A friend of mine recently messaged me for my opinion on a subject she’s (ironically) contributing to a blog about. She asked me for a male’s opinion on “the difference between a woman who is labeled a slut and a woman who’s comfortable with her sexuality.” She said I she thought I would be a good person to ask, naturally I’m inclined to agree. However, I would be lying if I said that I believe I represent the general male population’s opinion on this matter… which is most typically unfortunate.
With that said, I really don’t like the word “slut”. I don’t use it, and it only ranks a bit lower than the “C-word” used toward women, or the “N-word” used toward African Americans… both of which make me extremely uncomfortable. I have no business using either of those words, and I don’t think males in general have any business calling anyone a “slut” (though, admittedly, I can type that word, whereas the others I really don’t want to.) Men who label women as such are usually HUGE hypocrites (for example my post back in August back about the “Downtown Alpha Male”) and are using the term to belittle women for the very thing they celebrate for themselves. It’s ridiculous and just another example of men historically treating women as possessions. Basically, “Shame on you if you let too many guys get a ‘piece’ of that which is obviously yours.”
About that many I think.
When it comes to sexuality, people get all freaked out about numbers. Specifically: “How many people have you been with?” I literally scared off a girl I was actually interested in dating once because of my sexual history, and my “number” isn’t nearly as high as my reputation might suggest. (Truth be told, I did stop paying attention at some point… so I would have to sit and think about where I’m at now… but I digress…) Regardless there are huge flaws in judgement based on said numbers. First of all, you’re over-generalizing multiple, specific situations with details that are important. Second, you’re making broad assumptions based on very little evidence/fact (even if you ask questions.) And Third, you’ve got no pre-established parameters or reasoning by which to quantify measuring the statistics on which you are basing your judgement.
For instance, what if a specific girl decided she didn’t enjoy vaginal sex? Technically she may have only been with one or two people in the ten or more years she’s been sexually active. But, maybe she’s one of the few women that really enjoys anal sex. Does that count? Depends on who you ask. Further, what if instead of anal sex she really, really enjoys giving blowjobs? She’s had intercourse with two guys, but probably given a hundred times that many blowjobs. Does that count? What if she didn’t swallow? Then does it count? If she gave YOU that blow job, should it add to that number? Or does it not count because you know you’re better/cleaner than anyone else?
What about women? If a girl’s sexuality includes women, and she has been with over a hundred women in all sorts of awesomely kinky ways, but has only been with one guy, is she a “slut”? Or are you just envious of her far supirior ability to woo females? What about group sex? Does that count as one encounter? Or should we count each penetration? If so, which penetrations? If we count all of them a girl could rack up double digits in just a few experiences compared to another girl who has had sex hundreds of times but with only nine guys since she became sexually active. The point is, any “criteria” is flawed to say the least, and depends on the individual and their (very often flawed) beliefs. There is no correct way to quantify who is or isn’t a “slut” because it’s a highly subjective term (which really shouldn’t even exist.)
However, for the sake of answering the question, I suppose I’ll come up with the most obvious differentiation I can based not on the general actions of said women, but whether or not they are using their brains. It’s time for a story of sluts.
Subject A is a junior at the University of Washington. She did her first two years at community college, and is eager to mingle on the university level, but also focused on her future. She’s always been intelligent, level-headed, good in her studies, has a great attitude, and is a finance major. Let’s call her “Monroe” (please note that these examples are based on my personal experiences, but NOT any specific people. I chose that name because I literally don’t know anyone who has it.)
Subject B is a high-dollar, celebrity level escort of roughly the same age as Monroe. She’s always been blessed with good looks, and she comes from an (unfortunately) typical broken family. She did the best she could to get through high school, but was forced to go to work to support herself and her younger siblings whom her parents otherwise neglect. She went to work at a strip club because it was the best money she could find in a tough job market and with no vocational education or schooling. Through her looks and street smarts, a chance meeting introduced and groomed her into high dollar escort work through which she was able to become financially independent while providing for her family. Let’s call her “Chastity“.
So, I ask you, which of these ladies is more likely to be called a slut? Seems obvious that would be Chastity. But let’s continue with our hypotheticals.
