The Double Standard of Men and Women Part I

This is the beginning of a series of entries on the Double Standards that exist between men and women. Each of us will be covering a different topic over the next few days. We’ve put a lot of time into these entries. We encourage you to comment and share this blog with friends. The first entry is brought to you by Slim Jackson. Enjoy!

Sexy Time? You like Sexy Time?

Sex. We talk about it in our circles. Men showing off the notches on their belts. Women telling their peoples about a man’s performance. It’s the catalyst and downfall of many relationships. It corrupts and ends marriages. It damages the reputations of women if done too often with too many people. It can leave a man looking lame if he doesn’t come correct (no pun) when it counts. The societal pressure exists for him to perform, and for her to not become one that’s frequently associated with it amongst the fellas. Good looking and not so good looking dudes are expected to rack up the body count, as good looking and not so good looking women fight to keep the numbers down. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Is there a happy medium that allows everyone to save face? Is there an acceptable number of partners? Does the number of partners even matter? If so, when does it stop? This is one man’s perspective, that considers that of his brethren. I am in no way a sexpert. I don’t even believe in sex. How do you do it anyway? It’s time to dive into it…in more ways than one.

What your numbers be like?

Every man has a different concept of what’s acceptable for number of partners for a woman they are considering dating. No, we may not always ask. Usually we will use some type of formula that factors in age, personality, number of relationships, and level of education. Level of education is important because of college. Let’s face it, a lot of sexin happens when you cram hormone heavy individuals of both sexes into a dormitory. Everybody has seen or experienced a late night creep. Within one year of college, the numbers can soar expotentially. Even a well-respected woman can accumulate 2 partners per year, bringing that total to 8. Some of the most liberal can accumulate 3-4 in a matter of months. It’s expected that a male’s numbers will increase well beyond this rate if he has it together, and this is accepted as normal. I know men who have numbers in the 40s and 50s that are considered great guys. My numbers? -3.5 in case you are wondering.

What exactly is a slut?

How do we determine who is a ho/easy/promiscuous? At what point is someone no longer respectable as a wifeykins? A lot of that has to do with the type of dudes she messes with, the frequency, and her overall personality. I know women who acted as if they were men when it came to sex that were very well-respected. I also know others who were given a range of nicknames and acknowledged for talents that I am not at liberty to discuss. But for a man, it often seemed as if it was more about his bedroom abilities or how close someone could get to holding him down and being that special lady that “changed” him. Think about it. When a woman leaves after a night of thronxing intense lovemaking, she is taking the walk of shame. A man takes a walk of glory as a result of his thorough beasting conquest. The double standard at its finest.

The Sex and the City Girl

After college is a different animal. Some would argue that the slate is wiped clean as one transitions to the next stage of life. Given that the gossip decreases and people lead more personal lives overall, the numbers can be racked up with little consequence as if living the life of the characters in Sex and the City. Many women, but certainly not all, try to identify with these characters because they appear to live without rules. They are merely doing what men have been doing for centuries. There is no double standard for them, but in the real world, these same stigmas and restrictions continue to exist. Now there is a lot that was not covered in this entry. That is where the comments come in. We are open to hearing the female perspective as well as any thoughts that expound upon what was already presented. Stay tuned for the next part of this series. Let the dialogue begin!


17 responses to “The Double Standard of Men and Women Part I

  1. Women just have to be more discrete with our conquests as to avoid the labels, because even the women who are sexually empowered with ‘dont-give-a-flock’ attitudes still get labeled and those labels unfortunately are hard to shake….

    also, to a potential mate you always have to lie about the number of partners you have, i normally don’t advocate lying, but i do advocate choosing your battles…

  2. I think the double standards for men and women are based on simple biology and logic that’s gotten entrenched over time. Men are the physically dominant gender on average. Men are, through both culture and nature, raised and trained to be aggressors. It only stands to reason that men should be expected to sleep with as many women as possible. Sex is cheap for men. It’s only in the last few hundred years that any real responsibility has been forcefully placed on men for successful sex (i.e. having a kid). Women, on the other hand, have a lot more at risk when it comes to sex. They’re bodies have to devote much more resources to a child, not to mention after it’s born. Society may frown on a deadbeat dad, but a deadbeat mom is considered beneath even scorn. With thousands of years of culture behind our thinking, I think it’s perfectly natural for ones first reaction to be that a woman who’s had numerous partners isn’t that smart, or is in some way defective. If you only have a little bit of something, and you’re giving it away to everyone that passes by, then you must not value it all that much. And if you don’t value it, why should anyone else? Now if you’ve got a bunch of something, and you’re goal is to try and spread it as much as possible, then yeah, feel free to skeet.

