they really do like having lots of sex and being, generally, you know, sluts? For fuck’s sake, we fought for the Pill and access to contraception because we once thought that boundless sex without consequences—whether with one person or with many, at the same time or sequentially, either way—is a pretty good thing.

I think there’s an important element here that’s worth unpacking. If you assess a person’s worth by how many people they have/have had sex with, you’re requiring them to purchase your respect. And in my view, that isn’t respect at all.

Anytime we equate fewer sex partners or monogamy or any “vanilla” sexual practice with being more respectable, we reinforce the idea that the people whose sexual desires are outside those boundaries have to trade their sexual authenticity in order to be accepted. I would much rather choose who to respect based on how they treat themselves and other people, which certainly doesn’t have to correlate with the kinds of sex or how many partners they have.

Fundamentally, slut-shaming is concerned with the form of sexuality (i.e. the outward expression), rather than on its content (i.e. the underlying motivations and intentions). In my experience, that focus is often in direct contradiction with the ability to respect others. Unless we know what it was that prompted the other person, how their experiences affected them, and how they respond to that, all of which is the content of their sexuality, any judgment we have about them is an expression of our own arrogance and/or projections rather than an accurate assessment about them.

When we approach sexual ethics by looking at the content, we can engage in a dialogue with the other person in order to ask them what their desires are. We can talk with them about how they navigate any misalignments between their intentions and their actions. We can connect with them, recognize their humanity, and create room for them to engage with us. Rather than shaming them for their actions, we can build a relationship with them as a multifaceted human being and sometimes, invite them to grow. All of that requires trust, respect, and a willingness to shut up and listen.

Slut-shaming collapses the complexity of another person onto a single dimension. But even more so, given how slut-shaming is used to control and shame all women regardless of their sexual practices or desires, it conflicts directly with respecting them. If you say that you respect women, then you need to respect all women, no matter how many sexual partners she has, her relationship choices, or how she enjoys sex. Otherwise, you’re saying that that your respect is something that someone has to buy. I don’t think that that’s really respect at all.

Although it appears to be quite different at first, when people jump to the “Sandra Fluke isn’t a slut” defense, they’re falling into the same trap. She deserves our respect, no matter what her sexual history or current practices are. And unless we hold onto that firmly, we’re letting the slut-shamers shape the discourse, which I refuse to do.

I don’t care how much sex anyone has, how often they do it, or who they do it with. I’m much more interested in the consent, pleasure, and well-being of the participants and the people affected by it. I respect women who are asexual, celibate, monogamous, multi-partnered, or have had more partners than they can recall. I respect women who only have sex after a commitment to monogamy and those who have sex with someone within minutes of meeting them. I respect women who have transactional sex, women who have sex for love, or for any other reason. I know that all of these categories are permeable and that many women move from one to another. And I know that any of these decisions can be made from a place of personal power, choice, and authenticity, as well as from a place of coercion, shame, and disempowerment.

What I care about is how someone treats the people around her and how she treats herself. To my mind, that’s what respect is all about.

88 Responses so far.

  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this article. 

    I used to feel like I could “reclaim” the term slut. But, as time passes, I realize, it’s not mine to reclaim. That, whether I’m monogamous or polyamorous. I will be judged. I will be called out for being a slut regardless of anything. Even if I were a virgin, I’d still get called a slut (And was). Just for the reason I felt my body should not be hid away. 

    As a feminist. I get so mad hearing a man refer to himself as a “slut”. Because he is using it to say “I have multiple partners”. This pushes the idea that this is what makes a slut. But you know what? Men have “Male privilege”. We as women, do not. And, hence, I feel if a man respects a women, just don’t use it. 

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  2. Brad says:

    Except for the possibility of disease or pregnancy, I personally see no special reason for monogamy and sexual fidelity.  Neither the vagina nor the penis will “wear out” from overuse. On the other hand, a bit of variety could forestall the boredom that befalls some couples after a few years of marriage.

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  3. Jonny says:

    Brad, the neurochemical “oxytocin” released during orgasm has been linked with pair-bonding, trust-building, and committment.  There’s a biological basis for monogamy.  Those who hate the idea of monogamy have repressed emotional trauma.

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  4. Ealasaid says:

    I love most of this article. My one gripe would be that I don’t have to respect ALL women. People of any gender can lose my respect. Their sexual conduct can, in fact, cause me to lose respect for them (unsafe conduct, say, or lying to sexual partners).

    That said, using ‘slut’ as a derogatory term generally indicates underlying misogyny, so I think the premise of the article is solid.

    And Johnny, look up social monogamy. Loads of animals have multiple sexual partners while producing offspring with one, humans included. Pair bonding and commitment do not equal monogamy, just ask any long-term poly grouping. :)

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  5. David says:

    Jonny,
    You’ve just derived a moral “ought” from a biological “is.” Poor reasoning. Moreover, that oxytocin is released and that it “has been linked” (gee that sounds definitive) it does not logically follow that such bonding is by any necessity (biological or otherwise) exclusive. Also, there are other factors that create bonding between people that if not also in place all their orgasms aren’t going to magically (biologically) help them bond. It’s not a biological imperative and it certainly doesn’t create a moral imperative to monogamy.

    Finally, you turned poly people into people who “hate” monogamy who are repressed. I guess if you don’t have sound arguments just make those with whom you disagree psychologically fucked up. But the truth is, if you seriously read the literature to know what you are talking about you might know, poly people don’t hate monogamy at all and know that monogamy is just as valid a lifestyle choice as non-monogamy.

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  6. Charlie says:

    Jonny, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. The role of oxytocin is much more complex than that and there isn’t a linear cause-and-effect between it and bonding. For a rather thorough explanation, see this article.

    Further, given that monogamy hardly has an admirable track record as the gold standard for relationships, and that there’s plenty of evidence for a biological basis for other relationship structures, your falling back on an oversimplified neurological “explanation” is weak sauce, indeed.

    And while there are some people who do react negatively to the concept of monogamy as a result of past trauma, that’s neither the only reason that some people are in non-monogamous relationships nor the only motivation for it. Most of the poly folks I know respect monogamy as one perfectly valid choice among many, rather than (as you phrase it), hating monogamy.

    Before you make more of these kinds of sweeping and thoroughly inaccurate claims, I suggest you take some time to learn about the topic.

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  7. Charlie says:

    Ealasaid, sure, but that’s simply another way of saying that you start with a baseline of respect and you might change that if they do something that gives you reason. The examples you gave are indicative of not acting with care for the consent or well-being of oneself or one’s partner(s). So I think we’re on the same page, more or less.

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  8. Brad says:

    As a bisexual I am by definition non-monogamous.  This does not mean that I perforce hate all my friends who haave perfectly happy and long lasting dyadic relationships whether conventional marriages, same-sex couplings, or have simply lived together for years.  My wife and I can have friends with whom we are sexually intimate and still maintain a diferent more intilectual intimacy beetween outselves.

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  9. Charlie says:

    Brad, while I totally respect both your bisexuality and your non-monogamy, I do want to point out that plenty of people are bisexual and monogamous. While some folks do decide that their bisexuality naturally leads to open relationships, it’s certainly not something that everyone experiences and I don’t think it has to be “by definition.”

     

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  10. PETA & Monogamists says:

    Jonny, regarding oxytocin as “a biological basis for monogamy,” I suggest you avoid making eye contact with your pet pooch. You could experience “repressed emotional trauma” if you became monogamously pair bonded with Fido.
    “Those people, whose dogs looked at them the most, also had significantly higher levels of oxytocin after the experiment than the people who reported lower levels of satisfaction and whose dogs looked at them for shorter periods of time.”
    http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/oxytocin-increases-when-your-dog-looks-at-you

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  11. Carrie says:

    The very title, “If You Don’t Respect Sluts You Don’t Respect Women” IS A TOTAL, massive, sweeping generalization!  One CAN respect MEN, but not a male-whore and the same is true for women.  