Monroe is pretty and has had little trouble making friends in class, but her studies keep her from going out too often. However, she is being courted by various sororities and and is invited to an event known as a “mixer” with an associated frat house. Though she was never really the party type, she’s excited to “live her life” and decides to go with her new friends. At the party, she has a great time, and accepts drinks from a succession of very attractive and charming men in the fraternity. They don’t seem anything like the obnoxious stereotypes she’s heard; these men are intelligent, charming and very nice to her, all while bringing her drinks so she doesn’t even have to leave the dance floor. One thing leads to another, and she finds herself alone in the room of one of these charming young men… David.. she thinks.. Though she’s not been drugged, she’s already drank more than she should have and makes the poor decision to go along with this young man’s advances (he’s very pretty.) But when they finish up (or rather when he does… he put a condom on.. she thinks…right?) he makes a remark about how the night is young, and they should rejoin the party. Thinking they will follow-up later, Monroe agrees as she is hurried out his door.
Meanwhile Chastity is having a good night, there’s a convention in town with a lot of very rich executives looking for company. She’s decked out in a Gucchi silk chiffon gown and her power heels – Christian Louboutin. It’s only midnight and she’s looking for her fourth (and probably final) client of the night. She prefers her regulars – much more comfortable and fun – but scoring four big pays in a night is well worth any initial awkwardness. The last guy was aggressive and she liked that until he tried to shove himself inside of her bareback. Fortunately she knows her business and was able slide out of position while giving a coy purr that said “you’re forgetting something big boy…” he complained but all she had to do was give the serious look and hold it up for him to get the message: “No condom, no more playtime.” That’s one of the first things you learn as a sex professional; not matter how clean and intelligent they seem, every guy is one shitty decision away from fucking up your life permanently. The profession is risky as it is, and Chastity is proud of her many negative testings. She plans to keep it that way. Finally she spots her next potential… time for him to buy her a drink.
So at this point Chastity is up on numbers for the night (we can pretty much assume she’s up on numbers forever…) So that would label her the “slut” of the two, right? I mean, sure Monroe has made an obviously stupid decision, but Chastity has been with three guys and is not done yet. Let’s see how the night plays out.
The world is blurring a bit for Monroe. Drinks keep happening (though it seems like they are
spaced just enough apart to keep her from being sick…) and she’s feeling good. She lost track of that first guy.. Daniel.. (he was so nice!) but now Michael has been dancing with her and has the prettiest eyes. She’s afraid she’s going to hit attention overload… never in her life have this many hot guys been this into her. Michael says he has to tell her something and leads her back to the rooms. He tells her that his little brother in the frat, James (oh! he was cute!) has had his eye on her all night, but is not very confident. He says his plan was to bring her back to the room and introduce them so he would talk to her. But James isn’t here, and Michael tells Monroe that he feels a connection with her… she thinks she feels it too… but that could be the vodka. There’s been a lot of vodka… Now Michael is kissing her.. his hands are warm as they make their way down her back.. they feel good but she’s still blurry… “maybe this isn’t a good idea..” she thinks.. but fuck it, it’s not like this is normal for her, let’s have some fun. Maybe there’s a connection there…
This guy was tough. The prostitute stigma was strong with him and he’d really liked her. Sorry champ, no freebies for being cute. He kept her for a while, she accepted more than one drink (one is her typical rule before business), but she knew she was still totally in control. She started to walk away and he’d stopped her, disgruntled, and asked what her time would cost. He said he wasn’t concerned about the sex, but that’s only because he didn’t know what he was in for. He agreed to compensate for time – the same price – and dinner was excellent. He asked if he could call her another night (sorry champ, I said no freebies) and that maybe he could support her in exchange for her allowing him to court her legitimately. She told him maybe, but she knew it was a no. He wasn’t the first rich guy to offer this, they all think they are different… better than the other guys. The truth was she actually preferred the guys who were straight up for the sex… much neater and less work to get around their emotional hangups. Her magic charmed them for whatever they were looking for, it was her job to steer them to what she was willing to give. Nobody was going to own her. If someday she decided she wanted something more, she would bring it up on her terms. But she doubted it would be a client, most of them already had somebody waiting at home anyway. Chastity was a fantasy, and she was a damn good one, but when business was done she would always say goodbye. By the end of the night he had champagne delivered to his hotel room. “Nothing is going to happen” he said. Bullshit. She could see he was already trying to hide a raging boner. She unzipped his pants… it took her fourty-five seconds to finish him the first time.
So now the score is two to four in favor of Chastity. But who is the slut? The naive college girl making multiple poor decisions? Or the call girl who is totally in control? They are both having sex, so how do we judge them? Let’s wrap this up.
