Double standards. They’re everywhere you turn, and none are more prevalent than those surrounding sex.
I suppose the first time I truly started noticing them was high school. You’d overhear guys in the halls joking around with their friends about the chick they banged last night or how Joe’s body-count was way higher than Steve’s. That same day you’d hear the girl who he “banged last night” being labeled as a slut for letting him do it. Whereas one party was getting high fives, the other was getting dirty looks. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. And it’s really fucking stupid.
For starters, it’s 2016. We don’t live in the bygone eras of the 1940s and 50s where it’s believed the only thing a woman should be doing is staying home and taking care of her kids. We live in an age where more women than men are graduating college per year. An era where it’s not uncommon for a woman to be a CEO or to not get married — and that not be a problem. The concept of gender roles is slowly fading away in almost all areas, except when it comes down to doing the deed itself. In most respects, sex falls right into this category of things that have undergone massive renovations in the past few decades. Once viewed as taboo and something that should be kept behind closed doors, it’s now everywhere you turn. Literally. From TV to internet porn to webcam girls to the sexualizing going on in advertisements, our culture is WAY more comfortable with discussing sex than we used to be.
So why is the double standard of only men being able to have multiple partners still a thing?
A large part of me blames it on society. Girls are taught at such a young age to inadvertently allow men and their opinions to have control over their lives. We teach them that if a boy picks on them, it’s because he likes you and his behavior is therefore acceptable. If a boy breaks your heart and leaves you in shambles, it’s just “the way boys are.” It leaves girls feeling powerless and as they grow older, this only intensifies. “Don’t ask him out first, that’s weird!” “He’ll only notice you if you dress slutty.” SO many old and outdated rules all designed to please the men in our lives. It makes us feel as though we need re-assurance from the opposite sex in order to feel validated and this then carries on into our attitudes about sex. We have to follow the guidelines set by a male society or risk being called a slew of unsavory names.
As a college student and a female at a 90 percent male military school, I hear college guy sex stories A LOT and they usually are always the same. A group of guys sitting around talking about their latest conquest at JMU or UVA this past weekend and what that brings their ever-growing count up to. Then they’re cheered on by their friends and the cycle repeats. I’ve noticed girls don’t have these kinds of talks or if they do it’s usually just that ONE guy they’ve been seeing and what happened this time around. Which is fine.
But, for those of us who aren’t in long term relationships at the moment but who are still having sex, it makes things kinda awkward. And it shouldn’t. We shouldn’t feel uncomfortable talking about our exploits for fear of being shamed and looked down upon. There is literally zero difference between a guy going out and getting laid at a party and a girl doing the exact same thing. Only, to society he’s a cool dude and she’s a slut. It’s absurd.
In an age where sex is everywhere you turn and has probably never been more casual, I can’t comprehend why women feel as though they have to follow some unwritten rule about not sleeping around, while men our same age gallivant through sorority dorms every weekend. Sex is a natural and enjoyable thing. In my opinion, as long as you’re educated about it and using proper protection, it doesn’t matter how many people you sleep with and society shouldn’t care. Just like sex is a pretty personal act, it’s also your personal business. If you’re single and want to be in a friends with benefits relationship, go for it. If you want to sleep with that cute guy you’ve had your eye on for a while, go for it. I refuse to let women feel bad for fulfilling their natural desires.
My point in all of this is there is no difference between men and women when it comes to sex, and I’m sick of women being put down by others for sleeping with who they choose to. Mind you, this isn’t only something that’s done by men. Fellow girls are some of the harshest critics and labelers you’ll ever come across. Stop talking badly about your friend for getting laid and instead be happy for her. How about we try some niceness instead of the constant drama that you start behind her back? In a society that’s come as far as we have, it’s a wonder to me that SO many people are still stuck in the mindset that men should be the only ones allowed to do what they want when it comes to sex. I mean really people? Women have fought for years to get the rights and equality they deserve ranging from voting to the workplace and everything in between. They should be able to go out there and get after what they want just as much as men, and without all the commentary that comes with it saying it’s not their place to do so. It’s not just a man’s world or conquest anymore. As Betty Freidan once said, "women don't get orgasms from shining the kitchen floor."