    I think we live in a confused age. Men are told two different things by society and a third by their bodies. Women have just as many messages being sent their way, with an added dash of the hormonal tinkering of birth control that no one completely understands. Men are told they should be good husbands and father, while at the same time, told they should be dominant, aloof and unfeeling. Meanwhile, their bodies are saying “fuck all that…just skeet”. Women are told by society that they are empowered, and they are just like men, while at the same time, they are fed all sorts of negative stereotype about themselves, no matter what they do. And if any woman could tell me what their bodies are telling them, I would REALLY like to know. I think the double standards will never disappear as long as culture and nature are out of sync.

  3. I don’t think the double standards will disappear at all. That’s part of the reason why Sex and the City is viewed so heavily. It’s a life that many women, not all, would love to have without the constraints. But yeah, I guess men do have a lot love fluid to dispense for years, while the eggs are at a set number from birth if you wanna get all Strong comment though!

  4. I dont think that saying a show like Sex and the City is responsible for empowering women to openingly admit their sexual conquests is entirely true.

    I mean, it can be but it was really a matter of time.

    The modern feminist movement (specifically due to tv and pop culture) isn’t a new thing. Take the Mary Tyler Moore show in the 70’s, she was the first woman on television to be single and living on her own. At some point in time that was revolutionary, unheard of even, but I’m sure there were plenty of women already doing that except there was a stigma attached to them.

    So the point is that I don’t think or know of any women modeling themselves after the characters of shows like Sex and the City and viewing them as some sort of inspiration. Those women have been always there but the show took away the stigma.

    Plus, any woman worth her salt watches that show purely for entertainment reasons because if she really did try to model herself after any of those girls, she’d have such a raging case of STD’s/STI’s that she’d never be able to walk to the bar in the first place.

    Double standards exist in order for one sex to overcompensate for what the other sex has. Men have to sleep with hundreds of women to justify themselves because most women (even the ones that fall closer to the ugly side of the beauty meter….and you know you’ve seen this happen) can step outside on any given day and expect to get hit on. Guys dont get hit on as much not because a girl is timid or shy but its because there is usually a better looking guy right behind you who doesn’t live at home with his mom.

    …..and back to work.

  5. Sasha Two Pistols

    Basically a man who has slept with 20 women in 3 months is King, and a woman who has slept with 20 men in 3 months is a skank, hoe, slut. Which baffles me because sex requires TWO PEOPLE, so these men aren’t sleeping with themselves, yet they aren’t receiving disgusting looks. It’s a double-standard that unfortunately will not die. Not that I’m advocating sleeping around, but its just not fair that the women receive the bad rap, but the men don’t. In my opinion everybody needs to slow it down, cause its getting serious out there.

  6. Indeed it would be a disaster if women modeled their lives purely after some TV characters. I’m not saying the show has transcended how women view sex and now panties will be flying left and right. Empowerment requires more than a TV show or movie. But honestly, people follow shows like that based on how they identify with the characters or the type of life they wish they could have. That definitely goes beyond sexual conquests.

  7. In response to, “Who’s right and who’s wrong? Is there a happy medium that allows everyone to save face?” and “What exactly is a slut?”

    I’d have to argue that women, and men (but we’re not talking them in my response), share sexual relations for 2 common reasons.

    Sex for enjoyment: Some women use sex as a stress reliever. Work/school/life is hard, and sometimes women need to rest their bones with a man who doesn’t mind sharing his. That being said, the idea of a woman who has sex as a recreational hobby is introduced, she’s commonly identified as a slut. In her defense, I’ll have to say that a woman has an individualistic freedom to do what she pleases with her body, just as any man has. Men and women are not equal; one is not superior to the other, they are incomparable and in categories of their own. I don’t think men mind that some women just like/love/cannot live without sex.