Naked. They are just laying there, but at least he didn’t push her back out to the party again. Granted the party is dying down. It’s… what? 3 AM now? Where did her friends go anyway? It’s okay though, despite a whirlwind of a night, Monroe isn’t upset or afraid. Nobody has been mean to her and sure, they’ve been forward, but she wasn’t forced at all. They are really hot guys and she enjoyed herself both times. Both times.. wow.. that wasn’t something she was expecting. She turned and felt the wet spot on the bed near her groin.. there’s no way that was all her. “You used a condom… right?” she asked. “Yeah.. yeah I did.” he paused “But you know, sometimes they break or something.. so maybe you should get the morning after pill just in case.” The first twinge of frustration hit Monroe. She wasn’t stupid, this dude lied to her. But before she could say anything, he sat up and let out a deep sigh. “Shit… I’ve been stupid…” At least he admitted it… but he continued “This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was going to hook you up with my little bro and I got greedy.” He seemed genuinely remorseful and for a moment Monroe actually started to feel bad. “I’ll talk to him.” she said before she realized what she was saying. “Maybe he and I can hang out, bring him out of his shell a little.” Sure. What’s the harm in that? “We can keep this between you and I.” she assured him. Thier connection was faded now, and she didn’t think she was going to see Michael like this again. “Alright cool. You know, you’re a pretty cool girl. I mean, you’re hot, but you’re also cool.” He handed her the drink she’d carried in with her “Finish that up and I’ll go grab us some more.” It was three-quarters full. “No no, no more for me.” she said. It was still hitting her and any more would make the world spin out of control. “Alright.” he said “Just finish that and I’ll get you some water.” Well fuck it, it’s the last one anyway. She emptied the cup and laid back down while Michael life for more drinks. For a little while the world went black.
“Holy shit she’s naked…” a voice whispered. Shocked to consciousness Monroe scrambled to cover herself. She looked up to see the shy (but cute!) one… what was his name.. James peering down at her with Michael behind him. “Wait.. did you? Did you already fuck her??” James asked. “No no bro, we were just talking and got into it a little… I just warmed her up man! Look at her! She’s in your bed, ready.” Michael said. His bed. Shit. His room? Thier room. It was harder to think straight after her nap. “Look, I’m sorry…” she started to say… she had no intention of hooking up with James tonight, no matter how cute he was. She started grabbing her clothes and then she heard James say “I can’t do this… she’s not here for me. She doesn’t even like me! Why did you bring me up here? She doesn’t want me, she wants you. I’ll go find somewhere else to crash.” Shit.. she’d let herself go with Michael on this poor guy’s bed and now she was going to ruin his confidence. Michael was looking at her now. He was pleading with his eyes and motioning at her. Fuck. “Hey.. uh.. James!” she said. She wished she wasn’t so fuzzy… damn you vodka. She sat up on his bed and motioned next to her. “Come here, let’s just talk for a little while.” “Are you going to put your clothes on?” he asked. What a gentleman! “Do you want me to?” she asked playfully (she was already naked on his bed after all…) “N-No.” he replied. “You look hot like that.” Well fuck it. She was already here, might as well be naked. But she was absolutely not sleeping with James tonight. No way. Michael left with a smile on his face and James sat and talked to Monroe for a while. She got sleepy and they agreed to lay down and “cuddle”. She was still naked, and before he laid down he was too. It wasn’t long before she felt him hard behind her. He started kissing her neck and in her sleepy haze it tingled a bit. He had been sweet to her and they had talked for nearly half an hour before they laid down… she couldn’t bring herself to reject him now and hurt his feelings. So when his hand made it’s way between her legs, she allowed it… she was still very wet, though some of that might not be from her. Hormones took over and she tried to say something about a condom before he could push his way inside her. He reached over and grabbed at the nightstand drawer. Then he was behind her again, and she felt him. Did he put it on? It seemed too quick but everything was a blur. She told him to be gentle, he was and she enjoyed herself despite a bit of soreness.
Morning came with a headache and more soreness. James was gone. The room was empty. Monroe couldn’t believe she’d had such a night. It was a little exhilarating, but also way out of control. That wasn’t happening again. As she made her way down the hallway she passed by some of the brother’s rooms. She vaguely remembered the faces, but all she got was a few amused smiles. She looked like hell and had to get back to clean up before class. After class she went to get the morning after pill. She felt gross about it, but she knew it was the smart thing to do. Days passed and nobody called, she didn’t see any of those guys again for a while. She thought she saw Michael once, but when she went after him he had vanished. Probably better, what was she going to say? “So, I fucked one of your frat brothers the other night, then I fucked your little after I fucked you. Good times right?” It was tremendously embarrassing and part of her hoped she never saw them again.
