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Double standards over sexual partners...

(76 Posts)
LarvalFormOfOddSock Wed 08-May-13 21:30:43

AIBU to wonder why when a man has a lot of sexual partners it's considered to be ok and "just sowing his oats" but if a woman has a lot she's thought to be "a skank"?

I was having this conversation the other day down the pub with a group of friends. It arose because of a news article and a mate commenting that the woman in question "deserved an STD because she's a slag". It made me wonder.

If everyone's an adult and it's all consensual and everyone's taking precautions, then what's the problem? Sex is fun. Sex is pleasurable. What IS the problem in having a different partner every night if that's what you want and that's what everyone involved wants? And why is it more OK for men?

A man having multiple partners wouldn't attract such general vitriol. I'm just glad my "mates" don't know my history to be honest.

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 21:36:11

what a dreadful and ridiculous comment from your mate

TigOldBitties Wed 08-May-13 21:37:51

This annoys me a lot but it does seem to be a rather deep seated view held by lots of people, am sure it harks back to women needing to be 'chaste and pure' or something similar.

AnyFucker Wed 08-May-13 21:38:53

I think you should find some new friends

LarvalFormOfOddSock Wed 08-May-13 21:40:35

Well, I live in a very small village without a car! Having moved from a very big city, it's been a shock!

StuntGirl Wed 08-May-13 21:43:09

Agree with AF.

I don't stand for casual sexism like that, I'd have pulled her up on it. I am known for being a 'kill joy' because I correct everyone every time they make bullshit sexist comments like that.

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 21:44:18

Personally, there's a level of promiscuity I don't find attractive in either sex, but wouldn't expect everyone to share that view.

I'd always assumed it was a hang over from the days before reliable contraception was widely available and was then a pragmatic message to reduce the risk of being left holding a baby. No idea why it has persisted so long since then. Though I have noticed that friends' DC's in their early 20s are more open minded than their elders.

AnyFucker Wed 08-May-13 21:46:47

Me too, SG

Bovvered ? grin

Anna1976 Wed 08-May-13 21:58:50

Well there's the double standards aspect, which is completely vile. The "why is everybody a sex offender now" thread has some points that address some of the double standards.

But with respect to the "what's the problem" bit, is it possible to voluntarily have no-strings-attached sex with lots of different people, without doing a pathological level of dissociation? Sex is - at least in theory - fun and pleasurable, but it is also a rather intense level of intimacy with someone, and -when done correctly - it releases all sorts of bonding hormones (oxytocin). Repeatedly lying next to a new partner bathed in an afterglow of oxytocin, and then getting up and never seeing the person again - and then doing the same thing a week later with a new partner - either requires you to blunt the reponse to all that intimacy and oxytocin - or it leaves you in a bit of a mess if you're responding to it and then sublimating the response in order to get it on with the next person.

Aged 27-29 I tried to be terribly sexy and grown-up and have a "fling" with a philandering twit who praised my beauty and sexual prowess to the skies, while making it very clear that the relationship wasn't ever going to go further than dinner, banter and sex. I felt very grown-up that I could so totally handle it, that I wasn't needy, that I was utterly autonomous. After the initial self-importance had worn off, I ended up a total blubbering mess after every session. Not in front of him - crying by myself for hours, unable to understand the intensity of the unhappiness. I couldn't handle blunting the response to the intimacy - and frankly it was idiotic of me to try. I look back and think he was abusive and strangely blunted in his own emotional responses.

That's why no-strings-attached sex is extremely hard to achieve - and why it hardly seems worth achieving. It hurts so many people, so badly. Why bother?

samandi Wed 08-May-13 22:03:49

Hmm, no matter how small the village I don't think I could really call folks with that kind of attitude friends. The notion that a woman's no. of partners also correlates directly with the man's risk of contracting an STD is rather lazy thinking too.

StuntGirl Wed 08-May-13 22:17:28

As I say to people, if they didn't make shitty sexist comments I wouldn't have to pull them up on it grin

I actually shouted at a customer at work once because he made some lazy sexist comment (you might like it actually AF - according to him only women can clean mirrors and windows; men just can't clean the way women can hmm) and my colleagues had to go hide in the back to stop from laughing.

