Stud vs Slut: an exploration.

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s currently Monday the 17th of February. The idea for this article has been in my head for a week. The original plan was for it to go out on Valentine’s Day, I thought that would make an ideal day for this to debut. As it turns out, work and real life and all that shit got massively in the way and I couldn’t find time to write it. I did think about leaving it and not writing anything, but as I was pottering around this morning getting myself dressed I started to have a few ideas come into my head, so decided to just start writing and see what happened.

So Valentine’s Day has been and gone, and I didn’t receive any cards. Having said that, I wasn’t expecting any, and I imagine most of the people who did get something are either already in a relationship or 12 years old. Gone are the days, it seems, when you would send a random card to your ‘valentine’ anonymously expressing your love in the hope they would figure it out and a live lived happily ever after would ensue. Shame really, I always quite liked the idea of a relationship starting off in that romantic way.

But anyway, that’s the good(ish) side of Valentine’s Day. This entry isn’t about the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day or the fact that, without doubt, focus has shifted from being about relationships to simply being about getting your wife/girlfriend something so she can brag to her mates. If you want to see just how female-focused Valentine’s Day is, you only have to investigate the ‘steak and blowjob day’ craze:

http://steakandbjday.com/

I never even realised it had its own website until I typed it in to Google!! The point of this entry is nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, although the fact it is so close to Valentine’s Day does help, it’s more about one of the most pervasive double standards of our society:

If a man sleeps with loads of women, he’s a stud; but if a woman sleeps with loads of men, she’s a slut.

It’s one that has been around as long as I’ve been around, the idea that it’s socially acceptable, perhaps even socially encouraged, for men to sleep around as much as possible and he is viewed in a positive light, whereas a woman doing the same thing is considered slutty and looked upon negatively.

I can honestly say, and this is simply from my own personal experience, that I have never heard anyone actually speak those words out loud. Much like the ‘what was she wearing’ victim-blaming excuse we are told is prevalent when women claim to be raped, I can, hand on heart, say I’ve never heard anyone utter the above words, in any variation. That’s not to say it hasn’t been said, the fact that it exists as a double standard suggests that it, in some way, has been said before.

Interestingly enough, much like the ‘what was she wearing’ double standard, I now see more people actually talking about the double standard itself than actually committing the double standard. By that, I mean there are more people saying ‘it’s terrible how a man can shag a woman and be considered a stud, while if a woman does it she’s called a slut’ than actually saying ‘that man’s a legend for shagging that woman.’ It’s a strange turn of events.

This has been in my mind since last year when the ‘slane girl’ scandal erupted. For those who don’t know, ‘slane girl’ is a title given to a girl who was photographed giving a man a blowjob at an Eminem gig at Slane Castle last summer. Of course, everyone lauded the man and shamed the girl, apparently. This article isn’t about the incident itself, it all took a slightly sinister turn with the revelation that the girl was only 17 and the Twitter accounts that re-tweeted the picture could have been in serious trouble, but more about the reaction to it.

I remember reading an article that explored the actual amount of tweets that contained people committing the double standard and those simply stating the double standard. I went to look for the article as it proved that the majority of tweets on the subject were actually people stating the double standard. That is, more people were saying how despicable it was that she was being shamed than there were people actually shaming her.

Of course, this being the internet, and us living in a society where anything a woman does is automatically front page news, all I could find were articles expressing how the double standard was alive and well:

http://search.babylon.com/?s=web&babsrc=HP_ss&rlz=0&sd=1&q=slane+girl+no+double+standard&start=0

so, if anyone has read the article I’m mentioning, or can find it for me to help me back up my point it’d be much appreciated. I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago about whether or not the use of the word ‘rape’ was sanitising the act itself. In it, there was a link to an article that contained an ‘unscientific study’ that showed only a small amount of uses of the word ‘rape’ on Twitter were threatening. Working it all out, I think it came to something like 2% (650 odd) of the 30,000 tweets that included the word rape were actually threats. In much the same way, of the thousands of tweets on Slane Girl, only a few were of people actually lauding the boy and shaming the girl. But, of course, when has the truth ever really made a good story?