    Jeez.  

    Is the public THIS stupid?  To read that title and not see?             

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  12. Antigone says:

    Well, members of the public are apparently feeling comfortable making comments without reading the article, so…

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  13. Thurman Hart says:

    I’m glad to see this. But while I think it is important to deconstruct Rush’s language and the inherit misogyny it displays, I also think that getting caught up in in too deeply does women an even greater disservice – that of derailing the actual issue upon which the conservatives were losing (providing contraception to women). I wrote about exactly that here.

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  14. ShadowL says:

    Jonny,
     Not EVERYONE who is not monogamous, has repressed emotional trauma. Not everyone who is without emotional trauma is monogamous.

    oxytocin is not the deciding factor in a person having a single sex partner or in having a dozen at one time. If it was, porn wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry because masturbation releases the same chemicals in the body. 

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  15. Brad says:

    Charlie,

         Certainly a person can be sexually attracted to both sexes but not engage with physical sexual activies with both.  I engaged in physical sexual activite with both sexes indiviualy and in group activities and especialy enjoyed a threesome with an man and a woman together.l
       
     

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  16. Brad says:

    Charlie,  I was refering to my own case.  For much of my life I was sexually active with both men and women,  I enjoyed oral sex with both and performed cunnilingus on the women and fallation on the men.
    While it is true that one can have various sexual attractions,but not act on them, I was sexually active with both sexes both indidually and in group sex situaltions.
    Perhaps my original statement should have read “activaly bisexual.”
     

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  17. Max says:

    Jonny: even if oxytocin does promote “pair-bonding, trust-building, and committment [sic]“, why would that necessarily add up to only one pair, trusting only one person, and making commitment to only one person?

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  18. Emily says:

    No, they just have the capacity to love more than one person at a time.

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  19. JRon says:

    I strongly believe that men who slut-shame do so out of a fear of inadequacy or irrelevancy.
    As men, we all have to learn to be confident enough with a partner (whether short or long term) to trust that we are enough. Past partners don’t matter if they’re no longer present. Learning to do that is an essential point of maturity that some men never reach, some never comprehend, and some actually never need.
    I tried to discuss this in an article I wrote last week. (I do think I could have been much clearer in my argument. Editing out the brief political relevancy of that article didn’t help. And you can see that most people there strongly disagreed with me.)
    I think for most of us that sort of confidence with a partner is much less complicated if we choose to be monogamous. Some of the commenters here may have no issue with their or their partners’ sense of worth in an open relationship, but that’s not common.

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  20. Han says:

    Jonny,
     
     Or… they might have been faking orgasms, not be sexually satisfied within their relationship, not found the right person so monogamy may scare them as there as issues in the relationship that need addressing, or they may be into pair-bonding with several people… I think if you have to rely on ‘repressed emotional trauma’ as your ‘evidence’ then there is most likely no evidence there and you’re clutching at straws. Let’s face it, if you dig deep enough, it’s most likely that everyone on the planet has at least one potential episode of emotional trauma and so whether or not this has been repressed doesn’t make any sense. Over generalising is always going to lead to a narrow field of vision about the complexity of human nature and nurture variables. It takes all sorts this world. Some people like variety and why wouldn’t that potentially be applied to their choice of sex partner as well as their choice of food, holiday destination, work, friends and other experiences? Also, people go through various phases in their lives. Does that mean that in your opinion they were dealing with the effects of some repressed emotional trauma during say their college years and it conveniently disappeared the rest of their lives? Or could it be that people in college are at an ‘experimental phase’ of their lives? Or maybe it is none of the above. I just don’t agree with ‘repressed emotional trauma’ because it sounds a lot like someone having a ‘pet theory’ and trying to squeeze a lack of evidence to back up a bias. How can something like that be proven and disproven? If it can’t be, then it isn’t fact, it’s nothing more than an imagined possibility that is highly questionable and lacking in validity.
     

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  21. Greg says:

    Carrie,define “man-whore.” It’s pretty obvious you’ve made a judgment from reading the headline and haven’t bothered reading the article. Who’s “stupid” now?
     

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  22. Greg says:

    Great, great post, Charlie. Thanks for this. On the flipside, I’m also a little perplexed at how married, monogamous, conservative women have been written out of this debate. The pill is a part of daily life (literally) for millions and millions of such women, many of them Republicans, who use it to have sexual relations in “vanilla,” “traditional” marriages without the risk of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Why has the right been allowed to paint contraception as solely something that single “sluts” use to have wanton, icky sex? It’s a tool to empower ALL women, used by ALL women, whatever their life choices concerning marriage, commitment, promiscuity, etc. In other words, the issue is not about “madonnas” or “whores,” “saints” or “sluts,” but about WOMEN … and the men in their lives, too, but only secondarily. Someone needs to get this on the agenda.

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  23. Friendly says:

    Greg, really?  the “headline” is the actual HIGHLIGHTED TEXT…. that is promoted to manipulate the common “glance-over headlines” look –…. who does that???? hmmm….EVERYONE WHO CAN READ THE PRINTED LANGUAGE.

    I think the text is less offensive…. and find the headline severely offensive.  plus I’m afraid that I know the author…. lets get racist and apply this to racial groups and not to gender… (I can’t even write what I think is a fair comparison… because I can’t even do that… let me use a smaller example) does the this offend you:  ”If you don’t respect Barack Obama as our elected president…. you don’t respect African Americans…” (I voted for him btw….)
     

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  24. stjenny says:

    Carrie,
    One can respect men and man-whores, and should for that matter. It is no one man or woman’s place to judge anyone based on their sexuality, so long as that sexuality is expressed consensually. If you dont respect someone based solely on what they do in private, how can you respect anyone? We all have skeletons in our closets.

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  25. stjenny says:

    Friendly,
     That is too broad a generalization. A more appropriate comparison as related to race would be “If you don’t respect African Americans, you don’t respect black people on the whole” Because to shame “sluts” is to shame a targeted group of women within the whole, while totally lacking a definition of a slut. For instance, a ‘slut’ may be totally different things to different people. As the author points out, even a virgin may be classified a slut to some.  Of course, my comparison isn’t that accurate, because gender is totally separate from race.But, the point of the article is that people are too quick to define, judge and shame people based solely on a preconceived notion that the person in question is a lesser being just because of personal choices. Take a page from Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., and judge people based on the actions of their hearts not the color of their skin, or their gender.

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  26. Brad says:

    stjenny:

    Well said!  There is less than a 1% variation in the DNA of all Homo Sapians!  So what difference is a persons skin collor, sexual orientation, etc. 
     

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  27. Arna Metcalfe says:

    Thanks. This is a good opinion piece. 

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  28. Brad says:

       Just what is a “slut” anyway?  Is it some who does something you disapprove of?  In that case, the rabid relgious wrong are alll sluts!

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  29. Rose says:

    While this issue has been one at the forefront of my mind for the past two years since I educated myself, and actually questioned my own judgement, asking, “Why do I care what that woman does with their sexuality or sexual partners? Why have I been programmed to see her freedom as a personal attack on me?” I will keep my comment moderately simple. Why should you care what that woman chooses to do sexually, why does it make her less valuable as a person, why do you see that as something you should make personal attacks on her about? Those are the questions I guarantee you cannot answer without realizing your deep-seated brainwashing to call women sluts. I understand that wrongdoings, mistreatment of others, greed, bigamy, etc. may cause you to call someone a name. But having sex with a person, an act that is entirely unrelated to your life? Why get yourself involved?

