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Deconstructing the Sluthood of Jaclyn Friedman



Jaclyn Friedman



Last week, Jaclyn Friedman wrote a post for Feministe which immediately went up on Jezebel as well. Thanks to the readers who sent me the link. Entitled My Sluthood, Myself, it generated quite a bit of buzz and many very interesting comments on various blogs. Ms. Friedman cites numerous personal motivations for writing the piece, many of which reflect a truly tortured history with sex and relationships. However, she also wants something from the reader:

I’m telling you this because sluthood requires support….A slut needs a posse who finds her exploits almost as delicious as she finds them herself, who cares about her safety and her stories and her happiness but not one whit about her virtue…even if you don’t ever want sluthood for yourself, you’re going to be called upon to support a slut. I’m telling you this because when that happens, I want you to say yes.

That’s asking a lot from other women.

Why? Because the current sexual marketplace prioritizes casual sex over relationship sex. Women predisposed to hold out for relationship sex wage a steep uphill battle. Fellow blogger Ferdinand Bardamu explains this quite succinctly:

Now, if most guys who can get laid with regularity are prone to reject girls who won’t give it up within a reasonable time and cost, wouldn’t this mean that good girls…would be much less likely to be the targets or victims of these men? In a world in which sluttiness is not stigmatized and sex is much easier to obtain, looser women would suck up most of the attentions of men with good game, thus leaving the monogamous girls alone.

Women who understand the power of sex, the incredible chemistry of it, women who know that sex is not casual physiologically speaking, women who do not embrace a life of sluthood, are indeed left alone by many men. That’s a good thing in some ways, but terribly disappointing in others. Very few women embrace the notion of receiving zero male attention once word gets out that they are not slutty. They cannot compete with determined sluts in the marketplace among these men. Sexually discriminating women have every reason to withhold support from sluts. Sluts are wreaking havoc on the supply side.

Ms. Friedman touts the healing powers of sluthood, a way of burying past traumas and protecting oneself from undue emotional distress. I will now proceed to deconstruct her argument, and demonstrate that it is not only fallacious, but dangerous for women. I’ve tried to present a fair representation that honors Ms. Friedman’s intentions.

“I’m telling you this because of something else that’s also true about me: I’d really like to be in a long-term, probably monogamous relationship. That’s right, folks, I’m a slut who craves a stable, loving, committed relationship. File me under “Lookin’ fer luv: ur doin it wrong.”

The only remotely self-aware statement in the piece. On her own website, she describes herself as “a queer Jewish writer, performer, and activist.” She is widely known and respected in the feminist community, having co-written Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & a World Without Rape with Jessica Valenti.

That’s the story we get sold, right? That women who sleep around are destroying their chances at True Love. Something to do with bonding hormones getting all used up? Or is it that we have so little self-esteem that no one could love us? Or maybe it’s that we’re all used candy wrappers or dirty masking tape. I can never remember. Thing is: I’ve done it the other way. Until my mid-30s, I was largely a serial monogamist.

She is around 40, and confesses several ill advised relationships that resulted in a torrent of emotional distress. Taking refuge in snark is a favorite maneuver among feminists. “Something to do with?” “Getting all used up?” Snark, snark. Sneer, roll eyes. Ms. Friedman’s piece was hailed for its bravery, but this is a cowardly move.

Thing is: Relationship science is hard science. Oxytocin is not some disinformation cooked up by the evil patriarchy. It’s a chemical that floods your body after sex, during breastfeeding, and through the early months of motherhood. Men also experience it, though its effect is tamped down somewhat by testosterone. The effects of sex hormones are bound to reside on a spectrum. Some women may produce less, which leads to less emotional attachment. Some men are suckers for oxytocin, and love spooning after sex. Anyone who regularly dismisses a large body of peer-reviewed academic studies in this area is as ridiculous as a member of the Flat Earth Society.

As for self-esteem, the answer to her question is yes. One may love, and pity, a person with low self-esteem. But a healthy, robust, falling in love experience with such a person is surely impossible. How can we fall in love with someone who is wearing a big virtual sandwich board that says “I’m a lemon! Damaged goods! Everything in this bin is 50 cents!”

After [a] year and a half of nothing [no sex], I went to bed with a woman I barely knew on our first date. Nothing wrong with that, we had a great time, and seriously, did I mention a year and a half? The problem came the next morning, when it became obvious that she was much more into me emotionally than I was at that point. Did I tell her that? And potentially get exiled back to my affectionless desert? I bet you know the answer. What followed was a two-year relationship in which we were unhappy for about the last year and a half.

Ms. Friedman made a calculated decision to spend two years in a relationship that she did not feel emotionally invested in. She believed, as so many women do, that any relationship has got to be better than no relationship. Two years is a long time. It’s a longer time in your 30s than it was in your 20s. While you’re halfwaying it, emotionally stable people are lookin’ fer luv and finding it.

Fast forward through a few more relationships to last fall. As I crawled out of the acute grief stage of my breakup and into the Land of Reboundia, I launched myself somewhat full-throttle into dating. It was comforting to me to find that there were other people I found appealing who felt similarly about me. But each person I’d meet, if there was any kind of a click at all, I’d throw myself at them whole-hog, wanting so badly for them to be The One that proved I wouldn’t have to do die alone with a shriveled-up vagina and no cats. (I’m allergic.) And then (sing this with me if you know the tune), when something would inevitably go wrong, however silly or minor, however nascent the connection was, it would feel overwhelming. Like I was dying. Like I was broken all over again.

Red flags? Let me count them for you:

  1. Fast forward through a few more relationships. Rapid fire serial monogamy is a clear indication that something is wrong. Ur doing it wrong. You might be choosing the wrong partners, or behaving the wrong way, or conveying that you loathe yourself.
  2. I launched myself somewhat full-throttle. Again, the prevailing drive is impulse, perhaps even compulsion.
  3. It was comforting to me to find that there were other people I found appealing who felt similarly. Seeking relationships as a form of sexual validation works in the very short-term. It’s a house of cards, though, as Ms. Friedman learned.
  4. If there was any kind of a click at all, I’d throw myself at them whole-hog. Ouch. Not a good strategy. Leads to shouts of “Psycho! Leave me alone!”
  5. When something would inevitably go wrong… it would feel overwhelming. Like I was dying. Like I was broken all over again. This is painful to witness. I do understand the profound need that Ms. Friedman must feel to be healed, and loved.

And then a miracle occurred. Via the unlikeliest source of miracles ever: Craigslist Casual Encounters.

OMG! As a parent who still worries about what time my now adult kids come home, my heart was pounding as I read this. In the 70s, when one-night stands were still novel in mainstream America, women met men in bars and went home with them. Bad stuff happened. The 1977 film Looking for Mr. Goodbar was based on the true story of the murder of a NYC schoolteacher who picked up a handsome guy in a bar.

…one Friday night last fall, after having been blown apart yet again by some minor rejection that felt so huge it sent me to my bed. I hadn’t showered or shaved or left the house in days. And so, glass of wine in hand, wearing a robe and dirty sweatpants, I posted an ad just so I could watch the replies come in and feel like I had some kind of choice in the world. That somebody wanted me, even if they were gross and I’d never want them back.

And then B. responded. He was smart and charming. His picture looked cute. He seemed like a grown-up, and not like a psycho. He knew how to banter. He made a funny joke about punctuation. And, after a few emails were exchanged, he wanted to know if I’d like to meet him for a drink. That night. Then. And, to my great shock and terror and excitement, I found that I did.

The next hour was a blur of furious grooming, during which I kept up the following internal monologue: I’m going to get axe murdered. I’m going to get axe murdered. You don’t have to do this, you can call it off. No, I want to. I can handle myself, I have good instincts and great training. Oh, god, I’m going to get axe murdered.

She knew. She made a decision to risk not just another profound emotionally devastating experience, but her life. Her need for validation, the need to “have some choice in the world” was so enormous that she eagerly ventured out to meet a man about whom she knew only one thing: his explicit desire to keep sex casual. No emotions, no history, no mess.

As an aside, note the switch to men. Though Ms. Friedman identifies as queer as of today, she went trolling for heterosexual sex. She says that her trauma history means she “still has triggers to manage,” and she states on her site that she was sexually assaulted in college. I’m in no position to untangle this skein, but it certainly raises questions about her motivation in seeking men on Craigslist.

I left my roommate a note telling her what I’d done and where I was going and to call me at 11 and if I didn’t answer to call the police.we spent a lovely hour chatting over a couple of glasses of wine, he used the phrase “male hegemony” critically in a sentence (entirely unprompted by me), and then he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, which was nearby. And once again, to my shock and terror and excitement, I found that I did.

When, oh when, will feminists learn that men are usually spouting complete BS when they throw around phrases like male hegemony, patriarchy and heteronormative?

Driving home late that night, I was overcome with an uneasy feeling. What had I just done? What did it mean? What would my friends think? Was this who I wanted to be? I sat in my parked car, paralyzed, for ten minutes that felt like an hour. And then I climbed upstairs, slid into bed, and fell into a troubled sleep.

I woke up the next morning feeling unmoored. Like something inside me had been knocked loose, but I didn’t yet know if it was a part I needed, or something that had been in the way. At brunch with friends that day, I nervously let slip about my little adventure, and exhaled as they cheered and pumped me for details. Emboldened by their lack of judgment, I told a few more friends, found more wicked delight.

I’m telling you this because sluthood requires support.

She drove home with an uneasy feeling (after three rounds of good sex). She slept uneasily, and woke feeling unmoored.  It was not until her friends let out their war whoops and clamored for details that she felt validated once again. Why wouldn’t they cheer her on? Even if they would never even consider the same behavior, we all enjoy a good train wreck, especially if the victim seems unhurt. We may marvel at their ability to come out unscathed, with no idea of the slow internal bleed that’s begun.

In other ways, too, sluthood isn’t always pretty, and I’m not always good at it. Whether from years of habit or something more intrinsic to my personality, my heart seems to want to attach, and after a couple months of playing together casually, and having long, rangey talks naked in bed together between rolls in the hay, it started to with B. Neither of us handled it particularly well. There were tears; there were accusations.

Of course there were. She bonded with B after a “couple months of playing together casually.” Woman, know thyself! That’s your oxytocin speaking! I think we all know who shed tears and made accusations.

Sluthood saved me. Sluthood gave me the time and space to nurse a shattered heart. It gave me a place where I could exist in pieces, some of me craving touch, some of me still too tender to even expose to the light.

I’m telling you this because, as scary and dangerous as my sluthood is, it’s built on privilege. I’m cisgender and able-bodied and relatively mentally healthy for now, which makes these assignations a lot easier to manage on multiple levels, I would imagine.

I’ve also had some obstacles to overcome. Fat girls don’t have the same pick of partners that smaller women seem to, though I’ve been pleasantly surprised and moved that there are more people out there who are attracted to me than I’d thought. Being a woman who’s “pushing 40″ doesn’t exactly expand the pool either.

FYI: I had to look up the word “cisgender.” It means being comfortable in the gender you were assigned at birth. Apparently we now need a way to express that we are not transgendered. In this way, we can reassure ourselves and those around us that we are not heteronormative.

I don’t have the heart to flag the other troubling expressions in this excerpt, but her desperate need for something real sounds like a scream.

Meanwhile, via CL and other sources, I’ve had emails and dates and crushes and flings, and one thing that looked like it might get serious and then quite abruptly disappeared.

And yes, I still want love. Make that Love. The brass ring. The whole enchilada. A partner in crime, a permanent teammate. A mutual admiration society of two. Someone who feels like home, and who feels the same about me. Someone to catalogue my wrinkles as they form. Whatever you want to call it. When I think about it, it involves monogamy, but who knows. Maybe I’ll find it with someone. Maybe I won’t. I can’t pretend I don’t care. But most days, sluthood helps me be patient. It keeps desperation at bay. It reminds me to enjoy the life I have now, instead of waiting for someone to come start it. It helps me know my heart better, and my libido. It makes me better at communicating about both of them, and much less likely to confuse the two. To my mind, far from ruining me for real love, sluthood is preparing me for it.

It’s a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling. I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me, in a small but life-altering way, and I want it to be available to you if you ever think it could save you, too.

Most of the comments online have been from women who said they cried, they were so moved. Many offered humble and profound thanks.

Leah, from Not a Dirty Word writes:

Jaclyn’s honesty was so raw and pure…My Sluthood, Myself left me holding back tears and whispering “thank you.” …an act of bravery both fierce and shocking…

I am censored. I am voiceless. My Sluthood, Myself gave me, and women like me, a voice. We do not have the freedom to explain how sluthood can be healing, uplifting, empowering – or to explain how women that ultimately are looking for love and monogamy can still find periods of sluthood fulfilling.

And here is where I have to stop. I can no longer continue to write how I feel. I cannot type the words that explain why her words resonate so deeply with me, and elicit such an emotional response from me. As I am typing this right now, I am starting to cry.

Jaclyn Friedman has clearly struck a chord among women with this piece. I imagine that many women cried with relief. Someone with a media platform has gone on record describing her pain, her littany of hopeful but poor decisions that make love always elusive. They cannot see that as she proclaims her detachment from sex, she gets emotionally wounded every single time. They take heart from her proclamation that sluthood is a healing thing.

Ms. Friedman is a hot mess. Craiglist Casual Encounters was not a miracle, it was a disaster that broke her heart again. I hope she does find Love, the whole enchilada. To do that successfully she’ll need to look hard at the one place she avoids seeing at all costs: Jaclyn.

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  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Susan, we are on the exact same page today. I’d feel bad for her except that she is playing the Pied Piper for women and the destination is relationship doom.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I wonder what it will take for women to stop behaving in ways that cause them great pain. I’m with you, though. This kind of confession needs to be exposed for what it is: the desperate plea of an emotionally unstable woman who wants to be validated as a lovable human being. If a single woman fails to see this for what it is, JF’s “permission” to embrace one’s inner slut spells doom for sure. She makes it very clear for anyone with their eyes open that Sluthood is not a happy place.

  • Leah

    I stand by what I have written, and I stand by Jaclyn. I read through your entire post, as repetitive and irritating as it was, and I pity you. Let’s call a spade a spade. You hate casual sex, and you hate women who are brave enough to say they like it.

    Let’s “deconstruct” what you said here:

    “Women who understand the power of sex, the incredible chemistry of it, women who know that sex is not casual physiologically speaking, women who do not embrace a life of sluthood, are indeed left alone by many men. That’s a good thing in some ways, but terribly disappointing in others. Very few women embrace the notion of receiving zero male attention once word gets out that they are not slutty. They cannot compete with determined sluts in the marketplace among these men. Sexually discriminating women have every reason to withhold support from sluts. Sluts are wreaking havoc on the supply side.”

    In your first sentence you present the idea that “sex is not casual physiologically speaking” as if it were fact, with no evidence, proof, links. All of my education in sexuality and gender studies has taught me exactly the opposite, so at best, this statement is your OPINION and presenting it as if it were some commonly understood fact is erroneous and irresponsible.

    In that same sentence, you write: “women who do not embrace a life of sluthood, are indeed left alone by many men.” I am confused by this point. Again, you present some sort of opinion as fact, which is a bad idea for reasons I have already explained. But I’m not sure I understand your point. That women who aren’t sluts are ignored by men? I would guess that many women, slut-approving or not, would disagree with you there.

    Then you argue that “they [women who are not sluts] cannot compete with determined sluts in the marketplace among these men.” So, again you are making a blanket statement and presenting it as fact, this time that men only like sluts. Again, I think you will find that many men and women – sluts or no – disagree with you there.

    And finally, you write: “Sexually discriminating women have every reason to withhold support from sluts. Sluts are wreaking havoc on the supply side.”

    So… you’re making the “sluts are stealing our men” argument? How creative. I don’t even know how to get into that one, suffice to say, there’s enough men and women out there looking for both sluthood and monogamy, serious relationships and casual, that it’s hardly fair to blame one faction for your own failures in love.

    It’s obvious from this final statement that as a woman who dates men, you feel threatened by Jaclyn’s piece because you seem to think she is “stealing men” away from you. So don’t worry yourself about her mental well-being. Maybe you should take a look at your own, and ask why you’re blaming others for your own unhappiness.

    • Passer_By

      “All of my education in sexuality and gender studies . . .”

      LOL

      • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

        No need for the lolling Passer_by. I have already let use a +5 fire blast against the river troll known as Leah. See below. I see major exp points and perhaps a level up for defeating this under-boss. I’m hoping for some major loot against to use against the uber-feminists I feel might come from every cravice of forest treet they are crying in for miss jaclyn. Perhaps even a jaclyn battle herself.
        Helmet of shaming deflection. Check.
        Sword of Bullshit slice, upgrade +3 truth sting. Check.
        Now for Boots of empathizing SMP ignorance. Sorry cannot eqiup.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      1. Regular readers know that I regularly present links on the science of sex. As you are understandably new to HUS, I’ll throw out the best place for you to start:

      http://www.helenfisher.com/about.html

      Helen Fisher is the most respected name in Relationship Sexuality in the world. She has conducted much research, been published widely, and is a regular on mainstream news and talk shows.
      Leah: the earth is not flat. Your body releases a torrent of chemicals when you have sex, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Check out what she has to say about oxytocin, testosterone, estrogen, dopamine and vasopressin. If you honestly seek scientific information, you’ll find it. And you’ll never look at sex the same way again.
      .
      2. College women who are not sluts get little attention from college men. Can you really be surprised by this statement? If you’re not pretending that gender differences don’t exist, then you know that men seek sexual frequency and variety, prioritizing it over emotional investment with one woman. Sluts offer sexual frequency and variety. Needs met, prudes need not apply. Even you hard core feminists know all about the recent conversations about hooking up, and how emotionally devastating it is to many young women. Jaclyn Friedman is actually an example of this.
      .
      3. Sluts are not stealing men for relationships. Very few men would even consider getting into a LTR with a slut. But they’re providing sex with no strings. A woman who prefers to share her body with someone who knows, respects, and dare I say it? even LOVES her will find few men holding out for sex with strings. Eventually, most of those men will seek a woman without extensive sexual experience. Hardened players may settle for promiscuous women. You may be interested in this study, btw, which shows that similar sociosexuality (number of past sexual partners) results in higher marital satisfaction:

      With regard to hypothesis 3, the zero-order correlations revealed that for
      women, greater partner similarity on social absorption, avoidant attachment, and
      sociosexuality was associated with higher satisfaction. For men, greater partner
      similarity on sensation seeking, psychological femininity, anxious attachment, and
      sociosexuality was associated with higher satisfaction.

      .
      http://dspace.uta.edu/bitstream/handle/10106/529/umi-uta-1430.pdf;jsessionid=EC350BE8122A9DBBB3C15789CF90AEC7?sequence=1
      .
      Further:
      The third strong and consistent predictor of marital satisfaction in the current
      study was sociosexuality. Specifically, a significant actor effect emerged for
      sociosexuality, such that increased sociosexuality was associated with decreased marital
      satisfaction. For both the men and the women in this study, we can conclude that those who have an unrestricted sociosexual orientation – those who typically have had multiple sexual partners in the past and are relatively comfortable engaging in sexual relations in the absence of commitment or closeness – report low satisfaction with their marriage.

      .
      If you have any links to refute the academic literature, I’m all ears.
      .

      It’s obvious from this final statement that as a woman who dates men, you feel threatened by Jaclyn’s piece because you seem to think she is “stealing men” away from you. So don’t worry yourself about her mental well-being. Maybe you should take a look at your own, and ask why you’re blaming others for your own unhappiness.

      A quick look at my About page will disabuse you of this notion. I’ve been happily married for a very long time. I did have casual sex in my 20s, so I know exactly what I’m talking about. My primary concern is for young women (and men) today who are getting into their late 20s with little to no relationship experience. As I said above, many women are disappointed to learn that they’ve priced themselves out of the market by being unwilling to have sex with randoms.
      .
      I’m curious – can you really say, in all earnestness, that looking for sex on Craigslist leads to healing? Because it didn’t work out too well for JF. She may have tons of support from fellow sluts, but she has no Love.

      • http://megslifeisgreat.blogspot.com Megs

        Excellent response to this.

        All I can say is I just think these girls sound really angry. Who are you angry at? I don’t think this post says anything that is new to anyone who understands hook up culture or feminist culture for that mater.

      • JPG

        Assumptions that are offensive to me:

        “Sluts make it so non-sluts get no attention from men.”
        “Men only want sex, not relationships.”

        If a man is not interested in a LTR with anyone, he is going to be more interested in sluts, sure. Why would a non-slut female who only wants monogamy want attention from men who aren’t interested in LTRs? Wouldn’t attention from men only seeking sex be detrimental to the non-slut’s search for a man who is interested in forming a relationship? If there were no sluts, would these sex-seeking men be getting in relationships with non-sluts out of the desperate hope that they might get laid some day? I would think that non-sluts wouldn’t want attention from men who are more interested in sex than connection.If there were no sluts, and non-sluts were receiving attention from both LTR-interested men and sex-seeking men, wouldn’t they have a higher rate of disappointment due to having a higher rate of sex-seeking men getting into relationships for the wrong reasons? Men who are interested in LTRs are going to be interested in girls who want the same. Period. Men who want casual sex are going to be interested in girls who want the same. Period. And in my experience, there are plenty of men looking for relationships, even in college.

        “No man wants to get into an LTR with a slut.”

        I’m sorry, are you saying that men don’t like women who have had a lot of sex? That a man who is ready for an LTR could meet a slut, and maybe find out that she’s ready to be in an LTR finally, but he would turn her down because she enjoyed casual sex? If she’s ready to be monogamous, why should her sexual history prior to this man matter? It sounds like you’re saying “once a slut, always a slut,” and I have to call bullshit on that. Women who like casual sex when they aren’t in LTRs are not automatically incapable of having LTRs, and they aren’t automatically bad at being in LTRs. So what should prevent men from wanting a LTR with a slut who is ready to give up sluthood for an LTR with this specific man? The statement makes no sense, and in my experience and the experiences of those around me, this is blatantly false.

        There is an implication here that most sluts are damaged headcases, and this is what I find most offensive.

        I have had casual sex. No strings, very enjoyable, casual sex. I was not damaged. I love myself. At points in my life where I wasn’t interested in a relationship, casual sex fulfilled physical needs and gave me connection when I wanted it. Casual sex was most fulfilling to me, most fun, when I was in my most stable headspace. I imagine this is true of all sex.

        I was something of a slut when I met my current SO. I was not ashamed of it, and I’m still not. And we clicked, and we fit, and for us, my sexual history was irrelevant to our chances of having a successful relationship. In the days before I met him, I was content being single and having casual sex. And then I met him, and I wanted a relationship with him. Specifically with him.

        Here’s the thing about me, my relationship, and my sluthood: I really enjoy relationship sex with someone who knows me, loves me, and respects me. But when I was single, I really enjoyed casual sex with people who treated me respectfully, whether or not they knew me very well. And if my relationship falls apart someday and my SO and I aren’t together, I imagine I will probably enjoy casual sex again.

        Here’s my question; if some people find comfort in sluthood, solace, if it allows them to make connections and be sexual without the emotional risks of a relationship, if it makes them HAPPY, then why is it so important to you to condemn it?

        • Vjatcheslav

          Men have a very old fear of being cuckolded. The history of sluts suggests that they are rather like men in liking sex (i.e. they want much sex from different sources) – and while men like women who like to have sex with them, they are afraid of women who seem to be at a higher risk of having sex with other men. Bear in mind that during the time this instinct was formed the only way to be really sure that a kid was yours (as a man) was to forbid the mother to have sex with another man. Paternity testing is quite recent.
          At what number this anxiety kicks in is difficult to say in general, but having more sexual partners than the man in question is going to have some problems.

          It seems that sluts are formed by two mechanisms: either they have much testosterone (a predominantly male hormone), or they have had a trauma which creates a deep and essential self-doubt. This self-doubt is to be assuaged by having lots of sex: it indicates that one isn’t as worthless as one thinks to be.
          The first group is obviously not going to need traumata of such – they enjoy sex much like men (you may be interested in this: http://roissy.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/of-manjaws-and-furry-forearms/ ). The second group is the problem-group, which by the way is also the one that will turn up most in psychiatric and psychologic contexts. So maybe it’s rather selection bias.

        • Chili

          JPG, I totally agree with you. Susan has been writing a lot lately on the benefits of slut-shaming and how “feminism” is destroying the SMP. It’s so silly, and this is coming from someone who has never had sex.

          “I was something of a slut when I met my current SO. I was not ashamed of it, and I’m still not. And we clicked, and we fit, and for us, my sexual history was irrelevant to our chances of having a successful relationship. In the days before I met him, I was content being single and having casual sex. And then I met him, and I wanted a relationship with him. Specifically with him.”

          From what I understand, this was the case with Ms. Walsh herself when she met her husband. I don’t believe this is in fact an unusual situation these days at all. Condemning promiscuous women (if I can avoid using the word “slut,” I generally do) does not help anyone, for the reasons JPG states. It only fosters and perpetuates the oh-so-notorious intra-female hate and jealousy (I think a good example of which was that post Susan wrote about the girl that was killed, or was it beaten?, because she stole someone’s boyfriend). Instead of making rash generalizations about whose sexual choices are better, why don’t we, as women, just try to respect each other and be confident in the fact that there are men out there who will want to be with us because of, in spite of, or regardless of, our pasts? Why is that so hard?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Chili, for the record I was not “something of a slut” when I met my husband. It is true I had casual sex with him – after crushing on him seriously for nine months. I had bonded emotionally to this man before I even kissed him. He was not initially interested in me, in part because my behavior (hooking up with a few guys at parties) indicated that I was not interested in a relationship. He pounced on me because he thought I was a sure bet for sex. It took months for him to reconcile his conflicted feelings about that. I was on an emotional roller coaster during that time. I don’t recommend it as a way to start out, though in my case I did get the happy ending. Who knows how it would have gone had I not been telegraphing my willingness to hook up?
          Chili, I’m curious about something. As a virgin, how many men could you name on campus who would jump at the chance to go on a date with you, hold your hand and kiss you on the cheek at the end of the evening?

        • Chili

          I wasn’t insulting you when I compared you to JPG. You’ve mentioned from time to time that you enjoyed periods of casual sex in your youth, and that that did not stop you from having a decades-long monogamous relationship, which is similar to JPG’s story. It’s not an insult. On the contrary, I have respect for women who are introspective and really understand what they want and how to get it.

          Let’s face it, most of the problems in the SMP come from a disconnect btwn what women feel and what they do. But instead of taking a good look to try to really see what’s going on, they blame others for it. That’s where I disagree with you. Blaming JF for the problems in the SMP is like blaming diabetes on that one time you had Burger King. She’s only a small part of what’s going on. Criticizing her doesn’t solve anything, only gives rise to hate. We women should be trying to help each other be more aware of ourselves, isn’t that what this blog is all about?

          wrt your last point, I’m not sure if there was an insult in there, but I’ll take your question at face value. I go to a huge urban commuter school, so there aren’t any frat parties or anything like that. People go to school to go to class, not to socialize. It’s not a community, and I don’t exactly sing arias about my sexuality to every person I meet, so word doesn’t get around. The men I’ve dated I find outside of school, and generally my sexual history doesn’t come up. The one time it did, the guy acted creepily more interested and I never went out with him again–I’m not interested in fulfilling some fetish. My longest relationship was in high school, and it lasted a year. My virginity was never an issue; he respected my decisions. I don’t really see myself as being in any way disadvantaged or like I don’t receive attention from men. Generally, it’s women that seem most weirded out by my choices–not men. Some women automatically assume that I must be a judgmental prude who’s stuck in the middle ages…I can sense the tension in the air as soon as I say it. One minute I’m a normal person-net minute I’m a nun. Which is why I’ve learned to be private about this. Did that answer your question? I’m not really sure if that is what you wanted to know…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Chili, thanks for this response, it helped me understand your point of view. I fully agree that one person is just a speck in the whole sexual marketplace. And yet, this piece made me sit up straight and say “Holy Hell!” and OMG if that was my daughter I would be frantic. I can’t even describe my reaction to reading that her most fulfilling sexual relationship in years was with a hookup via Craigslist Casual Encounters. I’m sorry, that’s a tough one to get past. And though Jaclyn Friedman has rejected my “faux concern” the truth is that I feel she is a tragic and desperate figure. In my experience, those people wreak the most destruction. Her message is dangerous. However, you are obviously free to disagree. This is not personal to me. It’s a debate in the marketplace of ideas. We’re each making an argument, and you get to choose how to live your life without reporting back to either of us!

    • rick

      It takes a slut to defend a slut.

      Listen, pumpkin: If it was really working so well for you, there would be no need for your histrionics on this blog.

      Sluttiness is like borrowing against the equity in your home. You can live well for a while, but you must pay it back. With interest.

      The slut cashes in short-term, but will be left with little sexual equity left for the long term.

      Unless a girl remains smoking hot into her 50s, being a slut is just like being a lottery winner who is bankrupt a few years later.

      They say that living well is the best revenge. If you were living well, you would not need to make such an angry try-hard post to convince us otherwise.

      You will go the way of all sluts; the laws of human sexuality will not ignore your violation of eons of human development.

      The only thing that is unknown at this point is whether you will admit it when you have failed. My guess is that you won’t, since being adorably defiant to the bitter end will be the last shred of dignity that you have.

      Good luck! We’re all watching.

      • EF

        Note to Rick: Starting off with “Listen pumpkin” isn’t the best way to have a honest/mature discussion on feminism and sexuality. Kind of makes you instantly loose cred…

      • Snowdrop111

        Part of the premise here seems to be that if a woman is demonstrably faithful, low-number or virgin, in her youth, she will marry a man in her youth who will value and stay with her into her old age.

        This is how I was raised, and it is false. Men get bored and leave those women. And those women have children and no marketable job skills. And half the children left with no Daddy are men.

        No doubt a lot of people on this blog think if the women would just be obedient, sweet, and be a good helpmeet, the man would not fall out of love with her and leave.

        This is how I was raised, and it is false. Men do get bored and leave those women. Feminism tells those women to get a marketable job skill so they can support themselves and if need be, the full support of any kids.

        Lots of people on this blog probably think that without those marketable job skills, the wives who were docile, unworldly virgins and married in their youth would be forced to stay obedient and supportive, therefore preserving the marriage to the man which she depends on economically. This is false. Men leave those good obedient virgin religious wives all the time. If you want to go back to the 50′s, men can’t divorce this kind of wife. Even if she gets kinda boring and the women at work are all sassy and worldly looking and catch the husband’s eye.

        Sorry I sound old-fashioned. It sounds like people on this blog think a woman being “good” will win a man’s love. In some cases it will. But not enough to depend on. That kind of “love” a man has in his youth for the virginal woman, can die and there’s no social stigma to his leaving her and the kids. This “value of shaming” works both ways. There used to be shame for a man leaving a woman and housefull of kids that he married and sired in his youth.

        • Passer_By

          Has Susan (or the commenters) suggested that women should not have careers? I must have missed the connection between “not a great idea for most women to pursue one night stands with strangers on craigslist” to “all women should be virgins at marriage and remain barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen waiting for hubby to come home.”

        • Snowdrop111

          No, I was referring more to the above commenter….I am not sure if I can see the exact passage while I’m in this comment box…Rick.

          Rick and some other commenters on this blog seem to think that if a young woman does everything “right” and forms a marriage while she is young and desirable, and is a “good” wife, the husband will stay with her and she will avoid the dreaded cats.