So, it would appear the double standard is alive and well, or so the mass media would have you believe. If we take that one article as symptomatic of the problem, we approve of male sexuality and decry female sexuality, every time we see a woman doing something sexual, either in public or behind closed doors, she automatically becomes less desirable, becomes ‘damaged’, becomes a whore in the eyes of all men. We praise males who engage in sexual acts, we denigrate and humiliate women who do the same.

The thing is, this double standard has to come from somewhere. There has to be a reason why we call women who sleep around sluts yet praise men who do the same. Is it simply because misogyny? I don’t think so, if we look at social perceptions, and actual depictions of male sexuality in television and film, we get a different picture.

There are numerous examples of womanisers on TV, characters who seem to get a lot of women. I’m not talking about those who have lots of relationships simply because that’s the way the series panned out, I’m talking about those who are depicted as going after women with the intention of sleeping with them. If we take a look at a couple of them, and other portrayals of male masculinity in general, we get a very different picture.

Let’s take one of the most famous sitcom characters of all time: Joey Tribbiani. A notorious womaniser, Joey spent most of the 10 years of the Friends run talking about women, beer and food. Yes, he was able to get women into bed with nairy a problem, but was he really lauded for it? He was stupid, idiotic, childish, shallow and leeched off other people in order to survive. He was presented as a dunce, someone who was, in essence, actually a bad actor, despite that being his given profession. Likeable yes, but not presented in any way as some kind of hero. I don’t remember any of the characters in the show ever really claiming him to be a stud, in fact in one episode Phoebe questions whether his lifestyle is sustainable.

Another sitcom character: Charlie Harper from 2 and a half men. Borderline alcoholic, cruel, shallow, disrespectful and, yep you guessed it, serial womaniser.

Interestingly, on the flip side, we’ll look at two other characters: Chandler Bing and Alan Harper. Both the polar opposites of Joey and Charlie respectively; absolutely terrible with women and, to no-one’s surprise, the butt of many a joke relating to that topic.

So, what to take away from this; good with women – some other character flaw to counter-act it, bad with women – loser. Either way, it seems a man can’t win. If he sleeps with a lot of women he may have some kind of character defect in order to balance him out, lack of intelligence of Joey’s part and borderline alcoholism on Charlie’s part.

The point is, those two men are not lauded for their womanising ways. In fact, it would appear that, while they’re depicted as being successful and somewhat proud of their accomplishments, there are other features about them which only further this idea that they are actually unlikeable characters.

There was an episode of Whitney (which only lasted two series and, shock horror, has been called misogynist because it shows women being manipulative and not perfect – http://search.babylon.com/?q=whitney+cummins+feminist&s=web&as=0&rlz=0&sd=1&babsrc=HP_ss) in which Whitney catches her boyfriend masturbating. What’s the reaction? Yep, she’s embarrassed, he’s embarrassed and the whole episode revolves around them trying to ‘get past’ this ordeal in their relationship.

Then there’s an episode of Rules of Engagement where David Spade’s character gets snapped in the nude and the fact he has an average, or below average, penis is laughed at and used to humiliate and shame him.

Or there’s the real-life case of Paul Reubens, Pee-Wee Herman to a bucketload of kids, who was busted for masturbating in an adult theatre and whose career was, subsequently, destroyed.

http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/p/Pee%20Wee%20Herman/pee__wee_herman.htm

or the career of John Leslie, whose demise elevated quickly after first being accused of rape (which he was cleared of) and then being part of a sex tape:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2190441/John-Leslie-From-scandal-hit-celebrity-to-obscure-property-developer.html

You see, we do not laud male sexuality or male virility, it is seen as something to laugh at, something to mock and belittle, something that is embarrassing and shouldn’t be talked about. In the instances where it is not mocked, where men are shown to be sexually promiscuous, it is normally counter-acted by other undesirable character traits that aim to try and ‘level out’ a character, to show that, actually, being a womaniser isn’t the height of male sexuality, it’s a character trait among other character traits that are exhibited by morally questionable men.

Let’s look at how society treats female sexuality:

Abi Titmuss – makes career based on aforementioned sex tape with John Leslie.

Paris Hilton – makes career based on sex tape.