AnyFucker Wed 08-May-13 22:22:42


WafflyVersatile Wed 08-May-13 23:31:08

The issue here isn't whether you think sex before marriage is a sin, or that 2 partners is too few or 10 partners too many or 60 partners too many. If you think 10 partners makes a woman a slut you should also think it makes a man a slut. That's the point.

But this has been a prevalent sexist imbalance for a loooong time and although things have improved a bit recently it's not going to disappear any time soon.

Scruffey Wed 08-May-13 23:37:43

It isn't ok for men IMO. My BIL has a different girlfriend every time I see him and has slept with hundreds of women, maybe he's even hit 1000. I think it's absolutely filthy and wouldn't for eg share a drink with him because if the skank factor.

Sorry but I will judge any man or woman with 1000+ notches on their bedpost. It's just gross and there are no double standards in my book.

chattychattyboomba Wed 08-May-13 23:40:18

Was watching that show the other day where the parents spy on their kids on holiday. The father was quite chuffed with his son being a 'lad' & getting off with 3 diff girls on the same night. I said to DH that was appalling of him to condone that behaviour especially when one of the girls from earlier came out to a club with him only for him to go off with another girl.
DH commented something like 'yeah i suppose but that's what boys do'.
We have a DD. i said 'and if it was DD? Or if she was one of the girls he used because guys like you think it's ok?' He went quiet...'yeah ok i get your point' he said.
Mums- teach your sons not to be sluts just as i will teach DD.

chattychattyboomba Wed 08-May-13 23:42:32

Oops! And dads! (Was just saying mums as we're on mumsnet)

VelvetSpoon Wed 08-May-13 23:43:09

I do think women are as bad as men if not worse over the whole double standard thing. A lot of women see sex as a 'reward' to give to men, and are very anti women who do one-night stands, have sex on the first date, whatever, because that's not the way to keep a man hmm.

Yet make absolutely no judgment of the men involved.

I hate hearing women referred to as 'slags' by either sex tbh.

WafflyVersatile Wed 08-May-13 23:47:33

Well we've all been socialised to be sexist, not just men, so that's not surprising, velvet

DumSpiroSpero Wed 08-May-13 23:49:21

I think your mate's comment is totally out of order, and all things being equal, gender should be irrelevant to the number of sexual partners anyone chooses to have.

That said presumably if the person in question caught an STD they were not practising safe sex and I would be hmm about anyone that put themself in that position, male or female.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 09-May-13 07:48:19

Lots judge men and women differently when it comes to sex. I am not sure why, they should be judged equally. I'd judge either sex the same if they had had partners going past 10 plus.

I think some men and women see sex as something different, many women use sex as a weapon and threaten to withdraw it if they dont get x, y and z whereas you dont tend to see that in men.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 09-May-13 07:56:14

I don't know where people get the idea that everyone thinks it's ok for men to have lots of sexual partners.

I think it's the same for men and women, and I wouldn't have much respect for anyone that felt the need to have sex with a different partner every night, male or female.

Maybe it's seen by some as worse for women because they are taking the biggest risk? It's a lot easier for a man to walk away from unwanted pregnancy than it is for a woman.

ElBombero Thu 09-May-13 08:13:09

Lot of people do succeed Anna. I did when I was younger and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I enjoyed the flirt, the banter, and the total sexual freedom you get from having sex with stranger / someone your not going to see again. I agree it can get upsetting if you keep seeing this person because it slowly and usually without any intention more than sex.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 09-May-13 08:23:28

I actually think that sort of attitude is a lot less prevalent than it once was. I think there are increasing numbers of people of either sex who find "too much sleeping around" unattractive in either sex.

Now, one person's "too much" is another person's "not enough" of course....

MoaningMingeWhingesAgain Thu 09-May-13 08:55:01

I had NSA shags with a few people when I was younger, it was brilliant. But I wasn't trying to turn it into something else I suppose. IMHO shagging for fun as opposed to sex within a loving relationship are very different things. But I do wonder about the self esteem of people who sleep with huge numbers of partners.

Softlysoftly Thu 09-May-13 09:02:41

Why would it be filthy if you use contraception? That's ridiculous you could catch things from shaking hands with too many people.

I had lots of nsa sex when younger, never got emotionally attached I just enjoyed the chase. In fact DH is the only man I've been with longer than a week and is been 16yrs.

If god forbid I was single again I could happily devolve sex from love. It's an entirely different thing.

But to the op your friends are the disgusting ones, the word slag should just mean a heap of coal waste.

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