A couple years ago, I took a trip to New Orleans. While I was there, I frequented many bars on Bourbon Street, as many people do when they visit the Big Easy. In doing so, I noticed a common theme of sorts, one that highlighted some rather annoying differences between men and women.
It played out in two distinct scenarios. If you’re a man sitting by yourself at the bar, slamming back cheap beer and tequila shots while occasionally glancing towards the pretty girls, then congratulations. You’re a creeper. You couldn’t be more creepy if you wore clown makeup and had a machete growing out of your ass.
The second scenario is the exact same situation, but with a woman. If you’re a woman sitting by yourself at the bar, slamming back the same cheap beer and doing just as many shots of tequila while glancing towards any man, then congratulations. You’re probably going to get laid that night and chances are you won’t have to worry much about your reputation. It’s New Orleans. Like Las Vegas, the whole city may as well be a giant mulligan.
This highlights an annoyingly common, but not wholly illogical double standard between men and women. Call it the slut-versus-stud dilemma. Call it unbalanced sexual dynamics. Call it anything you want. It’s still a frustrating inconsistency for anyone who claims to value freedom, gender equality, and everything Rick Santorum stands against.
We all know how this inconsistency plays out. A man goes out, has sex with two Japanese twins, a Sweedish bikini model, and a Russian gymnast in one night. The next day, he gets high-fives and praises form all his friends. Hell, some them will want to smell his cock just to get a whiff of the sweet scent of pussy. The man is a stud.
On that same night, a woman of the same age and level of attractiveness goes out and has sex with a bouncer, two joggers, and one of Brad Pitt’s stunt doubles. The next day, she’ll probably endure an intervention from her family and friends. What kind of woman goes out and has that much sex for no other reason than because she enjoys it? She’s a slut. There must be something wrong with her. End sarcasm.
It’s one of those unspoken rules that some will talk about, but in the wrong way for the wrong reason. When it comes up, it usually focuses on the slut-shaming that women endure for wanting to have more sex than society deems appropriate. This sucks too. Slut-shaming in general is a major dick move, if that’s not too fitting a term. However, there are two sides to this coin and I’d like to talk about the other side.
I don’t deny it. When a woman goes out and has more sex than celibate priests say is acceptable, she gets a lot of shit for that. It can affect her family and friendships. It can affect her job prospects. Hell, female teachers have been fired for being too sexy. That sucks. That’s an injustice. We, as a society, should call bullshit on that.
However, let’s at least try to be fair because there is a part of the male perspective that’s equally unjust. Sure, a man probably won’t lose his job if he has sex with ten bikini models over the weekend, but there’s another injustice within that dynamic that should also be called out.
It manifests in the form of expectations and assumptions that men and women share about sexual intimacy. I’ve mentioned it before when I’ve talked about sexual promiscuity. Our current culture, with respect to gender dynamics, sets it up so that men have to jump through all these hoops to even have a chance at getting sex.
Those hoops include going out on dates, paying for meals, giving rides, offering expensive gifts, remaining in constant contact, and accommodating the woman in every way in hopes that she’ll decide he’s worth seeing naked. Every woman has a different set of standards, but at the end of the day, she’s still the primary decision-maker. A man can jump through all of these hoops, and even a few he doesn’t have to, and she can still decides he doesn’t get sex.
Needless to say, this can be annoying and frustrating to men. It’s a reason why some men hold deeply misogynistic views. That’s also part of the reason why men respect and admire those who can get so much sex without jumping through all these hoops. They’re like gurus or infomercial salesmen. They have skills and insights that we want to mimic, copy, or buy.
We’re men too. We want sex too. We want to know the tricks of the trade. That’s why we’ll eagerly befriend others who have better success at getting sex from women. That’s why we won’t shame them and will make every possible excuse to defend them. We want to be like them, learn from them, and draw from their experience.
Using caveman logic again, this makes perfect sense. Like all living creatures, we’re hard-wired for two major imperatives: survival and reproduction. If there are any ways to improve our efforts with the latter, we’ll be inclined to do it and make every possible excuse to justify it.
This means that men’s pursuit of sex isn’t always rational or ethical, for that matter. We’ll make whatever excuses we have to because it’s a biological imperative. Those imperatives tend to trump laws, culture, and social norms. Biology doesn’t give a damn what sort of arbitrary rules we make or what deities we conjure. We need to survive and reproduce, damn it!
So let’s revisit that frustrating double standard. Let’s re-evaluate it with the perspective of both the man and woman in mind. There’s a lot we can say about it. There’s a lot to interpret. Thankfully, a brilliant comedian named Jim Jefferies has already nicely summed it up with the following anecdote.
Once again, comedy tends to echo with a harsh truth. Now I would take issue with his concept of how fair this double standard is. It’s debatable what constitutes fair in matters of sex and gender dynamics.
It does, however, highlight the deeper inequalities that only make some amount of sense when we look at it through the harsh lens of caveman logic. Despite what radical feminist types may claim, men and women are very different.
The human race, like many species, is sexually dimorphic. That’s just a fancy sciencey way of saying that the different genders of a species exhibit unique characteristics beyond having different body parts to rub together. Human beings have plenty of those characteristics. We’re different in terms of muscles, body hair, facial structures, bone structure, hormone balance, and all sorts of other characteristics that I’m not qualified to describe.
The most defining trait, however, is that women are the ones who bear the babies. Men only provide the seeds. That means there’s an inherent imbalance in the sexual dynamics at play. If a man has sex with 25 women in one night, he has a chance to get them all pregnant with his genes and, thereby, propagating the species as his biological imperative says. A woman, on the other hand, can have sex with 25 men, but still only have one or two children in that same time-frame.
This is where the caveman logic bleeds right into basic economics. Nature is crude, blunt, and doesn’t give two whiffs of a skunk’s ass about our assumptions and expectations about sex. Nature just wants our species to survive and reproduce. That means it’ll follow crude incentives.
Now that’s not to say we should just accept these injustices and imbalances. We shouldn’t. Slut-shaming women and deifying promiscuous men to the extent we do asinine, even by the standards of basic biology and caveman logic.
Our attitudes and expectations towards sex and gender dynamics are skewed. It gets teachers fired. It makes social outcasts of people who don’t deserve it. It also creates every annoying antagonist in every teen movie ever made. We don’t need more of that in our society. We don’t need to distance ourselves from one another more than our genders already do.
We can’t circumvent our biological imperatives or our caveman brains beyond a certain extent. We just tend to push that extent way farther than it needs to be. There are injustices and inequalities in our current attitudes towards men, women, and sex. These injustices and inequalities are making it harder for us to relate to one another, to understand one another, and (most importantly) to love one another.
We can acknowledge our inherent differences on a biological basis. We can modify our attitudes towards how we go about sex, how we pursue relationships, and how we relate to one another. It takes work, more so than an aspiring erotica/romance writer can provide alone. I hope my books can inspire others to re-shape those attitudes.
Unjust assumptions can only lead to unjust actions. Unequal attitudes can only lead to unequal understandings. At the end of the day, we’re still wired to seek out love and intimacy with one another. Let’s not make it harder on ourselves.