    Sex for companionship: Other women use sex because of the emotional closeness attached to it. I As a woman who speaks from experience, I will say that this type of endeavor is uncertain insofar as a woman continues to meet men with motives not in par with hers. Women like this use sex to feel close to the ones they love, and most often that gesture is acknowledged with a, “Yea, I fuc*ed that, and now she’s all over me, but trust, it’s nothing more than sex.” That being said, and his general disregard made obvious, she sets out on her search again. Don’t be mad that you weren’t the one to cripple her emotional wellbeing. You can’t knock a woman for wanting to feel close to a man she loves; she might go through 20 until she gets it right, but her intention is good. Focus on the intent.

    Neither reason for engaging in sex is right or wrong, socially acceptable or taboo, but rather it is human and it satisfies a need that we rightfully have. Maybe the solution to the age long problem, is to be more concerned with satisfying ourselves instead of trying to criticize others to the point where we no longer look so pathetic.

    Sexually active women are not sluts, they’re just people who might become a threat to your game, maybe even your feelings when you get caught up in them, and your way of handling them is with derogatory terms? Societal groups use derogatory terms to cripple other groups by making them feel inferior. The use of the term “slut” from one man to a woman is a reflection of his insecurity with the thought that she may jeopardize patriarchy. It is his attempt at shaming her in to believing that she is not worth his respect, when in fact, he is well aware that he is guilty of being just as cavalier with his body as she is.

  8. Seattle Washington

    The term “slut” or the more popular “whore” has been tossed around quite a bit in comments. But since when were those only relegated to women? Think those terms have ascended male use and patriarchal mentalities and certainly are becoming ingrained in women’s vernacular as well.

    I remember in college girls and women, there’s a difference, would break down dudes and their sexual conquests in the same way many of you think men may talk about women. Whispering, “O yeah. He beat down so and so and that chick from (insert greek) sorority. He’s a whore.” Then they’d still sleep with him. But that’s not the point.

    The point is the terms which you think men use to negatively describe women’s sexual history are just as often used by women to describe us. Furthermore, you use it upon yourselves. Decades after the Feminist Movement and as Sex In The City hits re run status, women are still referring to each other as “sluts” and “hoes” more often that dudes do.

    Perhaps the standards of sexual activity aren’t as one sided as it may seem.

  9. “The point is[,] the terms which you think men use to negatively describe [a] wom[a]n’s sexual history are just as often used by women to describe us.”

    “Slut”, “whore”, “slore” may have become a terms to describe certain men, BUT they certainly do not have nearly the same affect on men as they have on women.
    Whore [in the literal sense]: A prostitute.
    Whore [in the manner of recreational activity as opposed to a professionalized career]: A person considered sexually promiscuous.

    Since when has the latter definition, which is the intended meaning when accusing someone of being a whore, been considered negative for the image of a male? That attribute, of promiscuity, is damaging to women, and complementary to men. If you do not agree, just look at the likes of ancient, possibly present and future, Arab, Cambodian, Chinese, Indian, and Thai kings. They had/have and army of wives, brought to them as virgins. While queens of the kingdom, born in to royalty, were banished if they ever compromised their purity. In what society is it socially acceptable for a woman to rack up her numbers? Then I ask, in what society is it damaging for men to rack up theirs? If you answer by saying “American society,” while I admire you introspective quality to note the injustice, your response is factually inaccurate. An example would be Keisha and Chicago’s relationship in “Poetic Justice”, or the challenges of the character Mary in the movie “Saved!” Our popular media is all the proof needed to show that men are applauded with their sexcapades and women are demoralized. In fact, if you’re not a promiscuous male then either 1.) you’re questionably gay or 2.) you’re a bit*h for treating women with some type of physical respect, this is what your fellow man will think of you.
    Having said this, I revisit your response to my original comment and say that although these derogatory terms have become “ingrained in women’s vernacular as well,” they have an inequitable affect on men compared to the affect they have on women because of the ideals supporting patriarchy.

    *NOTE: Golf clap for the folks here at ThreeWays, and over at ABG, for thoughtfully constructed posts and comments. Valuable use of time, in my opinion.

