The Sexist

Women and Gay Men Are Sluts. Jealous, Straight Guys?

It's the classic double standard: If a woman is sexually promiscuous, she's a slut; if a man is sexually promiscuous, he's . . . a man. The origin of this fun gender construct can be attributed to the biological way-back-machine. Men, the theory goes, were created to spread their seed to as many wombs as possible; women were created to bear the children of one man only, so she knows which dude to sue for child support.

Whenever a man deviates from this reproductive gender role, he's labeled as kind of a pussy. When a woman deviates from the role, she doesn't get off so easy—she's a bad, immoral, evil slut. It's funny: even those who believe that men and women were "created" this way though the process of evolution—and not via some God who wove his moral authority into our very genitals—will still argue that deviating from gender norms results in great moral depravity.

Except for gay guys! When gay men are sexually promiscuous—you know, like men are evolutionarily wired to be—they are bad, immoral, evil sluts, too. Welcome to the club, guys (there are no free towels). It's funny: even those who believe that there's nothing wrong with being gay still argue that gay sex results in the great moral depravity usually reserved only for female sluts. Why? Because there are no women around to virtuously refuse to have sex with them.

Yesterday, The New Gay editor Zack made the gay man's double-standard clear. Zack has been seeing his boyfriend for two years. And one time, Zack peed on someone's face in a kiddie pool (consensually). Sure, it's not the most effective way of spreading one's seed, but whatever—he's a dude, and it's only natural for him to want to do some freaky stuff with his penis, right? Wrong. Zack peed on a man's face, which is a no good very bad slutty thing to do. And it's not because men loving men is bad—it's because men fucking men is bad. And it all comes back to us ladies. Zack writes:

Though gay men’s lives are not purely defined by sex — I don’t need to tell you that the richness of the modern queer experience goes beyond an eternal search for dick in ass — I think we do ourselves a disservice by forgetting that we have been designated like we are because of sex. Not love, not companionship, not dating, but sex. Gay marriage is verboten because it leads to gay sex. Parent freak out about gay teachers because they think we’ll teach their children about abhorrent sex. Gay adoption, gay blood donors, all “controversial” aspects of us as a people can be traced back to a popular disdain for how we get off.

However, the way to address this is not to cut sex out of our lives entirely. Some people seem to think that we can whitewash ourselves to equality. Show no affection, no desire, no indication that you have anything between your legs but a smooth strip of plastic and we’ll be able to do what everyone else does. This is true in a sense, but if we win our acceptance as a sexless people we’ll be forever robbed of sex. It’s common sense. Not everyone wants to be joined in holy matrimony or to fight in the military, but everyone wants to have sex. And if the way we have sex is fundamentally accepted, then all of our other rights would fall into line. I’m sure of this.

The parallels between gay rights and women's rights here are obvious. There's a reason that feminism is so centered around reproductive rights (it's the sex). Birth control allows women to have sex the way we want, for the reasons we want to, and without the responsibility of bearing all the moral consequences that come with having sex (chiefly, babies). And yet, even when sex is very explicitly undertaken for pleasure instead of reproduction, women are still called upon to bring some morality to the situation. A woman who takes her birth control pill every day is still a slut. A woman who uses a condom is still a slut. A man who pees on another man's face, where insemination is impossible—as is transmission of HIV, which often acts as a moral-responsibility stand-in for pregnancy—is still a slut.

In response to Zack's coming out as a slut, commenter B.B. wrote:

I am so exhausted from hearing excuse after excuse about why having sex with anyone and everyone anywhere and everywhere is “okay.” No, it is not okay. Let’s also not fool ourselves into believing that straight men are just as slutty as gay men. Women are still socialized to rebuff men’s attempts to have sex with them. I do not doubt that many straight men would have sex as often as possible if they could, but there is still a certain degree of dignity in the straight dating arena.

Ah, dignity. Where does this dignity come from? Why, it comes from us, the women, who must be forever chaste in order to save all of mankind from sluttiness. But once you take women out of the equation, sexual relationships become a lot less dignified—in fact, they become something approaching equal!

Behind the slut-shaming of gay men and the slut-shaming of straight women is the same irrational fear: the fear of equality in sexual relationships. And it sucks for everybody. In accordance with gender roles, men are considered morally inferior to women. Women are considered morally responsible for men. Men who have sex with men will never have their immoral natures redeemed by women. Women who have sex with women are wasting their feminine virtue.