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  30. brynneth says:

    Jonny, No, we don’t. That’s just incorrect. Some people who are non-monogamous might have repressed trauma, and I know for a fact that many monogamous people do too. My husband and I are in an open marriage because we are happy and comfortable with that. If we had a whole bunch of issues rolling around in our heads from the past that would make it harder to maintain our two extra relationships, which are very important to us.
    Non-monogamy is not easier than monogamy. Just because there is a biological basis for some humans to desire monogamy, doesn’t make choosing not to be wrong. Hell, you can bond with more than one person at a time. That bonding hormone can help you bond with many partners, or just a few, or one, depending on how you want to structure your life. None of us was abused, and we are all very happy. Don’t be judgmental about something you don’t understand.
     

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  31. Sarah says:

    Brad,
     I’m a bisexual (I’d prefer to say pansexual, but a lot of people don’t understand that one), I’d say I’m actively (I think that’s the word you were trying to use) bisexual even, although evidently, I’m not at all sure that I understand what you’re trying to say. I’ve been in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships alike, and neither were better than the other because I am bisexual, being bisexual has nothing to with how many people you feel comfortable being in a relationship with at a time. Saying that the only relationship you can have must be non-monogamous on account of you being bisexual perpetuates stereotypes. I honestly don’t care if you, personally, are monogamous or not, that’s none of my damn business, but when you’re painting a group I am a part of, saying we’re all one way, I have a problem. Monogamy isn’t for everyone, but your reasoning is flawed. Also, spell check is your friend, I swear, it’s not coming after you to eat you in your sleep. I only say this because I am pretty sure you were saying fellatio, I mean I could just not know sexual terms.  I just want to make sure I know what you’re actually saying before I feel like pulling you apart.

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  32. Brad says:

    Sarah,
     Alas, this column has no spellcheck function, and I apparantly mispelled fellatio (which I do know how to spell.  I think that I specified “actively” bisexual, and that does require non-monogamy.  In any case, Icertainly didn’t intend to say that we must all be clones of one another!

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  33. Brody says:

    Michelle,
     Girls everywhere and all you emasculated “men” who are trying so hard to be politically correct at the expense of your masculinity, listen up.
    Men and women are equals. This does not mean that they are equal in every single thing they do. For example, men are, on average, physically stronger than women. It is much easier for a semi attractive (even a 6/10) woman to go out and get laid. The same cannot be said about men. Men have to work at it, have some skill (game) and thereby get a woman to sleep with them. It is a LOT harder for an equally attractive man to get women than it is the other way around. This is one of reasons behind why we, as a society, naturally celebrate men who are successful in bedding multiple women; while at the same time shame women who bed multiple men.
    Let us briefly visit the topic of virginity from both perspectives. Virginity in a man is not a desirable state or label when it comes to an attribute that the opposite sex wants. This is because he has obviously not been preselected by other women. However, female virginity is not looked at negatively in the least by men. If she looks decent, no man cares if the girl is a virgin or not. In fact, a female virgin is often wanted more.
    Now don’t get me wrong, men LOVE sluts. We will never turn down an opportunity to sleep with a good looking slut. Partly because she’s good in bed, partly because it’s sex. But any decently intelligent, self-respecting man will know that it is a terrible idea to emotionally involve himself (i.e. date) a slutty girl. That would be a very dumb move. Why would any man want to get emotionally involved with a girl who’s had 15+ sexual partners? We would just be setting ourselves up for failure. There are many nice worthy girls out there who don’t have daddy issues and haven’t slept with an entire fraternity house. But, by all means, fvck the brains out of sluts in the meanwhile.
    Most guys can detect when a girl is a slut by the first few dates and by what he hears about the girl from other people and from the girl herlself. We put this information together and figure out if she is dating material or not. If not, I like most guys, will still go in for the prize but have no intention of following through with dating the dirty little tart.
    To put it simply, a lock that can be opened by many keys is a useless lock and of little worth. But a key that can open many locks is a master key and is valuable.

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  34. Brody says:

    Women complain about how unfair it is that men are called studs when they sleep around, yet women get called sluts for the exact same behavior. It’s actually not a double standard though, because both scenarios are pretty different in terms of circumstances and consequences. I can think of at least four crucial differences:
    First, sleeping around is easier for women. Regardless of how you feel about promiscuity, we can all agree that a guy who manages to rack up a lot of sexual partners has to have some skills. It’s challenging for men to rack up partners, even for men with low standards. A man needs social intelligence, interpersonal skills, persistence, thick skin, and plain old dumb luck. For women, though, a vagina and a pulse is often enough. Whenever an accomplishment requires absolutely no challenge, no one respects it. It’s just viewed as a lack of self-discipline. People respect those who accomplish challenging feats, while they consider those who overindulge in easily obtained feats as weak, untrustworthy or flawed.
    Second, women have potential to do more harm by sleeping around than men do. Say a man sleeps around with a bunch of different women. He’s definitely doing harm to these women if he pretends to be monogamous while sleeping around. He may cause them emotional pain by his promiscuity. He may cause unwanted pregnancy. He may spread VD. When women sleep around, however, they can cause not only all these same ill effects but one additional crucial ill effect: the risk of unknown parentage.
    If one guy sleeps around with five women, each of whom is monogamous to him, and they all get pregnant, it’s a safe bet as to who the father is. If you reverse genders and have one woman who sleeps around with five men who are monogamous to her, and she gets pregnant, the father could be any of the five men. And if one of those men is tricked into raising a baby that isn’t his, he’s investing time, money, estate and property to provide for a child that isn’t carrying his DNA into the next generations, a costly mistake from an evolutionary standpoint.
    Our two basic primal drives are to survive and to reproduce, and promiscuous women traditionally make it hard for a man to know for sure whether he is truly reproducing or is secretly raising another man’s child. Men stand a lot more to lose from promiscuous women than the other way around. And it’s no picnic for the child to not know who his real father is either. And it’s a mess for the women carrying on the deception as well. Or just look at any random episode of the Maury show if you don’t believe me.
    Since the DNA test and the birth control pill didn’t exist until recently, there were no reliable ways to prevent pregnancy or prove parentage for most of human history. For this reason society developed a vested interest in preventing promiscuity among women, and society accomplished this by creating the slut stigma. And even though the creation of birth control and DNA tests have made this less of a risk than the past, longstanding traditions and customs are not easy for society to break so the slut stigma remains.
    Third, men have evolutionary reasons to be programmed to sleep around more. A lot of women roll their eyes when they hear that men are “hard-wired” to sleep around. But from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes total sense. If the two primal drives of humans are to survive and to reproduce, nothing leads to maximum reproduction like one man sleeping with multiple women. If one women sleeps with many men in a nine month period, she can only get pregnant just once. Nine months of rampant promiscuity would give the same result as nine months of highly sexed monogamy: one pregnancy. Now if one man sleeps with many women during a nine month period, you can get many pregnancies during that period. The more women he sleeps with, the more possible pregnancies.
    So from an evolutionary standpoint, there are concrete advantages to men being promiscuous compared to women being promiscuous. This doesn’t mean that women have evolved to be strictly monogamous. Women have evolved to be somewhat promiscuous too, something men badly underestimate. However they haven’t evolved to be as rampantly promiscuous as men.
    Fourth, promiscuity poses more risk to women than to men. A woman has more to lose from choosing bad sex partners than a man does. She’s the one who gets stuck with going through a pregnancy and taking care of a baby alone if she chooses a deadbeat. For this reason, promiscuous women throughout history have historically been viewed as being a vastly more irresponsible risk takers than promiscuous men, who rightly or wrongly could always run away from the consequences of unwanted pregnancies easier than women could.
    These four reasons explain why the longstanding tradition came about of men being rewarded for multiple partners while women get socially punished for similar promiscuity. Of course all this is gradually changing, but we’re up against millenia of evolutionary and cultural conditioning here, so don’t expect any dramatic overnight reversals.
    Understand that I’m just explaining why the double standard came into existence and not condoning or condemning it. This is not an attempt to pass judgment or be self-righteous in any way. It’s just an explanation of why the two conditions are treated differently.