          I grew up in a very strict sect with virginity until marriage for both genders, and doing everything “right” and getting married when young is no guarantee against being alone when you are old and not hot anymore. And in many cases being alone would be better.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Why does everyone assume that I’m recommending a return to the 1950s? This is not a choice between Jaclyn Friedman and Betty Draper. Women have been liberated! How about we smart, accomplished, feisty women hold out for love? How about we stop letting our bodies be used like a roll of Bounty? Why are we constantly selling ourselves short?
          Women of the world unite! Put your knees together and don’t open them until you have whatever commitment you require! If it’s breakfast tomorrow, fine. If it’s lifelong matrimony, fine. How about every woman decides for herself, without any interference from sluthood evangelists?
          BTW, I’m not telling women not to have casual sex. I’m telling women to understand the pros and cons of indulging in casual sex. You owe it to yourselves to make an informed choice.

        • escarondito

          Nice on the Betty Draper. Another of my favorites. Considering I’m noticing alot of feminist redundancy in not following the argument, I think I leave this discussion with a simple argument that women use against men. Let’s keep it equal.

          Women don’t respect or value men who sleep with anyone and at the drop of a hat. The same thing applies to men. We don’t value women who sleep with anyone(craigslist is anyone, it’s the internet people, who really knows who?) and at the drop of the hat. So it seems the feminists argument supports JF’s want for her friends and other sisters in sluthood to support her and others slutiness, AKA demonstrations of lower value.

          Hello my name is JF, I’m a slut-a-holic. Whoever engages in this activity should probably go to sexual health and relationship re-hab, but they said NO NO NO.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Oh man, awesome cultural volley. I read that Tina Fey taught her toddler the refrain from that Amy W. song. Adorable.

        • Chili

          No, but I think Snowdrop has something of a point. A lot of the male commentators on this blog seem to have a preference for low- or no- number women, when in reality, having a low number is really not the only thing that gets or keeps a man. I’ve seen marriages work between two formerly promiscuous people and marriages fail between two virgins. There is no one single prescribed formula that makes a relationship work, and despite the player mantra “look at what women say, not what they do,” there are ample differences between what men say and do as well, make no mistake. You may say “I only want a rich virgin who looks like Angelina Jolie” but let’s face it you’ll end up marrying the middle income girl with cellulite whose probably been around the block a few times. And you will love her too.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Angelina jolie point is more a comparison of goals vs. reality but I see where you are going. BTW the mantra is “look at what women do, not what they say”, and it was created for the argument women have that they want a good guy as they cry on their beta’s shoulder. Which is really dick the more I think about it.

          But anyway, most likely this is coming from bias as I am a child of divorce and am constantly looking for a marriage that works, I have noticed 2 types of marriages that last. 1) Where one of the partners has “relationship power” over the other and can maintain it for long periods of time. This is not necesarrily a bad thing like domestic abuse. Basically one person hold the pants in the relationship and does over a long period. Or you have those crazy couples who are always trying to play games with each other to gain the upper hand. And 2) where both people in the relationship truly give up their own goals, power ideals, and control issues to put the relationship first. And that is increasingly rare in our culture. And with the next generations coming up I see it happening less and less.

          Personally I can only see the first option truly working out in my direction. But many men don’t even want to considering the repercussions it can have in terms of alimony, child support, potential legal issues. Naw. Just not worth it.

        • Chili

          Ah, the do/say thing was a typo, my bad. I’m curious about the second kind of relationship, what do you mean? We’re coming from different perspectives, because my parents have a great marriage for over 20 years, and I’m not really sure I can say that anyone ‘wears the pants’ in it. I think the best marriages are either highly egalitarian, or highly skewed towards a dominant/submissive archetype. I notice that children of divorce usually cringe at the idea of marriage, and tend to favor casual encounters over long term relationships. That’s never really been my thing, though. I’ve never even considered the possibility that I might get divorced some day. That just seems so weird and alien to me. I often hear it said that marriage minded people should look for people that come from intact families, and there is basis for that. If you are considering alimony/legal issues before you’ve even married, marriage is def not for you.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I’ll agree with this. My own marriage is very egalitarian. We tussle over minor issues, but we’ve always approached our relationship, parenting, finances, etc. as a team of 2. Works for us.
          You are correct that the children of divorce are far more oriented toward casual sex than children of intact families. Research has demonstrated this consistently.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          You ain’t said nothing slick to a can of oil when it comes to marriage not being for me. But your parents in the 20 year marriage are the second type of relationship that works that I was talking about. SInce you’ve never noticed the dominant/submissive aspect in that relationship, they seem like the type that puts the relationship above each other. Focus on them instead of “I” or “you”. But I can’t continue this talk further. Back to screenwriting.

        • Chili

          “slick to a can of oil”…I don’t know what this turn of phrase means. I didn’t mean YOU personally when i said that, it was a general “you”

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          “Slick to a can of oil”, “preaching to the choir”, same term.

        • ExNewYorker

          Heck, a lot of us male commenters, even those of us who are happily married, would more than likely be fairly skeptical about recommending marriage to the younger males in our lives. It’s pretty clear that our current culture does not value marriage: it’s seen as something akin to fashion, just to toss away if it clashes with the tastes of the day.
          .
          As for preferences to low -or-no count women, I can only comment on my own case, it is a preference based on my study of various women over time. Low count, in my opinion, correlates to future-time orientation, and self-control. And since we’re all tolerant and non-judgmental, those were qualities I was looking for because they mattered to me. Other qualities may matter to others. Did I possibly miss some great high-count women? Perhaps, but at least not the ones I ran into. Is it possible that low count could have it’s own problems? Yes, but I did what I would recommend any man to do: observe what what she does, not what she says. And be patient…we’re not forced to marry these days, at least not yet… ;-)

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I think it’s true that a lot of the regular male commenters appreciate women who have been very discriminating in their sexual behavior. I would imagine they are more conservative than average, because they themselves are not into casual sex. I think that’s a reflection of the good character of the guys here – very few manwhores find this blog.

        • Chili

          I think you’d be surprised, Susan. A lot of the most promiscuous men have total virgin fetishes. It’s very creepy. They only see themselves settling down with a virgin because they are jaded and think all other women are bimbos and hos. They are also most likely to cheat on their “innocent” wives of course. Trust me, I’ve seen this. These are basically just women-haters.

          Ideally, I want to be with someone who does not care about my sexual history either way. When it comes to me, I don’t care about a guy’s number. It’s his attitude about it that is important. If I sense that he is insecure or overly cocky about it, it’s a huge turnoff. The key is to be comfortable with yourself.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Chili, that’s very interesting. I never experienced this, but I don’t find it difficult to believe. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of dysfunction around sex and relationships out there. I suspect it’s worse than it was a generation ago, but perhaps we are just freer to express it.

    • Mike

      I read through your entire post, as repetitive and irritating as it was, and I pity you.

      No you don’t, but nice…not really…attempt at shaming language.

      n your first sentence you present the idea that “sex is not casual physiologically speaking” as if it were fact, with no evidence, proof, links. All of my education in sexuality and gender studies has taught me exactly the opposite, so at best, this statement is your OPINION and presenting it as if it were some commonly understood fact is erroneous and irresponsible.

      You should ask for a refund, and then check out the Helen Fisher link Susan provided. But you won’t because your emotional stake in your ideology trumps any notion of science or truth.

    • Vjatcheslav

      “In your first sentence you present the idea that “sex is not casual physiologically speaking” as if it were fact, with no evidence, proof, links. All of my education in sexuality and gender studies has taught me exactly the opposite, so at best, this statement is your OPINION and presenting it as if it were some commonly understood fact is erroneous and irresponsible.”

      Have you ever had an orgasm? If so, you’d know that sex is not casual physiologically speaking. It is – or can be – a rather intense experience. Part of that is caused by oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone. I’ll presume your education in sexuality and gender studies enables you to take that to the conclusion that the casualness of sex is less than you think.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, orgasms are absolutely incredible. That is why, by the time I was 21, I was all burned out of oxytocin and can’t ever love a man. All of my receptors were destroyed in a teenage masturbating frenzy.

        Oh, wait. That is totally and completely NOT what happened. There is nothing more insane than claiming that bonding is dependent upon something that (prior to my now 6 year long relationship) was mainly a solo activity.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Where does this misguided belief about oxytocin being a finite supply come from? Jaclyn claimed it, a couple of others have claimed it, and now you say the same. Is this some sort of deliberate misinformation being circulated in feminist circles?
          Oxytocin is not like your eggs. You are not born with a finite supply. It is a hormone. Your body manufactures it rather readily.
          Furthermore, you are the second sex pos woman to claim on this thread that there is no physical difference between an orgasm achieved via masturbation, e.g. solo or hookup, vs. with a partner you’re crazy in love with. That is tragic, and I’m not engaging in hyperbole here. If your partner is no better than time alone with your Rabbit, hmmm.

        • Lisa

          So, what is the difference between having hundreds of orgasms by myself or an orgasm each with a hundred men? If I manufacture oxytocin all the time, then why does it matter what I do with it before I “need” it to bond with a man?

          There are differences between orgasms solo and with a partner (whether I am crazy in love with him or not). That is true. But differences do not mean that one is necessarily better than the other. I wouldn’t give up orgasms with my crazy-in-love-with partner, but I also wouldn’t give up solo orgasms either.

          Basically, I really really love steak and potatoes. I love them pretty much any way they are prepared. No matter how they were prepared, or by whom they prepared, I will probably be overjoyed. Now, steak and potatoes lovingly prepared by my partner is fantastic, but so is cooking and eating them all by myself, or going to a steakhouse where they are prepared by a stranger and eaten in front of numerous other people. All of those steaks and potatoes are different and some in each situation may be better than others, but each of the three ways of having steak and potatoes is wonderful and none is definitively better than the others.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Again, fallacious logic here. The fact that oxytocin promotes bonding doesn’t mean that bonding is impossible without it. You don’t “need it” to bond with a man. It’s a feel-good reward for engaging in behavior that promotes closeness. By the way, oxytocin is just the start – dopamine is also a key player in the reward circuitry, as is vasopressin for men.
          If it’s not already clear to you, your body knows better than to bond with AAA battery operated devices. You do not emote with a vibrator. You do not seek intimacy from plastic.

        • Lisa

          But oxytocin also promotes envy (and possibly other “negative” social emotions), which is not conducive to bonding. It also probably prevents men from wanting/being able to have multiple orgasms. That seems like it also might not be a great thing if the emphasis is on bonding through oxytocin.

          Furthermore, if you want a guy to recognize your face, you should probably have sex with him right away. Oxytocin makes men better at recognizing others. I guess that would promote bonding, but goes against the not having casual sex bit.

          Dopamine is, of course, a bit more complicated because it does so much more that oxytocin. At the end of the day, though, both do basically make us feel good and oxytocin seems to make us feel like we have bonded. Problem is, bonding isn’t an on/off switch. It seems much more likely that we, as social animals, like the feeling of having bonded even if the bond isn’t there. A hormone that causes this feeling and then stops affecting you shortly afterwards isn’t going to have a great effect on relationships with anyone or thing at the end of the day.

          Attaching something so deterministic to hormones is really misunderstanding the complicated stimulus-response systems that bodies are.

        • Lisa

          I know better than to bond with someone that I don’t want an LTR with, as well. If I didn’t, then yeah, I shouldn’t be having casual sex.

          What happened to all those people that they did the oxytocin studies on? Are they all still hung up on the other people in their experiment groups?

        • Vjatcheslav

          “I know better than to bond with someone that I don’t want an LTR with, as well.”
          .
          Excellent. Did you say somewhere that Susan shouldn’t be so harsh because Jaclyn wrote a piece asking for support? If so, you should (by your own way of thinking) immediately go away. This blog is for the large group of girls who aren’t as able to avoid bonding. You clearly are no part of the target group. (And if you didn’t write such a thing, my apologies. I mistook you for some other commenter.)

        • Lisa

          I don’t recall Susan’s piece “asking for my support.” Her position seems to be that if something is posted on the internet, and you disagree, then it is deserving of criticism. See how easy this is? Treat people as individuals and listen to what they expect. It really is far better than treat others as YOU would like to be treated, since that only makes sense if we are all the same.

        • Vjatcheslav

          I expect that you give all your money to me. And if you are a pretty woman, to sleep with me. Reductio ad absurdum is a nice weapon, isn’t it?
          .
          The golden rule does make sense even if we aren’t all the same. For one thing, we often don’t know how another person wants to be treated. We know very well how we want to be treated, so that is a good starting point. When you know that the other person wants something else than we, we can consider the costs and the merits, and decide thereupon.

        • Lisa

          Reductio ad absurdum works on the Golden Rule as well (and better, since your expectations are, by your own admission, absurd. Jaclyn’s and Susan’s are, at worst, slightly less so). I would like to be treated to a rousing chorus of “The Glory of RA” every morning when I wake up. Thus, I should run down the streets every morning doing my best Pharoah impression. Or, I would like to never have to see Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream again (vile stuff), so I should probably hide it or something whenever I see it to treat other people that way.

          In this case, however, even Golden Rule (with your final caveat) applies. We know how Jaclyn wants to treated and can infer how Susan wants from how she treats others. I have considered the costs and merits and decided to support Jaclyn (and others like her) as she wants and treat Susan the way she treats others (nicer though, I haven’t told her she is deluding herself about being happy or that HER orgasms with her husband must be pretty boring if she doesn’t understand that not all orgasms are exactly the same or easily comparable).

        • Vjatcheslav

          Ehm, your “reductio” ad absurdum is not quite good. If you want that chorus, go find someone who either gets a kick of you impersonating a pharaoh or find someone who wants something you have so you can do a little transaction. Otherwise impersonating a pharaoh isn’t treating other people as you would want to be treated yourself – it’s more treating yourself as you want to be treated. If that counts as reductio ad absurdum in your book, you’ll need a new book.
          .
          The costs of treating Jaclyn as she wants have been weighed by Susan. She has concluded that this would be dangerous for the large group of girls and young women who are her target group, so she doesn’t treat her thusly.
          And honestly, someone who has a casual sexual encounter and needs to be cheered by her friends doesn’t give a very happy impression.

        • Lisa

          Um, “The Glory of RA” is a song from The Ten Commandments musical, sung by Pharoah, so me singing it throughout the streets in the morning (as that character did in the show) in order to wake people up would be treating them EXACTLY as I would like to be treated. Look, if you don’t understand a reference, ask me (or Google) and I’ll explain it to you. Don’t hurt your head trying to figure it out.

          Susan, quite strangely, concluded that support was the same as approval. She couldn’t grant her approval, and so she issued a condemnation. Support is not the same as cheering someone on. I didn’t approve of my mother’s decision to transfer jobs to another state a few years back, but I supported it. (I helped her pack, move, find a temporary apartment, unpack, find a house, pack and unpack again, etc.). I told her that I wasn’t sure that it was the right decision, but that if that is what she wanted to do, then I would help her do it. I didn’t tell her that by wanting to move/transfer, she was sending a message that everyone should or that when she thought it would make her happier that she was just deluding herself. Now, years later, it turns out that there were a lot of ways that she was right and a lot of ways that I was right…mixed bag overall for my mom. If a friend, in a similar situation to my mom wanted to move, I may or may not approve, but I would certainly support it, and I would not tell that friend that (no matter what my mom says) my mom is miserable and made a terrible mistake and that she shouldn’t listen to my mom because her advice is dangerous.

          Similarly, my sister’s best friend married this guy who is kind of a jerk. My sister didn’t approve (and told her friend what she honestly thought without judging that friend), but she supported that decision (bridesmaid, emotional support when the jerk acted like a jerk, etc.). If that friend wrote a blog post about how happy she is that she married said jerk and wanted support for herself and other women who similarly married men that their friends thought were jerks, I wouldn’t write a response about how that friend is lying about her happiness and that listening to her would be dangerous. I would point out that I don’t approve and that there are other ways of living your life.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          1. Please link to evidence suggesting that oxyt. promote envy. I’ve never heard that.
          2. Also, a link to the origin of the need for the male to “recharge” before a second orgasm.
          Your summary of the roles of oxyt. and dopamine reads like something you just made up. Oxyt is much more important in the female sexual response, dopamine in the male’s. However, risk-seeking personalities find that particularly risky behavior produces a dopamine high, which can be quite addictive. Bungee jumping is an example of this. Perhaps in your case, risky sex floods your system with dopamine, and you seek to repeat that experience again and again. This tendency toward dopamine addiction is exactly the same as with substance abuse, btw.
          Interesting, JF didn’t appear to get that dopamine rush after her life-risking sexual encounter. She couldn’t get out of her car. She felt ill. She couldn’t sleep. One wonders why she would continue the feel-bad cycle.

        • Vjatcheslav

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refractory_period_%28sex%29

          And as a male, I can attest from first hand that we have a refractory period. Women seem to be much less encumbered by this, by the way.

        • Lisa

          Shamay-Tsoory SG, Fischer M, Dvash J, Harari H, Perach-Bloom N, Levkovitz Y (November 2009). “Intranasal administration of oxytocin increases envy and schadenfreude (gloating)”. Biological Psychiatry 66 (9): 864–70.

          http://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.biopsych.2009.06.009
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640508

          I also heard from a relative who works in public health that oxytocin is released when people experience defeat or loss, but I don’t have a study for that. I am sure it would be relatively easy to find.

          Frankly, I didn’t MAKE up the way oxytocin works, but I am basing it on how I know hormones operate in the female body. (This comes from Sharon Golub’s excellent book Periods: From Menarche to Menopause, which also includes one of the most detailed discussions of exactly what happens physically when women become aroused, stimulated, etc.)

          Oxytocin’s primary biological function seems to be triggering milk let-down. (Primary in that we know it triggers it, we know milk let-down serves a useful/necessary evolutionary function, and there are no pesky human behaviors to worry about.)

          Honestly, biology is not me field, but reading texts and understanding data is. I am sure someone who has studied more biology than I have could explain this better, but your comments section seems a little lacking on those. Women might be more sensitive to oxytocin (haven’t seen that study), but they are definitely more sensitive to testosterone. I am skeptical that testosterone limits oxytocin in men since it doesn’t seem to have been studied in humans (in scanning the literature, I saw old rats, mice, castrated rats, and maybe a monkey). Oxytocin seems to overwhelm flight-or-fight (which testosterone plays a role in) in both men and women.

        • Lisa

          Thanks Vjatcheslav for the link. I actually knew the recharge thing from sex ed classes, independent “experiments,” talking with men, and from Golub’s book which explains why female hormones and anatomy allow essentially instantaneous “re-charging.” Men, having much less complicated parts, just can’t do it the same way (even if their hormones had been more kind/bondful).

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant do you have evidence that oxytocin directly causes the refractory period?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          That is a very interesting link about oxytocin applying to a wider range of social emotions, Lisa, thanks.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Ehm, the difference between masturbation and sex is that with sex there is someone to whom that oxytocin can “bound”. Shouldn’t be difficult to understand.

          The problem is that in casual sex oxytocin makes you attached to your sex partner, BUT the very nature of casual sex ensures that most of the times that bond will not be reciprocated. Try being rejected repeatedly, especially without bouts of succes to relieve the stress. The chances are very high you’ll become cynical and jaded. I may be mistaken, but a cynical and jaded person is generally not seen as a good relationship prospect.

          Masturbation, on the other hand, simply hasn’t that problem – there is no one to bond to. Putting the two on a equal standing (in this aspect) is disingenuous.

        • Lisa

          So, if I have casual sex and do the rejecting, then I am okay?

        • Vjatcheslav

          It is much easier to reject than to be rejected – but honestly, if you are searching for a relationship by hooking up (a surprisingly common reason to do so), it would be a little bit incongruent, isn’t it? So, yes, being the first to reject could assuage the pain. If you only want casual sex but aren’t fully sure you can handle it, preemptive rejection could be a good way to go.

        • Lisa

          Well, if you only want casual sex (and mean it), then where is the rejection? I mean, when I have had casual sex in the past (and when my friends do it now), they are upfront about what they expect (casual sex).

          After the sex, and the oxytocin and all, that was it. No relationship, just the sex. If the guy wanted more, then of course I had to reject him because I didn’t want more. Same thing with the men my friends sleep with. If, as in the case of my one friend, the casual sex is a bit more of a FWB thing, then they kept it just as friends. When my friend became open to their relationship becoming more, she told the guy and he said no. She said, okay and they kept up the FWB thing. About six months later, he became open to more and asked her is she was still interested. She said okay and they dated for a year. After that, they decided together that they didn’t see each other as a good long-term/marriage prospect, and split amicably. There was no pain at all.

          If you aren’t fully sure you can handle it, you probably shouldn’t have sex (casual or otherwise) at all. Is that what we are talking about? People who do things they don’t like?

          Still not seeing the oxytocin connection.

        • Vjatcheslav

          If you are an outlier who happens to have enough testosterone to partially block the effect of oxytocin, the better for you. But you aren’t part of the majority. Most girls are more sensitive for oxytocin (or whatever bonding hormone there is).

          For example, take the girl described here: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/07/16/hookinguprealities/hooking-up-incredibly-stupid/ If she gets in the pants of the not quite interested (but “hot”) guy, the oxytocine is going to overpower her brain. Chances are he won’t have the same thing, so someone is heading for problems.

          For some numbers: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/06/22/hookinguprealities/the-gender-price-gap-in-casual-sex/ (source of that: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Emotional-Costs-of-Hooking/65960/?key=SWglc1g1ayRPZHIwfSUSeyEGbiB5KE8sPi1GZnMaZlpR )

        • Lisa

          But, as I said above, oxytocin also promotes anti-bonding emotions like envy. So, if I were “overpowered” by my hormones (for a really short period of time) and had THAT reaction? What then?

          Right, though, heading for problems. Hasn’t worked out that way for any one I know, but, sure, everyone else’s experiences and “scientific” understanding of hormones predict problems. I am sure I’ll find them all out someday. Nothing like knowing what works for you and then listening to people on the internet, who are really not very scientifically-minded, to tell you that you must be completely mistaken.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          By my rough estimate, your friend spent two years in a relationship with someone who wasn’t a good long-term prospect. Her choice, and a fine strategy if a woman doesn’t intend to marry or parent. If she does, then two years halfwaying it is a steep price to pay for orgasms that by your own definition are no better than she might have alone. The price she paid was the opportunity cost of being unavailable to someone who was a suitable long-term prospect. Hence the newest genre in publishing: spinster lit.

        • Lisa

          Well, she spent 1 year in a relationship with someone who turned out to not be a good prospect, and the year before having sex with that person and others as she explored her options, enjoyed herself, and worked to complete her PhD.

          She was not in any way, shape, or form unavailable during the first year, and during the second she was figuring out if this guy was right for her or not. But, of course, since she enjoyed her time and has no regrets, she must have paid a price somewhere.

          She’s engaged now, so I suppose she just got lucky with that.

          (Good experiences of women who have casual sex are all just luck, right? That’s why your way–not the way you in fact did it, but the way you now advocate doing it–is the only correct way.)

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I have no problem with women having casual sex if it makes them happy. The problem arises when they recruit others. JF is selling sluthood. Casual sex is not equal to sluthood.
          I’m questioning the value of her product. It seems to me to offer no benefits for a steep price.

        • Lisa

          She is asking for SUPPORT. You seemed to get this a bit more before when you went to the crazy pedophile example.

          You could have written a piece that said you were glad Jaclyn was happy, but you wanted to remind your readers that what she is doing will not work for everyone (which I think we can all agree with). You could have brought up other ways of finding happiness and fulfillment that will similarly not work for everyone, but that might work for your readers. You could have brought up the consequences that some people have with casual sex while admitting that there is no one true path that is negative-consequence-free.

          You didn’t write that piece. You claimed Jaclyn was lying when she said she was happy. You claimed that you knew this, in part, because no one (or almost no one) can be happy by doing what she does.

          Once again, you have said there IS a steep price. What is that price? I haven’t had to pay it, none of my friends have either. I know what some of the prices are for following your advice (although they will, of course, not apply to everyone), but I can’t figure out what wonderful thing I, or Jaclyn or my friends, lose out on by living the way we want to live in a way that doesn’t hurt ourselves or other people.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I did not say JF was lying, I said she was a mess. Here are the red flags:
          1. Made me feel like I would never be touched or loved again. Made me feel, in a word, desperate
          2. exiled back to my affectionless desert
          3. crawled out of the acute grief stage
          4. if there was any kind of a click at all, I’d throw myself at them
          5. wanting so badly for them to be The One that proved I wouldn’t have to do die alone
          6. when something would inevitably go wrong, however silly or minor, however nascent the connection was, it would feel overwhelming. Like I was dying. Like I was broken all over again.
          7. knowing you have a bunch of bad options that you’re rejecting feels better than feeling like you have no options at all.
          8. I found myself in one Friday night last fall, after having been blown apart yet again by some minor rejection that felt so huge it sent me to my bed.
          9. I posted an ad just so I could watch the replies come in and feel like I had some kind of choice in the world
          10. I was overcome with an uneasy feeling. What had I just done? What did it mean? What would my friends think? Was this who I wanted to be? I sat in my parked car, paralyzed, for ten minutes that felt like an hour. And then I climbed upstairs, slid into bed, and fell into a troubled sleep.
          11. I woke up the next morning feeling unmoored. Like something inside me had been knocked loose
          12. exhaled as they cheered and pumped me for details
          13. a scant handful of sexual encounters, only one of which, aside from B., was worth repeating. And even that one fizzled out after a while.
          14. Now I felt hot, wanted, powerful.
          15. As a survivor of sexual violence
          16. My trauma history means I still have triggers to manage
          17. my heart seems to want to attach
          18. one thing that looked like it might get serious and then quite abruptly disappeared
          19. It keeps desperation at bay.
          .
          And the final request:
          .
          Sluthood isn’t just a choice we should let women make because women should be free to make even “bad” choices. It’s a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling.
          .
          Seriously, are you sold? She is asking for more than support. She is proselytizing. She is asking us to be her enabler. It’s a very destructive message to young women.

  • http://megslifeisgreat.blogspot.com Megs

    Wow, this is just shocking. That she has to go to the internet to get cheered on more makes me think that perhaps her friends really aren’t cheering her on all that much.

    I will admit that after four years in New York I caved this summer. I thought that I could. I only tried it once and realized it is not for me. I am not this girl and I really don’t think the girls that say they are are either. It sucks waking up and feeling that what did I just do and then telling your friends and they say “good for you.” Really good for me? I want a relationship and you think jumping in bed with that guy was a good idea? It is just so hard to find people who believe it isn’t or will say it isn’t in their 20s.

    The good guys in NYC aren’t even that good because they know that they can play you. They know that they can just find someone else that will play the casual role and not try and make it more. I learned that I’m not the casual girl never have been never will be and sadly I feel almost more ashamed because of this. I can’t go out to bars because bars seem a place that I just get rejected because I have the I’m not going to go home with you vibe. I’m not going to cave anymore because this just gets me to a bad place. Hopefully someday I will find a guy that appreciates the fact that I did not spend my teens and 20s throwing myself at every guy that looked my way.

    I just wish that girls would understand that no one really respects you when you share these stories. Your friends judge you, the guys judge you, and you judge yourself. You can see it in that picture (I’m assuming it is her). She is not a happy person. She has armor up and she thinks that is going to protect her. It doesn’t. She reminds me of my freshmen year roommate who would do the same things. She finally realized that what she was doing was wrong and is now in a happy relationship, but the self loathing she projected through out college was painful and just made me realize I was making the right choice. Sex does not make you a better person then me. Casual sex is just not worth the few minutes of connection. Hopefully there is a change and women and men both realize that relationship sex is worth way more.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Meg, I’m sorry you feel regret for the choice you made this summer, but you learned something very important about yourself, and it sounds as if you are prepared to honor your true nature in future. That is worth a great deal.

      Sex does not make you a better person then me.

      I think what bothers me the most about this view of sex is that it does say that if you don’t agree you’re some sort of lame, disempowered, patriarchy-loving loser. Everyone should feel free to do whatever they want. But when it comes to proselytizing, that’s where I need to step in.

      • http://megslifeisgreat.blogspot.com Megs

        You know I’m not sure if I regret my choice this summer. That was probably a bad choice of words. I just wish that more woman in their 20s would admit that they are having the same experience as me. I don’t think I’m in the minority but since there are all these people out there talking about casual sex and hooking up and pretty much no one talking about not doing this it is frustrating.

        Pretty much what you said in reply to me. It is like not having sex makes me less of a active member of the female sex in NYC.

        • verie44

          I can totally identify with this, Megs. Same here — but at least know there’s one other person dealing with this in NYC. Actually, two — another woman who posts here who I know also lives here.

      • Mike

        Everyone should feel free to do whatever they want. But when it comes to proselytizing, that’s where I need to step in.

        Excuse the language, but AB-SO-FUCKING-LUTELY. Look, each person, male or female is free to pursue whatever sex life they want. If you want 5 guys to gangbang you/run a train, then more power to you (yes I am exaggerating). But her blog post was definitely a call to action, and had a proselytizing tone so you were well within your rights to push back hard on the message she is trying to spread.

    • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

      “Sex does not make you a better person than me.”
      .
      I agree. I agree so much. Just because I choose to keep it in my pants does not make me any less of a person than anyone else. I could never be someone who could be up for casual/no-string attached. I’ve had to comfort too many friends who have felt like a wreck after going through stuff like that.

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        RT, I am so glad you know this about yourself. Ultimately, my point in writing this post was to underscore the need for self knowledge and evaluation. If a woman came to me and shared that she was emotionally battered and bruised from years of failed relationships, I would tell her to stop. Just stop and take a breather. I would encourage her to have sex when and if she felt a true emotional connection. I would do everything in my power to prevent her from setting up a sexual encounter on Craigslist.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          Exactly. If it isn’t working, why keep doing it? You need to take some time to just be by yourself and take care of yourself. You need to respect yourself and decide what is best for you.

  • sluttygirl

    susan this post makes me want to cry. ive been having sex with lots of guys (not gonna say the number) and I don’t want to do that anymore. but what i’m finding is none of the guys want a serious long term relationship with a former slut. i’m dirty forever. if a guy knows i’ve had a one night stand with another guys he’ll be made if i make him wait a month because that’s not fair. and of course girls like you don’t want to support me because your mad at me. no relationship, no friends to support me. i guess i’ll be a lonely slut forever

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sluttygirl, welcome and thank you for sharing that. I’m a straight shooter so I’m going to tell it to you straight here. You’ve already decided not to have casual sex anymore. That’s proof that it wasn’t making you happy. Women cannot be happy getting pumped and dumped all the time. You don’t need to say the number. The number is really no one’s business but your own, and you are not obligated to share that information with anyone.
      It sounds like you have learned that the sexual double standard still prevails – you haven’t done anything that guys haven’t done, but your reputation suffered and theirs improved. It’s true that guys won’t tolerate waiting for sex if they know a woman has been having casual sex with other men.
      My advice is to stop doing anything that makes you feel like crap. Regardless of what other people say, the first thing you need to do is behave in a way that makes you feel good about your choices, whatever they might be.
      I’m certainly not mad at you, and I don’t mean to shame you. I don’t judge anyone on this blog. Women of your generation have been taught by society, educators and sometimes even their own mothers that having sex whenever you want it is an empowering and rewarding experience. That may be true for some women, I don’t know. It’s clear that is not the case for you. So change it.
      That’s the first step. Over time, you find that people regard and treat you differently, and that you like yourself more. Then you can begin to think in terms of a relationship, having sex in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling used.

