Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Piece of Advice #63: Don't trade something for nothing

The comments on Jaclyn Friedman's "My Sluthood, Myself" are quite revealing.  It's hard to know how representative the audience at Feministe is of women in general - obviously it is an echo chamber, but how commodious is that chamber?   Numerous indicators reveal that women have more sexual experience and more sexual partners than women did twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years ago.  The "slut" label seems to have some built-in elasticity to it.  But how many women are journeying down that path?  I really don't know.

In any case, one of the comments made an impression:
AMAZING writing. I really appreciate having stumbled upon this, as it has really made me wonder about my own life – I am 22 and have been in a serious relationship for two years. He’s amazing, and I think he might be “the One”, but he is the only man I have ever slept with. This bothers me because I am quite confident that if we were to ever break up, I would undoubtedly embrace “sluthood” – and I really feel like I may be missing out on something that is important for defining who I am. I discovered who I am sexually through my relationship with him. But I love him to bits so this is just something I will need to wonder about for the rest of my life? *Sigh* if only I had slutted it up earlier.  
I find this so sad.

Dear Ahria: There are innumerable women who would love to find "the One," just one [1] man who is amazing and build a life with him.  That you've done so at 22 means you are ahead of the curve.  Be grateful.  Be happy.  Treat him right, make a commitment, raise some kids.  Do not spend even one minute regretting the fact that you were never an unpaid prostitute or that you didn't spend your young womanhood under sweating strangers who care nothing for you.  The fact that you've thought about this, that you've gone so far as to put this desire into words and post it on a public forum tells me that you are tempted.  But do not - do NOT - toss away respect and love for cheap - or, rather, very expensive - sex.  Sex does not define you.  You define you.  Your good choices will make that definition worth reading.

Recently there have been several books published highlighting the effects of women who made the choice you are thinking about making.  These are cautionary tales.  They do not have happy endings.  You have something great; don't get greedy now.

11 comments:

  1. Have studies also been done on changes, if any, regarding the sluthood of men since the 1960s?

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  2. I see a lot of false bravado in this story- maybe that's an example of a stupid male trait being adopted by women. She is lonely and frustrated and trying to use sexual stimulation and male attention as a substitute for love.

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  3. There's a case for believing that his being the first is central to her ability to feel this way for what probably is an entirely average human male...

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  4. THANK YOU! I agree with you completely, and I'm surprised this girl even thought about that!

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  5. This is a really, really good post Grerp. Too many people think that they haven't lived unless they've looked behind all of life's closed doors. The problem is that some of the doors, once entered, never let you back. Having wisdom in life is knowing which doors to open and which doors to keep closed.

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  6. I think there is nothing wrong with a woman thinking "an average human male" is exemplary. if two people are "deluded" into having a great life together by not having tried every variant of the opposite sex, they get to have a great life without risky behavior and resulting emotional baggage. sounds like a win-win to me. there is nothing wrong with the average human male, and I think there is a very good case for choosing him on purpose.

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  7. Don't get me wrong, anon, I was not criticizing the male in question, in fact I was alluding to the same point that you managed to convey more clearly than I.
    The more times a male or female goes around the block, the less interesting the block must surely become, exactly as said above by SP also.
    If there's one piece of advice I could give my two daughters it would be related to this very subject...

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  8. Average men are extremely undervalued. The vast population of average women out there should take another look - both at them and at themselves.

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  9. It is true that sex does not define humans. God is whom defines us. Why journey in life through hedonism and superficial forms of love (casual meaningless sex, etc) when you can seek God and marriage?

    ''This is a really, really good post Grerp. Too many people think that they haven't lived unless they've looked behind all of life's closed doors. The problem is that some of the doors, once entered, never let you back. Having wisdom in life is knowing which doors to open and which doors to keep closed.''

    Excellent point Social Pathologist.

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  10. I have felt the same way. I think it's just my male polygamous nature trying to shout for attention. In my rational mind I know that it is very unlikely that I would be happier with having multiple short term partners than my one long term g/f who I lost my virginty to. I am surprised that a girl feels this way and it does come across as adoption of male behaviour.

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  11. "AMAZING writing. I really appreciate having stumbled upon this, as it has really made me wonder about my own life – I am 22 and have been in a serious relationship for two years. He’s amazing, and I think he might be “the One”, but he is the only man I have ever slept with. This bothers me because I am quite confident that if we were to ever break up, I would undoubtedly embrace “sluthood” – and I really feel like I may be missing out on something that is important for defining who I am. I discovered who I am sexually through my relationship with him. But I love him to bits so this is just something I will need to wonder about for the rest of my life? *Sigh* if only I had slutted it up earlier."

    She doesn't love him at all. She loves herself. It's all "me", "me", "I".

    If she truly loved him, she'd be glad to have kept herself for him. ...And horrified at the thought of having had sex with anyone other than the man she loves. But no...

    My guess is that she will indeed "embrace sluthood" --- she's clearly Jonesing for it already, and her remaining wisp of conscience will not hold out forever.

    Pity the poor sap she's with...

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