Kim Kardashian – makes career based on sex tape.

Tulisa Contostavlos – career not damaged in the slightest by sex tape.

Pamela Anderson – career not damaged in the slightest by sex tape.

So, we shame male sexuality, we see masturbation as something embarrassing and shameful, we see penis size as something we can use to gain leverage on a man, we are presented with womanising as the folly of the stupid and drunk, whereas we laud women who are sexually promiscuous, we raise their careers, allow them to take advantage of them, allow them to take advantage of it to help promote themselves in the public eye.

But, that’s not all of it.  As well as this not-so-black-and-white portrayal of female and male sexuality there’s the whole idea of who should actually take the lead when starting a relationship. With it being Valentine’s Day we get the old ‘who should ask who out’ question doing the rounds. This is one of the examples of chivalry I never got round to talking about in my article on chivalry, so I’ll touch on it here.

The age old question of ‘who should ask who out’ and the related ‘who should pay on a first date’ is one that seems to be holding steady. Despite the cries of ‘equality’, it would seem that women still like to be approached for a date, and like to have, at least, the first date paid for. Don’t believe me? Just take a look:

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110202111408AAUigiB

http://search.babylon.com/?q=who+should+pay+on+the+first+date&babsrc=HP_ss&s=web&rlz=0&sd=1&as=0&ac=0

I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago in response to Pamela Simpson, who calls herself a feminist even though she doesn’t really conform. It was an interesting article she wrote and at the bottom of it was a link to her blog. I had a look round and found an interview with a writer, who had an interesting response to the question Who should make the first move? Man or woman?

http://cherryblossomboutique.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-nook.html

For those who can’t be bothered to find the quote, I shall reprint it here:

‘the man. I believe men bounce back from rejection better than women and let’s face it, when would a guy refuse anything with breasts and a pulse?’

Miss Buckland; don’t flatter yourself.

So there you have it, on the blog of a feminist a woman claims that not only should men be the ones to approach the woman, they are also mindless beasts who will fuck anything with breasts and a pulse.

I would like to say that I have asked a lot of women out, I’ve been rejected more times than not and, to be completely honest, it hurts like a bitch. So no, Miss Buckland, I do not agree with your assertion. Rejection hurts, despite what you may think.

So what’s the point of all this, and how does it relate to the double standard of differing reactions to male and female promiscuity? The point is simple – not only is the double standard actually on shaky ground to begin with, if it does exist, there is a very simple way of explaining it:

Men have to work really hard to get sex, and then run the risk of being shamed because of it.

Whether this is still some sort of long-standing evolutionary trait that, subconsciously, is still with us I don’t know, but the point is that men are expected to make the first move, treat the girl right, take her somewhere exciting and romantic, do all the grunt work and then have the privilege of paying for it at the end of that night. Women can just sit and wait for a man, any man, to ask them out.

I’m not saying that makes the existence of the double standard right, I’m just saying it explains why it exists; men have to jump through a million hoops before getting sex, women can just wait for the man to approach them and then decided whether or not sex is something they want. When it comes to sex, the power is most definitely in the woman’s hands.

Again, that’s not to say it justifies the existence of a double standard, a double standard that I don’t think is entirely accurate, or that women have never done the grunt work in chasing a man, but it does go some way to explaining why people congratulate men and criticise women. If you have to put real effort in to getting sex, of course you’re going to want to get as much out of it as possible, and of course people are going to congratulate you. Point is, you’re putting yourself out there for rejection, and are probably going to get rejected more often than not, unless you’re a handsome bastard, which I’m not, so the fact you can get more sex than another man is seen as something positive, because it is.

Nowadays, there does seem to be more of a shift away from this line of thinking. More women are approaching men for dates, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s still seen as the ‘man’s’ job to approach a woman for a date. Trust me, being rejected is not fun, it’s not fun at all. And it’s not something you just ‘get over’ either. This isn’t a ‘patriarchy’ thing either, it’s women. Women are the ones who want to be approached by a man, who want to be treated right, who want to have their night paid for and will think less of a man if he doesn’t.