      • http://megslifeisgreat.blogspot.com Megs

        I have a good friend who has a similar story as you and she is happily in a committed relationship with someone who knows about her past. You have taken the first step to and stopped being a sluttty girl. It is possible to have a past and then change your ways and meet a wonderful guy.

        • sluttygirl

          thanks susan and megs for being supportive. i was just so depressed when i wrote that but i guess anything’s possible with time. even love.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Please stop calling yourself sluttygirl. You clearly don’t want to be that anymore. Create an avatar name akin to how you would like to be perceived.

    • Mike

      but what i’m finding is none of the guys want a serious long term relationship with a former slut.

      Not trying to pick on you or make an example, but I did want to highlight this excerpt because this directly refutes the BS that more then a few commenters tried to spew “that it just doesn’t matter at all”. Look, I think “none” is not accurate. I have no doubt whatsoever there are guys for whom a highly promiscuous past would be a total non-factor in terms of a committed LTR/marriage. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe 5 to 20%.

      • Lisa

        And those 5 to 20% are probably all complete jerks who no self-respecting woman would want to date. I have never met a guy who cared about numbers who treated women decently at all and every single one of those guys had trouble finding/keeping a relationship. I have never personally met a woman who thought that “cares how many people I’ve slept with” was anything other than a red-flag for jerky behavior.

        • Mike

          And those 5 to 20% are probably all complete jerks who no self-respecting woman would want to date. I have never met a guy who cared about numbers who treated women decently at all and every single one of those guys had trouble finding/keeping a relationship. I have never personally met a woman who thought that “cares how many people I’ve slept with” was anything other than a red-flag for jerky behavior.

          Wow. You might want to reread my comment. Either you read it fast or lack reading comprehension skills. The 5 to 20% number is the PERCENTAGE who would NOT care about the number for LTR purposes.

          Look, some of you women are just plain stupid. You really think any guy with decent Game looking to get laid is going to let any of this come through in initial interactions (rule #1 is show no signs of being judgemental at all even if you think the girl is the dirtiest slut walking the planet). We are alot smarter then you apparently believe. The guy can treat the women “decently” long enough to get the laid and then move on if he thinks she isn’t LTR material. I don’t want to give you a brain aneurysm, but I’d almost suggest you read Roissy to see the playbook of how the most devious and intelligent approach the objective of getting laid quick.

          I’ve got a guy I work I with who I’ve told Susan about previously. I think he just crossed 200. He calls himself the “pied piper of sluts”. Do you really think any red flags went up for jerky behavior? Most likely not. Today, he was showing me naked pics on his phone of one of his latest conquests. She is moving soon so when I asked who he was hitting up tonight, he said he wasn’t going to “beat it up” with her the next few days and then move on. BTW, he has a married chick chasing him at the job.

          Lisa, I think you’d be very surprised to know exactly what the vast majority of guys actually think and say about highly promiscuous women, and you are naive if you think when you meet them that all these red flags of jerky behavior are flashing like neon signs.

        • Lisa

          So, I read your post and misinterpreted the numbers (making men much better in my opinion) and I get called stupid. You are quite the catch.

        • ExNewYorker

          Ahh…the standard feminist shaming tactics…easy to just call us jerks…so I guess we’re sub-human, in wanting to be with someone who shares our values and outlook? So you’re saying my wife is not a self-respecting woman? Isn’t that rather misogynistic, in dismissing women who don’t agree with you in such a rude manner?
          .
          I’d recommend really reading the archives in Susan’s blog. I’ve often disagreed with her, sometimes to the level of a lively family dinner argument, but I’ve never questioned her motivation: she wants young women to THINK and make the choices that make them happy. She does something that the average feminist does not, which is to believe in women’s own agency, in their own ability to think and make choices. If you read her carefully, she probably agrees with you more than you think.
          .
          But as that poor Feministe guest blogger found out, argue with the standard talking points, however justified and however nuanced the explanations, and the Red Queen will just give the order: “off with their head”. But I forget, some animals are more equal than others…

        • Lisa

          I don’t know your wife, so I don’t know if I would respect her or not. I also, since I don’t know her, don’t know if she is happy or not. That’s between you and her.

          It is fine if you both value monogamy to share that value together, but if you would value your wife less if she had spent some time having sex casually with multiple partners before realizing exactly what she valued, then I would wonder why you care so much about her past. Like, say, instead of valuing monogamy and sex coupled with an LTR, you wanted to share a belief in the teachings of Joseph Smith. If you thought your wife was lesser because she converted to Mormonism after years of dabbling in other religions, then yeah that would be equally weird. Obviously if monogamy/LTR sex or Mormonism is something important to share with your partner then you shouldn’t date or marry a woman who disagrees, but why would you care if she didn’t agree long before you met her but does now?

          I have looked over some of the past posts (especially the one posted right before this one) and she doesn’t advocate what you think she does. Casual sex is great, monogamous sex is great, every kind of sex is great (if it is what both you and your partner or partners want). That doesn’t seem to be what Susan thinks.

          This post is about someone who claimed to be happy by behaving in a way Susan does not agree with. Someone who thought for herself and figured out what she wanted and liked. Susan thinks that the woman is wrong. Furthermore, she thinks that doing anything other than criticizing that woman’s decision is evil. That isn’t about empowering choices.

        • Vjatcheslav

          You really don’t understand men, do you? We have a reaction of (sometimes strong) unease when a woman has more sexual experience than we and/or has had a relatively large amount of sexual partners. That is because biologically we don’t have any way to know if the child of our partner is our own (well, of course we can look at the presumable time of conception and whether we had sex with her then, but it is a rather crude method which very often isn’t usable). The last decennia have given us the possibility of paternity testing, but that hasn’t been around long enough to have any influence on our biological instincts. We don’t want to pour our resources in a child of someone else.

        • Lisa

          But, technically, you have no way of knowing even if you are my first partner. And “our biological instincts” don’t seem to match up with the way men acted in our historical past.

          You realize that in the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed (whether they actually believed it or pretended to in order to facilitate happier marriages is anyone’s guess) that women were often impregnated by demons, right? They didn’t kill the babies or anything. The husband came home from a war or something, there was a baby conceived and born while he was away, everyone declared it to be the product of a demon and the whole family (bastard child and all) got on with their lives.

          What about Ancient Egypt, where virginity was not prized in women outside of the royal family at all? Did they have a substantially different biology than the rest of us?

          What about Judaism, which is matrilineal, precisely because paternity is hard to gauge and they didn’t believe that should affect the love and care of the child?

          There hasn’t been enough time for our biology to change, so I guess that all those examples (and there are many, many more) demonstrate how we are biologically fated to behave.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Let me introduce you to Citizen Renegade, aka Roissy: http://roissy.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/its-easy-to-identify-a-slut/

          Christianity was very strong in the middle ages. So that meant: divorce was difficult (if it was altogether possible), and infanticide was considered murder. So there wasn’t much the betrayed husband could do, except maybe give his unfaithful wife a good dose of marital violence and searching for the one who impregnated her (to kill him).

          Ancient Egypt seems to have seen marriage as a rather material thing: “The ancient Egyptian terms for marriage (meni, “to moor [a boat],” and grg pr, “to found a house”) convey the sense that the arrangement was about property.” (http://www.fathom.com/course/21701778/session1.html) So we need to look at the criteria used to gauge the quality of members of the opposite sex, which aren’t adressed by looking at marriage. And how good were the abortifacients and such in that time, by the way? Control the child-bearing aspect of female sexuality, and you can liberate or enslave women.

          Well: “At the civil level, however, Jewish law (halakha) forbids a man to continue living with an adulterous wife, and he is obliged to divorce her. Also, an adulteress is not permitted to marry the adulterer, but, to avoid any doubt as to her status as being free to marry another or that of her children, many authorities say he must give her a divorce as if they were married.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery#Rabbinic_Judaism) Judaism may be matrilineal, but it also isn’t to keen on continuing living with adultery, it seems.

          And let me give another counterexample: in (old) Roman law, the woman who married would in theory come under the marital power (“puissance maritale”, in French). They were absorbed by the family of their husband, where the pater familias could theoretically decide about life and dead. That control was at least partially to prohibit women to go and sleep with other men (mandatory paternity testing aside, there is no better way to eliminate bastards than to eliminate the possibility of women to mingle with other men).

        • Lisa

          So, sexuality and marriage and the importance of fidelity in women USED to be primarily cultural, but is now completely biological. Wonder how that happened?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          No, I think that trying to recruit other women to keep you company in your misery is selfish. Evil is much too strong a word.

        • Lisa

          But, again, casual sex only means misery for some women (and men). Again, it worked out for you, and me, and my friends. Asking someone to support your happiness is, at worst, neutral.

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  • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

    I’m sorry that I’m not sorry Susan but I have to jump into these guppy infested waters and let the little fish know that imitation piranhas hold no bite.

    “It’s obvious from this final statement that as a woman who dates men, you feel threatened by Jaclyn’s piece because you seem to think she is “stealing men” away from you. So don’t worry yourself about her mental well-being. Maybe you should take a look at your own, and ask why you’re blaming others for your own unhappiness.”

    Witht his line alone you have already showed what little you know of Susan and Hooking up Smart. Troll, get ready for your slaying. On some Legolas stab you with an arrow then shoot you with it stylie.

    1) Susan does not date. Cause you know she’s married. Papa walsh wifed that up awhile ago. Continuing, She is happy in her marriage and no dirty slut has a chance of stealing her man from her. My words, not hers.

    2)”In your first sentence you present the idea that “sex is not casual physiologically speaking” as if it were fact, with no evidence, proof, links. All of my education in sexuality and gender studies has taught me exactly the opposite, so at best, this statement is your OPINION and presenting it as if it were some commonly understood fact is erroneous and irresponsible.”

    Sex is not casual for the female body unless it has already bonded to so many men that the part of the brain which releases the oxy simply says “Another one?” and shoots out squirts instead of the big gusheroo. If your gender and equality classes say otherwise I’d love to see the scientific evidence back that up. Because what you’re telling me is that the basic component, which has bonded tribes, and now families of humans for millions of years, has been as casual as a makeout is today is preposterous. And if you think humans have evolved that much since the pill and other factors which has created today’s sexual market you are a fool of a took(let’s see how many tolkien references I can put in here. BTW, adding to the fact you don’t read this blog, Susan always has posted the scientific evidence to back up her claims, sorry she didn’t put up the myriad posts that she has made on telling women to be careful around casual sex so you could craft a proper argument. Shit happens when you’re married with kids. Which leads to…

    3)”Let’s call a spade a spade. You hate casual sex, and you hate women who are brave enough to say they like it. ”

    I have never seen a post that Susan says she hates casual sex. She just warns women against trying it without taking into account the consequences it has on body and mind. In fact, if you’re woman enough to handle it, Susan would tell you to one-night stand if you want to, but if you start copping feelings in the morning Susan would tell you to stop frontin and fucking around. Motherfuckers should not carry the ring and not expect to fall prey to Sarmon.

    4)” I don’t even know how to get into that one, suffice to say, there’s enough men and women out there looking for both sluthood and monogamy, serious relationships and casual, that it’s hardly fair to blame one faction for your own failures in love.”

    There you go again assuming Susans failures in love. I’m going to kill this one by showing you its inherent flaw. Women cannt look for sluthood and monagamy. Your body is designed to attach to a man. Let’s take the case of frodo being a girl(anyone else get the gay vibe between him and sam?) and saruman being a guy. Everytime frodo sticks his finger in that ring that freaky-eyed hobbit gains more of a mental connection with Saruman. He can’t shake him. Frodo can’t just from ring to ring and feel the same. He can put on Mithril and get a sweet shiny sword but nothing will take the place of that ring. (Don’t know if this one works completely but I like it). Saruman can fuck anyone he wants to put on his ring cause he doesn’t care, as long as you serve his purpose (Yo I just realized he was the alpha to all of middle earth). And even though he cared little about him golem still wants that ring years afterwards. Shit fighting over it with the new ring bearer. Medieval fantasy catfights! And all the while dudes sittign as an eye in the tower like, “which one of you bitches gon get me a sammich”. Ok, gone over the cliff like aragorn on an orc raider(HAHA last one in). But I hope you get the point. It’s just not the same. We are different for a reason and no social construct can change that until evolution does.

    So I’m done with you. You can try to retaliate, but I believe more might come on here to show you the error of your ways. So relax toothless and you’ll fall into Mordors lava of truth. It’s cool though, clutch onto your precious as long you can before being swallowed whole.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Esca, thanks for this impassioned defense, it’s a masterpiece!

    • Lisa

      1) Susan does not date. Cause you know she’s married.

      Being married does not automatically mean that you don’t date. I mean, you’re on the internet, this can’t possibly be news to you.

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. This is not The Frisky. This is not Feministing. etc. etc.
        I am quite open about my relationship on my blog. I do not date. I do not swing. I am not in a triad or a quad. It’s just me and hubby, so heteromormative it would make you puke.

        • Passer_By

          You forgot “cisgendered”

        • Lisa

          I doubt that I would “puke.”

          I was just pointing out that wondering if a married woman dates (particularly one who offers dating advice and not monogamous marriage advice) is not a crazy thing to wonder.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          It may be an everyday occurrence in your world. And it’s a growing phenomenon – see AshleyMadison.com. It’s really another consequence of the unrestrained female sexuality.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Your presenting that as a morally neutral option says a great deal about your values.

        • Lisa

          No, more that someone who hasn’t dated recently may not be the best person to go to for advice. I am assuming that you agree that there are generational differences. You have never dated someone born after 1980, right? So you probably don’t know as much about dating someone who was as people who are currently doing it or have recently done it successfully.

          On the other hand, I am sure that you know much more about marriage that I do, since I am unmarried.

          How about a less “morally”-loaded example? If I were giving advice about great restaurants to eat at in Paris, it would make sense to ask me if I were living in Paris or (if my bio said I was living elsewhere) if I visited frequently. If I hadn’t been to Paris in 26 years, it might make more sense to go somewhere else for advice.

          If my bio said that I lived in Chicago, it would make sense for me to talk about great restaurants there.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Scientists doing research on mating behaviors aren’t hooking up as a prerequisite for expertise. This line of reasoning is ridiculous. Saying that one needs to have had a lot of casual sex recently to understand its risks makes no sense. It’s kinda like riding a bicycle.

      • escarondito

        Well you shloud’ve read on the next 2 sentences where it says she is happy in her marriage. River troll!!!! Don’t make me bring out the Sword of +5 Bullshit Slice.

        • Lisa

          Well, I know people who are happily married and not monogamous. Since both husband and wife have agreed to not be monogamous, I don’t see a problem with it.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Pluck the fiddle all you want it still ain’t mozart baby. The point is it doesn’t matter if you know a couple of people in the .5% of marriages which are committed and open. From reading my post you made an outlandish assumption at the state of their marriage and the rules that dictate it. Don’t try to make a stupid argument about how she could still date guys from my words just to make an argument. Other people may allow you to do that but I’ll call out that trash.

          Sword slice. *SLASH*.
          Lisa has been defeated.
          3078 Exp pts. gained
          LVL UP!
          +2 skills points to faulty logic assessment.
          +0 money gained.

          Damn you’re a cheapskate of an creep. Back to the grind.

        • Lisa

          I didn’t make any assumption about the state of her marriage. I pointed out your own logical fallacy. Married does not equal monogamous. It just doesn’t. Neither does happy marriage, whatever you may believe.

          Look, small percentage or not, you implied that being in a happy marriage meant that neither party dates. That is not true. You could have said that she is monogamous and happily married, but didn’t and I wouldn’t have snarked at you.

          And now I find out that not only is your logic faulty, but you also cheat at games. Shame.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Well, Escarondito must now wade into the swamps of Making Stupid Claims for Sake of Legitamizing Argument. A terrible breeding ground of filth indeed. Luckily, Esca is readily equipped and leveled due to the defeat of underboss Lisa Trollitan. He must move swiftly.

          Out from the shallow depths flies a unbearable creature. He faces a red fish of deplorable smell. “I didn’t make any assumption about the state of her marriage. I pointed out your own logical fallacy. Married does not equal monogamous. It just doesn’t. Neither does happy marriage, whatever you may believe. ”

          Overhead SLASH! Faulty, stupid, getting bloody fingertips picking for needles in a strawman statement.

          The fish lies at his feet defeated. No matter what the swamp dweller says it IS an assumption to assume that a married woman dates, and is not esca’s duty to tell commenters every aspect of susan’s life. according to lisa’s logic if we don’t let her know that susan is married, happy, doesn’t date, has a daughter, and lives in mass, we can assume she swings on the weekend in blond wigs with her bastard son from an out of wedlock birth from college. Cause you know, some people she learned about on the internet do it, so it’s sensible to automatically assume susan does, without taking a look at her about page or anything about her showcasing she wouldn’t do that.

          Easy fish to fry… Pun intended. We march on through the stench of idiocy.

          As Esca makes his way round the Tree of “Find the Rarest Minority and Exploit It” he happens upon the GIANT frog of Losing Argument Relevancy. He crouches, sneaking slowly towards its back, he can pull of a critical strike in this stance. He launches in the air, the frog turns croaking a blast to attempt to slow him down.

          It croaks, “Look, small percentage or not, you implied that being in a happy marriage meant that neither party dates. That is not true. You could have said that she is monogamous and happily married, but didn’t and I wouldn’t have snarked at you.”

          His strike scratches the surface and tears the bloated skin, but is unable to make the killing strike. Her blast was slightly effective. He staggers back against the tree, confused by her foolish argument, and how she can stand hearing the statements that come from her own croaks. It advances, sensing momentary weakness in its adversary.

          She attacks in a different croak, “I was just pointing out that wondering if a married woman dates (particularly one who offers dating advice and not monogamous marriage advice) is not a crazy thing to wonder.”

          Esca slides down the trunk, almost deciding to give up on a beast that wishes to find outlying cases and implore that we take them as natural assumptions on happy, stable, marriages. But wait! He rubs his rings of internet memory cache and summons MAGE SUSAN WALSH. Not wasting a second she begins her incantations. “Your presenting that as a morally neutral option says a great deal about your values.” The frog sizzles in its own swelf-realization of value and all that is left are ashes upon the ground.

          Esca: Thanks susan, I needed that.
          Susan: Ain’t nuttin but some Mass lovin baby.
          Esca: Word!
          Daps and pounds all around.
          Susan: Now go slay that bitch!
          And she disappears.
          *Susan Walsh does not speak like this. This is a Dramatization*

          With renewed vigor, Esca sets a rapid pace. He sees side argument minions attacking fellow warriors but he trudges on ahead for the head monster. He has trained with them for awhile now. They can handle themselves.

          He reaches an open clearing with a single spout of sludge spewing in the middle of a moonlite glade. This must be the source. Before him appears a shape-shifting woman, all shapes and sizes, she has familiarity yet doesn’t. This is OMEGA LISA. She wastes no time and tries to blast him with what she believes is a killer blow.

          “And now I find out that not only is your logic faulty, but you also cheat at games. Shame.”

          Esca merely throws his sword into her chest, impaling her. She falls backwards, the sword tip closing the hole of sludge, she gurgles her last breaths. She is dead. Around her the swamp immeadiately begins returning to the lush forest it once was.

          The warriors, slaying the last demons, rush to the glade, incredulous looks on all their faces.

          Dalrock: What happened Esca?
          Dragnet: How was she so easily defeated?
          Grerp: You used the lance of common sense logic didn’t you?
          Esca shakes his head at all their questions. Turns towards them, a big smile on his face.
          Esca: It was easy. She tried to bring her logic to videogames and it hit me.
          Grerp: What did?
          Esca: All this talk of equippigins words of bullshit slice, exp points, levelling up. It’s all normal videogame talk. It’s not cheating. So, just like saying it’s right to assume susan could be dating even though she is in a happy, stable, marriage she said I was cheating with my weapons and lingo.
          Dragnet: So??? What’s the point?
          Esca smiles even wider.
          Esca: Bitch doesn’t know what she is talking about. with anything?
          The warriors share a jolly laugh, and jaunt back to the tavern where they will drink, be merry, and push aside advances from JF the barwench. All is good and evil has been vanquished in the land of HUS.

          “GAME OVER”

        • Lisa

          Look, no one asked you ANYTHING about Susan’s personal life. You felt like coming in and preempting questions. You didn’t. That’s fine.

          Again, I didn’t make an assumption. I already quite a bit about Susan’s personal life, it was discussed elsewhere and more eloquently. I pointed out that marriage does not, in this day and age, have a one-to-one correspondence with monogamy.

          The cheating comment was in reference to declaring me “slain.” You didn’t “slay” me, so thus you cheated in the “game.”

          I would assume slaying a River Troll would involve, y’know, actually saying something that undermined troll’s point. Maybe I am misunderstanding the rules? I don’t need another scene if I did though. I am sure the rules are pretty flexible for you.

        • escarondito

          *Sigh* This is what I stated.
          “Susan does not date. Cause you know she’s married. Papa walsh wifed that up awhile ago. Continuing, She is happy in her marriage and no dirty slut has a chance of stealing her man from her.”

          If you were making the assumption that my statement does not mean they are not dating outside the relationship, I would have loved to know where I could have possibly even allowed hat assumption. But over the course of my fantasy battling you have finally admitted a truth even worse that an incorrect assumption.

          “I already *knew* quite a bit about Susan’s personal life, it was discussed elsewhere and more eloquently. I pointed out that marriage does not, in this day and age, have a one-to-one correspondence with monogamy.”

          You were trying to make a point, for something unrelated, that I wasn’t even talking about. And how? By citing that monogamy is not absolutely certain in a modern marriage. But, even in a modern mariage, which is not open, which there are no known mistresses, there is assumed monogamy. So, by diagnosis, and your own violition, you were talking bullshit, to make a bullshit point, about some bullshit no one was talking about. Thus you are the frog of lost argument relevancy. you have thus been slain AGAIN!

          And if you haven’t noticed from the epic storytellings, this is the only time I’ve taken you seriously this entire post session. But thank you or the inspiration. i do like writing stories so this was fun!

        • Lisa

          From your statement, it sounds like her husband doesn’t date. In fact, since you made a special point of THAT, it almost RAISES the question of what she does.

          Honestly, I engaged with you because I was waiting for the more salient posters to respond. Glad it has been fun for both of us, though. Those are always the best encounters. Even if this was a one-time thing, I am sure that future “battlers” will not think either of us the lesser for it.

        • escarondito

          ” it almost RAISES the question of what she does.”
          Wtf? She doesn’t date and she’s a good woman and wife. Do you have some fetish for scandal or something? It’s a good traditional marriage. Leave it alone. Other “salient” poster could see you had nothing to say. And could see I care nothing for the argument and just want to put in nerd jokes the whole time. And I notice you don’t acknowledge the fact that you brought up a useless point and tried to argue it’s relevancy to the topic at hand. Considering your 2 page chocolate stain of bullshit for bullshits sake I think lesser of you already. I mean damn, you admitted it yourself ;). But I’m out. Peace.

        • Lisa

          Good women and good wives do, sometimes, date.

          Really? Other “salient” posters includes our hostess Susan, who apparently is not as up-to-date as I am on oxytocin research in humans.
          There was also a really neat discussion about etymology and word history, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          Staying together for the kids or the 401K. Ah, romance.

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          I’ve known two couples in open relationships. Both crashed and burned and took others down with them. Very ugly. I do not understand why any woman would seek out marriage if they wanted something on the side. Or why any man would tolerate his wife stepping out while he paid (very probably) the lion’s share of the mortgage.

  • Caitlin

    I stopped reading at about this point:

    How can we fall in love with someone who is wearing a big virtual sandwich board that says “I’m a lemon! Damaged goods! Everything in this bin is 50 cents!”

    Having casual sex = damaged goods? What is this, Sunday School in the 1950s? I seem to recall receiving similar lessons as a teenager growing up in Utah.

    I’ve had times in my life where I was all about casual sex, but now, I’m a monogamous woman who is happily married. Just because I like my current state of affairs does not somehow invalidate my previous experiences, and my previous experiences did not render me unfit and damaged for everything that went on afterward.

    Honestly,this whole thing is a little creepy. I am aware that Jaclyn put herself out there like this, and that the price of doing so is that you’ll have people dissecting your words and actions and that you’ll be subject to all kinds of psychoanalysis. I get that. But nearly 3,000 words, all dedicated to basically saying that she is a hot mess? You may want to turn your psychoanalysis raygun back on yourself.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Caitlin, thanks for leaving a comment. I’m glad that you had a good experience with casual sex, and are now happily married. However, that’s entirely beside the point. Would you disagree with any of these statements:
      JF feels unhappy and unloved.
      JF describes a history of traumatic emotional devastation.
      JF risked her life to get laid by a stranger.
      After her casual hookup, JF’s gut told her that something felt very, very wrong. Only when her friends clapped her on the back demanding details did she feel OK. The validation came from an external source, not her own comfort.
      .
      If you stopped reading early on, you won’t be able to discuss her mental state. If her choices were working for her, she wouldn’t be offering up this very tortured diary. I suspect that she put herself out there for more external validation, and I imagine that she’s been feeling pretty good the last few days as fellow sluts have rallied round.
      .
      Don’t do her the disservice though, of ignoring what she really said. When the novelty of this approbation wears off, she’ll be a 40 year-old woman of uncertain sexual orientation, with considerable baggage. She’s already exhausted Craigslist, and she confesses a habit of throwing herself “whole hog” at anyone who shows interest. I hope I’m wrong, but the odds of her winding up happily monogamous like you are seem very slim.

      • BStu

        I’m glad that you had a good experience with casual sex, and are now happily married. However, that’s entirely beside the point.

        How is that beside the point? You’re whole point is to deny such a life experience is possible.

        JF feels unhappy and unloved.

        I disagree. She describes having these feelings at times, as we all do, but also describes ways she has taken responsibility for her happiness and has found ways to feel genuinely loved.

        JF describes a history of traumatic emotional devastation.

        I disagree. I find “devastation” to be far too loaded of a word to be useful here. She describers her experiences with emotional trauma of varying kinds, certainly, but she does not come off as someone who has been devastated or defeated by this, but rather someone who has taken ownership of life and has taken control of her emotional well-being.

        JF risked her life to get laid by a stranger.

        I disagree. She describes cautious behavior that dramatically limited risk. Certainly, she trusted her intuition to some degree, but by your standard there is little in life that couldn’t be termed “risking” our life.

        If you stopped reading early on, you won’t be able to discuss her mental state. If her choices were working for her, she wouldn’t be offering up this very tortured diary. I suspect that she put herself out there for more external validation, and I imagine that she’s been feeling pretty good the last few days as fellow sluts have rallied round.

        Ms. Friedman’s essay is certainly personal and confessional, but you are only serving your existing bias by representing it as tortured. To say that her intention is to solicit validation is only true in the sense that YOUR post is intended to solicit validation of your choices. Or my comment is intended to seek validation for my views. Its truer intention is to offer support and validation to others and the response to the article bears this out as many have found it encouraging and supportive that Ms. Friedman shared her story. It’d be silly to claim Ms. Friedman might not appreciate this supportive environment she has helped foster, but also petty to suggest anything nefarious about this. You are doing no different. I don’t besmirch you for feeling satisfied with your attempt to take Ms. Friedman down a peg, but it doesn’t mean I concur with your position.

        Don’t do her the disservice though, of ignoring what she really said. When the novelty of this approbation wears off, she’ll be a 40 year-old woman of uncertain sexual orientation, with considerable baggage. She’s already exhausted Craigslist, and she confesses a habit of throwing herself “whole hog” at anyone who shows interest. I hope I’m wrong, but the odds of her winding up happily monogamous like you are seem very slim.

        What about her sexual orientation is uncertain? The “baggage” described doesn’t strike me as anything particularly unusual. And why exactly are her odds necessarily so slim? You and others are quick to assert this to foster a culture of fear, but what proof do you really have? Don’t quote me statistics about women of her age, either. She’s be the same age if she wasn’t reclaiming her sexuality in the manner of her choosing. You want to believe that this disadvantages her, but that is all it really is. A belief. There is no basis for it outside your intuition. Well, her intuition is clearly leading her down a different path. Many people have found that honestly and openness are very valuable tools in developing fulfilling relationships in their lives. You can believe whatever you life, but your belief does not dictate anyone else’s reality.

        • dragnet

          “And why exactly are her odds necessarily so slim?”

          Because men (assuming she’s looking for a man) are, generally speaking, less likely to opt for committed monogamous relationships with women who have promiscuous sexual histories. Which is to say, that all things being equal, men generally prefer women who have had fewer sexual partners. You cannot be seriously disputing this bit of common knowledge which has both animated a lot of feminist thought and attracted so much ire from them.

          You may think that the male predisposition for more “chaste” women is wrong, or patriarchal, or dated, or oppressive or whatever. But it remains the world we—and JF—live in. You can no more change that about men than men can change the general female preference for taller men. JF is something of a public figure and her sexual history is widely known. It is fair to say that she will generally have fewer men interested in LTRs with her now than if her sexual history wasn’t so promiscuous—or was unknown. Sure, she probably wouldn’t want to be with such a man anyhow. But most men have this hard-wired instinct & preference (to varying degrees obviously) so she is still shrinking her potential selection pool as compared with other women of her age.

        • Evan

          Sounds like a great screening system to weed out men who think that a woman’s worth is inversely proportional to the number of sexual partners she has had. The rest of us (men seeking women) will keep looking for someone who is fun to be around, and with whom we are emotionally and sexually compatible.

          Seriously, where does this notion come from, that women should worry about alienating men who would be repulsed by them if they did the things they wanted to do? Lots of men want to date/fuck virgins. They probably won’t be looking for them among 40-year-old bisexual women, but go ahead and live your life for these dickheads instead of yourself.

        • ExNewYorker

          Did you read the post? Susan’s commentary is about someone pursuing a particular course of action that, in the subjects own words, has a caused her a great deal of pain and frustration. And that for a fair number of women, following that course of action may also lead them to similar pain and frustration.
          .
          When you’re in a ditch, stop digging.
          .
          And if that advice doesn’t work for, you don’t have to take it. One can continue doing the same thing that brings one pain and frustration.

        • Evan

          Did you? Susan’s commentary doesn’t seem to be about Jaclyn’s post. Jaclyn’s post “is about someone pursuing a particular course of action that, in the subjects own words, has a caused her a great deal of pain and frustration,” THEN realizing that casual sex could, for her, ameliorate a lot of the negative aspects of that model of sexual interaction. Susan’s commentary purports to say that Jaclyn’s wrong and fucked up, but what it really says is that she’s judgmental and can’t read.

        • Evan

          That is, Susan is judgmental and can’t read.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Please point out where casual sex ameliorated JF’s pain and frustration. The Craigslist experience was frustrating from start to finish, according to the article. From whence the healing power of sluthood?
          For the record, I don’t really care if Jaclyn is fucked up. I suspect she is, but hey, it’s her life. What I object to is her strategy for finding love, which is seriously fucked up. I would hate to see one woman emulate her, signing on for one or two decades of sluthood.
          If you’re into 40 year old bisexual women, you must feel like the Cheshire cat. Talk about supply! It would take you some time just to work through the mastheads of Jezebel, Feministing, etc.