  10. Seattle Washington

    Ms. Belle,

    First off, thanks for correcting my grammar. That’s what I get for posting in a rush. Now onto the main event.

    Your examples ring true. From the times of African Kings to now, when most of us only rule corners, men have been told to pursue their appetites while women have been told to fast. That is quite true in society as a whole, American or otherwise. However, on a personal level I do know many of women who do not condone a man who’s hunger rivals gluttony and will in turn not pursue. Many women in fact.

    Furthermore, while the terminology of “slut” or “whore” may only pertain to female prostitution in Webster’s, you should know that our language (especially in Black culture) evolves consistently. To reference a dictionary, for lack of a better term, isn’t what’s up. However, the 2nd definition does seem universal to both genders as is it used as such now. Only further proving my point.

    I say all that to say this – though the terminology was originally used for women, it’s evolving and will continue to. It has started to become ingrained in women’s speech and as the spread of STD awareness and female empowerment increases it will continue to do so. Whether it be through the media, with new shows with the spirit of a Mary Tyler Moore or Sex in the City, or just the surge of successful women in our culture. Women will become more particular and use of “slut” and “whore” may become as often used for men as it was/is used for women. If it becomes as meaningful is a different story. Do I think it will? Yes. Successful women are increasing in numbers daily and the more women don’t need to rely on some dude for finances, the more particular they can be.

    Plus with the way some women throw those terms around at friends or otherwise, it may become like the word n*gga. Hey, you never know.

    Just a theory. Your thoughts?

    Sidenote – Thanks for the acknowledgment. It’s much appreciated and we here at Three Ways, ABG and Sowhatiff hope you continue to visit, read, comment and pass it along to your friends.

  11. The evolution of language is inevitable, but it is the responsibility of the educated to ensure that change is positive. All derogatory terms have a history rooted in hate and those who are educated have the moral obligation to prevent such words from becoming socially acceptable.

    You wrote, “However, the 2nd definition does seem universal to both genders as is it used as such now. Only further proving my point.”

    The point I was making was that promiscuity is a term carries a negative connotation with women, and more of a positive connotation with men. Hence, I disagree that the second definition universally (equally) applies to both genders.

    Moving on.

    We are the ones who decide what is acceptable in society, in an educated society. Do you not think that we, the educated, men and women, should clean up our vocabularies and the way we communicate with each other? Forget about what others do, start with yourself.

    It’s never acceptable to call anyone a hoe, male or female, that is universal. The effect of doing so is not universal.

  12. Seattle Washington

    While I want to respond badly, management has told me ever so bluntly “y’all need to take that convo to an IM box now.” So with that said I’ll let the lady have the last word, I’m sure she appreciates it more than I.

    For those of you out there, feel free to comment on this post don’t let our dialogue prohibit you. And all of you please keep a look out for tonight’s post, Part 2 of The Double Standard.

    Signing off,

  13. Double standards do exist. Is it fair? No, but it does. Women can’t sleep around like men without being labeled a ho. Another thing is people don’t believe it when they run across a woman who has committment issues–normally it’s the man. Some women aren’t looking for the husband, 2.5 kids and the white picket fence. If a man says he’s not looking, it’s fine; but if a woman says she’s not looking, people will look at her like she’s crazy.

  14. Thanks for the comment Shiela. I think a lot of this has to do with age to some degree. It’s more acceptable to hear a woman/girl say she isn’t looking for anything while in college or within a couple years afterward, then that whole biological clock thing is supposed to happen. But lets assume a woman does not want a relationship at say…27. That will make a man turn his head curiously. This just goes right back to expectations. I also know a lot of people who had their whole future and wedding date mapped out before they even graduated/turned 22-23.

  15. Vanessa aka Miss V

    Ok, so for the record, I’m one of the women who call men slut, whores, slores, etc. etc. I’m an equal opportunity name-caller ;).

    On a serious note, though, it all boils down to the numbers game, and this is where we see the double standard. A woman who, let’s say, slept with more than 10 dudes is considered a ______ [insert derogatory name here], while at the same time, a dude can sleep with more than 30 girls before anyone labels him a sexual deviant. Yeah it sucks, but that’s how it is. That’s why I think women need to get a little more creative (and of course a little more surreptitious – READ: don’t tell all your g/fs about who and what you did last night!) when it comes to sexual relationships. At the end of the day, though, you gotta do you…

  16. RightCoastLexSteele

    Southern Belle, excellent use of verbiage. “Cavalier” to be exact.