I'm with Zack on this one—it all comes down to equality in the bedroom. When women are allowed to want sex like men, we will all be made responsible for our own personal relationships—and not the collective morality of our entire society. And when everything is equal between men and women, gay men and women will no longer be considered morally inferior to all heterosexuals. And consensual kiddie pool face-pissing will be available for all, if that's what they're into.

  • Ramsin

    But you realize that you can't rest on evolution "creating" us this way and denying that "sexual selection" is an integral part of evolution--and sexual selection is the fact of females' pickiness when it comes to males. Females drive evolution through their choice of mates (or the ability of their mates to force them into mating).

    Somes species have females who are promiscuous in the sense that they don't mate for life, they still also don't just mate with anybody.

    The fact of sexual selection doesn't have a moral component, of course. Bone whoever. But that men carry millions of gametes and women carry considerably fewer (and much, much bigger) gametes is a fact that impacts our impulse to sex and the consequences of it. Society can choose to teach those instincts out of us, but how can we deny that they are there?

    And there are social costs to both male and female promiscuity in society and segments of society that do not have the access to education that, say, magazine and blog editors have. That doesn't mean promiscuity should be discouraged by shaming women, but it does mean that without a highly effective and widely distributed regime of education about the potential perils of having sex with "whoever whenever", the incidences of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and sexual violence against women will increase.

  • Amanda Hess

    Hey Ramsin,

    Thanks for commenting! I'm not trying to "teach" promiscuity into anyone---though wouldn't it be sweet if I was secretly attempting to build an anti-evolution slut army to defeat the forces homophobia? No, what I'm actually saying is that humans are a very diverse bunch, and no individual ought to be slut-shamed into denying who they are because they don't live up to some arbitrary standard of evolutionary fitness. And lets remember that sluts can be pretty evolutionarily fit, too! Birth control does a pretty good job for me of weeding out all the genetic material I don't want reproducing inside me.

    You can argue that men and women all act the way that they do solely because of evolution. But when people don't conform to your particular interpretation of natural selection, they are not somehow "morally inferior" as a result---they are, however, pretty good evidence that your scientific theory is incomplete.

    I actually think that acknowledging that women like to have sex will do a lot to help curb sexual assault. Under the current model, men are told to get sex, and women are told to avoid it. So, men are looking for sex from women who don't want it---hey, that's halfway to rape already! Under this charming scenario, even if a woman wants to have sex, she can't consent sex without facing social consequences. And if a woman DOESN'T want to have sex, a man is still encouraged to pursue it in order to avoid being called a pussy. That's where "seduction" begins to look a whole lot like sexual assault.

    And yet, a lot of women DO like having sex! I know many of them! And only when this crazy phenomenon is considered perfectly normal can we get to a place where consent is truly valued.

  • fannie

    "But once you take women out of the equation, sexual relationships become a lot less dignified—in fact, they become something approaching equal!"

    Yes. And once you take men out of them, sexual relationships become invisible and insignificant.

  • Amanda Hess

    fannie: that, or they become masturbation fodder for straight men.

  • Mike At

    I almost never see a promiscuous woman demoralized and labeled a slut because of it. I also don't see nice guys called pussies for not sleeping around. Not to say this point is totally moot, but times are certainly changing, and it's not an issue I've even ever encountered.

  • Just sayin…

    Everyone's going to sleep with more than one person before deciding who they're going to spend the rest of their lives with. That pretty much means everyone is a slut. I don't label that though, I don't care what others do. Everyone has less than savory, 'slutty' moments.

  • Will I am

    The slut in me Proudly salutes the slut in you. Ps.. uhm are you single?

  • Sara

    Mike, you have seriously never encountered this issue? Probably you just haven't noticed because.. well.. you have a penis and you can basically do what you want with it.
    The shaming of men who don't sleep around is usually in jest and not nearly so hurtful as the shaming that women receive FOR sleeping around.