        • Evan

          “Please point out where casual sex ameliorated JF’s pain and frustration.”
          OK.
          “[...] sluthood saved me. Sluthood gave me the time and space to nurse a shattered heart. It gave me a place where I could exist in pieces, some of me craving touch, some of me still too tender to even expose to the light. Sluthood healed the part of me that felt my body and my desires were grotesque after two years in a libido-mismatched partnership. Now I felt hot, wanted, powerful. My desire and enthusiasm was an asset, not an unintended weapon. Even now, with more time passed, now, when I am actually ready for and wanting a more emotional connection, sluthood keeps me centered. It keeps me from confusing desire and affection with something deeper. It means I have another choice besides celibacy and settling. It means I won’t enter another committed relationship just to satisfy my basic need for sex and affection. It gives me more choices, it makes room for relationships to evolve organically, to take the shape they will before anyone defines them.”
          Why object to her strategy? She seems to find it satisfying. Because she isn’t forcing herself into a celibacy/relationship dichotomy, she can satisfy her wants and needs without worrying so much about the pressure to find a man. Her story could enable similarly-situated young women to avoid the serial monogamy trap.
          I’m not going to comment on whatever it is you’re implying about sex-positive feminist women other than to ask you to reread it and think about how shitty and judgmental it makes you sound.
          But the larger issue, I think, is your inability to engage Jaclyn’s argument on its own terms. She says she was unhappy as a serial monogamist and became happy as a slut; you simply deny that she could be happy and point to her as some cautionary tale.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Lots of troubling information right in that one quote:
          1. Sex was the only way that JF could feel OK about herself. Casual sex enabled her to feel hot, wanted, powerful. This is the trap that so many women fall into. They use casual sex as a way of boosting self-esteem. The problem is, it’s a very temporary fix. In fact, women often crash the very next day. When JF sought her online encounter, she felt so terrible driving home she had to sit for ten minutes to get her bearings before exiting the car.
          2. Her desire and enthusiasm was an asset in getting her laid. She’s already acknowledged that she has a history of going “full throttle” and “whole hog” which never works out. Going whole hog during a random encounter with a stranger may work once. But the minute she tried to bond emotionally, he bolted.
          3. Confusing desire and affection with something deeper? Like what? It seems to me that adding the affection in would go a long way toward having sex one might actually feel good about. She’s looking for something deeper, yet she finds her affection rebuffed at every turn. Her strategy is not working.
          .
          I believe that JF is a very troubled woman with a tortured emotional history. I pity her. However, her personal life is her business. But when she goes online and makes a request: support and embrace sluthood? No. She is proselytizing, seeking affirmation for her own choices. She may be able to get that from her friends at brunch, but her approach is both harmful and ineffective for young women. It cannot go unchallenged.

        • Evan

          Last comment.
          1. Sex was not the only way she could feel OK about herself. Sex was a way she could express a side of herself that was being neglected. You keep talking about the one encounter; the piece is about changing her state of mind. She’s also not claiming it’s a permanent fix; she wants to find her one true love. But for now, she doesn’t have to go without sex while she looks for it, which can feel stifling and lead to desperation.
          2. She has a history of going “full-throttle” and “whole hog” into *relationships*. The piece is about avoiding this turn of events. You seem to be willfully confusing the state of things pre- and post-sluthood. You did this in the piece as well, which is why I questioned your reading comprehension.
          3. How about love and commitment? If sex is only available in a relationship, it would be pretty easy to confuse the desire to have sex and the affection for a person with the desire to commit to that person and love for that person. She’s describing a very common pitfall for young people and displaying remarkable self-awareness. She’s looking for a person with whom she can share something deeper, and she hasn’t found that yet. That doesn’t mean her strategy isn’t working unless she’s turning off the people who would be suitable partners.
          .
          I think you are reading other people’s experiences into Jaclyn’s piece. You claim she is this near-tragic figure, but she describes all these great things in her life and her line of reasoning for them; you just don’t believe her. From what I’ve read on your site, you describe the lay of the land and give advice on how to navigate it. Jaclyn is talking about changing the landscape. I don’t know why you insist on denying her experiences; I would venture a few guesses, but I don’t know you, and it would be dumb to psychoanalyze someone based on reading something they wrote on the internet.
          (get it?)

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Here’s what you haven’t managed to get:
          I don’t care about her experience. I don’t care whether she’s happy or miserable. I don’t care if she’s gay or straight or cis or un-cis. Here’s what I care about:
          She’s recommending a strategy that goes against everything we know about female psychology. In fact, she’s recommending a strategy that probably demonstrates abnormal psychology. Requesting, even encouraging, other women to embrace sluttiness/sluthood defies rational thinking. If one’s objective is a loving long-term relationship, then surely Jaclyn Friedman has hit upon the worst imaginable strategy.
          She is free to share her experience. She is even free to urge other women to join the slutty sisterhood. And dissenting voices are free to point out what a total life mistake that would be.

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          Snort! Seriously, JF pissed away her opportunities for what she seems to be looking for by spending her twenties and early thirties exploring love with lesbians and the transgendered. Unless she really is looking for a woman/transgendered partner in which case she pissed it away by spending her twenties and early thirties with the wrong lesbians and transgendered people.

          Now she is older, her assets for inspiring sexual attraction have been mostly squandered, and instead of looking that all straight on and seeing the cause and effect, she’s decided to try and rationalize/celebrate her mistakes by getting society to admit it’s all wrong about women, dating, and promiscuity.

          Evan, you can put me down for judging that that is a big FAIL.

          Susan, my favorite line in this piece is:

          “Apparently we now need a way to express that we are not transgendered.”

          Clearly, we needed to get people on that urgent vocab lack, and thank God someone was up for the task. Cisgendered – pffft.

        • Evan

          If you only have a word for difference from the usual, and not for the usual itself, you imply that the difference is negative, shameful.

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          If you allow yourself to be pressured into using the made-up lexicon of others, you allow them to dictate the terms of the conversation.

        • Passer_By

          “If you only have a word for difference from the usual, and not for the usual itself . . . ”

          We do have a such a word – “usual”.

        • Mike

          I just want to say I am a proud cisgendered, heteronormative, male lesbian.

        • http://scarleteen.com Heather Corinna

          I don’t care about her experience. I don’t care whether she’s happy or miserable. I don’t care if she’s gay or straight or cis or un-cis. Here’s what I care about:
          She’s recommending a strategy that goes against everything we know about female psychology.

          For someone who doesn’t care about those things (or know much about some of them), you sure have spent a lot of energy focusing on them ad nauseum.

          As I said in my other comment here, I’m a fan of clarity, and not a fan of how disingenuous you seem to continue to be here.

          Jaclyn didn’t recommend any strategy, nor was she at all prescriptive. It seems like this might be hard for you to grok, because it seems as if you don’t know how not to be prescriptive yourself. But as other commentors have stated, either you are simply refusing to acknowledge what was actually written, or your reading of this piece was not so great.

          In the case it’s the latter, here’s the part in that piece you may have missed from Jaclyn that makes your claims she is being prescriptive seem either foolish or manipulative: “I’m not telling you this because I think you’re a slut, or should be a slut. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you need, or what you have access to.”

          Not only was she very clear there about her motives, I’d say if you did miss that last sentence, so much of what you have said here makes clear you could really stand to try and digest it, perhaps even giving a shot at applying it yourself.

        • Passer_By

          “In the case it’s the latter, here’s the part in that piece you may have missed from Jaclyn that makes your claims she is being prescriptive seem either foolish or manipulative: “I’m not telling you this because I think you’re a slut, or should be a slut. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you need, or what you have access to.””

          Sort of like “Look, I’m not saying you should buy this stock, and I certainly wouldn’t presume to give you investment advice. All I’m saying is that I have some pretty credible information that great news is coming on this stock, and I (and every smart investor I know) is going way long on this baby! But, hey, the choice is yours.”

        • http://scarleteen.com Heather Corinna

          No, not at all, unless you’re projecting something radically different unto her words than what she actually said. Which is clearly happening a whole lot here.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          JF made a clear appeal for women to support sluthood. It’s an evangelical plea. She’s also clearly seeking validation from the reader for her choices. As I said, she’s clearly a hot mess.
          BTW, you keep referring to other commenters. Have you read the comments of women who have spoken from the heart about their own devastating experiences in the slutty sisterhood? Most of them are new commenters to this blog, not recruited from the feminists trenches. No politics, just real emotion.

        • ExNewYorker

          JF’s own words:

          “And yes, I still want love. Make that Love. The brass ring. The whole enchilada. A partner in crime, a permanent teammate. A mutual admiration society of two. Someone who feels like home, and who feels the same about me. Someone to catalogue my wrinkles as they form. Whatever you want to call it. When I think about it, it involves monogamy, but who knows. Maybe I’ll find it with someone. Maybe I won’t. I can’t pretend I don’t care. But most days, sluthood helps me be patient. It keeps desperation at bay.”
          .
          So, basically, she’s a mass of contradictions, a woman fighting against desperation.
          .
          And Susan’s advice? Again, in her own words:
          “I hope she does find Love, the whole enchilada. To do that successfully she’ll need to look hard at the one place she avoids seeing at all costs: Jaclyn.”
          .
          How very judgmental of Susan, indicating that JF is responsible for her own behavior.
          .
          You, sir, need to read Susan’s blog more carefully before being so “judgmental”. And you’ve already admitted to not having read her blog before today.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          The relevant point is that Jaclyn Friedman is recommending a lifestyle that has made her clearly miserable. I honestly can’t believe you could interpret this essay as anything other than painful. She is to be commended to searching for ways to make herself happy, but it is ludicrous in my opinion, to believe that such an approach:
          Sluthood = Healing
          can be good for many women, if any. It’s a destructive message. She acknowledges feeling profound misgivings about her own behavior, only to dismiss them when her story was well received at brunch. Do you not find that troubling?
          JF has the right to do anything she wants with her body and her life. But when she goes online to proselytize sluthood, she should expect considerable pushback. She sought to shock, and she succeeded, but her strategy for finding love is a very poor one, and women should not for a moment adopt it.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Here’s the comparison that rang through my head on reading this. The first time I did hard drugs I woke up feeling the same way, “What the f*&^ did I do?”. However, when recounting and being congratulated by my friends how cool it was and how great the night was, I was encouraged to do it again. Just because self-destructive behavior isn’t encouraged doesn’t make it right. She should ditch those friends like I did mine. No friend encourages self-destruction, the only person who does that is a conspirator.

    • Snowdrop111

      Sunday school is actually more forgiving than a lot of the posters on this topic.
      Sunday school (if done right) says you can start over and be forgiven. Sunday school (if done like Jesus, whether he was real or not) says “neither do I condemn you; go and don’t do it any more.” Sunday school says even if most men won’t have you, or don’t like you, you’re more than just what men think of you. Sunday school (if done right, which is difficult, that’s why religion always goes off track) says you’re worth more than whether or not you’re a hottie, and that even if you’re not a hottie, you are worth the person you are inside not the outside. Sunday school says you can reform and be forgiven and then you forgive others. Sunday school says even if you never marry it’s not all hopelessness and loneliness and cats. Sunday school says God forgave humans time after time after time. Religion gets used a lot to enforce what people’s inner animal brain wants, and for some people their inner animal brain wants women who made mistakes or were haughty in their youth to be punished the rest of their lives. But Sunday school (if done right) says if you get old and not as hot you can say “Whoa, I have been haughty and promiscuous and now I’m miserable…I think I will reform” Sunday school says you can reform and find better happiness and company than you would have married to perhaps some unforgiving person. No one wants to envision themselves old and alone finding solace in religion….but I’m THERE, and it’s not all sadness and cats. I think the best way to end up living the dire picture painted for older people who have made mistakes in relationships is to let one’s self get bitter. I know lifelong bachelors who are happy as bugs in rugs tinkering in their garage all day or reading their alphebetized stacks of books and yes, one of them has seven cats and two dogs. He’s happy as a bug in a rug. Sunday school says that picture they try to paint when they say “It’s cats for you because you did not do what I wanted you to when you were young” … well a lot of what goes on in Sunday schools is just as fear-based. But if Sunday school is done right, it teaches you NOT to fear something like that because your whole happiness does not come from your social status or who is on your arm or even being coupled. Sunday school done right should teach us to be better than our animal brains because we are not just animals. That includes not doing it in the road, with an eye on the short-term, but it also includes being able to forgive and not let bitterness from envy take over and turn us into small bitter people.

      • Jimmy Hendricks

        Doesn’t matter what’s morally right or fair… fact is, most guys consider high numbers to be a dealbreaker when looking for long term prospects.
        .
        I can forgive a slut for her past, but there’s no way in hell I’m stupid enough to risk making any kind of commitment.

  • Vincent Ignatius

    I love sluts! I just hate sluts that expect men to take them seriously for LTRs.

    I’m a womanizer. Word gets around and it’s kind of obvious to people who I’ve never even discussed my personal life with. I don’t get all butt-hurt if a girl looking for a committed relationship decides that I’m not the man for her. Sluts (the female equivalent of a womanizer) should do the same.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This strikes me as a fair and reasonable point of view.

    • Lynet

      What?

      Okay, there’s one way in which your statement might make sense, and that’s if your definition of ‘slut’ is ‘someone who isn’t interested in an LTR’. But if you think a ‘slut’ is any woman who has ever had casual sex, and enjoyed the experience, then saying that such women shouldn’t expect anyone to take them seriously as a long term relationship prospect is just plain silly. There are plenty of men and women who have had both successful long term relationships and also casual sex (though not usually at the same time, of course).

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    There are two problems with what you have to say. The minor problem is tactical, and the major problem is about worldview.

    The reaction of sex negative commentators to Jaclyn’s post has largely tactically depended on the idea that sluts can’t find real love. The problem is that this isn’t true. For all the pseudoscientific theorizing that antisex people muster, I’ve known too many women who toggle between serious relationships and periods of gleeful adventure, and finally find a one-and-only. My own marriage of over ten years came about because some woman I didn’t know started flirting with me to make someone else jealous. We fucked on the first date and we haven’t been apart since. Some folks seem to think that somehow I’m supposed to hold her in low esteem for being easy, or something, but in fact I don’t. I knew right away that my wife and I had a lot in common in the sexual arena, and we’ve spent more than ten years exploring just how much, and now that we have children and a house in the suburbs, the sex life both driven by our libidos and informed by our past experiences is still a major engine of our intimacy. In this, we are not alone. The comment threads on the three blogs where Jaclyn’s post ran are full of women saying that they were having their own “slut phases” and met someone and stayed, and that they are not the worse for their earlier unchastity. The idea that men are repelled by unchastity is a lot of things — heteronormative, for one, and erases the experiences of polyamorous people, et cetera. But besically, even within the narrow framework of cis het women looking for cis het men, it’s not true.

    The bigger problem is that you are looking at sexuality all wrong.

    I’m not surprised that someone educated at Wharton would attempt to shoehorn sexuality into a supply and demand curve — I debunk all of this fallacious thinking, which I call the Commodity Model of Sex, in my essay Toward A Performance Model of Sex. You can find it in the book Jaclyn edited, Yes Means Yes — the one that won her a starred review in Publishers’ Weekly, and made the Top 100 list the year it was published, because it is a visionary collection full of visionary thinking. (How PW Top 100s do you have?) Our whole culture encourages this thinking, which posits sex as — pardon a legal Latin; as a lawyer, I’m prone to them — a res to be bought, sold, given or stolen. It follows from this thinking that a woman who gives it away has less, and is poorer for it. That’s not actually a natural consequence, however. It’s only a consequence of a social structure, and one that you are actively enforcing. If we think of sex more like the performing arts, we can see that people can perform together and make something beautiful without anyone losing anything. No milk, no cow, no supply and demand curve, just people creating joy with their shared contribution. In such a model, which I call the Performance Model of Sex, there is no need for guilt or shame, no concern for how many past partners each has had.

    Everything you have to say is too small. All you’ve written about is how to operate in a world that is hopelessly limited. Your reaction to the sexual revolution is simply reactionary. The difference in vision is like pre- and post-reformation, or rather like the counterreformation. You can win the battles, but the war aim is to put the genie back in the bottle; the toothpaste back in the tube. It can’t be done. You have no new thinking, only a burning desire to go back. I don’t expect you to see it that way. How could you?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Thomas, welcome. I have seen your comments around on various blogs. You seem to be a sort of personal cheerleader for Jaclyn, thanking bloggers who write positive things about her. Perhaps you handle PR for her.
      First of all, let me say that I am not antisex. Nor do I engage in pseudoscientific debate. As evolutionary psychology has eclipsed other forms of understanding mating and sexuality, much work has been done to explain sexual behavior. As I said above, there is a plethora of peer-reviewed research published in reputable journals. You can easily avail yourself of this information, though I suspect you are not interested.
      The fact that Jaclyn has written a book about rape does not make her right about sluthood. In fact, she references her own traumatic history, and we can assume this has played a part in her choices.

      It follows from this thinking that a woman who gives it away has less, and is poorer for it. That’s not actually a natural consequence, however. It’s only a consequence of a social structure.

      This is not the way I think. I think that in a positive sexual experience, both parties give and gain, ideally in equal measure. The relevant question is what each gender wants from sex. There are no absolutes here, but in general, women are far more prone to experience attachment, especially if the sex is repeated. JF admitted as much herself, as she got attached to B, her pickup.
      JF is forty. Her story is really a cautionary tale. Women in college must understand that in the vast majority of instances, hooking up with a stranger is really an act of masturbation, with two pulses in the room. That second pulse can be quite problematic for women. It is generally not problematic for men.
      I do not expect the genie to go back in the bottle. The Sexual Revolution unleashed female sexuality for good. What I offer here at HUS is a way of thinking about relationships, and how to find one amidst all the drunken hooking up, crappy sex, and averted eyes on campus (and after). There is no war. The war has been fought to completion. There is only survival of the fittest.
      It’s really a question of strategy. It’s a game of musical chairs with very few chairs for a great many people. Jaclyn Friedman did not find a chair. Anyone who embraces sluthood for healing will not find a chair.

      • BStu

        Wild idea, maybe love isn’t all about “strategy” for some people. Maybe some people don’t regard love as a game of being the first to plant your behind down on someone. Ms. Friedman will surely find mating with some men more difficult because of her choices, but if those weren’t people she wanted to mate with, its not really a sacrifice, is it? You make the mistake of assuming anyone this would disadvantage her with is anyone she cared to date. If that isn’t the case, then the supposed damage she is enduring is nonexistent. I hardly think such a cravenly cynical approach to relationship is a path to happiness. Dull resignation, perhaps, but not happiness.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          A woman who wants Love, the brass ring, the whole enchilada, would do well to approach her quest strategically, especially if she is 40. Some of the strategies you find so abhorrent: online dating, blind dates, meeting friends of friends, asking an attractive coworker to coffee, etc. How is this cynical? Is there anything more cynical in this world than looking for sex on Casual Encounters?

        • BStu

          Who said online dating is abhorrent? I met my wife through online dating. That’s not cynical. Its being open to new experiences. Before I met my wife, I did look for sex on Casual Encounters. That wasn’t cynical, either. It just was. If its not for you, that’s fine. Its not for me right now, either. It was for me 6-7 years ago when I did need to divorce myself from the notion that I had to be in a relationship. I ended up deciding that I was fine without a relationship or sex for a while and it lead me on path where I found someone I want to share the rest of my life with.

          Treating love like its some sort of game of musical chairs is cynical. Thinking that capital L Love means one thing to all people is cynical. That finding love means one thing to all people. THAT is cynical. Ms. Friedman is taking the steps she needs to take to find the Love she seeks. Its clear to me that you and Ms. Friedman have very different understandings of what this all means, so why can’t you see that? Why can’t you perceive outside of yourself? Love is something that you can best find if you know and understand what it means to you. What YOU are searching for. Ms. Friedman’s counsel is not that everyone take the path that she did, but that they find the path that is true to themselves and their needs and commit to it and seek support for their journey. I don’t find that to be cynical in the least. Your judgmental reaction, on the other hand, seems to find the word quite well.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          If Jaclyn Friedman is in a position to influence a single young woman’s choices, and I’m afraid, she is, then she needs to be willing to hold her ideas up to public scrutiny and debate. In writing this piece, asking for the support of women for sluthood as a way of being, of healing, she did that. Many rational people believe that her ideas are very destructive. She is clearly an example of her own failed experiment, and I shudder at the thought of anyone following in her footsteps. It’s not about her personal choices – it’s about her wanting other women to support her. She’s asked for approval. I’ve refused to give it, and I urge others to do the same.

        • Lisa

          So, if I write a piece on how much I enjoy being a vegetarian, or living happily while suffering from depression, or how much I love that my cat taught herself to play fetch and asking people to be supportive of those things, then I would also be advocating for everyone who reads it to become a vegetarian, make themselves depressed, and steal my cat (or only adopt a similar cat which would require either hours spent at a shelter or bringing random cats home to test drive)?

          Being supportive of thing X does not require you to actually do thing X, it just requires you not to write horrendously outdated and misogynistic posts in response about how terrible thing X is for most everybody. Too much to ask, clearly.

          By the way, how long has it been since you were a student on a college campus because I have attended three and visited friends at numerous others and have NEVER seen the behavior you describe (except at the women’s college I briefly attended and then it involved either lesbian women or the mere PRESENCE of a man which is a whole different thing from what you seem to be talking about).

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          A better analogy would be your writing a post on the joys of pedophilia. Or the blissful endorphin rush you experience when cutting yourself. Or your arguing to young people that one can live a long and healthy life on heroin. The point is that JF is modeling incredibly dangerous and destructive behavior for young women.
          OK, balls to the wall here – How do you feel about trolling for sex on Craigslist? Fun? Safe?
          As you must know by now, I was last on a college campus in 1983. That was a crazy hookup scene! However, it pales in comparison to colleges today. You never observed hookup culture?
          Of course, if you buried yourself in Women’s Studies, you most likely saw little heterosexual interaction at all. Plus you were being indoctrinated. Not sure if that might explain it.

        • ExNewYorker

          I think a better analogy would be something else. If you go to JF’s article, and replace any reference to slutiness/sluthood with “alcoholism”, and any reference to casual sex/hookups with “binge drinking”, you get a rather disturbing picture.
          .
          JF is a grown woman, she is making and has made her choices. I see no reason why any other human being has to agree with them, particularly when she herself presents a case of the pains it has caused her. No one has an obligation to support something that is against one’s own best judgment…

        • Lisa

          I disagree that it is dangerous and destructive behavior. Pedophilia is a bad example because children cannot consent. If Jaclyn’s piece was about serially raping men, then it might be apt and I would agree with you.

          If the piece were about cutting, then I can see being less than fully supportive, but I still can’t understand writing a response like this to it. It seems like telling someone talking about the experience of cutting that they are doing harm to others by talking about it is dangerous. Cutting (as opposed to other forms of body modification) is also very different than what Jaclyn is talking about. How about if the piece were about getting lots of tattoos and the rush of endorphins there?

          I think trolling for sex on Craiglist could certainly be fun and, if precautions were taken, no more risky (perhaps even less so) than going to a club or a bar. It isn’t “safe,” but then nothing is. Having sex in a relationship you believe to be monogamous isn’t 100% safe either. I don’t troll for sex because I am in a LT monogamous R, not because I think there is anything wrong with it in theory.

          Most of what I have witnessed on college campuses was FWBs situations that sometimes ended with two friends going their separate ways, and sometimes changed into a more long-term thing. No one seemed to have a problem with it and none of those sexual encounters seemed to affect the date-ability of the women or men involved. I of course knew people who got sad and hurt because of sex, but no more than got sad or hurt by LTRs or in (temporarily troubled) LTRs. I actually saw much more promiscuity among the women, frankly, and most of them are married now.

          I personally hooked up with a guy my first week starting as a transfer student and everyone heard about it (many before they knew ME), and no one had a problem with it, especially not the man I started dating later that year, who is (as sure as anyone can be about these things) “the One.” As I read it, that isn’t what you described.

          The only time I personally saw a man angry at a woman over her sexual past was the boyfriend of a classmate who had been raped at a party. That guy was an asshole who NO ONE should date.

          I didn’t bury myself in Women’s Studies, I attended a women’s college (a rather conservative and religiously-affiliated women’s college). I mentioned in another comment that I mainly studied Mathematics and English (with a minor in History).

    • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

      A starred review in Publisher’s Weekly means that one [1] PW reviewer really liked the book and wrote up a good blurb for it. Big deal. The Top 100 list is agenda driven. As someone who has written hundreds of reviews and read thousands of them, I remain unimpressed.

      • Lisa

        Glad to know you have spent time writing hundreds of things you personally find worthless. That seems like something someone with low self-esteem or few options would do. Maybe you should stop slutting it up with your reviews and find true wuv.

        • ExNewYorker

          I think you should leave the “true wuv” references to Amanda. She does it with a level of cynicism that your average lackey approach can’t really replicate…

        • Lisa

          Well, I think we can all agree that we shouldn’t leave them in the hands of Emperor Lrrr of Omicron Persei 8.

        • ExNewYorker

          I think you best leave him out of this discussion. He’s a hippy eater, and as you’ve correctly pointed out, that is SO judgmental…

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          I truly love opining about the books I read. Or I did. If that was helpful to some people, great. If not, it was a nice hobby.

    • Mike

      The idea that men are repelled by unchastity is a lot of things — heteronormative, for one, and erases the experiences of polyamorous people, et cetera. But besically, even within the narrow framework of cis het women looking for cis het men, it’s not true.

      Can you really type this gobbedly-gook nonsense and take yourself seriously?

      The bigger problem is that you are looking at sexuality all wrong.
      I’m not surprised that someone educated at Wharton would attempt to shoehorn sexuality into a supply and demand curve — I debunk all of this fallacious thinking, which I call the Commodity Model of Sex, in my essay Toward A Performance Model of Sex. You can find it in the book Jaclyn edited, Yes Means Yes — the one that won her a starred review in Publishers’ Weekly, and made the Top 100 list the year it was published, because it is a visionary collection full of visionary thinking. (How PW Top 100s do you have?)

      Oooooohhhh….Ahhhhhhhhhhh…holy God damn shit…starred review in PW and top 100. Fuck it. Susan, thats it. You aint got one of those so you don’t know shit.

      Look, I know this type. Very articulate, very verbose, probably a high IQ but basically an educated idiot. I’m guessing some type of social studies, etc. No hard science, hard analysis, or critical thinking background which would be necessary in something like business or engineering. So instead of actually forming theories to reality, you simply invent a theoretical framework that you then twist reality to fit. This is the legacy of the cultural Marxist view on higher education. “The Performance Model of Sex”. You’ve got to be f’n kidding me.

      • Lisa

        Now, my background is both mathematics and literature, so I don’t know which one has allowed me to know that the post you are responding to makes sense and you obviously have few critical thinking skills. By the way, what do you mean by the cultural Marxist view on higher education? I am reasonably sure that it doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  • PJay

    Yeah, and unto he who would reject the Word of God, I say to thee;
    And so walked upon the Earth a Woman named Jaclyn;
    And her Favors were dispensed widely and deeply, and the menfolk sayeth, “This is good.”;
    Whomsoever wrought this bounty upon the Earth is blessed in the name of the Lord;
    Feminists have provided this Manna to the men of the West;
    And the menfolk were thankful for this Feminist Bounty, and craved more;
    And their prayers were answered with more favors, from a multitude of Women;
    And all was good.

    Amen

  • PJay
  • Liza

    I’m confused. Why is it ok to be a boy slut but bad to be a girl slut? Vincent has a blog glorifying being a boy slut and how to be a better boy slut, but somehow this article by a girl slut pushes everyone’s buttons. Maybe a more fair and reasonable point of view would be to say that they’re both skanky and to avoid ALL sluts at all costs – or at least at the cost of your health.

    • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

      I reply this way. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now about that particular issue exactly. And my answer is….Women say it is. Think about it. While there is a slight issue some women have against man-whorism(I think mostly when it is flaunted) almost all women absolutely are attracted to a man that has had a lot of partners. Also women dislike sluts. A. because sluts don’t value their prize(the nookie), and B. because I think women are wired from tribal times that if the alpha can have a regular mating partner that gives it up on the regular, why should he hunt and kill for your ass? Women control the aspect of which actions bring appropriate value rankings for each gender. So when women complain at the double standard, look no further than yourselves. Oh, and when people say what about men shaming women, I’ll tell you from experience my mother taught me to watch out for certain kinds of girls…you think I’m the only son with that experience? You are shamed for being a slut because every mother puts it in their kids head not to be or deal with sluts.

      Atleast that’s my diagnosis.

    • dragnet

      “Maybe a more fair and reasonable point of view would be to say that they’re both skanky and to avoid ALL sluts at all costs – or at least at the cost of your health.”

      Generally speaking, I agree with this—especially the part about STDs.

      But we have to remember the history/reasons behind why female promiscuity is so frowned upon: children & resources. Male promiscuity does not in any way cast doubt on the maternity of children, but female promiscuity definitely causes some doubt as to paternity. Social shaming (and worse) of female promiscuity evolved as a way to ensure that men had a genetic connection to the child they were slaving away to provide for. As long as men have an interest in passing on their genes and providing for those who share their genetic heritage, they will instinctively selection for less promiscuous women, to varying degrees.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Good point, Liza. FWIW, I don’t think it’s OK to be a boy slut. I have written several times about male promiscuity, and women’s increasing rejection of “manwhores.” I think promiscuity is more damaging to women for several reasons. One, the sexual double standard is alive and well. They get a bad reputation, and are no longer considered LTR material. We also are more prone to attach as a result of sex than men are. So we catch feelings, which is often problematic when the sex is casual.

      • dragnet

        “One, the sexual double standard is alive and well.”

        Yes, but there’s been a good reason for this historically—see my comment above. I’m not saying it’s fair, but it’s not as if this came along from just out of nowhere. There was a reason behind this.

        Just adding context.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Agreed. The sexual double standard is biologically determined. That makes it neither bad nor good, just nature. Women need to live with it, and they ignore it at their peril.

        • Lisa

          What peril? If I believed that sort of thing, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with the wonderful man that I have been with for over 6 years. I wouldn’t have been able to believe he existed.

          And he would have thought that I was a used up, contaminated slut.

          So unless I am biologically male (with functioning female reproductive organs) and he is biologically female (with functioning male reproductive organs), it doesn’t seem like your simplistic idea of biological determinism carries much weight.

          Since all of the couples I know are more like my partner and I than like your “model,” either I have randomly found a large group of biological freaks, or your “nature” is WRONG.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Well, you obviously engage in assortative socializing. No surprise there, and it doesn’t prove anything. Whether you’re freaky is not for me to say.
          You’ve missed the whole point. It’s about strategy. You found a partner. Good for you! Have you noticed the glut of new entries in the spinster lit genre this past year? There’s a whole bunch of women writing their mea culpas for two decades spent having meaningless sex with dead end men. However, this argument in unnecessary. There really is a huge body of research on the topic of mating preferences by gender. It may not be relevant to you personally, but single women are better off being informed, rather than deluded by wishful thinking. Finding a man who doesn’t care about a woman’s sexual experience is possible, of course. It just shrinks the dating pool dramatically.

        • Lisa

          Well, if you read the research, finding a man who isn’t physically abusive or a rapist or gay also shrinks the pool. Shrinking the pool is also sometimes known as having standards.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          That’s hilarious. Men having standards means sluts are weeded out of the pool.