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  35. Are You Serious? says:

    Carrie, this article stretches far beyond man vs woman. Your assumptions are insulting because they imply gender binary which is exclusive to trans* people, androgynous people, and many others. The women that the title suggests includes anyone and everyone who identify as women, and yes, that includes women with penises. Not all women have vaginas and ovaries. Therefore, your argument about men being slutty too is invalid.
    Also, your inability to trust people based on how many people they sleep with is exactly what this article is talking about, regardless of gender. Don’t think that just because you dragged men into the equation that means that the ballgame has changed at all. The fact of the matter is that you should respect someone based on their character, not on how many people they’ve been sexually involved with. If someone has a lot of sex but happens to be a nice person, then they are a nice person. If someone happens to have a lot of sex but is a cheater and a liar, then they are a bad person. Abundance of sex with multiple partners is not and never will be directly correlated with how good of a human being they are. Good day. 

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  36. Jennifer says:

    Brody, the same can be easily said of the male from the female perspective. However, I, and other “sluts” don’t so crudely dehumanize the opposite sex. It is obvious that, to you, women are simply objects; either objects to be played with (based on sexual history), or objects to be kept and used (i.e. date). The point is, that women are to be respected as the equals of men, regardless of sexual history, because we are not here only to serve as planting ground for the males of our species. We are not here to be judged by every passing dick as a potential mate, or potential fling, just as men expect not to be judged simply as fertilizer. To say that females are only “sluts” because of daddy issues is like saying that males are only sleeping around because of instinct. When one sleeps around, its because he or she WANTS to, not, in most cases, because of the lame stereotypes set for each gender. A woman’s value is not between her legs, not in her number, just as yours is not between the sheets.

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  37. Nancy says:

    “ If she looks decent, no man cares if the girl is a virgin or not.” – so how is it our fault that men have low standards?  and are driven by your dick isntead of your brain or g-d forbid your emotions.

    “Most guys can detect when a girl is a slut by the first few dates and by what he hears about the girl from other people and from the girl herlself. We put this information together and figure out if she is dating material or not.”

    - FYI I know plenty of former “sluts” who have been in or are in commmitted relationships. Some women make a man wait if she wants to keep him, but she’s also sleeping with other men who she doesn’ really care about, but may have nice bodies.  My point is your method of “slut” detection is faulty, because people can lie about how many partners they’ve had in teh past.

     ”There are many nice worthy girls out there who don’t have daddy issues” – do you have studies or research to back this statement up?  If not, I suggest you pull your head out of your butt before you wind up somebody’s bitch.  If logic and reasoning likes yours ever becomes rampant, evolution as we know it would come to a full stop.  That and the ability to procreate because no self-respecting woman with half a brain would touch you with a ten foot pole.  You sound like you got some mommy issues little boy and probably fantasized about getting spanked when you’ve been naughty :p  Thanks for bringing back the 50′s :p 

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  38. Brad says:

    Are You Serious?,

         Carrie:  How Ture!  All too often we hear or read aquote of someone claiming that sexuality is a choice.  tell that to the pubescent teens who are sexually attracted to members of their own sex.  How often are they then damned by society and end up sucicides?
     

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  39. Brad says:

    Nancy,

         Pretty and handsome are not the only type of beauty!  I have know sam rather plain individuals who were quite beautiful people in the ways that count more in the lon run. 
     

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  40. Mike says:

    Jonny,
     Oxytocin is also released from breast feeding. Whats your point?
    There is no biological advantage for a man to stay with a woman beyond 2 years. This is the time it takes to impregnate and raise a child through infancy. Seeing as how I can cook and clean my own house, I do not need a woman around to tell me how to run my life or to spend my money. My oxytocin rush ends when they start making demands, which is usually shortly after sex. Monogamy doesn’t work. Only suckers keep falling for that one, to disastrous effect usually.

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  41. Matt says:

    Well said, Mike. I couldn’t agree with you more. Check out this Marriage Strike story on FOX.

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  42. Adam says:

    Whoa whoa whoa… Show down a bit here. It seems to me that there is a general assumption that the word “slut” equates to “derogatory term for a promiscuous woman”. In my neck of the words, a slut is someone who uses sex to gain an advantage in a situation. This applies to men and women equally. A promiscuous woman isn’t a slut, she’s just horny as hell. The closest thing to a rude comment about that would be saying she’s a nympho. We are all jealous of their sex drives!

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  43. The 95 Generation says:

    I type in “the emotional impact of hearing a woman say she has had sex before” and I see this: and now have to take my time to comment. Now, I know 50/50 on Rush Limbaugh’s story with this chick. Being a “slut” does NOT mean you “had intent”. You need the NUMBERS more. If a woman, sleeps with, let’s say, 200 men and DOESN’T GET MARRIED, what would you call that. Let’s be honest males and say “That is a horny, horny female” AT THE LEAST. I don’t care if her intent was to try to be a benefit to mankind type of guinea pig! Intent matters less than the fact of how much she sleeps with dudes. My way on determining if a girl is a slut? VIRGINITY. Keep it! Forgiving someone for one time having sex is hard enough, two is ridiculous. God damn, we have gotten so stupid in today’s society! I’m friggin’ 16 and I know better than most of you “adults” here! You wait till marriage! If everyone had done this, extraordinarily little-to-no STD’s, and NO ONE IS A SLUT OR WHORE. I respect people who deserve respect, but if you’re gonna do “the rabbit”? You’re a slut.

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  44. The 95 Generation says:

    The 95 Generation,
     EDIT-

    Personally? In the bluntest way possible: it is my firm belief that sex before marriage proves you are weak and pathetic. If your will. Is NOT strong enough! To keep your privates in those friggin’ pants? Like masturbation and making out, and all the other things in something called LIFE excluding that isn’t enough? You deserve every sexual name in the book. 

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  45. Charlie Glickman says:

    The 95 Generation, that is exactly the kind of slut-shaming, sex-negative judgment I’ve been talking about. Thank you for giving me a perfect example of it.

     

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  46. The 95 Generation says:

    Charlie Glickman,
     Sir, with all due respect… you’re not giving any room for moderation here. You’re biased. You’re not gonna change your tune, and you’ll be surprised to find I’ll hold conversation with you, cause adults do not intimidate me: I base people on equal status or not, by intelligence and other factors. What you do, is give these women a ticket to ride. You’re the poster child for the ACLU. “Okay Donna, so in the past 34 days, you’ve had sex with over 60 men.” See, this is perfectly fine and normal for you! Why? Because you sir? You’re PROMOTING haphazard sex. I reign the hammer down on men who degrade women when they’re WRONG. But if you have a massive amount of sex? You’re a slut. And if you brag about it? You’re just pathetic. So Mr. Glickman, you have deemed my responses as reprehensible, you seemingly do not believe in the concept of virginity, and it would please you nothing more than to see tomorrow’s youth (aka your possible children) going around and mating, something that has one specific purpose, nonstop? Because that is horrendous, and makes you a zealot for the wrong cause.

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  47. Charlie Glickman says:

    The 95 Generation, you’re right. I honestly don’t care how many sexual partners anyone has. I care about how their consent, pleasure, and well-being. I care about why people do what they do and how they feel about it, before, during, and after. If someone is celibate because they’ve been shamed into it that’s a problem. If someone has multiple partners and does it with honesty, safety, and clarity, then I don’t think that’s a problem at all. I think how and why is much more important than the number of partners.