    Every time I ask my guy friends why they think it is okay to treat the "sluts" they picked up at the club that night like bags of dirt they say it is because they deserve to be treated that way. Now, I would like to know WHY they deserve to be treated that way. It is because the guys do not respect them. They see them as dirty, immoral and shameful. When I point out the hypocrisy - you're doing the exact same thing she is - I get the same stupid argument back - "guys have to take sex when they can get it because it's harder for guys to get laid than it is for girls." True. But the only reason for that is because men like them shame women into believing that they are not supposed to want sex! Women are supposed to want to "make love." They are not supposed to fuck. The reason men have to "take what they can get when they can get it" is because they make women feel like dirty, depraved sluts if they go ahead and fuck them. It's a self-perpetuating phenomenon that women have been dealing with for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.
    I will agree that women are generally pickier about who they have sex with. But they do want it just as bad at any guy does.
    For instance.. I haven't been laid in a while. It's fucking killing me. I want to have sex. Bad. Really bad. But I will not just go to the bar and find someone to fuck that night. Why? Because I KNOW what men DO to the women they take home from a bar! I know how they treat them! And I have too much self-respect to allow myself to be treated that way. I refuse to be treated like garbage. I live with a bunch of guys... every fucking day I have to hear about the horrible things they say and do to women they view as "sluts."

    I have to admit, I have a hard time respecting women that don't respect themselves. I have a hard time respecting women who walk around showing their shit, doing whatever it takes to get the attention of guys. But it is because they don't respect themselves that I don't respect them. I don't care if they are just teases who don't go home with anyone, or if they fuck a different dude every weekend. Their sex life isn't what I judge them on. It's how they view themselves as human beings. Are they allowing themselves to be seen as nothing but a piece of meat? If so, I don't respect them, because they perpetuate views about women that say that we are just pieces of meat.. that our value is in our vaginas.

  • Mike At

    Yeah, I've actaully never encountered it. Good luck with your vagina.

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  • okei

    Sara, you need to hang out with better men. Move out, stop talking with them and hang out with men who actually value women.

    I'm tired of the whole "women who sleep around are sluts" debacle. I was really fortunate to befriend some more modern men who would never use that word, to describe men or women, or make that kind of value judgement about a person. I've observed that most of the men who refuse to label women sluts, and who actually love and like women, are getting the most sex. I refer to straight men who sleep around as man-whores, and demean them at every opportunity, and these more enlightened men have actually called me on it. Don't want to be valued for your vagina Sara? Then don't act like your vagina has inherent value to begin with.

  • JB

    Men who sleep around are sluts too. That's fine for some people, but guess what? Others are going to judge and that's their prerogative.

    I don't want a woman who is a slut and I hope she wouldn't want me if I was a slut. Sleeping around in search of The One (a total bullshit concept) isn't the brightest of ideas.

    I don't want someone who is cheap with their intimacy. Maybe someone else does, and that's fine by me, but they are not what I am looking for.

  • Anum

    As a man who avoids slutty females like the plague (other than for extremely short term sexual encounters) I have to tell you that it has absolutely nothing to do with society.

    It's a natural defense mechanism men develop to guard against being cheated. I used to admire promiscuous females for exactly the same reasons as you mentioned until I got in a relationship with a few. Nothing as painful and heart wrenching as dealing with a woman you truly love but who is somehow still completely ok with extending physically/sexually with guys she met within a few hours because "that's how she is".

    No matter what you say, the fact is a women who seems like and does take a long amount of time to give in sexually is a lot less likely to ever cheat.

  • david

    Here's the deal, there has always been a section of society that is promiscous. The male section(with the media's help) tried to make it seem okay by saying that it was what made them manly and men who don't do it aren't real men. Then the female section leached onto the womens rights movement to try to make it seem okay for them too by saying that it is part of what makes them equal to men(and of course the media helps them too). Meanwhile, the rest of society struggles with developing their own morals regarding sex because of the pressure that these two groups put on them("do I have to be promiscous to be a man""If all men are promiscous and it's okay, then should I be promiscous in order to stand up for womens equality). You not fooling the rest of us. We know that promisous men and women are both sluts. You are nothing more than a member of the female chapter of the slut lobby trying to spread more slut propaganda(lol). But seriously congratulations, you are spreading one of the myriad of dogmas that puts pressure on young people to become sexually active. And the whole face pissing thing, ARE YOU ON DRUGS! This is just a wild guess, but im pretty sure that most people would frown on this whether it was two homosexuals, heterosexuals, asexuals, canines, felines, or any other thing. Face pissing in a kiddie pool? Yeah just doesnt seem right no matter how you pair it.