        • Lisa

          Men who view women who have had sex as worth less than women who have not are a particularly vile kind of man. So, whatever. I am apparently also “weeded” (mixed metaphor? I am gonna go back to your first one) out of some other men’s pools because sarcasm in women is unattractive. I believe (from a previous thread) that I am sized out of some men’s pools because I like to participate non-passively is sex. I am also sized out of gay men’s pools, and narrow-minded religious men’s pools, and lesbian women’s pools, and the pools of men who don’t like women who play videogames, or read novels, or enjoy comic books, or have higher SAT scores than they do. I have no problem with not being in their pools because they were NEVER in mine.

          You said that having multiple sexual partners was a problem because it shrank my pool. That seemed to imply (correct me if I am wrong and misreading you) that this was a bad thing. I pointed out that I don’t believe that it is. I replaced your term (which I, perhaps, incorrectly) saw as negative, with a more positive one.

          Your response was that…what? I claimed men can have standards and women can’t? I never said that, nor do I believe it. There is nothing wrong with who I am, and I have never had a problem finding men who see nothing wrong with who I am. Men who see something wrong with me are not worth my time, so it doesn’t bother me at all if they steer clear because of antiquated notions about what a woman SHOULD be.

        • Lisa

          (Sorry, men and women should be switched in the second sentence of my last paragraph.)

          Basically, having standards is NOT the problem, what those standards are MAY be.

          (For example: if I was only willing to date men who were comfortable with using numerous racial slurs, I think we could all agree that there is something wrong with the standard and probably something wrong with me. I don’t think having the standard that I will only date people who like me is in the same category at all. Liking me means being okay with my non-virginity, possible slutitude, sarcarm, etc.)

  • Liza

    Well, I’ve never been a slut, and am happily married for 15 years to a man whom I adore having sex with. He seems pretty happy too. But I also have a 13 year old son whom I don’t want to be a boy slut nor associate with girl sluts. I have raised him (and my younger daughter) to respect themselves and their bodies. I don’t care about the biology is destiny argument, because that has gone the way of the birth control pill. Being a boy slut is Just As Bad as being a girl slut and should not be winked at or glorified. Because guess what? If the boy slut pool dried up, so would the girl slut stream feeding it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Agree 100%. The problem is, the boy slut pool will never dry up. Boys will never turn down the opportunity for no-strings sex. Women are the gatekeepers. It has been this way since the dawn of time.

      • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

        Agreed. A more succint retelling of my post above about the source of sexual shaming and glorification.

      • Liza

        This sounds a lot like the rationale used years ago in the Mary Kay Letourneau case. Boys aren’t harmed as much by statutory rape, their feelings are not as devastated. Hogwash. How about teaching boys to turn down no strings sex as well as teaching girls not to offer it? Gatekeepers are sometimes overwhelmed by the Huns. Can’t fault just the gatekeepers. The Huns should share the blame, if not own it. Feminists can be blamed for many ills, but not all. And it seems to me that women are getting the blame for every little thing some women do, while the attitude toward men is, well, boys will be boys. This may be the way things have been since the dawn of time. But it doesn’t make it right.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I hear you. I often take cads to task for their insensitive treatment of women. I don’t give men a free pass by any means. However, there’s no getting around the fact that men display for women – they petition for sex. Women decide. The final decision rests with women except in cases of rape.
          Wrt statutory rape, this is a tricky area. In truth, many of the boys that priests sexually abused participated willingly, in some cases for years. It doesn’t matter. When the law specifies that a person is a minor, sexual activity is a criminal act. This should apply equally to both genders.
          I will agree that young men who reject no-strings sex and hold out for something emotionally meaningful have my utmost respect. I have known several young guys like this. Sometimes they experiment a bit, but in general come back to preferring a relationship. This depends on a man’s nature, as well as the way he was raised. I admire your teaching those values.

        • Passer_By

          “Gatekeepers are sometimes overwhelmed by the Huns.”

          Not sure I agree with your overall point, but I love that line.

          “nd it seems to me that women are getting the blame for every little thing some women do, while the attitude toward men is, well, boys will be boys. ”

          Actually, my sense is that is more the opposite. It’s a relatively small subset of men reaping a bounty of women, while the rest get blamed for it.

          But, as to why the women are being asked to adjust their behavior, it’s because they are being hurt by it. the men getting tons of no-strings attached sex are not sitting around crying about it and writing endless painful chronologies of it. They mostly look back and think “oh, yeah, that one was pretty awesome. And that one too. Oh, and that chick, she was freakin’ terrific.” So, asking them to adjust their behavior is pretty futile. Why in the world would they? I wish I could go back and be 20 again with what I know now.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Hot mess? Yep, Steaming hot mess, actually! There’s so much of it here that there’s got to be that ‘Magic Pony’ in here somewhere, right?

    “And yes, I still want love. Make that Love. The brass ring. The whole enchilada. A partner in crime, a permanent teammate. A mutual admiration society of two. Someone who feels like home, and who feels the same about me. Someone to catalogue my wrinkles as they form. Whatever you want to call it. When I think about it, it involves monogamy, but who knows. Maybe I’ll find it with someone. Maybe I won’t. I can’t pretend I don’t care. But most days, sluthood helps me be patient…”

    Yeah, with some other loving Cisgendered denizen. Which is Fine. Nothing wrong with that. But she Does continue to poach from the population of ‘average’ guys, right? Hence removing from possibly interacting & meeting the more amenable members of the opposite sex? That’s called competition, sister. Now that may or may not be worthy of performance art, but it is what it is, and remains what it is too. Fun mostly, until time’s called on the ‘games’. And everyone else gets to go home to something. Besides the dogs/cats/pets. Cheers, ‘VJ’

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      VJ, I really needed this laugh. It’s been a real sh*tstorm on Twitter today, with the sex pos feminists accusing me of terrible things. Nice to come “home” and visit with “family.”

      • ExNewYorker

        Susan,

        Somehow at Amanda Marcotte’s site, they’ve converted you into a social conservative who wants a “Casanova to settle down with her proving she can beat out all the other women.” (actual quote in the comments)

        “Damn does she hate men.” (another comment verbatim) I’m sure your husband and son must be amused about how much you hate them… :-)

        Boy, that site is an echo chamber…while we don’t always agree here, at least it feels like we can argue in good faith, like a family over dinner. While we may argue and rant, we at least want the other family members to be happy…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          ENY, I agree. It makes me appreciate the generally civil discourse we have here. I’ll step up and battle them when I have to, but I wouldn’t want a steady diet of the slings and arrows.

    • Passer_By

      “Yeah, with some other loving Cisgendered denizen. Which is Fine. Nothing wrong with that. But she Does continue to poach from the population of ‘average’ guys, right?”

      I think perhaps you need to look up “cisgendered”. The funny thing is, it basically means “the average guys”. Or, more specifically, any guy (even a gay guy) that doesn’t want to remove his penis (and any woman who doesn’t want to have one sewn on). Apparently, “transgendered” people felt singled out because there was a special word for them, which made them feel “odd”. So they invented a clinical sounding name (cisgendered) for every person who thinks of themselves as being the gender that they actually are. Now, a lot of the uber feminists and academic left throw the word around constantly to try to prove their bona fides – showing that they are hip to the latest lingo, I guess.

      I, PASSER_BY, am a proud cisgendered male! I was born with this cisgender condition, but I’m here! I’m proud! And I’m not going away! I look at my penis every day and think “Gosh, I hope nobody cuts that thing off today! That would suck!”

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        Yes, another clear case of political correctness run amok. Honestly, being heterosexual and monogamous is just so lame these days. What is the world coming to?

        • Lisa

          Is aversion to political correctness why you use the term heterosexual instead of straight? I mean that straight has the same reason for being as cisgendered does. (Heterosexual and homosexual on the other hand originating in a more scientific text which purported to “cure” homosexuality through hypnosis.)

          Then, I wonder why you would use the term monogamous (which was coined hundreds of years after polygamous). So, that “political correctness” was walking around all orderly-like and is acceptable? Where is the line? Is there a political correctness jogging along somewhere that you are comfortable with, but that seems to be approaching your arbitrary “we don’t need new words” line?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Wow. You’ve totally lost me here. The PC agenda rears its ugly head. Didn’t know that heterosexual was an un-PC term. Don’t care. As for monogamous? Didn’t know there was an alternative, more PC acceptable term. How about this instead:
          Repressed, Sarah Palin loving, unimaginative, conventional, boring person who hasn’t known the joys of juggling a polyamorous family calendar
          Better?

        • Lisa

          Yeah, I guess I did lose you.
          Straight is a PC term, used instead of “normal.” Heterosexual is a scientific one, coined right alongside homosexual.
          Monogamous is also a PC term, again used instead of “normal.”

          There were terms for gays, lesbians, and the polygamous before there were terms for straights and the monogamous. Just as transsexual/transgender predates cis-sexual and cis-gendered. If the most recent is political correctness run amok, then the others must be too.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Saying that “monogamous” is always normal is quite disregardful of the strong polygamous tendencies in some Arab and African countries. Is there anyone who knows whether the Arabs and Africans have indigenous terms for monogamy and polygamy?

        • Lisa

          I am not saying it IS normal, I am saying that (in English) it was considered so. We (English speakers) didn’t name the monogamous as such until hundreds of years after we had named the polygamous as such.

          Similarly, we didn’t name the cis-gendered or cis-sexual as such until recently. This was much after (although not hundreds of years, thankfully) we coined transgendered and transsexual.

          If the coining of such terms (straight, monogamous, cis-gendered, etc.) is considered part of the political correctness movement, then either it is all political correctness or there was point at which such naming was acceptable, and we have passed that point. I was curious (in my original response on this topic) where that point must be for Susan since she had no problem using the older (but similarly created/purposed terms), but scoffed at the most recent in the trend.

        • Vjatcheslav

          I’ve done a little search: polygamy seems to have entered the English language in the 1590′s, while monogamy had its entrance in the 1610′s. Polygamy comes from Latin, while monogamy has first passed through French. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=monogamy&searchmode=none and http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=polygamy

          I think that demonstrates that monogamy and polygamy were coined quite close to each other (but it leaves standing the point that monogamy was coined as a reaction to polygamy). You may of course disagree; I’m not going to say that my source is infallible, and I lack the expertise for such a thing.

          Also, in the 16th and 17th century political correctness didn’t exist – wittness slavery. My personal interpretation is that they saw a situation and thought that a word would help communicating succinctly.

        • Lisa

          I used the OED, and the adjectival forms entered English around 1547 (polygamous) and 1803 (monogamous). Since we are talking about terms that refer to people, I thought that was more appropriate than those relating to institutions/cultural constructions since the latter change more rapidly.

          Monogamy was coined around 1612 (OED again), but didn’t mean what it means today. Monogamy meant marrying only once, that is a widow who remarried was not practicing monogamy. As we currently define it (although it meant much more the opposite of bigamy-c.1325), it was used around 1708. Polygamy was coined around 1538.

          Yes, they probably did see a situation in which a word was needed, which is what happened with cis-gendered and cis-sexual. I realize it wasn’t called political correctness (coined around 1805, when we still had slavery and in fact were still allowing the importation of slaves), but those words had the same motivating force behind them that we see today. Either they are all “political correct” (just as most marriages in England before the 1800s were monogamous, but not called by that word) or there has been a shift that makes the older terms acceptable and not the more recent. (At least to those who claim that “political correctness” is a bad thing.)

        • Lisa

          And, for the record, Sarah Palin LOVES new words. She said so on Twitter.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Please save me from the ever morphing PC lexicon. It’s really just a way of strutting your LGBT cred.

        • Lisa

          Again, you didn’t read my post. I am saying that YOU are already using a “PC lexicon.” Political Correctness is over 200 years old.

          “Straight” is PC, “Monogamous” is PC, “Monogamy” is PC.
          All of these words were coined after their “not normal” counterparts, just as cis-gendered and cis-sexual were coined after transgendered and transsexual. If a new word to describe something that was previously so “normal” as to be unremarkable is political correctness, then so are the three above (and many more). What is the difference? Is it that the first three were longer ago, and the latter two are more recent? Will they be not PC if we just give it another 15-25 years?

        • Lisa

          LGBT is, by the way, also PC. Why the hate for some and not others?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Using common vocab is not an endorsement of politics associated with said terms. The point of language is to be understood. LGBT is an efficient acronym. Using it does not reveal a PC agenda, or the opposite. LIghten up on the etymology.

  • Joey

    Jaclyn Friedman, in her post, is clearly asking for support. If you are not up for offering that, a simple “no thanks” would have sufficed. Instead, you devoted quite a lot of time to tearing apart a post that was clearly not directed at you and clearly has nothing whatever to do with you. Jaclyn was offering her own opinion on her own sex life and the choices she has made. Why this warrants such venom, I am not sure.

    I also find it alarming that you refer to sex as a “marketplace” and women as the “suppliers”. With a depersonalizing, mechanical view such as this, how can you claim to be advocating in favour of love, commitment and respect?

    We all want different things at different times in our lives, and if someone feels that casual sex is the kind of sex they want to be having at a given time in their life, who are you to tell them that they’re wrong? Who are you to judge them based on this choice?

    Given the way you introduced your article, the only reasonable explanation for that is that you are afraid us sluts are going to steal all teh mens. That, or you just plain hate women who aren’t afraid to admit that they like having sex.

    Personally, as a young woman who doesn’t mind calling herself a slut, I’ve yet to feel like I am in some kind of competition with “monogamous” women. No one has yet accused me of screwing with the “marketplace”. I’ve also yet to feel like my choices are emotionally damaging to me in some way.

    In fact, the only damaging thing I can see here is your hateful article and the view of sex and young women you perpetuate.

    • Passer_By

      “Jaclyn Friedman, in her post, is clearly asking for support . . .”

      It strikes me that most of the time what she is really seeking is attention – she craves it and thrives on it. that’s why I find it kind of funny that some of these other commenters talk about how brave she was to write that. Right, almost as brave a junkie is when he shoots up.

      • Joey

        Let’s be honest. By those standards? ANYONE who’s involved in blogging is “looking for attention”. But I’d much rather think of it as a way to reach out and connect with people who think like you do, and/or have fruitful conversation with those who may disagree.

        But even if she was seeking attention – how is that an invitation for such a hate-fest?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Joey from Scarleteen, welcome. Jaclyn’s post has nothing to do with me? She wrote it for the whole world to see! How can you say it’s none of my business? She sought as many viewers as possible, but she can’t tolerate an opposing point of view? What about the marketplace of ideas? Why the censorship?
      Sex is a marketplace. In fact are you familiar with the field of behavioral economics? Freakonomics, Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, etc? All human behavior can be understood as transactions. Incentives drive behavior, and we all evaluate our choices in terms of cost and benefit. Sex is no different. Nor is the decision to marry, have children, or indeed, troll for sex on Craigslist. JF clearly weighed the potential cost (her life) and benefit (sexual validation) and made her choice.
      There is no question that casual sex has significantly lowered the number of relationships among people 18-28. There is very clear proof of that. How this will affect marriage and divorce in the long term remains to be seen. Here’s what we can see right now:
      Many young women, and some men too, btw, are traumatized by a culture where sex is nothing but a market transaction. Don’t you see that’s the crime here? Supply, demand, costs, benefits, and nowhere mention of love, emotional intimacy, real caring.

      • Stephanie

        Honestly, I have to say I agree with Joey’s comments here. She wrote the article as an ask for support. I’d also like to simply ask,when you’ve so obviously torn after what she’s posted as part of her lifestyle, and a decision she’s made for herself… how you’re setting such an example for us as younger people? Because I would hope someone setting a good example for me wouldn’t do so in a manner of tearing on someone else. Also, if you could point me to some sources, I really would love to read about the research you know of that details younger generations such as my own and our feeling and reactions about other people’s choices on casual sex.

        I’d also like to say, it’s taken me a long time to come to where I am today… but I can say as a survivor of rape, that I did turn to others to try to identify that sex is different when it’s something that I say I want. Healing has been a long road, and I did choose partners over relationships because it was something that helped me to heal in a lot of ways. I learned the difference between sex and rape, I once again was able to feel empowered by a decision for sex as well. It’s a long road with many pathways in being able to claim your body and sexuality as your own after something like this, and I sincerely hope that you wouldn’t downplay how someone chooses is the best way to make it down that road and over those bumps in the way I’m seeing in your reply post.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Stephanie, thanks for commenting. For a start on links, check my Sources page. From there, move to Best Posts. I’ve written well over 300 of them.
          Jaclyn wrote the article requesting that women support sluthood. And I find that troubling. It is not in the best interests of women to support sluthood, in my opinion. In my experience and observation, sluthood makes women feel shitty. I can’t even count the number of times women have shared that they hooked up knowing it was hit and quit, but still hoped for a text the next day. Is it possible that you are unaware how miserable hooking up makes many young women?
          I admit I know nothing about recovery from rape, but I am very surprised to hear that you could heal from rape by having sex without trust or affection. I would have expected that a rape victim would need the safety of being loved to enjoy sex again.

        • Stephanie

          As I explained to a friend earlier, sometimes when we change the name or term we call something by, it changes the views. Perhaps “slut” is a strong word, because often it comes with so many bad connotations. In all honesty though? A person choosing that casual sexual encounters is right for them isn’t a bad thing. Everyone’s different, and what works for everyone varies as well. Not to mention that while you’re only pointing to women, there’s so many men that can and do have thoughts about not getting a call back, or seeing the person again. But that’s something that a person also has to go in knowing and being okay with. But that’s also a person that may find quickly enough casual sex just doesn’t feel right before-during-or after to them. And that’s okay.

          Truthfully though, a person with many partners that is being safe about their decisions in guarding against pregnancy and STIs isn’t wrong no matter what their age. But sex so often is still seen as such a taboo in our society that a woman who does this is seen in a bad light.

          As per healing from sexual assault/ rape, I can tell you plenty of women do try to find some balance with sex. And rape in and of itself really isn’t sex (or about sex), it’s about power… and it’s certainly not sex to the person it happens to. It’s something that the person it happens to doesn’t have a say in. I, like many other women I know from support groups, self-defense classes, friends, etc. that have been raped, often do turn to sex in one way or another. For me, it was a lot in question how it was different (as it occurred prior to my ever choosing a partner) and I found that was struggling to be comfortable with my sexuality. Being able to make the distinction between that and *wanting* to be with a partner was a big deal.

          I did have a lot of trouble in relationships for a while because I could see the way my partners were hurt if I triggered because of something they did or said, and thus being outside of relationships I was able to again find that respect for myself, understand and be positive about sex and my own sexuality, and most importantly coming to understand that it wasn’t something I had said or done that lead to the rape. Too? Not being in a relationship doesn’t mean that a partner I choose won’t respect me or my decisions, because they did. There were often times I would have to push a partner away because another memory surfaced, and they didn’t push back. A lot of people that have been in that same situation go through similar explorations, it’s actually pretty common – though I can understand if it doesn’t always make sense to those that didn’t have the same experiences to work through.

      • Joey

        Jaclyn explicitly addressed her post to people who were willing to support her, which clearly excludes you. Thus, there was no reason for you to respond in any way. Even so, if you felt compelled to reply anyway, you could have done so in a much more respectful way.

        According to your description of this blog, your aim is to help young adults. I’m not sure how tearing into a woman who is talking about a personal choice that worked out great is in any way helpful to young adults, or anyone at all.

        Casual sex is not harmful in itself. What’s harmful is the virgin/whore dichotomy and the gender-based double standards that surround casual sex. If you were truly invested in helping young adults, you might start by dismantling that terrible system, rather than reinforcing it.

        As for the second part of your comment, I’m a little confused by what you’re trying to say. First you state that sex is indeed a marketplace, and then you state that viewing sex as a deal without “love, emotional intimacy and real caring” is a crime. Why do you use that language, and even defend the usage, if you yourself view it as a crime?

        [I submitted this comment previously but it did not show, apologies if I end up double-posting.]

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          No, Jaclyn addressed her post to the reading public, encouraging women to support sluts. Such ridiculousness does require a response. Any woman who chooses, indeed makes a career of, sharing her sexual history with the reading public can not afford to take criticism personally. It is not personal. Jaclyn Friedman’s request harms women by imposing on them to sanction what is clearly self-destructive behavior.

          Casual sex is not harmful in itself. What’s harmful is the virgin/whore dichotomy and the gender-based double standards that surround casual sex. If you were truly invested in helping young adults, you might start by dismantling that terrible system, rather than reinforcing it.

          The system of double standards cannot be dismantled. Men have a vested biological interest in choosing mates who have been selective in their sexual history. Women have a vested interest in selecting men with the best genes. Success in having attracted other women, i.e. social proof, is a proxy for good genes.
          As for the sexual marketplace, the terms of sex are determined by supply and demand. Women generally prefer sex with a favored male – within a relationship (all you Girls Gone Wild notwithstanding). Men generally have fewer strings. Today, men hold all the power. Most sex is no-strings (at least 80%) and most women don’t have ready access to relationships. It’s not rocket science determining who the losers are in this “bear market” for relationships.

        • Joey

          I won’t pretend to be able to speak for Jaclyn, but having read the post several times, it is clear to me that she is merely encouraging women to support each other in ALL of their choices, including the choice to engage in casual sex. The post is not entitled “Why everyone in the world should only engage in casual sex, ever, because IT IS TEH ONLY RIGHT CHOICE”. That’s not the agenda here.

          I also completely love the string of generalizations in your second and third paragraph (and I’d almost be mildly flattered at being called a Girl Gone Wild, except I know the difference between sex-positivism and sexism; my suggested reading here would be Levy’s “Female Chauvinist Pigs”).

          I have got to wonder: If most/all men are focused solely on getting no-strings-attached sex, why in the world are you so worried about losing those men to us sluts? One would assume that you’d rather be with the men who are interested in long-term commitment, and those would hardly be in danger of preferring sluts.

          And lastly, I’d be very interested in your source for the figure of those 80% of no-strings sex.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Come on, you know perfectly well that sex pos fem’s are heavily invested in other people celebrating casual sex. I’ve written posts about women, e.g. UC Berkeley sex columnist, who came under considerable scorn from women peers when she decided to abstain from sex for a while.
          Love love love Levy’s FCPs. Highly recommend it.
          I’m not worried about losing men to sluts. First of all, as I’ve already stated, I’ve been married for 26 years. No swinging, no cheating. 100% monogamy all the way.
          Men don’t want relationships with sluts, but they are happy to hit it and quit it, one night at a time. Commitment used to be the price men paid for access to sex. Now the value of sex is close to zero. Stats on how surprisingly rarely either sex orgasms during hookups prove it (M:44%, F:19%).
          For relevant stats on who’s having sex with how many people per year, I suggest you start with the CDC. That’s where I’ve gotten much of my data.

        • Joey

          What sex positive feminists are heavily invested in is for everyone to have all of their choices respected, regardless of what they are. I’m not familiar with the sex columnist you are referring to, but if she was indeed harassed for choosing not to have sex, whoever did that was likely neither a feminist nor sex-positive.

          Direct quote from your article above:
          “Very few women embrace the notion of receiving zero male attention once word gets out that they are not slutty. They cannot compete with determined sluts in the marketplace among these men. Sexually discriminating women have every reason to withhold support from sluts. Sluts are wreaking havoc on the supply side.”
          If that doesn’t express the anxiety that men choose sluts over monogamous women then, frankly, I’m not sure what it IS supposed to express.

          Lastly, I’m not sure about you, but where I come from (which is, yes, academia, but shockingly NOT Gender Studies), the first thing we learn is how to properly cite our sources. “Go look at the CDC” is not citing a source; it’s an invitation for a scavenger hunt. You named a specific figure, so you must have had a specific study in mind, and I won’t find it unless I know the name of the study and when, where and by whom it was conducted.

          Same goes for those figures you just mentioned re. orgasm. Where do they come from?

      • Karyn

        I have to take issue with the idea that casual sex, or sex-as market-transaction, is inherently traumatizing to anyone. Our physical bodies, after all, can’t tell the difference between sex in a long-term monogamous relationship and sex with someone we’ve just met. Far more likely, in my view, is that our culture frowns so strongly on anything that seems to threaten the norms we have created and therefore we are teaching young people that they should be traumatized by the idea of sex as a transaction. (If, indeed, they are traumatized at all, a claim I have yet to find any solid evidence of.)

        I also wonder why you think it’s a problem that relationships are not as common among the 18-28 age group. Honestly, so what? Monogamous relationships are no guarantee of happiness, or safety, or love, or security, or even monogamy for that matter, just as “hooking up” is not a guarantee of hurt feelings and “trauma”.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Karyn: “Our physical bodies, after all, can’t tell the difference between sex in a long-term monogamous relationship and sex with someone we’ve just met.”

          Athlone: I don’t think this is true. Your body does have a chemical reaction during/after sex, and the intensity/composition of this reaction can differ depending on the context of the relationship. The animal attraction you can feel to someone new that you have just met can differ from the relationship you have with someone you have bonded with for months at a time.
          Keep in mind that you mind also plays a role to, and it does help to create an association which in turn will have some relation to your bodies reaction to your partner.

          Karyn: “I also wonder why you think it’s a problem that relationships are not as common among the 18-28 age group. Honestly, so what? Monogamous relationships are no guarantee of happiness, or safety, or love, or security, or even monogamy for that matter, just as “hooking up” is not a guarantee of hurt feelings and “trauma”.”

          Athlone: You might want to consider reading further back into Susan’s blog archive for some more substantive information on this.
          From my own view, it is a problem because individuals who do truly want a monogamous relationship have a much harder time dealing with the peer pressure to the contrary. Society(contrary to what you may believe) seems to strongly encourage casual relationships, and if you’re someone who wants more you end up having a harder time getting it.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Our physical bodies, after all, can’t tell the difference between sex in a long-term monogamous relationship and sex with someone we’ve just met.

          You’ve never been in love, I gather. If you’ve never experienced the mind-blowing sex that comes when you’re head over heels, you’re in for something amazing. Unless of course, you spend your 20s and 30s hooking up with randoms or halfwaying it with men who don’t want to commit.
          As for guarantees, there are none. Still there are odds, and Jaclyn Friedman’s post is proof that she didn’t beat them. She’s 40, having sex with strangers, and hoping for real love. She is the one who states that she wants a relationship. No one is telling her she should want one.
          A slogan for this blog might be, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t, stop, reflect and alter your approach. Jaclyn Friedman’s strategy is not working for her. Sluthood is a failed strategy.

        • Karyn

          Please don’t make assumptions about my relationships or sexual history. You don’t know me and you don’t know what I have or have not experienced.
          For the record, I have been (and am currently) in love. I’ve also had a lot of “mind-blowing” sex, both inside and outside of monogamous long-term relationships. Is that the case for everyone? Absolutely not. My experiences don’t determine what works or doesn’t for anyone else, only me.
          Similarly, Jaclyn isn’t trying to say that what makes her happy will make everyone happy, she’s just describing what works for her and asking for people to trust that she knows her needs and wants and support her in that. If she says it’s working for her, who are you to question that? And how does your decision that sluthood isn’t working for her mean that sluthood, in general, for ALL people, is a “failed strategy”? The only thing you can say about all people when it comes to sexuality and relationships is that all people are different, with different needs and wants and comfort levels and boundaries. Deciding that sluthood is a bad choice based on Jaclyn’s experiences is akin to me deciding that marriage is a “failed strategy” based on someone telling me that they occasionally argue with their spouse. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    Levitt is not a behavioral economist. He’s a traditional economist. Dubner is not an economist at all, and neither is Gladwell, whose degree is in history. Behavioral economics is not what you think it is. Behavioral economists include Colin Camerer and George Lowenstein.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      So what? Do you not agree that incentives drive behavior?

      • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

        The “so what” is that you name-dropped the hot subfield, but you don’t even know what it means or who works in it. You put your Wharton degree on your blog prominently, you cite Evo Psych, and you talk about oxytocin. But your readers should not believe that you actually grasp these things or report them accurately. In the case of behavioral economics, you don’t even know what the field is. In the case of oxytocin, it’s poorly understood even among endocrinologists, and has as much to do with breastfeeding as with intercourse, yet nobody claims that women who breastfeed will lose their ability to bond with subsequent children. In the case of evolutionary psychology, the field has been riddled with poor science and just-so stories, and has been even more disserved by antifeminists misreporting findings to support essentialist nonsense about gendered behavior — in fact, almost all human behavior is a mix of biology and culture that is extremely difficult to disaggregate, and out physical dimorphism far, far outstrips our behavioral dimorphism. I recomment Pink Brain, Blue Brain for a real rundown on the science, and people treating slight differences as polar opposites instead of natural variations has a lot of drawbacks.

        The answer to your question is the subfield you don’t understand. Incentives affect all behavior, but in ways that traditional economic models fail to accurately predict. The entirety of behavioral economics is the study of the ways in which traditional economics misunderstands behavior.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          It doesn’t matter what you call the study of human behavior. The point is, it’s transactional. Incentives drive behavior. Decisions are influenced by many factors, but always boil down to some form of cost/benefit analysis. You suggested that economics can not be applied to human relationships. I suggest that is nonsense.
          .
          Oxytocin is not poorly understood. We may not know everything about the role of hormones in attraction and mating, but we know a great deal. BTW, I’ve never claimed that oxytocin is a finite supply – don’t know where you get that. The role of oxytocin is to promote bonding, including with sexual partners. A woman’s body is flooded with it during sex. What causes a failure to bond over time with many partners is the repeated experience of being pumped and dumped. Women experience attachment, and find it painful when they are subsequently rejected. It’s the constant rejection that takes its toll and makes women cynical and jaded. This is how women are biologically different from men. There may be outliers, women who don’t attach for some reason, but it’s unusual, and certainly not something that women should strive for.
          .
          Evo psych is on the front burner, Thomas, and it’s not going away. The notion of gender as a social construct is losing ground rapidly. Less than 10% of women in college identify as feminist. Fewer still consider themselves sex positive. Sex-positive feminism is predicated on assumptions about human biology and behavior that are invalid. That is where the poor understanding is most pronounced.

        • Lisa

          So, oxytocin and love/bonding would mean that my mother loves me more than my little sister because I was breastfed first and her receptors wouldn’t have worked as well? I know you don’t know me, but that is definitely not the case.

          Does this also mean that a woman who doesn’t breastfeed a child can’t bond with that child as well as if she had breastfed?

          I assume, then, that since it is all soundly based in evolutionary psychology that you discourage women from adopting just as you dissuade women from engaging in casual sex?

          It’s for their own good, y’know.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Why does this disinformation keep coming up! You sex pos feminists have been fed some serious crap. Oxytocin is not produced in limited supply. It is a hormone that your body produces quite readily and repeatedly. It doesn’t “wear out” or “get used up.” Seriously, get your facts straight! I’m not here to teach biology!
          As for breastfeeding, I haven’t studied it. I would not be surprised to hear that breastfeeding promotes bonding. Indeed, that was the whole reason for the founding of La Leche. However, just because oxytocin isn’t present or surging, doesn’t mean that bonding is impossible. Saying that it promotes bonding is not the same thing as saying that its absence prevents bonding. Same with adoption. If that were true, you wouldn’t love your own nieces and nephews. Or your dearest friends. During sex oxytocin surges powerfully. In fact, sex is the one of the strongest chemical experiences the body has.
          However, this debate is moot. All you need to do is observe the women feeling rejected and inferior after a hookup. Roadkill on the highway of love.

        • Lisa

          So, what does my past oxytocin use/production have to do with my ability to love my current partner?

        • Lisa

          In other words, it seems like (with or without oxytocin) getting dumped sucks. If I have lots of relationships and they all end badly, then I may have an aversion to relationships. If I have lots of relationships and they all end well, then I probably won’t have that aversion.