    You seem to be equating having multiple partners with being “haphazard.” You might be surprised to know that it’s entirely possible to have multiple partners and not be haphazard about it at all. Unfortunately, instead of giving people the skills they need to do that, our society has decided to attack and shame them. Given how much young women are shamed in order to control them, and since abstinence propaganda doesn’t work, isn’t it time that we talked about the reasons people have sex and help them discover the tools to make their own decisions? (Jaclyn Friedman’s book What You Really, Really Want would be a good place to start.)

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  48. The 95 Generation says:

    Charlie Glickman,
     So in summation, you’re an idealistic individual who thinks the entirety of humanity should be reformed into believing that the notion of having sex with tens, dozens, even hundreds plus of individuals is acceptable? Not a snowball’s chance in Hell. Might want to re-evaluate your priorities on that one.

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  49. Charlie Glickman says:

    The 95 Generation, nope. I think that knowing that someone has had 0 partners, 1 partner, 10 partners, 100 partners, or 1000 partners isn’t enough. Unless you know how they feel about themselves, how they feel about their partners, and what they do to care for themselves and their partners, how is it your place to call them names or judge them?

    Personally, I’ve never found that judging people made my life better. If anything, it made me less happy. Of course, opinions on that topic clearly vary and if you prefer to judge me or anyone else because of who we have sex with, how many people we have sex with, or what kinds of sex we have, that’s up to you.

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  50. The 95 Generation says:

    There’s no use in talking to a stone wall. 

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  51. stjenny says:

    The 95 Generation,
     Yep. No sense in talking to a stone wall. You’ll never see as long as you’re drinking the cool-aid. Wait until you have sex, then you can speak from experience. Right now, you’re a naive child, little more. Id be interested in how you feel about men having tons of pre-marital sex, because it seems its only a problem to you when its a girl. For your information, the whole stay-a-virgin-til-youre-married sham was invented as a  way to control females. A way to sell off virgin daughters to arranged marriages; if you want to stay a virgin, then fine. Thats the right thing FOR YOU. How is it any of your business what anyone else chooses to do? Thats the point of the article. Other people don’t deserve to be judged by YOUR standards or YOUR beliefs. Everyone has different beliefs; as Ive said before, we should be judged only by how we affect others. Having sex (or not having sex) doesnt change what kind of person you are. If you’re a good person, you’ll still be good afterward. Judge not less ye be judged, kid.

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  52. ali says:

    David,
     congratulations on your complex sentence structures. you have brought enlightenment on us all. for the record, as a lady, your verbal manipulations could only fool me on a tequila night. tequila is one of those substances that oughtta transform your sense of superiority into something more attractive. facts is facts.

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  53. ali says:

    *jonny

    whoever you are 

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  54. Ruby Ryder says:

    I’ve never felt that slut was a gender specific word.
     
    There are people I believe have earned that title. Those are the people who sexually engage with others without honesty, openness and integrity. They do and say whatever it takes to get what they want, without concern for their partner’s health or heart. Those are the real sluts.
    Choosing to engage sexually with others in an honest, open and respectful way that leaves everyone’s health and hearts intact is just being “sexually active”.

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  55. Rochey says:

    At last! I found someone who share exactly the same sentiments with me regarding the issues being tackled here. I am 18 years old, completely appalled at how society views the very act of sex now; really horrified that THIS IS HOW THE WORLD HAS TURNED OUT.
     
    My philosophy-psychology professor is right. The world lives only by the Pleasure Principle now — the principle which primarily drives all the movements and goals of the so-called ID, Sigmund Freud’s purely instinctual aspect of self — our so-called “animal” self. The Ego (the executive arbiter of morals) and the Super Ego (judicial branch/giver and judge of morals) seem to have gone to sleep, if not buried alive by you people who allow promiscuity to prevail and rationalize/justify sexual sins.
     
    I am seeing people here who either were perhaps born or have long ago lost within them the concept of God. Pronounced atheist or not, as long as there is no concept of God, it is understandable how a person could be so disrespectful; how devoid of any sense of morality. I am hearing people here who are nurturing and proliferating an environment that rewards purely sensual gratifications and encourages temporary, dangerous, misleading worldly desires. The philosopher John Hick was right — the environment of the people has already made them delusional. Worse, you are creating the same environment which we and the next generations are bound to grow. I would not even go into detail about what the other philosophers and great men of religion have to say about your reasoning! I am certain they would all be aghast at how irrational and painfully illogical your arguments are! 
     
    You claim to be concerned of other people’s consent, pleasure, and well-being? With your arguments, you are totally missing the point.
     
    Can anyone please cite first evidences and sound arguments coming from different fields or disciplines of study? I’m sure Psychology and Neuroscience and Biology and all the other related Sciences have a lot to say about the effects — insidious and apparent — of polygamy, bisexuality, and the rest of your vocabulary. I am particularly referring to how multi-faceted human beings are; how complex-ly interconnected these facets actually are (i.e. how one belief or act affects the conduct or expression of another aspect of one’s life). What you’re doing with your definitions and making-breaking of categories is practically chopping off piece by piece a supposedly whole and holistically-developed human being! How stupid and absurd could you all be! Now do not be doubly stupid by accusing me of generalizing, because I might just shame your adult sensibilities by pointing out how misled you are from the rules of logic.
     
    Further, I’m not fooling myself when I say Sociology and Ethics have conducted studies which prove how unhealthy and unstable institutions have turned out as a result of this basic breach in the very concept of freedom and liberty (within which sexual freedom is ensconsed). No one can say, “This is MY freedom. I’ll do anything I want with it. My desires won’t affect you the least,” — unless you’re simply stupid and your concept of freedom is distorted. How can respect actually play in relationships that involve using another person’s body for one’s own gratification? How could one say s/he is committed (i.e. in marriage) when engaging sexually with someone else outside the established relationship is allowed? How on earth did your definitions of respect and commitment and well-being came to life?!
     
    Don’t you have any sense of morality and AUTHENTIC self-respect now, modern people? Did too much corporeal progress addle your brains?
     
    Here is your CLEAR CONTRADICTION: you claim to know how to respect people, yet the way you’re allowing them to be limitless and have unexamined, selfish, filthy sex with just about anyone and everyone is exactly a disrespect to the very essence of their being a human being. You are disrespecting them by way of giving them permission to disrespect the sacral nature of their bodies. You are disrespecting them by showing how everyone could be objects of their physical, emotional, and psychological gratifications, and that they themselves play the same role to others. You constantly encourage them to be sexually free in a way that undermines the supposedly intended purpose of sex. With your arguments, how different are we from animals now? Where is that part now where we humans are supposed to use our RATIONALITY in dealing with our fellow human beings sexually? To view the act of sex like eating or breathing …! Get real!
     
    All of you need to have some serious self reflections.
     

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  56. Miakoda says:

    I’ve never seen promiscuity as a reason not to respect some one.
    I have loved ones who’ve never slept with anyone, and some who have more partners than I can count. Its just not a facotr in who I grant respect to.

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  57. andrew says:

    Rochey is right! If this author is actually “helping” people then why does he allow the mt whore themselves out to anyone and everyone? I am a bisexual too but the concept of sleeping with others is a damn shame not just women but men too. If society keeps this up, we will have an over population in no time then how is the world any better? No wonder so many people in the world hate America now, not only are they seeing how people developed this “pleasure principle now” type of behavior but have ABSOLUTELY no care or remorse for any other human being other then themselves. Many other countries are even emulating this type of behavior and it causes major problems in those areas. I seriously doubt mankind especially the U.S.A even as an American myself. Maybe bombing America would send a message to them all.. = /

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  58. andrew says:

    andrew
     
     
    I have some corrections,
     
     them*, to*
     

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  59. Ella says:

    Oh please! Sluts should be shamed, because they make it harder for a woman to be respected and valued by men for her brains and her heart, and not her genitals (and the willing access she can provide to said genitals).