Justification for exaltation of one gender at the expense of another? To be honest, I couldn’t care less. When it comes to dating I really don’t care. If I’m expected to sacrifice myself at the altar of pussy on the slight chance a woman agrees to go out with me then I’m not going to feel too sorry about a woman who sleeps with multiple men getting called a slut. To me, men who sleep around are just as bad, but a cursory glance at the reasons why people think differently of each gender and the actual portrayal and reactions we see in real life suggests it’s not as black-and-white as people think.

This blog has probably taken a slightly different turn than I intended. To be honest, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to say, I just started writing and let it flow. I guess what the main crux of this whole article is is this:

The stud vs slut double standard is perhaps not as pervasive as society would have us believe. And even if it does exist in some capacity, there seems to be at least somewhat of a reason. Men’s sexuality is ridiculed and seen as something to be embarrassed about, men can be punished for their sexuality while women can build careers off it, men are still expected to be the ones to do all the grunt work in the first stages of a relationship and I couldn’t give a fuck about the dating scene on the whole.

Dating; it’s turned me into a cynical arsehole, and I’m quite ok with that.

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Comments
  1. Anon says:

    I find all of these opinions fascinating I really do simply because in my lifetime I haven’t experienced the same things you or many other men and women seem to have. I have regularly asked men out including the man I have been with for the last 7 years and I have no issue with it. If I am attracted to someone and want to know them better why shouldn’t I approach them? Seems ludicrous not to!

    I would also like to point out that when you compare male and female sexuality you’re forgetting a crucial part of female discrimination and the fact it starts as soon as a parent discovers the gender of their child… I as a parent have heard COUNTLESS Mothers and Fathers claim they will get a shot gun, their daughters will not date, they will be under lock and key, the Father will threaten the boyfriend. Now ask a parent who says those things if they feel the same about their sons and you will discover the answer is completely the opposite, in fact it’s actually disturbing that parents don’t care about their sons health and safety and the health and safety of the girls he may be sleeping with but god forbid a daughter finds her sexuality!!! That’s a big no no! I have also experienced slut shaming, being called a slut for embracing my own sexuality, been teased over it, questioned about it as a female. It’s certainly not all flowers and rainbows for some women most of the time like you would like to have people believe just the same as it isn’t for some men. Overall though the mentality that girls are meant to stay virgins whilst boys can screw whoever whenever starts very very young and it’s usually the parents who plant the idea in the first place, wise parents know to educate their children male or female and keep themselves available for any advice on the matter.

    By the way, comments using analogy’s of keys and locks only further dispels your theory, women are of little worth to men if they’ve been ‘used up’ (had an enjoyable sex life) and you only have to read comments from men to know this. A mans worth does not decrease because he enjoys sex, it seems though that a womans does… any ideas on why? I would be interested in hearing about it.

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      All I can do is write from my perspective, write from what I see and hear in my life. If you are willing to approach men that’s brilliant, but I hear so many times from women that while they probably would approach a man, they would much prefer the man to approach them. It’s annoying because they’ll drop all these little hints about wanting a man to ask them out, then when it hasn’t happened they’ll be all “oh my god, how did you not notice!” If you like someone that much, just suck it up and ask them out.

      I don’t remember using a key analogy, so I don’t know why you’ve bought that up.

      Do you not think the ‘lock up your daughters’ line is discriminatory towards both sexes? It implies that women should be shielded from men unable to control their urges. I also feel that’s more of an American thing, it’s not something I’ve ever really encountered over here, and all my best mates had younger sisters.

      I don’t try and claim that anyone has a life that’s all rainbows and flowers all the time, as I say I can only write from my perspective and, through my life, I’ve seen both sexes shamed for the attitudes towards sexuality.

      • Anon says:

        No you didn’t use that analogy, just a few of your followers have and I have seen the same thing posted all over the internet about women. A womans worth is in accordance with how often she has sex and I don’t know why? I even spotted a comment stating one vagina looked nice in a picture but the one next to it looked like it ‘had a few miles on the clock’. I just thought it was relevant to your blog as it’s quite a disgusting way to shame women and make them feel less valuable and important to society it’s also another vulgar way to coin a woman a ‘slut’. For men the amount of sexual encounters/partners they’ve had doesn’t devalue them at all I was wondering if you had any insight on this?

