A sexually active, promiscuous, younger man who is well known at most health clinics and may have an STD named after him in his honor.
Would you date a man whore? Me neither.
What if he was willing, even eager, to be exclusive with you? Me neither.
Recently I’ve noticed a real and dramatic shift in the way girls talk about guys who are “players.” One recent conversation surprised me. Becka, a college junior, was talking about making plans with her good friend James now that they’re home for the summer. They’ve known each other since they were little, and for the past eight years he has made it clear that he is attracted to Becka. He is spellbound whenever she’s around. She has never encouraged him, though, and he hasn’t forced the issue. James is extraordinarily good looking, and a good guy, so I’ve wondered why Becka has never been interested in him. Recently I asked her straight out.
“His number’s too high,” she responded.
I said, “Wait a minute. He’s really hot, and girls throw themselves at him. What is he supposed to do? He’s a guy!”
“Oh, I know. I’m not judging him. You can’t blame him, I guess. I just don’t want to be with a guy who’s slept with, like, fifty girls.”
Are women are increasingly rejecting the advances of guys who are notorious for wanting NSA sex? How ironic! While fourth-wave feminists have spent their energy and political capital championing sexual empowerment and getting raunchy like the bad boys (see here and here), many other young women are saying, “You can have it.”
Instead of playing the victim’s “slut shaming” card, women are now shaming men who are sexually omnivorous. Is it possible that women can reverse the old double standard and level the playing field by rejecting men who have too much sex? Do girls think of some guys as hookup material and others as relationship material? Increasingly, the answer seems to be yes.
Here’s another recent example:
The other day I was speaking with a group of college seniors. They were talking about a scheduled parade for the hockey team, which had just won a championship. I asked if any of those guys was cute. The girls responded with exclamations of disgust.
“They might be hot, but they are all total man whores.”
“They’re rude. One of them called me a bitch when I wouldn’t make out with him at a party. I’d never even met him!”
“I hooked up with a hockey player, and then he obviously put my number into rotation for booty calls. For weeks I’d get these random texts to hook up, even though I never responded. I’m sure he was sending out mass texts. And I’m sure he got laid.”
The bottom line is that these women are increasingly speaking derisively of guys who are only out for sex, and approvingly of guys who are more selective. What’s up?
STD rates are skyrocketing.
- College students go for tests, praying they have something “curable” as opposed to herpes or HPV, two extremely common STIs among young people. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are very desirable outcomes.
- A survey released in February, 2004 by the University of North Carolina states that one of two sexually active college-age students will contract a sexually transmitted disease by age 25.
- A CDC study presented in March, 2008 revealed that around 26% of young American women aged 14-19 are infected with at least one of the four most common sexually transmitted infections. This amounts to around 3.2 million female teenagers. The most widespread infection is HPV (human papilloma virus, which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer), found in 18% of young women.
- Syphilis cases rose 88% from 2001-2007.
- Chlamydia cases rose 41% in the same time period. There are an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. who have the disease, and as many as one in 10 sexually active women would test positive for it, according to the American Social Health Association.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in five American adolescents and adults are now infected with genital herpes.
- Women want the full array of options. They may choose to engage in casual sex at some points in their lives, and at other times they prefer relationship sex. They’re tired of finding only casual sex on the menu.
- Women have experienced first-hand the consequences of earning a reputation for promiscuity. It remains true that most men prefer to commit to a woman who has limited sexual experience. The more sex that women have casually, the smaller the pool of men available to them for relationships.
- Despite modern feminism’s embrace of female raunch culture, the vast majority of young women have no interest in defending their right to bare their breasts for Girls Gone Wild.