    Sluts make it harder for smart, savvy, successful women to get an ounce of dignity from the opposite sex, and all dumb classless selfish slags should be sent back to the brothels where they belong – to make room for quality ladies to thrive!

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  60. Ella, we may simply need to agree to disagree. IMO, if you think that someone’s sex life makes them not worth of respect, then I wouldn’t describe you as “quality.”

    Personally, I respect women’s brains, hearts, AND genitals. No matter how many partners they’ve had or current;y have. And clearly, you don’t.

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  61. Ella says:

    This is not about their sex life, I could care less about that. It is about how their choices impact other women and undermine our gender’s credibility in dating, the workplace, the family, politics, the media, etc.  As proof of this, we have men such as yourself, men who, no coincidence, tangibly benefit from ”slut” behaviour, championing their dubious label as a badge of pride, instead of a soul-sucking, sisterhood-betraying compromise of dignity.

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  62. Ella, how does someone else’s sex life have any effect on you? What you’re talking about is people’s attitudes about women and female sexuality. Stop blaming women who get labeled sluts and start blaming the folks who see them as evil, shameful, or dirty. Blame the people who use that to vilify women. Blame the people who use that to control women.

    Whatever sex life someone has, it does absolutely nothing to undermine their credibility with me. That’s because I don’t shame people for what they do. If we stopped disrespecting people for their sex lives, the problems you’re talking about wouldn’t happen. Personally, I’d rather work towards that than reinforce the virgin/slut dichotomy that you seem to both have so much difficulty with and so much investment in perpetuating.

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  63. Ella says:

    I don’t think you actually read the comments, you just quickly jump onto your “I’m female-positive, slut-positive, sex-positive” rhetorical bandwagon. This is self-serving at best and disingenous at worst, the latter proven in how you seem to have no problem labelling me a ”shaming” and “vilifying” and disrespectful person “perpetuating” a “virgin/slut dichotemy”. (And yet another reminder of the pointlessness of sourcing men’s opinions on women’s bodies, health, sexuality, self-identification, etc.)

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  64. Ella, and yet, what I’m saying is that women deserve to be respected, no matter what sexual choices. 0, 1, 10, or 100- all women deserve to be respected. And seeing women as a group as inferior because of what some women do, that’s exactly how slut-shaming reinforces sexism. If nobody shamed sluts, that wouldn’t be an excuse to attack women. So why do you get upset with me for pointing that out?

    I have to wonder how you reconcile this statement you made:

    Sluts should be shamed

    with this:

    you seem to have no problem labelling me a ”shaming”

    It hardly seems reasonable to accuse me of labeling you as shaming when you’ve said outright that you think sluts should be shamed.

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  65. Ella says:

    My point, which you have failed to grasp yet again, is that sluts should be shamed and/or defended by women, not self-congratulatory, self-serving men. Us women can self-regulate our gender without the input of phony new age hipsters like yourself. Stick to the promotion of your prostate pleasures, that’s more your wheelhouse, clearly.

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  66. Out of curiosity, where did you say anything about defending sluts? Given that you’re telling me I missed your point, can you show me where you said that?

    For that matter, you didn’t respond to my question about how you reconcile saying that I’m accusing you of shaming women when you said that sluts should be shamed.

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  67. Ella says:

    You’re thick, and I’m done with this “blog”.

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  68. Rachel says:

    Ealasaid,
    I think he means that you have to respect all women not for being women, but because we’re human. You shouldn’t respect a woman just for being a woman, just as you shouldn’t respect a man simply for that fact, but for being a person.

    Sexual practices or number of partners may disgust you and make you more likely not to respect someone, but it really shouldn’t, because then you’re defining that person by one aspect of their life. What if someone characterized as a slut is an acclaimed writer? Neurobiologist? Esteemed professor? Do those pieces of themselves not matter? And without even knowing about why (the content, as he said), you’re disregarding any person’s motivations, which are of course more important.

    Disappointment can be conveyed for irresponsibility or a poor choice in sexual partner, but having a lot of sex and being irresponsible are not one in the same. 

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  69. Kate says:

    Ella,
    This has to be an elaborate joke. Are you fucking kidding me? Do you know ANYTHING about anyone. You are so stuck in your ways and the way you were brought up that you’re too stubborn to see what’s really going on here! I genuinely feel sorry for you and anyone you teach your opinions to.

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  70. M3 says:

    Excuse me sir.. but are you saying that it’s wrong for me to take into account a woman’s number before i jump into and take huge risks on something like long term commitment and marriage?

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

    Respecting sluts does not require that i take leave of my senses. Only a feminist would equate refusal to commit to a woman with a high number as being disrespectful.

    Sluts may be very wonderful human being, but still make poor marriage material. I’m entitled to hold a woman’s partner count against her. That’s not disrespect. That’s being prudent.

    ps. im sure you give women the same advice not to disrespect male sluts right? no calling men ‘dawgs’ or ‘assh*les’ just because they wont commit right? no more judging the alpha males for freely enjoying their ability to have sex with women they will never commit to no matter how much the women might want it. because if you disrespect them, you disrespect ALL MEN.

    right? 

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  71. M3, you’re missing my point.

    If you want to hold the number of partners someone has had against them, that’s certainly your prerogative. Though in my experience, someone’s “number” often has very little correlation to how they are as a person. Deciding to not become involved with someone who treats people badly, or who doesn’t take care of themselves, or who takes needless risks is certainly reasonable. And it’s totally possible to have had sex with a lot of people without any of those things being true. Your apparent assumption that one necessarily leads to the other simply isn’t accurate.

    Further, you can decide that someone isn’t suitable for you as a partner, for any reason, without disrespecting them as people. At least, I can. Can you?

    The same things apply to men, of course. If someone racks up lots of “conquests” by being dishonest, treating people badly, etc., then I can respect them as human beings while still wanting to have nothing to do with them. And for the record, it’s also possible for men to have lots of partners without being, as you put it, ‘dawgs’ or ‘assh*les’.

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  72. M3 says:

    Charlie Glickman,
     ”Though in my experience, someone’s “number” often has very little correlation to how they are as a person … And it’s totally possible to have had sex with a lot of people without any of those things being true”
    I certainly agree. My contention wasn’t that sluts are evil. My contention was that they aren’t suitable for long term prospects. Statistically it’s been shown true. Anecdotal, my exwife had a greater partner count and vastly more ‘robust’ sex life to look upon than i. My recently ended FWB has an enormous count above mine. Both had daddy issues as well which i surmise adds to the promiscuity factor looking for father figures they never had. But both were wonderful people as friends and human beings. So i don’t think im missing your point, simply stating that in the grand bargain of plunking down on marriage or any serious commitment that entails legalities, children or financials.. a serious look should be had. Not to mention partner count disparity can seriously lead one partner to be resentful of the other for having had ‘a good time’ while the other either wallowed through the market place living on scraps, involuntary celibacy or showing a modicum of self control. I’m always aghast when i see women who proudly proclaim that they’re proud of their ‘slutting’ ways, only to clam up, shut up, and by lie of ommision ignore to tell their partner their true number. Not so proud any more. Truly proud individuals do not skulk about the shadows to hide their pride when the situation truly warrants it. That is reprehensible and ‘shame worthy’ behavior. If they were truly proud from the start, they wouldn’t fear losing a relationship to their number, they’d just write him off and look for the next one who would accept it no?