    I think we have to remember, just as I discussed in the “Setting the Bar Low” post, this is another result of generations of conditioning and the promotion of gender roles. The funny part about the double standard is that most men, especially of the promiscuous ilk, would require a “freak in the sheets and a lady in the streets” for them to settle down and commit. That’s all well and good, but if she’s going to know how to do all that freaky deaky stuff, she has to learn it somewhere, and most importantly, PRACTICE. (practice? We talking bout practice?) That immaculate mouth hug you so desire is not innate my brothers. Deal with it.

    “You can’t knock a woman for wanting to feel close to a man she loves; she might go through 20 until she gets it right, but her intention is good. Focus on the intent.”

    With this quote, I must touch on the bitchassness of certain men. These are the men who say all the “right things” to get the cookie. Lulling women into a false sense of security, fronting like you like them more than you really do so you can get what you want. That is bitchassness. On that level you cant blame a woman for sleeping with a guy who she felt close to, because after all, they have needs too. And with the increasing levels of bitchassness in this country, this is becoming all too common. Fellas, stop this nonsense. Seriously, be upfront with your intentions. Yea, you’ll probably get shut down, but then again, she might let you rock. Or better yet, might be plotting on YOUR punk ass. I’ll get into that later.

    “I remember in college girls and women, there’s a difference, would break down dudes and their sexual conquests in the same way many of you think men may talk about women. Whispering, “O yeah. He beat down so and so and that chick from (insert greek) sorority. He’s a whore.” Then they’d still sleep with him.”

    Well Seattle, I think my cliq and I coined this experience in college as a GDR or a Good Dick Report. Now in the politics of the game at least at my school, you were either a jock, a greek or GDI, the latter usually getting the former’s “leftovers”. The only useful tool to climb the ranks is a GDR. And once these reports get back to you, it’s like a validation from the opposite sex that your efforts are applauded. Sucks, but it’s the nature of the beast. Now why are GDR’s important?

    “…But for a man, it often seemed as if it was more about his bedroom abilities…”

    No woman wants to waste their time. Unfortunately they cant “size” us up by cup and waist sizes. The ultimate package is always a surprise, and sometimes a not so pleasant one. So between dealing with bitchassness and size and performance issues, a woman might have to go through a lot before she actually finds what she’s looking for physically and emotionally, and honestly in this day and age not get knocked for it, but that is just my not so humble opinion.

    A little thing called DISCRETION

    Now I do have to agree with Seattle (sorry Belle…I still like your verbiage tho) about the label going both ways. Why? Because I have personally been a victim of the label. Of course I didnt go home and cry about it (maybe a little) but it is annoying that a few years outside of college you have convos with girls and they say “Yea dude, everybody knows YOU a ho.” At first I would get totally offended, even though you really dont call yourself the RightCoastLexSteele without the resume to back it up. Then one day I had an epiphany…is this based on perception or facts? So I created a challenge. “If you can name at least 6 women I slept with during hem…6 years in school, I’ll let you call my mama and tell HER I’m a slut.” And since I’m a nice guy, I let them count the girlfriends I had, so all you gotta do is name 4. No one could ever do it, and most of them apologized. What’s my point? Discretion. Half of this nonsense wouldnt even be an issue if people didnt feel the need to brag about their exploits to whomever, both men and women. I’m like Denzel in “Training Day”: “Where’s your proof Jake? You think my boys gonna turn on me? It’s not about what you know, but what you can prove.”

    So unless you can prove someone whether it be male or female is a whore/slut/concubine/whatever, I suggest you shut the f*ck up. In some countries, that’s known as slander.

    Miss V, keep doing you my dear.

  17. “Men have been doing it for years.”

    Where in society has it been acceptable for a man to be a womanizer? It was never a virtue. People are missing the boat on this one–refraining from sex is a delicious dance, an extended foreplay. Its for lovers, not confused women/men who are trying to find their role in society from scripted metro-fantasy.

    Sex is kind of like food. Quality not quantity.

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