Unfortunately, they haunted her anyway. First in the burning sensation when she peed three days later, and then with discharge and something worse than cramps. Her doctor told her she a combination of a UTI and Gonorrhea. She was lucky it wasn’t herpes or HIV. Those assholes!! But it didn’t stop there, she finally ran into her new friends from the sorority that had been courting her. They hadn’t contacted her since, but she approached them and was met with awkward looks. They knew. In fact, they told her “everybody” knew. She was the slut that banged three frat boys in one night. Those guys were high-fiving and telling everyone that came to their house how they passed her from brother to brother. The girls told her they couldn’t have her in their sorority, it wouldn’t look good to have such an openly slutty girl associated with them. Monroe was understandably livid at the boys, but she
was more upset with herself. She was depressed for a while and kept to herself and her studies. Eventually though, she started to feel normal again. Fuck what those people thought. She didn’t want anything to do with greek life anyway.
I would like to say that was the end with a lesson learned, for some people it is… but months later she was invited to another party at a different house. A friend of hers in statistics that was very smart and very handsome invited her along. Some more alcohol, and some very pretty boys happened. They had heard about her from some friends of theirs in another frat house. But that’s another story.
He had asked her to stay the night. She usually didn’t but he offered extra. Money talks. He wouldn’t try to fuck her again, she’d worn him out and she knew it. Sometimes it was nice to not rush off, and the sheets at this hotel were to die for. She woke up to an empty bed and an elaborate gourmet breakfast. He’d left his number on a card on the tray. Very cute. But she knew the game. He wanted her because he couldn’t have her. Prostitutes are looked down at because the perception is that anyone can have them. But a high-class escort knows how to turn that around. They got what she was willing to give, on her terms, and nothing more. No matter how they tried. She sometimes had referrals or friends of previous clients who would tell her that somebody had fallen in love with her or that they would treat her like a queen forever. But Chastity was her own queen, and she liked it that way. She gazed out the marble atrium with it’s floor to ceiling windows on the 72nd floor as she ate breakfast and smiled. Not a bad life.
When she had more than enough money to do so, Chastity enrolled in college. She required no loans and saw some of her regulars as time allowed for spending money. She avoided frat parties and that sort of life because she had zero patience for the ridiculous attempts those young boys made to get in her pants. She tried it once, and all they did was attempt to feed her alcohol and get her alone. One guy even tried to guilt-trip her into sleeping with his “little bro” who was shy with women. Please. One look at the shy boy and she knew that he knew exactly what he was after. He was no stranger. How many stupid girls had fallen for that? After that she kept to her studies and went downtown when she wanted to have fun. Her company was classy and on her terms, just as she liked it.
Chastity graduated with a Masters in Business Management and a minor in Accounting. She went on to become a highly sought after business consultant and developed a reputation for being a no-nonsense problem solver for many fortune five-hundred companies. She eventually hired an assistant, a cute college dropout who desperately needed a job and had a background in finance to help her manage her accounts. She was very bright, and had a pretty good attitude, but you could tell she’d been through some things… she was a little rough around the edges. Chastity hoped she could help her rise above it as she had not so long ago. But that’s another story.
So what’s the point of these long, drawn out stories? Well, for one thing, apparently I like to write semi-fiction. But the other thing is that either of these girls fit classic examples of “sluts”. They are both rather extreme cases, but it brings us back to the question my friend asked me: What is “the difference between a woman who is labeled a slut and a woman who’s comfortable with her sexuality.” The actual answer is: not a damn thing. (Because it depends on the subjective veiwpoint of the person labeling them.) But again, since we’re making an attempt to differentiate anyway, the difference is based on the choices that are made, the process, and the results.
A woman like Chastity can sleep with literally hundreds of men, in control and smart about every encounter. Meanwhile a woman like Monroe can sleep with three in one night, out of control and making bad choices. If somebody put a gun to my head and said “label one a slut or you die”, I would have to go with Monroe. She made poor decisions, and allowed people who’s sole purpose was to have their with her do so without asserting herself. That said I would not fault her, or anyone, personally as I know that some frat houses are a well oiled machines (as I tried to illustrate) designed to take advantage of naive women. But the fact remains that I have personally watched a situation like this happen in a far less understandable way than Monroe’s, with a girl who was not nearly as naive, and that sort of blatant bad decision making and irresponsibility qualifies somebody as “sluttier” in my mind than a woman who has intelligently and cleanly slept with many men.
In closing I want to reiterate what I said in the first place though. The word “slut” is a ridiculous double-standard. The question put to me was specifically in regards to women, so I focused on that angle, but the majority of the time, that word is simply a tool used by men (like those frat guys) to shame women that they previously had no qualms about trying to get with. It’s just another representation of the still-present archaic societal misogyny that would be better off killed with fire and forgotten forever.