    “Further, you can decide that someone isn’t suitable for you as a partner, for any reason, without disrespecting them as people. At least, I can. Can you?”
    Of course i can. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone for wanting sex and choosing whom they wish. Even if that person decides not to choose me. Having said that, i am still very capable of deciding for myself whether a persons choices cross my threshold of acceptability. I may not have any say or choice in the matter, but i certainly may judge.. especially if years later that same person were to approach me again and be annoyed or upset that i reject them on that basis. If i see a woman continually abuse her ease of being able to acquire sex, and using it to ‘reward’ the lowest common denominator.. the stereotypical ‘badboy’, the abuser, the deadbeat, the negligent, the psychopath, the narcissist, the truly misogynist.. over and over.. i do believe i have every right to cast judgement on her choice behavior regardless of whether or not she’s a pillar of the community or even mother theresa. It’s the same as me being able to judge that a morbidly obese person who eats a a bucket of ice cream every day because society says it’s ok to ‘feel good in the now’ without thought to health repercussions, self respect or social stigma is not really worthy of my sympathy. It’s easy to do the easy thing and hard to do the hard thing for a reason. And this is where it biologically comes to say that women have it easier getting sex than men (hence the double standard) and a woman who has a lot of partners in my view is someone who is unable to show self control in a sea of abundance anymore so than an obese person shows an inability to control what goes into his/her mouth. People with hearts of gold? Sure. Drug addicts have hearts of gold too. Yet we judge them everyday, even tho they really hurt no one but themselves.

    “And for the record, it’s also possible for men to have lots of partners without being, as you put it, ‘dawgs’ or ‘assh*les’.” 
     100% agreed. And i know many women who also agreed. Right up until the point they got curbed for the next one.

    Again, i’m not here to argue that ‘sluts’ are the anti christ. it’s just that i think some women will mistake this for an acceptance that down the road, their number won’t have a basis in their long term goals (if they have one). Some men will accept high partner women easily (usually guys with high n counts) others will balk for sure. I write these words to remove naivete from women because i don’t want them to become the next <b>“Stacy Jones, TX”</b>
    http://ca.askmen.com/dating/curtsmith/42_dating_advice.html

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  73. Reno says:

    “I think there’s an important element here that’s worth unpacking. If you assess a person’s worth by how many people they have/have had sex with, you’re requiring them to purchase your respect. And in my view, that isn’t respect at all.
    Anytime we equate fewer sex partners or monogamy or any “vanilla” sexual practice with being more respectable, we reinforce the idea that the people whose sexual desires are outside those boundaries have to trade their sexual authenticity in order to be accepted. I would much rather choose who to respect based on how they treat themselves and other people, which certainly doesn’t have to correlate with the kinds of sex or how many partners they have.”
     
    Stick with sex ed.. logic is obviously not your forte. “If you don’t respect sluts, you don’t respect women”. Is this a joke? I don’t respect bank robbers who are male, do I disrespect all males?
     
    To have sex or not to have sex is a choice, unless one is being raped, abused, or has a mental illness. It is a mutable attribute under the control of the individual, except for the aforementioned situations. If my value system dictates that women with fewer partners (and quite possibly higher levels of self control and/or self discipline) are the ideal, then I am fully within my rights to withhold respect. I don’t want them to “purchase respect”.. and I don’t feel that respect is something to be purchased. It has to be earned. They do not need to change themselves to suit me; indeed they should be true to themselves and do as they wish.. but respect is not a given. If they’re a so-called slut I quietly regard them with disdain and attempt to put distance between the two of us.
     
    As a professional who has had no problems dating over the years, it’s very frustrating having to discern who is worthwhile and who is not.. and one of the determinants is promiscuity. Yes, we men are allowed to set standards. And yes, it is possible to respect women while not respecting sluts.

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  74. Reno, how ironic. You make a false comparison between bank robbers (who clearly do cause harm to other people) and women who make sexual choices you disagree with, while accusing me of not understanding logic.

    If it makes you feel better to feel “quiet disdain” for other people who are doing no harm to you or anyone else, that’s certainly your privilege, though it makes you sound like an arrogant prig to me. And if you want to make sweeping statements about what motivates women to make different sexual choices, such as lacking self-control or self-discipline, that’s also your privilege, even though it’s simply not accurate. I know plenty of people who have enough sexual partners who be considered sluts by a lot of people, while having more discernment and self-control than most. And I know quite a few people who lack self-control whose number of partners is quite low. You’re making a false assumption about what these things mean.

    You’re also missing my point that “slut” is a game that women can’t win because the term gets used to attack, shame, and control all women regardless of their actual choices. If you truly respect women, then how can you not respect their right to make choices you disagree with, when they’re doing no harm to anyone? And if they have to do what you approve in order for you to respect them, then you don’t really offer respect.

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  75. Tim says:

    Hey Charlie, what do you have to say about women who wouldnt date or settle down with a guy because of his promiscuos wild sexual past?  I can assure you there are plenty of women who dont want a man-whore.

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  76. Tim, I say much the same thing. I think that the question isn’t what someone has done in the past. It’s who they are now that’s really relevant.

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  77. Tim says:

    Charlie Glickman, I get the feeling that women are allowed a much bigger room to hold their prejudice in this regard. If women who dont want to date / marry man-whores, its just a personal preference but if men dont want to marry sluts, its a political problem. Its seen as an attack on female sexual freedom and the gets the man judged as a small minded misogynist. I sense this is an emerging double standard against men that you should be aware of, since your’e interested in this topic.
     
    Now that is if we consider this matter to be a political one to begin with, which I dont. And I have my arguments.

    Personally, I have no disrespect for sluts. I have no disrespect for women who have slept with 100 men. But I wouldnt emotionally invest in one (if I had the opportunity) not because I believe she has done something morally wrong, but simply because I have a preference for a partner with a sexual past similar to mine.  I’ve only had 2 gf’s in my 28 yr life.

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  78. Tim, I’m not sure that any women are “allowed a much bigger room to hold their prejudice in this regard.” I see a whole lot of slut-shaming of women woven into the fabric of modern culture. I see women judged much more harshly than men for engaging in the same behaviors or with the same number of partners. And I see slut-shaming connected with verbal, physical, mental, emotional, and sexual assault of women in ways that men just don’t receive as often or as much.

    Now, I will agree that men’s attitudes towards women are often considered linked to sexism. And I agree that quite often, when women express similar attitudes towards men, it’s not considered a political problem. In part, that’s because of the sexual double standard that says that men can have lots of sex and women can’t. But it’s also because there’s very little political awareness around erotophobia & sexual shame, much less how they’re woven into our culture as deeply as sexism. homophobia, racism, etc.

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  79. Tim says:

    Just as we have preferences regarding physical appearance, education, status, personality, lifestyle, ethnicity/religion of a partner, we can also have a preference for the kind of sexual past or sexual lifestyle they had.

    There is a reason why men are concerned about the sexual past of women they intend to marry or emotionally invest in. Its not just a pointless preference. At the root of it, lies a ‘discrepancy’.
    .

    The number, variety and quality of men available to women for casual sex are much much higher than the number and quality of men available to them for marriage and LTR’s. 

    For casual sex, women may have access to the best quality men they comes across in life and in their proximity. Men who are good looking, popular, successful, high-status and who possess sexual prowess.
    But it is a statistical reality that most us will END UP marrying our EQUALS. 

    Its very likely that before the average promiscuous woman settles down with the average guy, she would’ve had casual sex and flings with dozens of men who were much more attractive and sexually desirable than the guy she settles down with.    

    It seems kinda unfair to a man who never had the same opportunity to be promiscuous. To realize that the woman he intends to marry, has had sexual relationships with men he cannot measure up to, is a blow to the ego.  Its only human to have insecurities and this is a valid cause to have them. Men usually place higher importance on sex within a relationship. Its how they validate their desirability.  A long term relationship is the only place for most men to express their sexuality.

