Recently, this site published a piece by Raul Felix entitled Skill Vs. Serendipity: Why Men Are Studs And Women Are Sluts. In it, Mr. Felix argues that it’s much easier for women to find someone who will want to sleep with them, and by gaming the system with their coquettish laughter, cute outfits, and barrier of protective friends, they are the ones who get to choose who get sex.
Men, on the other hand, must prove themselves worthy by passing a series of tests, maneuvering their way around these friends and charming the woman so that she deems him worthy of sleeping with him. She, according to Mr. Felix, holds all the power, in part because men aren’t all that picky and will agree to nearly any woman who gets just drunk enough to think that sleeping with him is a good idea.
I don’t deny that society has created a twisted take on chivalry that dictates that men should do all the hoop-jumping. I don’t agree with it, but every time a friend of mine giggles and says she’s not going to message a guy on Tinder first, I am reminded that it’s there. And because it is easier for women to find a willing sexual partner, I guess it would be fair to expect women to pick up some of the slack themselves and meet the men halfway. But when they do, chances are good that somebody’s going to call them slutty.
Now, I’m a woman, so I admit that my view on the situation is more than a bit biased. I’ve had sex before — which might be construed as sleeping around in a society hellbent on the virgin/whore dichotomy. But my sexual activity or lack thereof is both a personal decision and, really, nobody else’s concern. I’m even hesitant in even talking about my sex life here, because the knee-jerk reaction for society is that I will now be labeled a slut for doing so. And nobody likes to be called names.
And if that seems elementary, it’s because it should. It’s something we learn as little kids: to play nice, not hit one another, not lash out, and not call each other names when we don’t get our way.
The only men who I’ve ever heard calling women sluts have been the men who didn’t get to sleep with these women. (After all, if she’s sleeping with you, and she’s a slut, does that say that much about your skill?) What they say behind closed doors might be another story, but then again, I’m a woman, and by Felix’s explanation, a man isn’t going to say these things in front of me if he still wants to sleep with me. I only ever see half of the story in a polite society. It’s when you write an article about the other side — about the justification to sling names — that things get complicated. Even though again, it’s really quite simple.
Because calling people names is the premise here. Not the sexual activity. Even “stud,” in all its puffed up grandeur, is colored with a history of abuse and neglect, and yet the society we live in has glossed that over and presented it as an honor. Society has turned it from a job — even still with dogs, studs are the coveted prostitutes when it comes to breeding — and presented it as an accolade. That a man knee-deep in ladies must be doing something right. After all, sex and procreation is how we as a species survived.
But we have evolved from mere survival. It’s not as difficult to survive now as it was even a hundred years ago. There are entire apps dedicated to the act of finding someone to marry, date, or even just sleep with if that’s all you’re really after.
And if you’re honest that all you want is sex, then sincerely, more power to you for at least being honest. But your right to want “just sex” ends there. With your right to want it. Nobody ‘deserves’ sex — not women, not men, and not even couples who have been together for years; agreeing once is not a blanket agreement for the rest of forever — and nobody should aim to earn it like a prize to be won.
Sex is a thing agreed upon by two people; it’s our society that has conflated it to prize material. It’s pleasurable, it’s desirable, it used to be rare. Of course people are going to try to earn something like that. That doesn’t mean that “earning” mentality is healthy or correct. If one of the two people decides they don’t want to have sex, then it sucks that your hopes have been dashed, but tough beans. It’s at least better that you know now, because you can cut your losses and move on.
But in walking away, you don’t have to call the other party a name, bridge burning and middle fingers blazing. You can be the bigger person.
As humans, we’re given the power to think and speak for ourselves, but as people, we’re given the responsibility to decide when and where and how we ought to exercise that power. It’s as people that we decide not to call each other names — and again, if that sounds simplistic, it’s because it should. It’s a basic concept. It’s not a matter of double standards or society or sex drives or men versus women or Mars versus Venus or sluts versus studs.
But you’re your own person. Just as I ultimately should have a say in who I sleep with and how I live my life, so should you in how you live yours and what you call people. By all means, call a woman a slut if that’s how you truly view her. At least then she’ll know that’s what you think when she decides if you’re the kind of man she does or doesn’t want to sleep with.