          What does oxytocin have to do with any of that?

        • Vjatcheslav

          Oxytocin makes it worse when the relationship fails, and thus it may indirectly promote cynism and jadedness.

        • Lisa

          How? Similarly, does this mean that the loss of a child that you don’t breastfeed is better than the loss of a child you do? There is, scientifically speaking, more oxytocin released with the latter.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Breastfeeding isn’t the only or even the most important way to produce oxytocin and mother/child bonding, if you were aware of that. Caring in other ways can be effective also, and babies are “designed” to push buttons so that people, especially the mother, want to protect them.

          Oxytocin makes you bond with someone. Isn’t it rather clear that being dumped may be painful even if you’re only together for sex and lust (and feelings have nothing to do with it), but that a strong feeling of attachment can make it all even worse? Let me rephrase it: imagine 3 people, A, B and C. A is in love with B, but doesn’t hold C in high romantic regards. What do you think happens if B says that he doesn’t want A? And what if C says the samen?

        • Lisa

          I have no problem with your social ideas, but the oxytocin theory has nothing whatsoever to do with your “being rejected sucks” argument. If I experience feelings of pleasure in Situation A and then can’t have Situation A again, I will be sad. It doesn’t matter which hormones stimulated that pleasure, it matters that the pleasure is gone. That is the same for men and women, and has nothing to do with women “bonding more” during sex because of a hormone found and released in both sexes.

          Oxytocin doesn’t MAKE you bond with someone, it makes you feel–briefly–as though you have bonded. I can take an appetite suppressant and I won’t feel hungry, but my body will actually be hungry. Hormones don’t create all on their own, after one orgasm (or 12), the vast neural networks that govern our social interactions.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Lisa: “[B]ut the oxytocin theory has nothing whatsoever to do with your “being rejected sucks” argument.” and “[H]as nothing to do with women “bonding more” during sex because of a hormone found and released in both sexes.”
          .
          Makes studying literature and mathematics people really this obtuse? If you bond more strongly with something or someone, you’ll be more unhappy if it doesn’t work out. That is, if you hadn’t observed it yet, a QUANTITATIVE argument, not a qualitative argument. Quantitative as you’ll find much in mathematics (which you have studied, you say). You know, that little thing with numbers and such.
          If you haven’t bonded with someone, you won’t care much or long if he goes away. If your boyfriend were to leave now (permanently), you would very sad, I presume.
          .
          Men don’t bond as much through oxytocin BECAUSE IT IS PARTIALLY SUPPRESSED BY TESTOSTERON.

        • Lisa

          But oxytocin has not been proven to CAUSE a bond, it has been shown to make you feel (while it is in your system) that a bond has already been formed. While, if you want a bond, this will probably aid you in getting one, it does not actually create one all on its own.

          Oxytocin actually is believed to have more of a physical effect on men than it has on women. This is why men go limp after orgasm while women’s pelvic floors prime for another go round.

          Hormones don’t create long-lasting effects like that in the body. If they did, women who started menstruating would never stop, women who happened to conceive a child would never give birth, and women who had sex with a guy and orgasmed would never get over their lost love when he walked out the door the next morning.

          I, of course, would be sad if my boyfriend left because we have spent six years together and I’d have to go back to cleaning the litter box. Y’know what would (temporarily) make me feel better? Oxytocin released during an orgasm. It would make me feel bonded socially even when someone wasn’t there to actually be bonded to.

          (If that is the way that oxytocin actually works, by the way, the studies on its effects in humans are somewhat undefinitive.)

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          It doesn’t, if you were not rejected by the men whom you bonded with. The problem is, the vast majority of casual sex encounters are terminated by men. This is why college counseling centers are filled with unhappy women. They’ve had casual sex, caught feelings, and were unceremoniously rejected. A lot. You might find it interesting to go on some of the sites colleges have set up where students can anonymously share their experiences. They’re not limited to hooking up, but I would challenge you to spend ten minutes reading the pain women feel after hookups and not feel heartbroken. Here’s a good place to start:
          http://metoocampaign.blogspot.com/
          Honestly, if that doesn’t break your heart, then I think you’ve reached the point of no return wrt being cynical and jaded.
          Open your eyes to the pain of women (and men) all around you.

        • Lisa

          http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/06/romance-men-relationships-breakup.html

          According to this study, men are more hurt than women after a break-up. I am sure their stories would make us all heartbroken. (Their needs first, right?)

          My mom (who followed your advice pretty much exactly, years and years before you blogged it) also has a really heartbreaking story of when that didn’t work out. There are MANY stories like her’s, too. That, in and of itself is not an indictment of your advice, just as the website is not an indictment of advice to pursue casual sex if you WANT to.

        • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

          Surely you have a source for your assertion about college women identifying as feminist. Surely you wouldn’t throw out an unverifiable or poorly sourced number as fact on a thread where you’re being called out for poorly understanding or inaccuratly representing your sources. Would you?

          This may help. The last major opinion poll of which I am aware that asked women whether they identified as feminist was in 2005, sponsored by CBS. It showed 24% of women identifying as feminist, but much higher numbers when supplied with a definition. It further showed very high support for the history of the women’s movement (i.e. feminism) among women 18-35, only lagging the next older age group by a few percent. It does not break out college students, and it does not break out sex positive feminism. I am not aware of a poll that does either of those things in the last ten years.

          Here.

          You’re going to link to the opinion poll you’re talking about, so your readers have an opportunity to review mine and yours and evaluate the questions asked and their relative merits, right? And you’re going to either show the source for your assertion about sex positive feminism in that poll, or explain what you mean by it and show how you derive the inference that college women who identify as feminists don’t generally identify as sex positive feminists, right?

        • Lisa

          More anecdata than your poll (sadly), but a friend of mine who teaches a course on sex and gender said that pretty much none of her students (self-selected as those who would take such a course to begin with) immediately grasped male privilege (and hegemonic masculinity) and class privilege, but had more trouble understanding white privilege. This has been mostly confirmed by my own experiences with recent college students. If there is a study on those types of attitudes (I’m not up for searching right now), then I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to claim that those college-aged feminists are hovering somewhere between second- and third-wave schools of thought, which would seem to make them something like sex-neutral or sex-sorta positive.

          Seems at least as sound as some of the oxytocin theories I’ve read here. (Not a ringing endorsement by any means, but probably more “evidence” than you’ll get from Susan.)

  • Evan

    I have to say, your generalizations about men are pretty offensive. We just pretend to like someone so that we can get them into bed, trading feigned affection for unenthusiastic sex? Any apparent understanding of gender dynamics and sociology is just facade put up to get someone into bed? The existence of a woman immediately willing to have sex will preclude the pursuit of one who is not?

    Sounds like you’re talking about assholes, not men.

    • Athlone McGinnis

      Evan: “I have to say, your generalizations about men are pretty offensive. We just pretend to like someone so that we can get them into bed, trading feigned affection for unenthusiastic sex? Any apparent understanding of gender dynamics and sociology is just facade put up to get someone into bed? The existence of a woman immediately willing to have sex will preclude the pursuit of one who is not?”

      Athlone McGinnis: I find this line of argument common among the sex-positive opposition here, and I think it is inherently flawed. It seems to be based on a purely emotional repulsion to the claims made, rather than anything substantive.
      At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter that you find this behavior “offensive” or not. Making that claim does absolutely nothing to undermine the validity of the argument.

      The FACT is that in the majority of environments frequented by 18-28 year old young people, those “offensive” trends are real. Men feign affection to get laid all the time. This is the NORM. Maybe you find this offensive, but it is what MOST young men do. They’ll pretend to care about things they don’t care about, pretend to share the same interests, pretend to actually be in love with the girl want a commitment (or just be intentionally vague about it) all in order to get a girl to bed.

      The amount of effort most young men put in to get a girl depends purely on availability of easy sex. College is a great example of this. I go to a small ivy where there are more men than women and the number of “Girls Gone Wild” type personalities is extremely small as compared to the average college campus. Guys here put a lot of effort in to get girls because they know that their chances of getting one night stands and quick easy sex are very low. Girls here don’t go for that, so they adjust their game accordingly. Guys here will wait weeks just to get to 3rd base with one girl because they don’t have a choice.

      Compare this to an average state school, where the average ratio(60/40, the 60 being women) greatly favors men and wilder more typical “college” behavior is more common, and you’ll find very different behavior. Frat guys at my school, even senior athletes at the most popular ones, never have girls throwing themselves at them. They’ll take the time to wait for a girl here because they have to. Guys of similar status at most other schools(I have personally witnessed this) don’t do this because at any given time, there is a cute girl willing to put out with minimal effort. Girls who fail to put out easily in this environment are at a distinct disadvantage.
      Young guys like quick easy sex. When they can get it, they tend to take it.

      These dynamics are real, whether you like them or not.

      • Karyn

        The amount of gender stereotyping you’re doing is mind-boggling. Do you have any sort of evidence to back up your “facts”? Because I have to say, working with teens and young adults on a daily basis, what you’re saying doesn’t mesh with what I hear at all.

        • Passer_By

          This post has sure brought out a lot of the “gender is merely a social construct” types.

        • Karyn

          Gender IS a social construct. Sex is biological, gender is sociocultural and the two are very different.

        • Passer_By

          “Gender IS a social construct”

          Surely, if you repeat it enough times it will be true, right?

        • Evan

          As surely as repeating “casual sex causes people to be unhappy and heartbroken and die alone.”

        • Karyn

          I don’t need to repeat it at all for it to be true; that statement is backed up by years of sound research in sociology, psychology and anthropology. If you want some examples, just look at the presence of two-spirited aboriginal North American people, or transgendered or genderqueer people in Western cultures, or the incredibly varied definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” worldwide.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Current thinking in the fields of sociology, psychology and anthropology all reject the notion of gender as a social construct. Only Women’s Studies, and to a lesser extent, Men’s Studies, still harbor that view.

        • Karyn

          I’m curious to know what research you’re basing your statements on. As an anthropologist, I must have missed the memo that we’ve rejected the idea of gender as a social construct.

        • Passer_By

          ” I must have missed the memo that we’ve rejected the idea of gender as a social construct.”

          Maybe they left you off the distribution list because they feared you would be overcome by the vapors if you read it, much like that female academic who claimed to almost pass out when Larry Summers gave his fateful talk.

        • Stephanie

          And repeating your point again and again makes you right? What Karyn is saying i true. You are born make or female, that is biological. And sometimes, yes, BIOLOGICALLY babies are sometimes born with both sex organs. However… and here’s the point she’s making, a person can CHOOSE the gender that FITS them. Transgender. Make sense?

        • Passer_By

          Ok, you’ve all convinced me. If the two-spirit aboriginal north americans and the transgendered outliers of the west aren’t enough to contradict a mountain of real world experiences from 99% of the population, I don’t know what is.

          I’m going to go back now into my regressive cisgendered hole and reflect on how the patriarchy has its massive jack boot planted on the necks of all women, even still.

          Note to Evan: I’m not suggesting that casual sex leads to those things – i’m personally all for it, though I think a lot of women should approach it with extreme caution because they don’t seem to react as well to it emotionally (I know, I know, I’m sure it’s just the socialization of the patriarchy – it couldn’t possibly be that women like Friedman are psychological outliers). I would concede, however, that this was not one of Susan’s more coherent pieces. She also seems to be becoming more and more negative regarding casual or even very early relationship sex, which sort of goes against the original premise of the blog. I assume that’s from hearing about the experiences of young women since she started this.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Passer By, I’m interested in your feedback re the direction of the blog. In my earliest posts, I actually counseled against sex outside of committed relationships, and I feel that I’ve become more flexible on that point over time.
          I do find the sex-pos feminists particularly maddening, as they seem very caught up in gender politics, while ignoring the experience of the vast majority of young women.

        • Passer_By

          It’s possible that I misunderstood your earlier positions. I would have to go back and spend some time without a bottle of wine in me to assess it. :)

          As to the products of gender studies departments (which currently happen to be the so-called “sex pos feminists”), their psychology is difficult to diagnose. But, like the terminator, they can’t be reasoned with. They seem to have a deep seated emotional attachment to the “truths” that they learned in school and have spent a lot of time defending and repeating in their echo chambers. It seems to make them feel part of a club that makes them feel special – like they know something about the predispositions of the genders that the rest of us don’t, despite almost everyone who has ever attempted to parent very small children telling them that they are absolutely full of crap. In many cases, these parents include women (personally known to me) who used to spout the gender studies dogma. But, of course, they have a “study”, and it’s PEER REVIEWED, so that pretty much settles it.

          As I said elsewhere, the most vocal seem to be outliers on the continuous spectrum of female psychology, and then they presume to speak for all women (most of whom don’t seem to share their emotional outlook or desires).

        • Vjatcheslav

          An import part of gender may be a cultural construct, but biology still determines much of it. If you pay a little bit attention to biology, you’ll observe that the average human male is physically stronger than the average human female. Thus men are more apt to protect against physical violence and to do heavy labor (although aptitude is not necessary followed – if I remember well, many African groups assign field work to women and not so much to men). Women are more nurturing, apt to bonding (necessary to get them to rear those little critters we call babies).

          Most people will tend to go in the direction that biology dictates them. This may be good or it may be bad (in-group/out-group dynamics can get pretty messy from all the blood), but you can’t use outliers and statistical abnormalities to argue against the norm, only to argue that the norm is not all-encompassing. And if you deviate too far from the norm that your nature imposes on you – for example, if you easily bond to your sexual partners but are pressured to have loads of casual sex – you won’t be very happy.

          We have recently had a grand experiment about changes in human consciousness and all that. It was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). You may want to research that before beginning again about gender as a purely social construct.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Karyn: “The amount of gender stereotyping you’re doing is mind-boggling. Do you have any sort of evidence to back up your “facts”? Because I have to say, working with teens and young adults on a daily basis, what you’re saying doesn’t mesh with what I hear at all.”

          Athlone: You work with teens and young adults? Great.

          I actually am a teen/young adult(19 as of may). You can take that for what it is worth.
          You don’t have to believe me. Go to your nearby state school campus. Mesh with the student body. Go to the parties, the pre-game sessions, the beer pong tournaments. Watch the social scene and focus on the relations between the sexes. Talk to the students.
          It will all become painfully obvious to you then. It already is painfully obvious to most in my demographic(this really is not difficult to see on any campus or average teen forum/blog/etc), so make of that what you will.

          Karyn: “Gender IS a social construct.”

          Athlone: Gender roles may have significant rooting in social construction(hence the significant differences across cultures worldwide), but there is plenty of credence to claim that biology plays a strong role in the making of some gender roles as well. I would think it a mistake to completely ignore the role that biology plays in the creation/maintenance of many gender roles, a role that some tend to minimize far too greatly.
          The simple claim “gender is a social construct” is far too vague to establish an accurate conclusion.

        • Karyn

          Yes, I work with teens and young adults, but I am also a young adult myself, and only finished university a couple of years ago. I’ve been to the parties and the games and the bars (at two different universities, in two different countries no less), and my experience has been very different from yours. It is impossible to make generalizations about an entire generation of young adults based on your experience or my experience or anyone else’s personal experience, because a)that isn’t a large enough sample and b)usually doesn’t account for the enormous diversity of the human population. (Not to mention, the number of young people who go to university or college is actually a rather small proportion of the whole – so even if college students all acted the same, it STILL wouldn’t be possible to generalize about all teens and twentysomethings on that basis.)
          As for your statement regarding gender as a social construction, in between all the partying I did in university, I did actually manage to get a couple of degrees – one in biology and one in anthropology. Biological sex doesn’t create or maintain gender roles any more than biological differences in skin colour create racism.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Karyn: “It is impossible to make generalizations about an entire generation of young adults based on your experience or my experience or anyone else’s personal experience, because a)that isn’t a large enough sample and b)usually doesn’t account for the enormous diversity of the human population.”

          Athlone: You saw differently? You saw a college aged population where actual relationships of some length were the norm, where dating wasn’t dead, where boozed up frat “bros” didn’t rule the college roost? Really?
          Because literally EVERY SINGLE college aged individual I’ve met from the ivy League to frikkin oklahoma State has confirmed the notion that dating in college is no longer a norm and that casual sex is the new rule. I’ve read it here, seen it on the news, seen it in documentaries, seen it myself, and heard it confirmed by just about every peer I’ve met who is currently in college. I’d call that a big enough sample size. Never mind the actual studies, some of which Susan has linked to on this blog, that just further confirm what I’m saying. You ought to take the time to look through some of this blogs archives later on.

          Yet here you are trying to tell me that none of that is real? Dating is the norm in college, kids don’t hook up most of the time, casual sex does not dominate the university scene and frat bros don’t rule the college social scene at least a majority of the time(in the US)? That is what you claim to have seen?
          Sure you did.

          I have a unicorn in Iceland to sell you if you’re interested.

          Karyn: “As for your statement regarding gender as a social construction, in between all the partying I did in university, I did actually manage to get a couple of degrees – one in biology and one in anthropology. Biological sex doesn’t create or maintain gender roles any more than biological differences in skin colour create racism.’

          Athlone: When children are conceived, it is the women who carry them and birth them. It is the women who are biologically equipped to nurse them to health for their formative years.
          You’re telling me that this fact, combined with the obvious observation that men lack these capacities/functions, has absolutely NOTHING to do with the establishment of gender roles with which we are familiar with today? That it is nothing more than trivial association?

          You also want to tell me that male physical strength and testosterone levels have nothing to do with the general forming of their role worldwide as “providers”(bringers home of bacon, so to speak), among other things?

          This logic is just mind boggling. To compare the association between blatantly obvious and biological differences and gender roles such as those outlined above(an association tied very strongly to the most crucial biological and genetic sex variations in behavior/physical makeup endemic to the entirety of the human race) to skin color and racism(something which has far more minimal rooting in general human DNA and chemical composition, limited primarily to skin tone and smaller phenotypical factors) is to present an entirely disingenuous argument. The former goes far deeper than the latter(in fact, the former can even be said to encompass and supersede the latter, as biological sex and its relations to gender roles transcend skin color and racial boundaries-they can be seen in every race and ethnicity). That is in no way a strong analogy.
          The argument is ludicrous.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Athlone, I can’t be certain of the age of the sex pos feminists commenting here, but I’d wager it’s mostly 30+. Perhaps very +. These activists are so entrenched in their position, they’d rather not know what’s going on at just about every college in America. If I can figure it out at 53 without leaving home, surely they can open their eyes to it.

        • Jessica

          You’ve “figured out” what’s going on in every college in America without leaving home? Please do tell how you’ve managed that! I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that these “entrenched” activists are people who speak to college students for a living, and have far more experience and expertise than you in what young people on college campuses are discussing, feeling and doing.

          And as someone who meets and speaks to thousands of college students a year, I can tell you with authority that you’re totally full of shit.

        • Vjatcheslav

          I smell an argument ad verecundiam. Try again.

        • Karyn

          I’m 26, and I know for a fact that many of the other young women commenting here are in their early or mid-twenties as well. We’re part of the population of young women you’re supposedly trying to help, but when we talk about our experiences, our views, our opinions – you don’t listen. I not only speak with young women every day, I AM one, so please don’t try to silence my voice because it doesn’t fit with what you believe I should be saying.
          I really am amazed, too, that you have managed to figure out what’s going on in every college in America without leaving home – was that Icelandic unicorn of Athlone’s involved somehow?

        • Stephanie

          Just for the record, I am also not 30+ or very +, I am in my mid twenties. To be exact, I am 24 years old. Like Karyn, I do feel that as part of the generation you’re “trying to help” it’s frustrating to find that you disregard opinions with little look into what’s being said or any and all sources we can give for them. They don’t fit with what you believe to be right, so you toss them and tell us we’re wrong and why, and despite other young adults being here speaking out, especially young women, it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the fact that you tell us about us instead of listening to us telling you about us. I also work with young adults and teens, both male and female, every day. We’re not outliers just because what we know, live, feel, believe, and fight for doesn’t fit into the perfect image of a young lady you seem to have developed.
          .
          You can’t run over everybody in this world, and every time you do you leave people out to dry. Examples like thinking telling a young lady that she should think of herself as a slut and berate herself for her past is productive or even fair. Yes, I am a feminist, I believe in empowering women. Yes, I am sex-positive, I believe people should be able to make their own decisions and not be attacked for them. But maybe you can try really listening to those people you insist on telling they’re wrong, maybe you can learn something – since you hope to always be a student.
          .
          I’d also ask, knowing you have such a negative view (understandably) of sexual education in the schools what plans you have to change them in any way? I have a negative view of these programs, remembering my own with misinformation, but also enter the fight to change them. Stand up for students that the schools feel don’t need those classes because of disabilities – that pass over the known fact that persons with disabilities are at a high risk for abuse. Do my best to make sure teens I work with KNOW risks of things, and know how to protect against those risks, and how to tell what is right for any of them despite what any of my own feelings may be. That’s advocating, that’s helping.

      • Evan

        So if all guys want is to get laid, why should women hold back in order to get into a relationship with one of these assholes? I don’t really understand. It sounds like you think guys are only interested in sex, and women are interested in an emotional connection. So, assuming that’s true, a woman strings a man along until he expresses some kind of commitment over time, which he probably doesn’t mean. Then he gets what he wants, and she gets… dirty.

        Or are you saying that women should hold out for guys who aren’t like this? In which case, the whole argument is built on the assumption that actually good men exist.

        I don’t get it. Either you’re trying to get some asshole to lie to you, or you think that there is a non-trivial fraction of the male population that is worth being around.

        Also, life is not a college campus. Maybe you should read something written from a sex-positive queer thirtysomething woman’s perspective.

        • Sox

          Evan. Are you a chick? How old are you?

        • Evan

          I am a 26-year-old man.

        • Anon

          . . . gina

        • Evan

          Is there a way to flag comments as juvenile?

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Evan: “So if all guys want is to get laid, why should women hold back in order to get into a relationship with one of these assholes?”

          Athlone: Woman have a greater tendency to seek commitment from their partners than men do. That is why day after day, week after week, year after year, these guys continue to get women. Girls may have every reason to believe that this guy is not going to stick around after they have a night of casual sex, but quite often they do maintain the hope anyway. Combine that with the fact that these guys tend to trigger most female attraction switches(they’re confident, sociable, witty, assertive, etc) and you get a vicious cycle. These guys never run out of girls.

          Evan: “It sounds like you think guys are only interested in sex, and women are interested in an emotional connection.”

          Athlone: it is not black and white. There are guys who are only interested in sex, and some who want more. Other are right in between. What I can tell you about the average college male in my generation is that they tend to skew towards the former category. This is why traditional relationships aren’t as common in college today as they used to be.

          Evan: “Or are you saying that women should hold out for guys who aren’t like this? In which case, the whole argument is built on the assumption that actually good men exist.”

          Athlone: The point of my post was to simply paint a picture of what the actual scene is like, not to try and tell women what they should seek. I’ll save my opinion on that for another argument.
          And yes, good men in this age group DO exist. The trend tens to skew the other way, but those guys are still around. I know a few.

          Evan: “Also, life is not a college campus. Maybe you should read something written from a sex-positive queer thirtysomething woman’s perspective.”

          Athlone: Try reading my post again. In fact, let me quote it for you:
          “The FACT is that in the majority of environments frequented by 18-28 year old young people, those “offensive” trends are real.”
          As you can clearly see, I did not claim that life was as I described in its entirety. I only aimed to speak of what I know, and that is my generation. For the average college student(and many young adults after college and into their late 20′s), this is reality.
          Don’t quote me out of context, because I’m trying to be very clear here: this is reality for my generation(young people, teens to late 20′s). I can’t speak to thirty year olds and middle aged folk, but I can speak to that younger demographic.

          You should also keep in mind that this blog is geared towards these younger people. They’re all smart enough to know that life as a whole is not a college campus, but you must also realize that for them at this stage in their lives that is the stage that carries the most relevance.

          Evan: “This person goes to an Ivy League school and is obviously way smarter than we are. Be careful.”

          Athlone: Yeah, because that’s exactly what I tried to say, isn’t it?

          I think it best that we leave the red herrings out of this. You and stephanie can keep trying to put down the credibility of the school I go to, but it really has nothing to do with the argument at hand.

        • Evan

          OK, let me back up. My point is that the author and you were speaking in generalities and generalizations about men that skew negative, while simultaneously relying on your anecdotal experience as indicative of the situation for young people as a whole. Sound better?

          Now, Susan basically said that Jaclyn is unhappy and empty in her slutastrophic ways because being a slut is bad and makes people unhappy. (She said this because she totally misread Jaclyn’s piece.) Now being a slut wouldn’t be so bad, except that men are pigs. Also, women with extensive sexual pasts are “damaged goods.”

          Basically, she writes this entire column from the combined perspective of a woman who thinks that sluts ruin it for the good girls because they steal up all the good men, and one of the asshole men who make things horrible and unhappy and blue for the sluts.

          This is bullshit. Jaclyn was unhappy because she was mixing up the desire for sex with the desire for love and getting into relationships because she wanted sex. Then she tried slutting it up; she became much happier as a result, because she was able to find decent men and women who were honest about wanting to hook up with her, whose company she enjoyed. That is, she found some men who were not assholes and chose to spend some of her time having sex with them.

          Susan said this is impossible because men are assholes. I think that’s bullshit, because I’m a man, and I’m not an asshole, and I don’t know any man who would lie to a woman about liking her just to have sex with her, and I don’t know any woman who would deny her own desire for sex. I know they exist, but they tend to be no fun to be around.

          And therefore, since I am between the ages of 18 and 28, it’s not a FACT that men are pigs and women want to be in relationships with them. The Ivy League crack I made because I think it’s funny, and also revealing. The Ivy League is full of boring squares, and thus a pretty poor representation of what people in their 20s are like. (or is that just a generalization?)

          People are different. If people can find like-minded people to enjoy screwing around with, more power to them. Yes, there are a lot of assholes in the world, but you shouldn’t let them ruin it for you. I got hurt plenty of times in relationship-land, and I bet a lot of young women have as well. There is no fool-proof way to avoid heartache. Jaclyn found one that works pretty well for her. I think that’s wonderful.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Evan: “Jaclyn was unhappy because she was mixing up the desire for sex with the desire for love and getting into relationships because she wanted sex.”

          …isn’t that kind of slutty?

          Perhaps that’s where my confusion is coming from here, but hear me out for a second. As I understand it, she was entering relationships for the sex, and as a result ended up going through a large number of them(hence the term “rapid fire serial monogamy”) because her focus was on the sex. She called it diving in “full hog”, iirc.
          So she had sex with new partners quickly and often in quick succession with one another because the sex was what she was focused on. She says she did it out of some sort of fear, to prove that she didn’t have to be alone. Things often went wrong in these relationships and they hurt her a lot, even though the connections were often in her words, “nascent”.

          Wouldn’t that commonly be termed “slutty” behavior? I say this taking into account the rapid fire switching of partners, the quick move to go to bed with these partners, and the focus on sex with each one even when the connection was nascent. How is it that we conclude that she only started to slut it up later?

          Evan: “The Ivy League is full of boring squares, and thus a pretty poor representation of what people in their 20s are like. (or is that just a generalization?)”

          Athlone: You’re partially correct. Compared to the wild atmosphere you see in most average college environments(both private and public), the Ivy League is far more restrained.
          Keep in mind, though, that I only know this because the Ivy League is not the only college environment I have been regularly and clearly exposed to. That and, despite its more restrained nature, Ivy League social environments still exhibit most of the trends I outlined earlier(read: relationships are rare, guys tell pretty lies, girls fall for them, etc, etc).

          Evan: “Basically, she writes this entire column from the combined perspective of a woman who thinks that sluts ruin it for the good girls because they steal up all the good men,”

          Athlone: Where are you getting this impression?
          Susan doesn’t think that sluts steal all of the good men. That isn’t why she criticizes pieces like this. She does that because she believes(not entirely without basis) that “sluthood” is not a fulfilling experience for most women, just as she believes(again, not without substantiation) that womanizing is not a fulfilling path for most men(If you are familiar with the bloggers Roissy and Roosh, then you’re familiar with two of her most criticized players).

          If you actually make an attempt to read the blog more, you’ll see that Susan EXPLICITLY encourages girls to go for men who could be considered “beta males”. These are the guys who don’t sleep around much and tend to be more reliable, stable, commitment oriented guys. These are the “good men” to her.
          You keep claiming that she thinks ALL MEN are pigs and that these nicer guys don’t exist, but that just tells me you don’t read the blog often. Encouraging girls to pursue the less exciting but more stable/reliable “beta male”(read: nice guy) rather than the super cool, womanizing, frat partying “alpha male”(read: asshole) is one of the biggest themes on this blog.

          Sluts taking the “good men” is not a concern for her at all, although nearly all of the sex positive critics seem to be making this claim. The guys she is encouraging girls to go for aren’t the ones regularly entering casual relationships with sluts. In fact, they’re not all that visible to most sluts because most of them only rarely(if ever) have casual sex. Thus, there is no way sluts can ruin it for the “good girls” susan is trying to reach.

        • Evan

          I think it would be useful to make a distinction between Jaclyn’s term “sluthood” and the generally applied notion of sluttiness. You’re referring to her previous behavior as slutty, but I would say she knew she wanted sexual encounters but found herself unable to set a good, constructive context in which those encounters could occur. By embracing sluthood, which she describes as an attitude, she created that context herself. But the entire essay is premised on the idea that a woman wanting and seeking out sex is not inherently shameful; in that context, sluttiness has little meaning.

          I admit to never having read this blog before today; my impression of Susan’s voice is one of resignation to traditional, stereotypical gender roles and warning young women of the pitfalls therein, guiding them through a shitty paradigm rather than pointing to a new one.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Alright, hear me out again on this theory.

          Evan: “You’re referring to her previous behavior as slutty, but I would say she knew she wanted sexual encounters but found herself unable to set a good, constructive context in which those encounters could occur.”

          Ah, but that behavior still fits within the general boundaries of the traditionally implied notions of sluttiness(indiscriminate sexual promiscuity with no real rhyme or good reason; focus on sex over all other factors, resulting in quick engagement in rapid succession with many partners).

          So basically she had been engaging in slutty behavior before, but she had not actually “embraced sluthood” (which as you say is an attitude, not just behavior) until later on.

          I think the term “sluthood” is causing the confusion. Susan is claiming that sluthood made JF unhappy. Could it be that she was referring to the period in which she engaged in behavior that could be considered slutty but had not yet actually embraced her own definition of sluthood? If this is the case then Susan had a point-Jaclyn was not happy at all simply engaging in slutty behavior. The sex was not fulfilling and she definitely seemed to suffer from low self esteem(hence her needy, outcome dependent decision to throw herself into relationships so quickly in order to prove a point to herself). It was, by her admission, entirely unhealthy.

          If I may venture a guess, I would think it incorrect to claim that sluthood “saved” her. The term is a misrepresentation. It was her accepting who she was, gaining some self esteem and consequently becoming less outcome dependent that did the trick. She calls that embracing sluthood, but I think it was a different phenomenon caused by something else entirely.

          It isn’t the promiscuity in and of itself that is making her happy. Her darkest moments came when she was the most promiscuous and needy. In fact, it could be claimed that she left her emotional slump and hit her peak(the “turning point”, per se) when she got to a point at which she was at her least “slutty”(that very nearly serious but still somewhat casual multi month relationship with “B”, with whom she seemed to bond a bit). It was when she got to a point where she could find and be with someone who actually valued her that she hit the turning point and started valuing and understanding herself, which in turn led to her becoming less needy and outcome dependent. This is the phenomenon I think she’s really describing when she talks about embracing sluthood.