    Until we have this ‘discrepancy’ in the sexual realm, I don’t think men will overlook womens sexual past when considering them for serious relationships . Promiscuity is not an option available to most men, let alone with high quality women. The average looking guy who has sex with attractive women and goes on to marry a plain jane, rarely exists. This dynamic doesn’t affect women hence we see that women can more easily overlook men’s sexual past.

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  80. michijo says:

    I have trouble respecting sluts, and maybe I want to respect them, but they seem trashy to me. Like, I am not religious, I don’t believe in marriage or any moral values. But my ex girlfriend told me stories about being promiscuous, that she would stand by a wall and let almost any young man her age take her home and have sex with her. It really bothers me. I sort of wonder, does a woman who sluts around like that have self respect herself? and if not, is it still possible to respect her face to face on equal terms. Because frankly, though she was 2 years older than me, it made me feel like a father figure or parent instead of a boyfriend.

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  81. Odin 630 says:

     I’ll just keep it short and say that I completely agree with Mr. Glickman (I could likely write 20-40 pages in direct response to every point either made or attempted in both this article and in adjoining comments). In fact, I wish that he would have made the most pertinent connection to humanity and society on the whole: Any judgement leveled toward someone else based on an experience that you have not gone 100% through yourself is based in ignorance and, along with some indefinite string of negative modifiers, is invalid. Considering, furthermore, that the only way for that criterion to have been met is for he who is attempting judge to actually be the one who has undergone said experience. In other words, as each of us who has ever lived is and has been a different individual from the next and the last, absolutely no one who has ever lived meets the requirement to adequately or appropriately level judgement on someone else. This includes all-to-common statements like, “I’ve gone through as much as or more [insert negatively perceived life occurrence] than s/he has, and look how well I’ve turned out! Consequently, [Insert subject of intended judgment] has no right to complain, and/or is [insert negative modifiers].” We can only draw conclusions based on our own firsthand experiences, and on nothing else— this makes appropriate, acceptable judgement of anyone else impossible.
     

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  82. Anonymous says:

    Jonny, You were doing so fine until your last sentence. Maybe there is a biological basis for monogamy, but that doesn’t make those that aren’t flawed or inferior to those that are. We are who we are and we should respect that about each other.
     

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  83. Ravi Agarwal says:

    Respect of women in Indian Society is extremely important and need of the day. In this context, found an article..quite useful.. check the link: http://prik.in/2013/10/respect-rather-abuse/

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  84. One_Third says:

    Tim,
    you say that “It seems kinda unfair to a man who never had the same opportunity to be promiscuous. To realize that the woman he intends to marry, has had sexual relationships with men he cannot measure up to, is a blow to the ego.”
    Although this might be a good description of the actual feelings of many men, this statement can be condensed to a simple emotion: Envy. Envy towards women who seem to get sex much easier (and with more attractive partners) than men. And even if this is comprehensible, it still is morally questionable. As much as hating the neighbor for owning the larger car.
    Moreover, it interchanges cause and effect. The cause is the fact that many men accept and engage in sex with most woman, while women simply don’t. This leads to high demand and low supply. In “normal” logic, one would blame those who create the extremely high demand. That instead those women who at least deliver some “supply” are aggressively attacked and blamed, shows the deeply-rooted misogyny in our society. It is completely illogical, but even then you can count on the old rule that women are always at fault.

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  85. Tim says:

    One_Third,
     
    Your argument doesn’t go deeper.  The issue is a lot more complicated than you make it out to be.
    What you refer to as <b>’envy’ </b>is infact just <b>’insecurity’ </b>- Insecurity that he may not measure up to the woman’s past sex partners. And its only human to feel insecure.
     
    A man who wants to avoid investing in a formerly promiscuous woman may just be looking out for his interests. He may just want to avoid unfavorable comparisons, on her part, to her past lovers who were ‘objectively’ better looking, better built and more exciting than him. He may just want to avoid the risk that her attraction and lust for for those men was much greater than that for him; that she had her most passionate enjoyable spontaneous sexual experiences with those men; that he ranks much lower on desirability on her list of partners. 
     
    Perhaps he is afraid that since she can attract a lot more attractive men than himself she may not value him as much as he values her because she is her only option. She may find it a lot easier to get out of the relationship since she has more attractive options. This is an unequal relationship.
     
    Perhaps he just wants to experience the (relative) novelty of a sexual relationship together. He wants to explore new things together. He fears an experienced woman already has had her best behind her, while for him..he looks forward to the best. He doesn’t want that inequality.
     
    Perhaps he is just skeptic about why has he suddenly become visible to the kind of woman who never had him on their radar when they are having their fun. He may just be asking himself<i> “what is it that she sees in me now”</i> if only out of sense of loyalty to his former self. Could it be that what such women refer to as <i>”maturing of preferences” </i>is actually a grudgingly painful process of realizing that the men they really want to bang are not available for commitment and long term relationships? so they have to settle for less attractive men they wouldn’t have previously taken a crap upon?  No one wants to feel like the mini van one settles after driving a few sports cars and realizing they arent reliable. There is a risk that such people always remain “unfulfilled” deep down. You do realize being “unfulfilled” is the biggest reason women end relationships and marriages.
     
    Its not difficult to understand the reasons if the male perspective isn’t completely lost on you. Try to understand that this doesn’t have to be about her. Its about him, his insecurities, fears, interests, validation and feelings. I hope you 
     
    realize men too are human and have grounds for insecurities. Just because women’s insecurities manifest differently don’t make mens’ unacceptable.
     
    But I get that you expect men to be devoid of feelings and skepticism. 

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  86. Ellyson says:

    There is nothing wrong with slut shaming. It is just a judgment, not sexism or “woman hating”. Judgments are something that everyone has. And everyone has some sort of negative judgments that they won’t be afraid to voice. That’s the way of the world.

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  87. Happy Slutty Days of Yore says:

    Wow.  Reading through the comments on this lovely article has been quite the trip.  Here’s a trip for the haters (I can’t believe I used that word in a sentence. lol).
    I have had many, many, many sexual partners and I have volunteered with many humanitarian organizations and local charities.  I have given more blow jobs than I can count and I play board games with the kids in my building on Saturdays.  I have been raped and I make a mean macaroon.  I like to wear short skirts and high heels and I give money to the guy who sits on the corner by the market every weekend.  I have a Master’s degree and I enjoy cunnilingus.  I used to go out on Ladies Night to score and now I’m married and monogamous.  These are not dichotomies!  This is my life!  I have to live here with you people. 
    Please stop judging me on my sexual experiences.  Please stop judging me on my gender.  Please stop judging me on my body.  Please stop judging me on my feminism.  My having protected sex did not hurt you, demean you or take anything away from you.  Being raped did one hell of a number on me though.  Until you read this comment, you probably didn’t know I exist.  Stop defining me!  Stop trying to make me feel ashamed for any of this.  It’s not working and it’s mostly just annoying now.
    Go ahead and call me a slut, if you must, but be sure to call me a humanitarian, gamer, cook, concerned citizen and MSc.  Oh, also Ma’am.  I’m married, so you should call me Ma’am as well.

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  88. Tim says:

    Happy Slutty Days of Yore,
     
    I just hope that your husband got to enjoy the same kind sexual gluttony as you did before you married him. I hope he too had many, many, many sexual partners; and got more blowjobs and licked more pussies than he can count.
     
    But something tells me he didnt get to do all that. Its actually a big deal for men to have a sex life like you enjoyed. For you it was just a choice you made. Men dont get the opportunity to be promiscuous unless they are top quality in looks. Just dont forget that. I dont judge you.

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