      • johnsalmon86 says:

        Ah, that explains it then. I can honestly say I’ve not heard that analogy. I’ve heard others, but not that one, strangely. I’m sure there are things plastered all over the internet that suggest a woman’s worth is linked to her sexuality, in the same way there are numerous memes and articles demonstrating how a man’s worth is linked to his wealth and degree of chivalry. Again, aside from the existence of the double standard, I know very few people in real life who think that way. Maybe I’m just lucky in that I’m not friends with a bunch of bellends who are that narrow minded.

        As for whether I have any insight as to why men’s sexual encounters appear to not devalue them I’d say it goes back to the idea of the man having to sacrifice more to get attention. If you think biologically and evolutionarily a man’s job is to further his own lineage, so ‘planting his seed’ in as many women as possible would have been the best option. I know that’s a pretty nasty way of putting it, but I suppose the more attempts a man has at reproducing, the more likely he is to actually do it.

        We do seem to be moving away from that kind of thinking, but it’s going to take time and, perhaps, you just have to accept the fact that we can only change biology so much.

  2. One thing that always pissed me off when I had to work on all-female shoots or at social gatherings, that particularly nasty trend of slagging off their partners, penis size and low stamina being the main ones, competing over who has the worst man. If they dislike them so much why are they with them?
    While men I’ve heard discussing their partners say such nice things about them, it makes my blood boil, especially when they were the same women slandering and mocking them. They do not appreciate their partners, they don’t notice the good and they lie about them in order to garner sympathy or to revel in the shaming of another. It’s sick.

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      I’ll have to take your word for it as it’s very rare I’m in an all-female group, but from what I’ve seen and heard myself I’m not entirely surprised by what you say.

  3. Catrin says:

    You have written in bold text ‘men have to work hard to get sex’ I think this may well be where the dating issue is being problematic. Maybe, just maybe, all of these women that reject you are more interested in something more meaningful. We are not objects purely to have sex with. Some women are actually interested in being able to have discussions about current affairs/interests, spending quality time with someone who they enjoy being with (not just in bed) and learning who that man is. Discussing his life, being with him to share the good and bad times. So a change in mindset may help. Instead of seeing women as things to have sex with, try dating a modern woman who is more likely to suggest a free walk in the park/countryside, is happy to pay for dates so that she does not feel like a prostitute or feel the pressure to have sex just because a man has shelled out twenty quid for the cinema, and try actually talking to these women.

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      Well, you’ve kind of oversimplified things, but I take your point. As for the bit in bold, I generally bold all my quotes or sayings, so it’s not that I’ve tried to emphasise it in any way, just that I wanted to show that it’s an explanation I’ve seen before. You’ll have noticed that I bold any quotes from articles and I bolded the original double standard. And it wasn’t in anyway a decisive comment on the way women are treated on dates. If you read it properly I actually said women hold all the cards when it comes to sex in relationships, particularly at the start, so it wasn’t like I was saying ‘men who get sex on the first date’, it was clearly implied that sex in a relationship is something that is worked towards. If you don’t think sex comes into it when forming a relationship then I politely disagree, I think both sexes are very sure whether they want to have sex with someone quite early on in a relationship.

      As for being rejected, it’s not like I asked them out with the offer of sex, so how would they know I wasn’t offering something more interesting?

      And for the final comment, as with all the women who cry ‘where are all the good guys’, the more I interact with women in this country the more turned off I am. Sad state of affairs.

  4. Eli Ednie says:

    Ahh the benevolent sexism of women’s empowerment. All the rewards with as little sacrifice as possible.
    Let’s look past women’s apparent incapacity to pursue relationships with males… all the way to women’s obvious, irrefutable incapacity to propose marriage.
    Why would any woman buy a man a ring & promise herself to him ever after when there are twenty more suitors competing to win her favor?
    Every woman has her price – hypergamous status & dominance seeking is the name of women’s game, but they must admit fundamental gender inequality to do so.
    Same as the hogwash debates over women’s pay gap & glass ceiling & STEM education & VAWA legislation… & every other entitled femnits complaint.

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