          The term “sluthood” is what is throwing things off and creating disagreement. We may interpret it as an attitude, but others read it and picture traditional notions of sluttiness and rampant, indiscriminate promiscuity. What she actually embraced was something entirely different. You say that Jaclyn knew she wanted sexual encounters, but I think she clearly needed to find more than that, and for a while when she was with “B”, she did. To this day, by her own admission, she still wants to find more(the brass ring and all that).

          In a way, you could even say that her improvement came from embracing(or coming very close to embracing) monogamy.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          In other words, what I’m trying to say is that Susan was right when she said sluttiness was a failed strategy for JF. She was just needy and outcome dependent and she never found what she wanted. She focused on sex, egaged in it quicly and indiscriminately, and it failed.

          When she “embraced sluthood” as she calls it, what she actually found was a improvement in her self esteem and a lower level of outcome dependence that was actually brought on by a state of monogamy(her relationship with “B”).
          It wasn’t “slutting it up” that saved her. Slutting it up was what got her in trouble. Finding someone who cared about her is what facilitated her recovery in the end.

        • Evan

          And I think the varied definitions are causing a ton of difficulty here. Susan thinks Jaclyn is unhappy *now* and that her column is a desperate cry for validation. She conflates the serially monogamous behaviour (“slutty”) with the newly accepted “sluthood.” Jaclyn tried to play by the usual rules (while admitting she wanted to have sex) and it made her miserable; she figured out how to change her own rules, and she is happy now.
          And it was not brought on by the MAN she slept with, but through the process of no-strings-attached sex of which that man was a part. The change was not of the MEN she was bedding but within the WOMAN she is.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          In anycase, dude, I would still argue that her semi-monogamous relationship with B and the connection she built with him was a turning point. Yes, she changed as a woman, but meeting him and interacting with him played some significant role in her transition.
          It can at least be said that he was different enough from her previous partners(with whom she had no connection) to illicit some change.

          I’d like to address the rest of your argument regarding Susan now, but I’m currently in Jamaica and I need to get ready to head back to the US in a couple of hours. I’ll respond more then.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Am I understanding correctly? Serial monogamy is slutty, but sluthood is some higher, more enlightened way of being? Wow, that’s really splitting hairs.
          In any case, the notion that the complete separation of emotion from sex can be healing or healthy for most women is not true. If JF is an outlier, that’s fine, but she and other sex pos feminists need to recognize and accept the many studies that indicate women are just not made that way. And she needs to stop recommending an approach to love and relationships that would be very detrimental to most women.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Then she tried slutting it up; she became much happier as a result, because she was able to find decent men and women who were honest about wanting to hook up with her, whose company she enjoyed. That is, she found some men who were not assholes and chose to spend some of her time having sex with them.
          .
          Which men were those? I didn’t read about a single positive experience in her piece. Her sexual relationship with B ended badly when she wanted more from him.
          .
          I never said men are assholes. What a value judgment! Are you referring to my statement that men prefer sexual variety? Men and women are different. Biological differences are enormous. Testosterone vs. estrogen anyone? There’s nothing to be gained by playing a blame game. There is a great deal to be gained by understanding both male and female psychology. If men don’t want to marry sluts, that’s their right. If they don’t want to date prudes in college, that’s also their prerogative. These are the market conditions.

        • Evan

          Her essay is not a list of positive sexual experiences, it is about a positive life experience. You’re misreading her words. She is in a happier place in her life because she is satisfying her sexual needs and not forcing herself into unhappy relationships to do it. It’s not about the men, it’s about the woman.
          I admit extrapolating about you thinking that all men were assholes. I read you saying that girls who don’t put out will receive zero male attention, and saying that any man talking about gender politics is spouting BS and trying to get ass, and assumed that you thought men were sex-obsessed dickheads.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Um, I thought JF was a sex-positive 30 something queer woman.

      • Stephanie

        Let’s be honest, going on a “This is what I’ve seen” mantra really isn’t an effective argument, as you likely haven’t seen as much as would ever be needed to make the argument you just did here. It’s why scientists don’t go with “What I’ve seen” without then researching to back up those ideas.

        • Evan

          This person goes to an Ivy League school and is obviously way smarter than we are. Be careful.

        • Stephanie

          If only Ivy League really meant smart. And it never means worldly. Nor will it ever equate to someone having a firm understanding of society outside of stereotypes.

        • Evan

          If you go to an Ivy and become a really good armchair sociologist, you can be the next David Brooks.

        • Stephanie

          Here’s something to think about – compare the number of teachers from Ivy League schools, to those from private and especially state schools. Then consider they teach all the younger generations. If schools have faith in state schools and curriculum … must be doing something right :)

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Stephanie: “Let’s be honest, going on a “This is what I’ve seen” mantra really isn’t an effective argument, as you likely haven’t seen as much as would ever be needed to make the argument you just did here.”

          Athlone: You’re right, don’t take it from me. Go and take it from the millions of other people in my age group who see precisely what I see every day at their respective schools. Go to a teen forum or blog and see what they say about the dating scene. Better yet, go to an average state college campus and immerse yourself in it. Go to the parties, go to the beer pong tournaments, the pre-gaming sessions, the frat get togethers. Talk to the kids themselves and ask them what they think about casual sex vs. dating. Watch how many hookups there are at these schools vs. relationships. Go see it for yourself.

          I have already seen and lived it and in about 2 weeks I’ll be doing it all over again, as will most of my friends. Everything that I and others here have said will be confirmed after that.
          This argument is not just obvious to me, it is obvious to many, many others in my demographic and most of the folks who observe them. Dating is on the backburner in college, guys tend to seek short term relationships, and many guys are disingenuous in how they present themselves to girls as they do so. That is what the scene is like for most 18-28 year olds.

          I can’t believe I actually have to argue about this.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Speaking of research, can you cite any to bolster your argument? (The bogus study from the University of Minnesota claiming casual sex is not harmful doesn’t count.)

  • Stephanie

    I think the generalizations about men were incredibly unfair, totally agree with you there Evan. Feminism is supposed to empower women, not demoralize men.

    • Sox

      We’re talking about humanity here, Stephanie. Power is usually zero-sum. People like power, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. To many, empowering women effectively means demoralizing men.

      The larger and more widespread an ideological movement is, the more it’s co-opted by those seeking to hijack it and use it for their own gain. I’ve never studied feminism and I’m even aware of the divide within the community and the inability of many to even define what it means anymore.

      • Stephanie

        But if nobody ever calls people out when they act in a way that does demoralize men – then calls themselves feminists, they may never even associate that with what they’ve said. That’s part of being a feminist too, being able to take a step back and say, “Wait a minute… that’s wrong.” When people use feminism as a way of demoralizing men, then we’re no different, no better.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Please specify what generalizations about men you find troubling. Not sure what you and Evan are referring to here.

      • Evan

        As I wrote earlier, I read you saying that girls who don’t put out will receive zero male attention, and saying that any man talking about gender politics is spouting BS and trying to get ass, and assumed that you thought men were sex-obsessed dickheads.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          You may have noticed that I have far more male commenters here than any feminist blog. I respect men for who they are, which includes a strong preoccupation with sex in the age range I write for. Women should not blame men for trying to get ass – it is the most natural thing in the world.
          Notice that men TRY. Women GRANT ACCESS. That’s the way mating works. Appreciate the differences! If you can’t, at least accept them, because they’re hard wired.
          I suppose there is a small number of men who actually believe the sex-pos stuff, perhaps even some who hope to marry a woman with an extraordinarily high number of past sexual partners.

        • Passer_By

          I find it funny that Evan is acting shocked and appalled by what he reads here. Imagine if he read Roissy’s blog. They’d find him catatonic in the fetal position.

  • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

    Here’s the thing – when people feel the need to gain support from the masses for their decisions, that is a red flag for me. Particularly when it’s for something like this. And asking for support from those of us who are not sluts? I’ll be there to help my friends pick up the pieces when they make decisions, but then can’t handle the consequences, but I will not condone the behaviour. I will not be your enabler. Why? Not because of a competition thing, but because I have seen it lead to bad news bears for my friends. I will be nice when you come to be in tears and I won’t say “I told you so” because I think everyone needs to make their own decisions. But I’m not going to agree with them.

    If it works for you, then that’s great! I’ve met two girls that casual sex/hooking-up works for. But they are also smart about it. As soon as they start to get attached they peace out.

    I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t had my moments where I’ve cursed the fact that there are a bevy of girls willing to go all the way who seem to steal the attention of the men in my life. However – I try to look at it this way – if those men are enticed by that, then I likely want nothing to do with them because they’d likely end up hurting me. In the sober light of day – yes, I might still be single and yeah maybe I don’t get the same amount of attention from the opposite sex as some other girls – but am I happy with the decisions I’ve made? Yes. What I’m not happy about is when those who choose a different path decide that it’s open season to rip on me for wanting to wait until I find a guy I’m comfortable with and that I can trust.

    And I will agree there is the double standard where girls who sleep around get ripped on more than guys who sleep around – but I think that many quality girls are starting to wise up and choose guys who don’t sleep around. Slowly that double standard is changing. Whether it means slut-hood on either side is equally accepted, I don’t know. it doesn’t matter to me because I’m more concerned about my own decisions and my own life – and I don’t need a cheering section to egg me on so that I can feel confident about it.

    • verie44

      “it doesn’t matter to me because I’m more concerned about my own decisions and my own life – and I don’t need a cheering section to egg me on so that I can feel confident about it.”
      .
      I totally agree with this. When you’re comfortable with your decision, you totally don’t give a shit what other people think & you don’t need external validation. People can call me a freak all they want, all day every day, but I do what’s right for me. They’re not living my life & don’t have to deal with my consequences.
      .
      Jaclyn should try having a viewpoint that’s radically different from 99.9% of the population. I’d like to read her rallying cry then.

      • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

        Agreed. What i find disturbing is that initially on the first casual encounter she felt regret – until her friends egged her on. That doesn’t seem to have been fully her decision to continue this behaviour then.

        The whole thing screams of being self-destructive and it just makes me feel bad for her.

        But to each their own I suppose.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Jesus Christ, all it takes is one feminist topic to turn this place into a freak show.

    • Sox

      No kidding. Vicious.

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  • bellacoker

    There is not one correct way to find love and happiness and build a fulfilling life. There are going to be as many ways as there are people, and if JF’s path includes casual sex, then good for JF. If your way does not, then good for you. People, women and men, are rational actors, we are capable of making the decisions we feel are in our best interest, even about matters complicated by love and emotions and by acts which release oxytocin. Many people might make decisions that I do not personally agree with, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those decisions are wrong or that those people are hurting themselves, or that the decisions that I am so sure about now won’t lead to as much pain and heartache down the road.

    • Jimmy Hendricks

      That may be true, but too many of these idiots think they’re special snowflakes and the exception to the rule…
      .
      Conventional wisdom is in place because through the years it has proven to work for a very large percentage of the population.
      .
      If you want to go against it, fine, but don’t whine, complain, and act shocked when things don’t turn out the way you expect them to.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Bellacoker, I couldn’t agree more. What I object to is the proselytizing of sluthood. The notion that a good woman can and should support women in their quest to be sluts. Why should any woman be expected to cheer on her friends as they describe dangerous sexual exploits? If they’re on the same page anyway, great. Jaclyn F made a request in this piece. She also held up her “sluthood solution” as something to be emulated. She introduced this concept into the marketplace of ideas. And I for one am calling it as I see it. FAIL. The evidence for this conclusion comes from her own description of her emotional turmoil and instability around sex.

  • J

    Oh God, just when I thought it was safe to get back on the interwebs again, it’s the trainwreck that is Jaclyn Friedman and the frenzied reponses she inspires.

    This poor woman is obviously having mental health issues, no doubt revolving around her college sexual assualt . She appears to me to be acting out a neurotic pattern typical of rape and incest victims in which the victim attempts repeatedly and unsucessfully to re-live the original trauma but with herself now in control of the situation and with a happier outcome. The difference between Ms. Friedman and the average victim is that, due to her obvious intelligence, she has been able to construct an elaborate political rationalization for actions and for her inability to deal with the tragedy. She would be so much better off without an outlet for her opinions and without an audience that reacted to her. Then she would have to face the original trauma in therapy rather than acting out in a public forum.

    It’s so sad that the best years of her life have been wasted in dealing with this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Welcome, J, thanks for entering the fray. That’s an interesting theory – I do think she wrote the piece to garner personal support. Interestingly, many of her fans are extremely protective of her, which is admirable, though blindly accepting of her piece, which is not.

      • J

        Hi Susan,

        I used to work in adolescent mental health. One trend that emerged among the young women that I encountered who were chronically “slutty” and couldn’t grow from their mistakes was a history of abuse. There was a huge drive among those women to relive the abuse, but this time, with themselves in control. The attempt at seizing control and changing the outcome is what was “empowering” and “healing.” Jaclyn’s language, her need to act this out over and again, her need to “prove something” with this behavior, and her history of abuse all cry out to me that she has some unresolved issues. The need to systematize and universalize the problem is actually the need to protect herself fromthe trauma intead of dealing with it directly. Her IQ gives her a way to buffer herself; she isn’t dealing with the personal pain of having been raped because she is busy with the larger crusade of “empowering women” or “reclaiming sluthood.” We see the same dynamic elsewhere on the net among men who can’t or won’t deal with the pain of a divorce and instead perserverate on “men’s rights.”

        It’s sad because the best revenge is moving on and living well. Jaclyn’s rapist still has power over her because the rape still influences her life profoundly. I would wonder to what extent her history of relationships with women and transgendered men is a result of the rape. Perhaps her recent escapades with “cisgendered” men is an attempt to edge back into heterosexual sex in an emotionally safe way. Her career is clearly a reaction, for better or worse to, that rape.

        Likewise, there are many men out there whose playerhood is directly to some poor relationship with a woman. A common theme in the manosphere is “I used to be a beta chump but my ex done men wrong, so now I’m a mighty alpha.” It’s the same counterproductive dynamic from diverse sets of people with ironically the same objective–all looking for love. It’s painful to watch (and yet I can not look away.)

        • Vjatcheslav

          “Likewise, there are many men out there whose playerhood is directly to some poor relationship with a woman.”

          A poor relationship with the mother seems to be also regularly implicated.

        • J

          Sure, but the point remains the same. It’s hanging on to the past and killing the present and future because of it. At some point, people need to confront their vulnerablities and move on.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Indeed, no discussion on that.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Vincent Ignatius has openly stated this is the case with him. In general, I think parents don’t fully understand their power in shaping our ability to relate emotionally and sexually. Also, research shows that children of divorce are far more likely to engage willingly in no-strings sex. They avoid relationships at worst, or simply have no model at best.

        • PJay

          “One trend that emerged among the young women that I encountered who were chronically “slutty” and couldn’t grow from their mistakes was a history of abuse. ”

          Far more prevalent than abuse is father-absence from the family. Which often occurs, and is maintained due to the mother’s actions.

          I can’t tell you how many of my daughters’ teenage friends are growing up in de facto single parent families due to divorce and a maternal need for tax free child support for 18 years.

          Thank you, feminism.

        • Sasha

          Totally agree with J and what everyone here has said!

    • Sasha

      Again J – spot on!!
      Just read your first post about how Jocelyn…

      “appears to be acting out a neurotic pattern typical of rape and incest victims in which the victim attempts repeatedly and unsucessfully to re-live the original trauma but with herself now in control of the situation and with a happier outcome.”

      I believe this is almost text book reaction to a rape. I sure as hell know that is how I reacted. I feel sorry for her that she has lead her life not being able to fully deal with her trauma in a healthy environment like therapy.

      I find it intriguing that her audience dances around all of the rational comments about this? Most likely because they can’t debate something that is true.

  • Kurt

    Susan, I disagree that the non-sluts receive “zero male attention.” Maybe they aren’t getting attention from the players or manwhores who just want sex, but the guys who actually want a relationship will appreciate them more if they don’t act like whores.

    • Jimmy Hendricks

      I agree 100%.
      .
      Aside from the top percentage of guys who have poon on tap whenever they want it, I think most guys would be happy to stop banging sluts and settle down if a quality girl enters the picture.

      • Evan

        Engaging in casual sex means that a girl is not quality.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          For the record, this is not my view. This is a matter of personal preference in men, and women have no control over it. Many young women do engage in casual sex, and go on to have healthy and fulfilling relationships.
          However, JF admits to mental instability and a desperate need to feel accepted. She has sex as a way of soothing herself. It’s a coping behavior. As I said in the piece, I think she telegraphs her unsuitability for a relationship by demonstrating self-loathing. The premise of her argument is that casual sex can assuage those painful feelings. I’m not buying it.

        • Evan

          She doesn’t admit to “mental instability,” she admits to not finding happiness in traditional romantic arrangements. She has sex as a way of enjoying her life and keeping her horniness in check so that she can tell the difference between wanting to fuck and wanting to engage emotionally with someone. I think you’re reading all these things (desperation, instability, self-loathing) into the piece because it’s your perspective that hooking up often leads to those things.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I’m cisgender and able-bodied and relatively mentally healthy for now.

        • Jimmy Hendricks

          I wouldn’t go as far to say that casual sex means a girl isn’t quality, period…. she just isn’t a quality LTR prospect.

  • Kurt

    Jaclyn Friedman apparently posed for a calendar with other fat women back in 2008. I saw this photo linked on another blog. I think that Friedman is the third obese woman from the left: http://www.bigmoves.org/images/rc_poster_med.jpg

    I think her time would have been better spent at the gym instead of having sex with random weirdos whom she met on Craig’s List.

    • Evan

      Overweight people should be ashamed of themselves. They should concentrate their energy into making themselves thinner and therefore more attractive, because a person’s worth is based on her appearance.

      • Kurt

        That would certainly be more constructive than having sex with random strangers she met on the Internet.

      • Sox

        Healthier, less emotionally destructive, and certainly less validation-seeking anyway.

  • Evan

    A person’s worth is based on her appearance.

    • Kurt

      If a woman wants to attract quality men then yes, most men would agree that she absolutely should make an effort to improve her physical appearance. Men are shallow about this, but then again many women can be far more shallow about seemingly trivial things.

      • Lisa

        Quality men are not shallow. Quantity men may not be, but then we are back in the casual sex over LTR thing that women are supposed to do.

    • PJay

      No, it’s based on her height and earning capacity….

      • Maggie

        My own experience is that being funny, smart, and confident is a winner for both sexes. The good news is that confidence is the most important thing and you can fake that. My success rate with men turned around right away as soon as I started pretending I was confident. Sure, looks and financial stability matter too but they aren’t the be-all and end-all for most people, despite the sour grapes of some.

        • PJay

          As a tall, wealthy man brimming with self-confidence, I have to disagree.

        • Maggie

          Wait, are you saying you are or are not successful in attracting romantic or sexual partners?

        • PJay

          Am successful.

          Romantic, sexual and romantically sexual.

        • Maggie

          Okay. So next question. Do you know whether it is your height, your wealth, or your self-confidence, or a combination thereof that accounts for your success? And have you accounted for other factors? Do you have a hot body, intelligence, kindness and a great sense of humor? Those factors matter too!

          (My husband is short and poor. I picked him for his hot legs, his wit, and his obvious affection for and kindness towards his mother.)

        • Passer_By

          Perhaps I misread him, but I think he was making a joke (to contradict your original point) to the effect that he gets much more mileage from his height and wealth than he does from his self confidence.

        • Maggie

          For women, my dating advice is this. Be outgoing and project confidence. Ask men out. (Yes, it is scary as hell, but after the first few times it become easier.) Don’t be afraid to argue; men love arguing just for the sake of arguing so if you like it too, you are golden, especially if you can do it in a playful and fun way. Don’t pretend to be interested in things you aren’t interested in, but do display interest in the man. (For example, I have always been open about the fact that I have zero interest in professional sports, but I was always willing to talk to men about what sports they follow and why and what their favorite sports mean to them.) Perfect your wisecracks — as long as they aren’t mean-spirited or hurtful. Be kind.

          Contrary to popular myth, looks are secondary. As long as you are presentable, these tips will garner a woman virtually any man she wants. I chose a short, poor man because I fell in love and I knew I would earn a good income on my own anyway, but I dated pretty much anyone I wanted. Men love a woman who is direct and smart. And men need validation too, which is why they generally take well to being asked out.

        • Kurt

          “Contrary to popular myth, looks are secondary. As long as you are presentable, these tips will garner a woman virtually any man she wants.”

          You know that isn’t true! You are a woman, so yes, that does seem to be the way that women view men. However, men definitely do not view women the same way. Men usually don’t want to settle for a fat woman even if she has a great personality. The only way that what you wrote is true is if “presentable” in interpreted to mean “attractive.”

        • BStu

          Some of us don’t “settle” for fat women. We desire them.

        • Maggie

          Not every man is going to be able to score a supermodel, and those who can probably attract many supermodels, not just the one. So other qualities are more important if the person is going to spend any significant amount of time with you such as dating or a relationship.

          Sure looks are important. (And men who think that looks aren’t important to women are deluding themselves, especially now that women don’t have to rely so much on men for financial support. That’s why metrosexuals are the new thing. Men know they have to start putting in some effort.) But once you have hit the baseline of attractiveness, then the whole thing becomes more personality driven.

        • PJay

          Maggie, don’t look for advice in an echo chamber.

          Kurt above is giving you a perspective from the other side of the table – it is a valuable one.

          The capacity for self-delusion among American women is terrifyingly infinite – this is a case in point.

        • Kurt

          I agree with most of what you just wrote. However, your previous comment seemed to indicate that a presentable woman could get just about any guy and I don’t think that is true. An exceptionally attractive woman can pull this off, but most women cannot.

        • Sox

          For women, my dating advice is this. Be outgoing and project confidence. Ask men out. (Yes, it is scary as hell, but after the first few times it become easier.) Don’t be afraid to argue; men love arguing just for the sake of arguing so if you like it too, you are golden, especially if you can do it in a playful and fun way.

          This along with the looks being secondary comment are totally off, as other men here have said.

          Men DO enjoy intellectual debate. NOT arguing for the sake of it. It just comes across as a battery of shit-testing that we don’t want to have to deal with. Maybe we’re on the same page here, but this is exactly why things like “The Rules” are terrible advice for women. Being a challenge is different from artificially challenging the man.

          Similarly, we don’t give a shit about your career, your ridiculous ambition, or your PhD. All admirable to be sure, but that’s not what men find attractive. Sarcasm’s unattractive as well.

        • Maggie

          Oh, I don’t know. I am pretty sure a lot of men enjoying arguing for the hell of it. Watch any sports talk-show. I don’t really care about sports, but my friends and I used to just set up a random topic (Who’s better – Deniro or Pacino?) and we’d be off to the races.

          I definitely agree that the Rules are terrible advice for women, and I certainly didn’t intend to replicate them, or be too specific in my statements. Mainly, I think that confidence is sexy and gives a man or a woman a leg up, so to speak. Also, the ability to brush yourself off and move on if you were not able to win a particular man.

        • Sox

          Depends on the context I guess, then. I think some people take it too far and are just contrarian.

        • verie44

          Just because they enjoy arguing with each other doesn’t mean they constantly want to argue with you. This might not work with your view of the world, but many men enjoy activities with each other that they don’t enjoy with women. If you’re a girl that’s funny & fun to be around, that’s one thing. Argumentative & annoying, that’s totally something else. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be around a guy like that either.
          .
          Confidence is sexy and all, but let’s be real: sexy is sexy. All the confidence in the world isn’t going to beat out Adriana Lima. You said you dated pretty much anyone you wanted, but I would like to know how many of the really hot, desirable guys that you dated wanted to be with you long-term? I think a measure of how great you really are is how much another person is willing to sacrifice for you, and in this free sexual market, a relationship is a sacrifice for most extremely desirable men who don’t want to start a family immediately (and who also get props from their friends for hooking up freely and not being tied down).

        • PJay

          $$$ and certasin anatomical peculiarities.

          Word gets around.

          I live in Southern California where a woman can guess the size of your bonus and equity package simply by sniffing your business card.

          It is a brutal transactional environment we live in.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Anatomical peculiarities? I am reminded of the scene in Shallow Hal where Jason Alexander reveals his tail.

        • PJay

          My cousin, Jonah Falcon, does not have a tail, nor do I.

    • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

      is it?

  • Mike

    Wow Susan.

    Looks like you unleashed a battalion of Jezebelites, Feministites, and Manginas to descend upon you on what an awful, shameful person you are for daring to question Jaclyn’s call for a mandate to embrace the sisterhood of slutiness.

    Seriously though, great post and keep your chin up. You are fighting the good fight.

    Reading through most of your critics’ comments, I think they all can be summarized with the idea of “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”. You clearly pushed a button here judging from the reaction. The fervor with which the opposition is attacking is because on some subconscious level they know you speak the truth, and therefore you must be shouted down, drowned out, and personally attacked. I called this one in my earlier comment in a different thread where I said women will break into two camps on this subject and judging from this it is going to be vicious.

    Keep in mind that if you keep even 1-2 twenty-somethings from ending up like Jaclyn at 40, then you’ve done a very good deed. Let the haters hate, and the ideologues spew their nonsense completely divorced from scientific and empirical reality.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Thanks, Mike, your support means a lot, as always. Arguing with Amanda Marcotte on Twitter, at one point she told me to calm the f*ck down. I replied that I was calm, even enjoying myself. She retorted that she wasn’t surprised I would enjoy pointless bullying. Lots of name calling going on – but it comes with the territory.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Jaclyn Friedman’s piece was critiqued in a number of other venues, but the only critique mocked and lampooned by the lovely Amanda Marcotte is Susan’s. It’s funny how feminists will always go after dissenting women as the weak links, attempting to shame them for being traitors to their sex when really they only offering a different point of view on what it means to be a woman and to do so successfully. Dissenters will be punished!

    • ExNewYorker

      And it’s not that unusual.
      .
      Recently, the blog Feministe had a some guest bloggers who happened to voice some opinions in support of “motherhood” (being a mama) and of not wanting to be a labeled a “feminist” (because as a woman of color, mainstream feminism had brushed aside her concerns).
      .
      The vitriol was amazing. And this was against women who probably agreed on nearly 99% with them. As someone once said, some animals are more equal than others…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I feel like I walked into their echo chamber. Heather Corinna, the founder of Scarleteen (a sex positive sex ed site) jeered at me for having far fewer readers than she has. I replied that’s just why I started blogging – other voices are needed in the conversation. Women can only make an informed decision of they understand their choices. Emulating JF is a choice. A very bad choice, IMO.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Hey look over there: some data! I know…nothing much to see here, move along…irrelevant.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7918699/Women-view-modesty-as-sign-of-weakness.html

    Cheers, ‘VJ’

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      That’s pretty interesting that both meek males and dominant females were found unattractive.

      • J

        I wonder if the study differentiated between men who were modest about real acccomplishments and men who had no accomplishments and therfore didn’t have much to brag about. I find the former very attractive. Competance without narcissism…yum.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Oh Noes, looking at her pics, it finally hit me why she seems so vaguely familiar somehow. She’s bulking up to become the new Andrea Dworkin, right down to the brown/black clothing too! Eeek! RUN FORREST, Run!!!! Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • Dilithium

    I believe The Onion cleaned this up a while back:

    .

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/women-now-empowered-by-everything-a-woman-does,1398/

    .

    and when you’ve been cleaned by The Onion, it’s really time to leave the stage.

    • ExNewYorker

      THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!
      .
      Oh, it wasn’t the light-bulb joke…
      . :-)

  • Leah

    Haha, wow such responses! I’m honored.

    It takes a slut to defend a slut, you say? Haha. Okay, sure. I’ve had plenty of casual sex. I’ve also had plenty of not casual sex. I have found all of it healing, fulfilling, absolutely lovely. So you can throw data around all you like. I’m not saying I believe your “studies,” or even that I’ve bothered to check them out – because I haven’t and I don’t really see the point. You can tell me what the chemicals in my brain are doing, but the simple fact of the matter is that my personal experience – and if you actually read and listen to Jaclyn’s words, her experience too – proves otherwise.

    Casual sex has been a great addition to my life. I am a happy, successful, well-adjusted individual. I’m sorry if that makes me seem to be an anomaly in your “research.” The truth is that I’m not the only one who feels this way, and so maybe the “chemical” proof just doesn’t mean anything. If that’s the case, boy howdy, your credibility is shot!

    Oh, and you’re right that I didn’t bother reading your bio. Why should I? I don’t know who you are – why would I? Are you under some sort of delusion that you’re famous? You being married doesn’t really have a bearing on what I said either. Married women can just as easily be afraid of the scary sluts coming to steal their husbands.

    Boo!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I’m not saying I believe your “studies,” or even that I’ve bothered to check them out – because I haven’t and I don’t really see the point.

      This disqualifies you from engaging in informed debate.
      .

      if you actually read and listen to Jaclyn’s words, her experience too – proves otherwise.

      My reading of Jaclyn’s article tells me that the Craigslist casual sex was a disaster rather than a miracle. It led to tears and accusations after two months. Please name one single positive casual sex experience described in the piece.
      .
      Haha, I don’t care if you read my bio, you came here! I’m calling out JF for bad policy and bad strategy. I don’t care what she does, or what kind of sex you have. I do care if you proselytize it. Because you are an outlier. Surely you have a sense of that? Do you imbibe any media other than feminist sites? Rachel Simmons bravely came out against casual sex, citing the many letters she receives from readers of her column.
      .
      Also, for the record. Sluts don’t steal anyone. Only a tiny percentage of men want a LTR with a woman with extensive sexual experience. (Individual numbers may vary.) You may have one of those men, or may be fortunate enough to find one. But you’re swimming in a tiny pool. As is Jaclyn.

  • Jason

    I don’t see how making Jaclyn Friedman out to be some villain representing a destructive force in our societies sexual culture is informative or beneficial to women in any sense. I cannot understand the positive outcome of publicly criticizing another person for their “own” perspective. You each have your respective mediums and a sincere interest in providing information and support to the ideals you subscribe to. When did it become crucial to your cause to attempt to discredit another woman’s earnest attempt to provide the same service, but with a different perspective. You certainly have every right to disagree, but specifically attacking “her” beliefs and then condoning responses to opposing opinions like “river troll” seems somewhat petty and lacks genuine integrity. That’s just my opinion though.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sex positive feminism is a destructive force in our society’s sexual culture. Jaclyn Friedman is a self-appointed spokesperson for living one’s life as a slut. Dissent should be welcomed in the marketplace of ideas. If JF’s piece can’t stand up to scrutiny (and I don’t think it can) she should be called out for writing this claptrap, and certainly for attempting to promote it.
      I didn’t attack her beliefs. I criticized her recommended strategy for healing, and pointed out that her choices do not appear to represent healthy self-esteem or behavior.
      It’s not about Jaclyn’s life. It’s about the way of life she’s trying to sell other women. She makes this clear – her piece is written as a request. It’s disingenuous of you to pretend otherwise.
      Wrt to condoning comments, please. Have you seen the things Amanda Marcotte let stand on her post about me? The femosphere is notorious for having the meanest, snarkiest comments on the web. You guys are worse than the Drudge Report. FWIW, I have deleted at least a dozen comments on this thread, because they focused on JF’s personal appearance. Calling someone a river troll seems mild by comparison.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, sex-positive feminism is totally destroying our culture. Look at all the terrible things that have happened since the 1960s.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          And…..that proves my point. Retreat to sarcasm, roll eyes, harumph twice. Do not under any circumstances engage dissenter with reasoned argument.
          Source:
          The Sex Positive Handbook for Women: The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Ad Hominem Attacks and Strawman Argument

        • Lisa

          What is your problem with sarcasm? Sarcasm (a type of humor) releases endorphins. Endorphins make us feel good. In addition, I read my comments aloud to my partner and he laughs. This releases his endorphins. His laughter, then produces a positive effect on me. We’re bonding. And it isn’t casual AT ALL. Is the problem that we are basically doing it in front of the internet (I guarantee someone else out there is laughing too)? Is sarcasm just too slutty?