  • mike

    I personally would love it if there was "equality in the bedroom"It would be nice to sit back and have women constantly approaching me trying to get in my pants for a change. Oh what a wonderful world that would be. Unfortunately for men everywhere, this is not the case because of the gender roles that men and women still play when it comes to INITIATING sex. The reasoning pretty much goes like this
    So you see, the problem is that women have successfully broken down the gender roles in pretty much every area except one: men and women still stick to the traditional gender roles when it comes initiating sexual relationships. Sure some women do very occaisionally pursue guys for sex, but this is VERY rare, and it is almost never something they do on anything close to a regular basis. So, until women break down these last gender roles, they will never have true equality in the bedroom. I dont say this to be mean, its just that it is these gender roles that lead to the inequality. So, heres what I suggest. Women like sex as much as men right? Well, ladies, get as many women as you know and convince them to go out and actually HIT on men. Not flirt in the hopes that he will hit on you, but actually aggresively pursue him just like men do. Dont just do it once, do it all the time. Everytime you see a guy that you are interested in, whether it's because he's cute, sweet, or whatever, actually be the one to pursue that sexual relationship. Dont wait for them to come to you. This is the only way to break down the last gender role barrier to equality. Im dead serious. As long as women like take charge men who know how to initiate things with them, then they will never have true equality in that area. If women play the old gender role, then men will too. So please, please, please, the next time you see a cute shy guy that you'd like to get know, approach him, don't give up because he's awkward with you, take charge and lead him just like a man would do in the same situation. Only then will there be equality in the bedroom. I know this sounds funny, but if you really think about youll see that im right.

  • Amanda Hess

    So ... we will only truly have equality in the bedroom when mike starts getting laid more often?

  • mike

    Very funny Amanda. All Im saying is as long as men continue to be seen as the pursuers and women as the pursued then it will be very hard to break down these old ways of thinking, because although people are saying "equality" they are still playing the old gender roles when it comes to this regard. It is only through breaking down these gender roles that society's perceptions are changed. Imagine for a second that very few women actually got out and voted, or that there was an extreme scarcity of women in the workplace such as back when women largely weren't allowed in the workplace. Or there was only a very small percentage of women actually going to college and in the professional world. Women could scream equality all they wanted and we could make all kinds of laws but society would still not view women as equal! The only way women have achieved this equality is by actually breaking out of the old gender roles. As long as women continue to play the gender role of the "submissive prey" when it comes to romance, then society's perceptions in this regard won't change. Maybe it was the way I stated it in the previous post that made you condescending? Sorry, I was trying to be funny. Or perhaps it makes women uncomfortable to actually think of breaking out of the old gender role they play in romantic relationships? Maybe women actually enjoy playing the role of the submissive one, of the one who is lead, of the one who is pursued when it comes to romance(I too can be condescending)? It is the gender roles that men and women play that creates society's perceptions, or perhaps it's vice versa(which is first; the chicken or the egg?). Either way gender roles and society's perceptions go hand in hand and until women actually break out of these gender roles then society's perceptions wont change, period.

  • mike

    It's me again. Let me expand on this somewhat. When a woman likes to have sex with lots of men it is seen as her giving in to men's advances because of the gender role that women play in relationships. Hence the term easy. As in it is easy for a guy to intiate sex with her. And the general thinking goes that when something is easy to obtain it loses value, hence promiscous women are seen as less valuable in society's eyes. On the other hand when men are promiscous it is seen as that man being good at getting what he wants(not to say that all men want to be promiscous). And the general thinking goes that when someone is good at accomplishing what they set out to do, then that person has a valuable trait. This is the general reasoning behind these double standards and is what I based my previous comments on.

  • Billy the Kid

    Guys don't want to marry "easy" women. End of discussion. Right, wrong, whatever. It is what it is.

    When women stand up and say "I like to fuck, and he was cute, so I did it" they may actually get more respect. Who can argue with that?! But no. Women always have a laundry list of reasons why they've been fucked by enough men to sail a small ship into battle. Meaning, at best, they make poor decisions, and at worst, they are an easy lay.

    So ladies, keep on with the "double standard - looking for Mr. Right - a few mistakes" argument. It just makes you appear weak. Just say you like to fuck, and get on with it already. Just dont be surprised when you're 33 and can't pay a man to marry your easy booty.

  • Ky

    Billy, there's no single type of person. Universal statements like "[All] Guys don't want to marry 'easy' women" are false simply because there are exceptions. Many people want monogamy because they want solidarity and trust with their partner. Some want the freedom of sexual play, and also want the security of a committed relationship. Some have no interest in commitment---but that doesn't mean they don't want a short-term marriage anyway. You don't see why they would, and I have a hard time understanding why they would, but there are all sorts of people.

    Not to mention... Marriage is commitment to be with another person, "to have and to hold" etc. That doesn't mean the fake, modified version of a person created for the sake of selling himself or herself for marriage. There's no reason to feel pressured into avoiding "fucking" for the sake of potential future marriage. You are who you are. It's not like that kind of history would be a deal-breaker for everyone.

  • Meg

    @ Anum, by your logic, since you admit you have casual sex, you must be a cheater too. I feel bad for your faithful, trusting girlfriend(s).

    @ mike, or maybe men could stop sexually harassing women. You do realize that being "hit on" is NOT a positive thing, yes?

    "When a person, usually a male, calls out to, follows, etc. a female to get her number or take her home to bang her."

    "Make sexual advances to someone, especially unwanted ones, as in 'You can't go into that bar without being hit on.'"

    I'll talk to guys I like, and flirt with them, sure, but I don't think emulating men's bad behavior is the best way to equality. I mean, should we start raping you guys, too? That might make the rape rates more 'equal', but I wouldn't exactly call that progress.

  • Tkip

    That I have to point out why people and women in particular shouldn't sleep around as easily as they do tells me the kind of society we've become.

    No morals, lack of judgement, lack of shame and lack of self respect and dignity. We're going down this slippery slope faster and it's going to get uglier.

    Women who sleep with their partners too fast or have multiple partners simply don't get respect. They never have, they never will. And why should they? Why should men either for that matter?

    Why do I want to have sex with a women who's slept around knowing that the only reason the guys who slept with her to begin with was of the freebies she was giving out?

    Women carry a greater burdern for being promiscuous, namely pregnancy and then providing for that child. Children born out of wedlock is a huge problem and something that should be avoided at all costs.

    It's not stable.

    And in today's age with the abundance of information and contraceptive technology surrounding us, there is no excuse for getting pregnant now if you don't want to. People are simply being irresponsible and refusing to accept their part in this.

    As for myself?

    I'm very picky with women. I won't bed with someone outside of a relationship. I also won't be intimate with a woman who has a history of failed relationships and sexual partners littered across her past.

    This just tells me that she gives her intimacy away too easily and really has no self respect, for if she did, she would make the men work harder for her attention and demand better of them in their pursuit of her.

    It's madness and bullshit. The sexual revolution was an illusion.

  • r4

    Nice post...
    I think you have all the right to get laid with whom ever you want... there is nothing wrong in it...
    I think we need to understand that women have the same sexual feelings as men have... the force is same then why should there be any wall for women.. they are as free as men....

  • Billy the Kid

    I love this blog. It says it all. Check out the "slut dictionary" at the bottom of the page.

  • JR

    This works the other way around, too. I'm a gay guy, but to be honest I'm not a huge fan of sex. Don't get me wrong; when I'm in the mood, I enjoy it. I just don't get in the mood very often. And people I know seem to think that this makes me some kind of broken gay guy. Both straight and gay people I know have insulted me just because I'm not some sex-mad gay guy. Which totally sucks.

  • AJ

    @meg i agree with you girlfriend that us guys shouldnt want the girls be like guys because to be honest... things be complicated more enough and the whole rape thing? ya dont go so extreme there girlfriend. i think mike meant to say or maybe how i would say is that women should just say what they want and be completely honest with their feelings and stop covering it up in the end of the day. cuz really both genders are looking for the same thing if so different mind set. Everyone LOVES sex. everyone who isnt a virgin which i know there isnt some here would want that whether a relationship or not. But we need to stop labeling and talking man shit to each other. What happen to ppl who dont give a fuck? we need to realize that if she or he wanna have sex let them as long they are protected because who are we to say what or not they shouldnt do? Its on THEM! and always will be. God the only one to judge people who are "Sluts" and everything. People need to realize that theres more important things out there. Plus if your having sex atleast your not raping someone or killing someone thats just messed up. I think women and men and gay men need to just be open for sex and accept it and moved on.
    as for you @JR.
    i know how you feel cuz i was exactly the same way but same time you break a lot of stereotypes that EVERY gay men wants sex... i dont think that at all. the sexist needs to stop and should love more instead of calling each other sluts and whorebags and just accept sex as natural thing as long you aint hurting anyone.