        • Sox

          Sarcasm in women is terribly unattractive.

        • Lisa

          Well, then it is good that I found a guy who finds unattractiveness attractive? Oh, darn, that was sarcastic too. Did I just get more unattractive, or is the level set by the mere fact that I’ve ever done it (like with sex)? Darn, there I go again. At this rate, I probably will become a “river troll.” Darn! Darn! Darn!
          Surely all you nice, non-judgmental internet people will help me get attractive again. Will I get to keep my boyfriend or do I have to start all over as a born-again virgin with someone who obviously has your incredibly high and masculine standards?
          DARN! This being pretty stuff is really hard. Honestly, how can you expect silly, hormonally-controlled women to do it? Surely attractiveness is something best left to you strong, reasonable, intelligent and emotionally-distant men-folk!

        • Stephanie

          Wait… are you saying that ALL people that are sarcastic will become river trolls? OH NO! We don’t have enough BRIDGES! Why didn’t people think about that before they became sarcastic… it’s such a tragedy! Can we all share bridges? *Looking for one*
          .

          Can’t you see Lisa, sex-positive feminism is some type of crime. It’s bad for women to have these views, because women are too delicate to make decisions that fit them based on sex. My bad was that sarcasm again?
          .
          But then again, the sources being given don’t actually say much of what’s being proclaimed here… and is all aside from the fact that a woman *Gasp* should have the right to choose what fits them best, because it is about them. Not to mention the number of “outliers” that have shown up in one area for some reason being discounted facts they are giving, because it doesn’t fit the view that S proclaims to be true.

        • Vjatcheslav

          The problem with sarcasm is that is isn’t a legitimate debate tactic. Kindly desist, if you want to debate.

        • Lisa

          Sarcasm is a completely legitimate tactic, it is just a hard one to counter. If you aren’t up for it, that is fine by me. The Greeks counted it among rhetorical tactics and God (or learned men, whichever you prefer) thought it fine for the Old Testament. If you perceive it, it just means your brain is working correctly. If I am communicating it correctly (which it seems from your response that I am), then it means my brain is working correctly.

          If you want to argue that the brain does such unnecessary things that don’t contribute to the good of our species, then we can discuss that (non-sarcastically, I promise), but it is discussion that evolutionary psychology fairs particularly well in.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Well, I’m going to give a link that is most interesting. Maybe you should read it:
          http://roissy.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/the-end-of-beta-providers/ (Short summary: men are rather lazy. We prefer to work a little bit so that we have food, shelter and massive times for entertainment. If you want us to work hard and sustain this society, you’ll have to give us what we want for that work – a reasonably stable supply of pussy [occasionally we'll also find something we really love, but don't count on that for the large majority].)

        • Lisa

          Glad I didn’t mention this to my father when I was young. That would have been REALLY awkward.

  • http://www.colabtheatre.org/ Kenny Steven Fuentes

    Hello,

    First time reader, first time poster. I stumbled upon this article as a result of my interest in the writings and work of Jaclyn Friedman. Now, I don’t really have enough time or energy at the moment to go on a point by point dissection of your piece, as others have already done that quite well. However, I will respond to certains passages that insulted me.

    1) This whole “Oxytocin” things bored me to death and pretty makes people sound like homogenous, powerless, easily dissected lab rats. I don’t deny the legitimacy of science. But I do tout the power of individual personalities and socialization to determine the end result of that chemical reaction. We have self determination. Your devotion to such a point lacks imagination and recalls to mind the accepted science of “The Four Humors”. Such a concept was then used to control people, women in particular. Food for thought.

    2) “When, oh when, will feminists learn that men are usually spouting complete BS when they throw around phrases like male hegemony, patriarchy and heteronormative?”

    Wow, now you’re just being an asshole. Criticize me for using the language of an ill informed, internet board troll, but the immaturity and unspecific generalization you made with that statement really undercuts your credentials (I have no idea who you are, I assume you have them) as as serious thinker. That statement is a direct insult to me, and to the growing number of men out there who are beginning to look at feminist, queer and gender equality theory as influential and central to the way they date, love and consort. You basically just dismissed an entire demographic without so much as an anecdote, much less any actual study or statistical information. As sure as you are of yourself, your argument (which is rather unrelated to the topic) has no backing, no basis besides your word for it. I have no clue who the balls you are. Excuse my British.

    3. “FYI: I had to look up the word “cisgender.” It means being comfortable in the gender you were assigned at birth. Apparently we now need a way to express that we are not transgendered. In this way, we can reassure ourselves and those around us that we are not heteronormative.”

    I think it’s safe to say you read the first definition you saw, made a judgement and no further attempt to understand why some people use this term. I don’t, personally. But you know what? No one if forcing you to use it. You don’t have to be a dick about it. Have some intellectual curiosity for christ’s sake. Is this the standard we hold to our columnists and talking heads? Sarcastic dismissal? If it’s not related, don’t mention it and waste my time (Your article in general was not terribly easy to read. And I read textbooks for fun.). Or, if it is related, friggin’ go into detail and debunk it. Give us a reason to beleive it’s something negative, besides your mild annoyance and your faux victimhood.

    That’s all. I need to get back to work. I don’t get paid to attack made up dangers to the sacred virginity of our girls. How’s that for a sarcastic dismissal.

    Best,
    Some Asshole

    P.S. Feel free to read my blog! It’s irrelevant, but I make no apologies about being a self promoting bastard! This business is a hussle!

    • Vjatcheslav

      “We have self determination.”

      If nature “wishes” to impose herself with her full force, all the talk about self-determination is moot. Luckily most times nature isn’t that forcefull, so that we get a large group in the middle of the extremeties. That group can be skewed to one of the sides by way of nurture. But all the love and nurture of the world won’t be enough for a really die-hard sociopath to get him to feel empathy.

      This sounds like human exceptionalism to me. While we are exceptional – no other species on earth is able to harness nurture to the amount we have – we aren’t that far from other animals. We aren’t as rational as we should be to live with the technology we have now (for example: people live for the short term, not the long term; it can be very easy to fool people).

      • http://www.colabtheatre.org/ Kenny Steven Fuentes

        That’s a fair point. That being said, my point still stands as you accept that nurture is a factor and that we do have a significant amount of self control. I simlpy say that we’re not homogenous, and that it’s worth taking into consideration the individuals who don’t fall into line of what we beleive human nature is.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Considering the individuals who don’t fall into line of what we believe human nature is, is indeed very important. Feminism may have transformed itself into something odious (the manosphere has enough horror stories, but that’s not what interests me at the moment so I’ll skipp over it), but it was part of the broader movement that liberated us of the pressure to adhere all to a preset set of expectations (a work still in progress). Now men who are more nurturing in nature can take care of children on a much wider scale while women who are more “hunters” can climb the greasy pole.

          But the problem with sex and many of our reactions to it is that it is a rather primeval element in our life. Sex is something that has been with us for a long time, evolutionarily speaking. Nurture is not really good for evolutionarily old things (nature works better and more, although it is not the sole hegemon – i.e. nurture has a limited role because not everything is so old or standardized to make it into an instinct) – it is fantastic for evolutionarily new things (such as reading and whatnot). Nurturing ourselves out of the bonding effect of oxytocin (or whatever hormone actually effects bonding) is painful and, dare I say, somewhat counterproductive. Self-control in matters sexual is important, but taking it too far, or in a direction for which nature (i.c. ones genetics and such) hasn’t intended someone, has negative effects. A subset of the female gender will be as happy with continuing casual sex as men in general are, but the majority will tend to want a relationship after some time.

  • Maggie

    Susan concedes (in her comment of Aug. 3 at 7:14 a.m.) that, “Many young women do engage in casual sex, and go on to have healthy and fulfilling relationships.” So the the idiosyncracies of Jaclyn Friedman’s situation are therefore irrelevant to the issue of whether sluthood is good or bad for the women who engage in it, no? Surely, there is no one-size-fits-all mold of how best to conduct one’s sex life. Surely, every woman is capable of deciding what works best for her — whether it is abstinence until marriage, sluthood, or something in-between — without a lot of finger-wagging and shaming. Most of us don’t need a blogger or a scientific study on oxytocin to figure out what kinds of sexual relationships work for us.

    I strongly disagree with Susan’s thesis that slut-shaming is good for women by somehow making life easier for those women who prefer to refrain from casual sex. ANY woman can be slut-shamed. I don’t care how chaste you are, there have been many times and places (including the present-day U.S.) when people who don’t like you for whatever reason can have you ostracized and shamed for showing too much skin (with again, the goal posts frequently moving) or being too friendly with members of the opposite sex or walking in too “provocative” a way or just for having rumors spread about you. Slut-shaming is a powerful weapon against women, and there is no way of following the invisible rules so perfectly that you will be forever shielded from it.

    My 68-year-old mother was one of the “nice girls” who followed all the rules. She well recalls the stress of trying to control her stride as a teenager out of an intense fear that her hips were swinging too provacatively, the sense of sexual shame that her mere presence on the street was somehow a provocation. She recalls being slut-shamed by a doctor when trying to get birth control (and this was after she was married). She recalls the vicious rumors spread about her during her 20s by those who resented her for being attractive. I am sorry, but as a married woman who might possibly qualify as a “nice girl” too, I don’t want to return to those days. I support my slutty friends’ right to navigate a variety of sexual choices without shame.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      It’s very clear that women overall have suffered considerably as a direct result of the Sexual Revolution. I believe that many of these consequences were unintended, but that doesn’t make them less harmful. Betty Friedan and others clearly went on record to decry the advent of casual sex. In truth, feminism has achieved the important goals. Sex-positive feminism is an unfortunate branch of feminism that has unfortunately had a profound effect on the sociosexual environment, to the detriment of women.
      I am not suggesting that we return to the 1950s. Indeed, even if I wished it, it is not possible. However, the availability of no-strings sex, particularly on college campuses, has put considerable pressure on young women to have sex they really don’t want to have, and has virtually killed off relationships. Women in their 30s and 40s really cannot know what this scene is like, but it’s a dynamic I have become very familiar with.

      • Liza

        “. . . has put considerable pressure on young women to have sex they really don’t want to have, and has virtually killed off relationships.”

        If this is true, then isn’t it incumbent upon us to instruct the young MEN to resist their “hard-wired” need for sex and leave the young women alone? Men can overcome their instincts – in fact ask any military man if he is able to overcome this when away from his SO. Feminism alone did not ruin the quest for LTRs for women. Men taking advantage of feminism helped too. Why not attack them for their part?

        • Vjatcheslav

          Men are not the legal or moral guardians of women. They don’t have a responsibility to women to give them a better deal than the market women created demands from them.
          So the military man is irrelevant – he DOES have a responsibility to his SO. Young men without SO, girlfriend or whatever it may be called don’t have such responsibilities, and giving them those responsibilities without compensation reeks of unwarranted entitlement of women.

        • Liza

          No, they’re not the legal or moral guardians of women anymore, nor are women the property of men anymore, and, hey, we can even own property now and vote. But you seem to be saying that men can get it and therefore should be able to get it, without regard to anyone’s feelings but their own, because of some stupid market theory. We’re talking about human beings here. Having respect for others without compensation may smack of unwarranted entitlement to you but it is a sign of maturity and self-respect to me.

          Men shouldn’t be whores just because they can, no more than women. Why give men a pass? Would you advise me telling my teenage son to go have as much sex as he can with as many partners out there just because he can? Because the market is in his favor now? I’d rather continue teaching both my son and daughter self-respect and respect for others. Is that a stupid feminist ideology too?

        • Sox

          Men a pass for what? Men are not the ones getting hurt here. I mean, the ones that aren’t getting any are to an extent, but in a totally different way.

          Telling your son to go out and have as much sex as he can would be totally different than telling your daughter to. The dynamics are different and your son would most likely come out much better off afterwards.

          That being said, it’s good to teach self-respect and respect for others. The problem is, many, many women who get caught up in the hookup scene are doing so out of a lack of self respect, or giving it up along the way. The effect really isn’t the same for men, depending on their standards and decisions.

        • Liza

          Giving men a pass for being sluts.

          So, again, man sluts are ok, but woman sluts are not – cuz they get hurt? Is that the problem here? You guys are concerned that women sluts will get hurt? That’s not what I’m reading here. FWIW, STDs and unwanted children hurt men too.

        • Vjatcheslav

          I didn’t know it was en vogue in feminist circles to advocate male paternalism. Since when did you come upon this insight that women aren’t to be trusted when they want to have sex with no strings attached?
          .
          So, concluding: if a woman approaches a man and offers him sex, it is first and foremost the duty of the woman to see to it that her interests are guarded. Men don’t have an obligation to know better than said woman (of course, if the woman in question is drunk or high, it would be more problematic because then she isn’t that well able to guard her interests). And if a man approaches a woman with an implicite offer of sex, she must consider whether she would benefit or not (the man must be open enough for the woman to know whether he is in for casual sex or for a relationship). If the woman consents to sex (and is able to consent), the male hasn’t a special duty to search after circumstances and such that would result in a negative effect on the woman. There are a few exceptions – it wouldn’t be a good idea to offer sex to someone of whom you know she is allergous to your semen.
          .
          The man must have respect for the decision of the female. We all must have respect for decisions that do no harm to others than those who make the decision. Whether to respect the person in question depends on his or her behavior and merits.

        • Liza

          I fail to see where I called for male paternalism or why I am now the mouthpiece for feminism, but, whatever. I think women, and men, should be trusted when they want no-strings sex. What I was objecting to in my post was the fact that Friedman writes about her sluttiness, and everyone comes down on her. But there are at least a dozen male blogs that I’ve seen that tout the virtues of being a man slut. I was objecting to the alive and well double standard still being flung around after all the “horrors” of feminism have been unleashed. And being the mother of a son and daughter, I have a dog in this fight and I dislike the garbage being offered to them on the internet, especially wrt to this topic and my son. And I feel compelled to speak out against it when I see it.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Incentives drive behavior. What incentives are available to a man who rejects no-strings sex from a sexually aggressive female?

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    I wanted to call time-out for a moment to say ‘hello’ to all the new commenters. It’s always nice to hear from new blood.

    i also wanted to thank everyone whose shared their opinion and to Susan for hosting this blog. there’s nothing I find better than different points of view to keep me from getting too locked in to what I believe (as well as giving me some new blogs to check out).

    I’d also like to thank the Academy, but they haven’t given me anything yet. Nobody recognizes my genius.

    Take care, all.

  • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

    Man we have to find a better looking way of doing the comment. My eyes get lost in all the boxes.

  • http://scarleteen.com Heather Corinna

    I’m a fan of clarity and not a fan of disingenuity. Here were those tweets:

    SusanAWalsh @heathercorinna I say in my post there’s a spectrum of hormonal profiles in the pop. In 1.5 yrs of writing I’ve had 2 women express ur view

    In response, because those of us who make our work in sexuality know that 1.5 years of a personal blog and reading its comments tends to give very limited, anecdotal information, what I tweeted back was:

    @SusanAWalsh Some of us have been working in sexuality for a lot longer than one and a half years, and with far more readers/clients.

    I was not, for the record, only referring to myself, nor was I jeering. I was suggesting you consider, as credible people in any field tend to, that you may want to check in with others who have done broader work for longer before making broad generalizations like stating only 2 women have found casual sex not to be damaging, a claim that looks ridiculous to those of us who have done that work and also work with others who have, all of whom know better.

    • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

      I saw how fast they circled the wagons on Twitter, and they are still circling! Man, their oxen must be getting tired. You struck a nerve, Susan.

      Seriously, though – never get involved in a land war in Asia. I did the Twitter thing once with Ms. Marcotte et al. Never again.

      • http://scarleteen.com Heather Corinna

        Our oxen? Good gawd.

        Grerp: when someone attacks and/or nonconsensually psychoanalyzes a friend and respected colleague of yours, puts words in their mouth, and so forth, do you just sit idly by? Or do you stand up for and support your friend? And if in doing so, they also state inaccuracies you know to be inaccuracies because it’s work you’ve been doing for a long time, work in which you find accuracy important, do you still sit silent?

        • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

          Nonconsensually?

          Honestly, I wouldn’t circle the wagons and I wouldn’t advise anyone else to circle the wagons either. Because there are no Indians. It’s unproductive. Look, let’s be honest. Nothing I write here or anywhere else is going to change your mind. You’re not going to change Susan’s mind. Neither of us are going to change Jaclyn Friedman’s mind or the minds of the rubberneckers over there at Pandagon. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe, and never the twain shall meet. We are at an impasse.

          What we are fighting over is the ability to influence the upcoming generations of young women. JF didn’t write her article as a confession; she’s an evangelical and her religion is sex positive feminism. That’s why there’s an uproar. Because we over here don’t care if you all get dragged down into the abyss, but we’d prefer you not take Gens Y and Z with you. Leave them out of it. If you want to skip down the wide, wide path to dysfunctional relationships and lonely old age, fine. But don’t try and convince the girls I love that that path is primrose strewn.

          And for the record, Jaclyn is not a martyr and hers is not a “brave stand.” She may get vociferous disagreement on her opinions, but she’s still out there living and breathing, having meaningless sex, and pulling in a paycheck. It’s sort of her job as an activist to be shocking and overshare. And that’s what she’s doing.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Goosebumps. Beautifully said.

        • Liza

          Why aren’t we also trying to influence the next generation of men? Or should we advise our sons to go out and get as much as they can because the market is in their favor? Cuz they’ll suffer the dangerous “blue balls” condition?

        • verie44

          Totally agree with this. This is why I haven’t chimed in at all. It’s pointless. Neither side is going to change their mind. From a piece at the Boston Globe:
          .
          “Most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas, and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence. In reality, we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts. And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions. Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs. This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information.”
          .
          http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/
          .
          With all the clever wording & complete twisting of the issues, there’s no way any of the feministas are going to change their minds. More arguing is just going to make them more solidly entrenched in their opinions to avoid cognitive dissonance.

        • Sox

          Nonconsensual psychoanalysis. What a concept!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Heather, welcome, I’m glad you took the time to weigh in. I do not consider myself an expert on the subject of sexuality. I consider myself a student. I have read widely and in great depth on the topic, including much material at Scarleteen. Though hookup culture is really just beginning to be studied in depth on campuses, research already shows a clear disconnect between what women want from sex and what they are getting from sex. Bogle and others have spend considerable time and resources conducting research and submitting it for peer review. The results are conclusive. Hookup sex is profoundly unsatisfying for most women, and emotionally damaging for some.
      I have stated in numerous comment threads that exactly two women have professed enjoying hookup sex on this blog, and I’ve probably heard from a few hundred women who are struggling with it. FWIW, I also hear quite regularly from women who are consistently shamed for maintaining their virginity. I have always acknowledged that this is not only a small sample and anecdotal, but that anyone who finds my blog is self-selected to a certain degree. Some typical search terms that bring people to my blog include:
      “I gave him a BJ why doesn’t he call”
      “Had sex with 6 guys don’t know who gave me chlamydia”
      etc.
      .
      One of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read on the topic was on your site. A woman wrote in with the following question:
      I’m 16. I’ve gone through 8 sexual partners in the last year. And 5 of them only in these past 3 months. I’ve only had one boyfriend in my life. I cheated on him. Twice.
      Your response began:
      If any of us feels personally empowered by, say, self-identifying as easy, a slut, a prude or any number of other words we might use to broadly classify sexual behavior, I’m down. I don’t think that anyone else has the right to tell someone how to identify themselves or what words are or are not okay to do that with. But if you’re applying those words to yourself and they make you feel bad, I’d ditch them. Making yourself feel bad on purpose is never helpful.

      I don’t think there is a “right” number of partners or that we can determine how many is too few or too many just by number or our age.
      .
      A 16 year old with 8 partners in the last year. And you encourage her to abandon any words or thoughts that encourage her to consider the negative emotions her behavior is causing her. Rather than suggest that her behavior is making her feel bad, you suggest that it’s society’s tendency to shame sluts that is the problem. It’s incredible, really. In fairness, you give a long response, some of which is quite reasonable. Still, the damage is done early on. I doubt any 16 yo would go past the first 2 paragraphs.

      http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/working_it_out_when_hooking_up_isnt_working

      • http://scarleteen.com Heather Corinna

        Well, the young people who come to Scarleteen DO read our answers to them. Since you don’t have a background in educating young people, not sure where your assumptions about what they will or won’t read are coming from, but with what we do, we know from our stats and their feedback that a) more young people come to us about sex than to any other sex ed source online, and b) our website has more pages read per user in a day than most sites do, including those for adults.

        I also know this user DID read what was written, and I’m not going to defend what I told her, because if you or others also read the whole post, I think it’s pretty clear that yet again, you’re not being very honest with your own words.

        I’m honestly just done with you, because I have just run out of patience, and have to put my time and energy elsewhere. But what I’d implore you again to do — which I imagine anyone working in this arena would — is when you’re talking about something in which you, admittedly are, a new student, a) to ask some more questions of those of us who are not at all new to it (not just myself) who have not only done all the reading you have and more, but have more work/direct experience b) make sure you’re listening to young women like you say you are, since even in this thread, I’ve watched you dismiss plenty of them out of hand, and c) watch the authoritative statements you make (like calling new and limited study “conclusive”). By all means, casual sex can be traumatic, damaging or dissatisfying for young women: but so can sex within LTRs and sex in any context. I don’t know if you have done any work at all with DV/IPV, but if not, that might be something else you should consider spending some time with. Same goes for working in say, birth control, abortion or sexual health for married hetero women or couples in their 30s and 40s. All pretty illuminating ways to round out the bigger picture. From one of your comments, sounds like you could also stand to do some work with disability awareness as well as with non-hetero and/or non-gendernormative populations.

        There are not pat, simple answers to any of this, no one set of rules, no one way of doing things to guarantee good results (not even just for the heterosexuals you seem to exclusively talk about, discounting anyone else exists). There are certainly things we know do and don’t help people get to a place where they can have healthy relationships of all types, and make their best individual choices, but the way you’ve been talking here and the things you have been saying just aren’t them. If they were, a lot of my colleagueswho are sex therapists serving couples who followed all the rules of the 50′s would be out of work, instead of being overextended.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Oh please. Your condescending tone is ridiculous. As ridiculous as your advice to a 16 year old girl with at least 8 partners, who wrote to you because she is feeling badly about herself. You just encouraged her to slut it up. Where do you think she will end up, after having had sex with 100 men?
          As I said to you on Twitter, the fact that you have so many readers, courtesy of PC agendas in the schools, only demonstrates the need for more sane and reasonable voices. In my own school district, the high school sex ed program includes a two-day session on fisting. What a load of crap.
          For the record, and the umpteenth time, I have never recommended a return to the sexual mores of the 50s. I believe that women can and should own their sexuality. It’s a powerful and precious thing, and should not be squandered lightly.

  • Anni

    Susan, I disagree. I think you’re too harsh on her. I went and read the original piece and I think for her it is the step forward she claims it to be.
    .
    You say, “Ms. Friedman made a calculated decision to spend two years in a relationship that she did not feel emotionally invested in. She believed, as so many women do, that any relationship has got to be better than no relationship. Two years is a long time. It’s a longer time in your 30s than it was in your 20s. While you’re halfwaying it, emotionally stable people are lookin’ fer luv and finding it.”
    .
    And it’s true, she did waste that time. But now, it seems, finally she is starting to get honest with herself and not waste any more time. She acknowledges that she really wants a good relationship. Having casual sex probably won’t help her get one, but it helped her to realize what she wants and that is a step closer to getting it. I think she really is healing like she says. I’m not saying she’s there yet, but she is better than she used to be.
    .
    The one thing I agree with you on, is that she shouldn’t be glorifying sluthood. Instead of asking for support, she should be saying, “This is my story, but don’t try it yourself.” And then she should take the next step forward.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      She shouldn’t be glorifying sluthood. Instead of asking for support, she should be saying, “This is my story, but don’t try it yourself.

      Anni, if she had said this, I wouldn’t have needed to write a post about her.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Susan: “Am I understanding correctly? Serial monogamy is slutty, but sluthood is some higher, more enlightened way of being? Wow, that’s really splitting hairs.”

    Athlone: As you said before, Susan:

    ” Rapid fire serial monogamy is a clear indication that something is wrong. ”

    She dove into short sexual relationships in very quick succession because she was focused primarily on sex. We can both agree that this isn’t healthy, and it can certainly be called slutty.
    Her “sluthood”, in my opinion here, isn’t really sluthood as we understand the term. She calls the embracing of her sluthood a turning point, but her actual turning point occured when she was at her least slutty(her nearly serious but still casual multi month relationship with B). It was when she actually slowed down on the whole “slutting it up” thing that she actually started to feel better about herself. I think thats the actual ironic but more accurate description of her journey here.

    Susan: “In any case, the notion that the complete separation of emotion from sex can be healing or healthy for most women is not true. If JF is an outlier, that’s fine, but she and other sex pos feminists need to recognize and accept the many studies that indicate women are just not made that way. And she needs to stop recommending an approach to love and relationships that would be very detrimental to most women.”

    Athlone: I completely agree with this. What I’m trying to point out here is the potential for JF to have actually unwittingly [proven your point with her piece. Like I said before: Her earlier behavior was her “sluttiest” stage(rapid fire serial monogamy with no real rhyme or reason, focus on sex, nascent connections, short relationship lifespan, etc, etc). Even her early monogamous relationship with the other girl showed a lot of these bad symptoms(save the short lifespan).

    When she came closest to actually embracing a more monogamous lifestyle with someone she liked(although she met him in a very dubious way), she started to see improvement. She probably wouldn’t acknowledge this(hence her use of the term “sluthood” to describe a process that, as I just said, began by embracing significantly un-slutty behavior), but I think her story shows that in her case monogamy(or at least something close to it) was a lot better than indiscriminate serial encounters with no actual meaning(read: sluttiness).

    Her story, ironically, shows that even sex positive feminists who seem to do nothing but praise slutty behavior can benefit more from establishing more stable, long term monogamous pairings. Granted, hers was not actually perfect given where she found the guy(he only wanted casual sex so the relationship couldn’t last too long) but even then she managed to form some sort of bond over the span of their relationship. If she really tried to find a relationship in a more reasonable place than Casual Encounters, I actually think she might see even greater benefits. Again, she probably wouldn’t say that, but I think her story unintentionally indicates this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Athlone, this is a very astute and insightful analysis. As usual, you deliver and add considerably to the discussion. Thx.

    • Sasha

      I concur. Why is it that the hardcore sex-poisitive feminists seem to condone and continue to endorse something that is clearly not beneficial?
      I agree that most women who have and partake in casual sex form bonds – no matter how little – with their sexual partner. It’s hard not too.
      Trying to repress the bond is really sad and hard to do as a women because we naturally want to I feel. Nearly all of my friends and I partook in casual sexual encounters throughout freshmen and sophomore year at University but the same consensus was meet – none of us felt satisfied emotionally or physically from these encounters – instead we were left feeling unwanted and somewhat used – perhaps that we weren’t worthy to have something committed.
      I don’t think that it’s normal – sometimes I believe that when something else isn’t right we as humans try and show the “not-rightness” in another form a way of crying for help – for some it is drinking lots of alcohol, for others controlling their eating and for some it’s slutting it up!

  • Pingback: Stable Positions on the Monogamy-Hypergamy Continuum. | Dalrock

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  • KHanna

    “Oxytocin is not poorly understood. We may not know everything about the role of hormones in attraction and mating, but we know a great deal. BTW, I’ve never claimed that oxytocin is a finite supply – don’t know where you get that. The role of oxytocin is to promote bonding, including with sexual partners. A woman’s body is flooded with it during sex. What causes a failure to bond over time with many partners is the repeated experience of being pumped and dumped. Women experience attachment, and find it painful when they are subsequently rejected. It’s the constant rejection that takes its toll and makes women cynical and jaded. This is how women are biologically different from men. There may be outliers, women who don’t attach for some reason, but it’s unusual, and certainly not something that women should strive for.”
    Ouch. A lot of “scientific” statements being thrown around inaccurately (and probably the result of bad reporting/popular media interpretations of science that trade on ratings/view-grabbing via sexing up what would otherwise be a dull lab report to many). The oxytocin explanation stated here (and in other popular media) isn’t representative of the hard science/endocrinology involved in this emerging area of research.

    Oxytocin secretion is upregulated in both genders, not just in females, in response to many stimuli, not just sex/mate selection. It is not the automatic button (nor is it something that can be “used up” as it’s been stated) that drives bonding (among other things) in the way it’s been pitched in the popular media, and our current understanding of the role of this one thread in the vast complexity of the endocrine system and the interplay of hormones/physiology/brain function is still very limited despite some good work in progress–the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There is also a striking amount of variability in any biological trait in any species, and overgeneralizations about what is “normal” in any one population seem to focus on the center point of a wide distribution and ignore the ranges that overlap more than they differ.

    While, we’re talking about science, evolutionary psychology is viewed quite skeptically by the scientific community because there is little to no evidence available to examine as to what kinds of social, sexual, and gender interactions our prehistoric ancestors engaged in…the fossil and artifact record is not informative when it comes to interpersonal behaviors. Extrapolating from zero data means conjecture, and usually that conjecture is biased towards our current beliefs or guesses as to how the past informs the present (the distant evolutionary past, not the relatively short period of human history documented in art, writing, documented history, etc), hence the wealth of contradictory “findings” with little available hard evidence with which to compare them.

    The disciplines of evolutionary biology and evolutionary anthropology are more centered around actual data, particularly examination of genetic markers and how they have shifted throughout the time period for which we have that information, The field of psychology is starting to address that much of the research has been done on college undergraduates, the population most accessible for study, and is limited by the observation that these findings may not be accurately applied to other populations, such as middle-aged adults, members of other groups. The sexual and mate selection behavior of college students is most likely fundamentally different than that of older adults. Additionally, the fact that the average lifespan of a middle-class adult in the US has expanded by near 15-20 years means that modern adults spend more time in sexual maturity/sexual relationships and thus it is no surprise that many people are delaying marriage and permanent relationships until later in life as well. Marrying and starting a family right after high school may have been normative in the 1950s, but as our society shifts, so does mate selection and marriage behavior (as it always has). Simply taking into account the time required to train for modern employment (college degrees, trade school/apprenticeship, the shifting of the job market (from manufacturing to service/high tech, from domestic to globalized commerce, from stable employment to “at will”) means that delaying permanent mate selection, marriage, and childbearing is a rational adaptation.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      KHanna, welcome. This is an awesome comment. Thank you. If you’re not familiar with my blog, you should know that I began writing it to meet the needs of college women feeling dissatisfied with the college hookup scene, in particular the scarcity of relationships. Surprisingly, over time I have developed a regular following among guys as well.
      I recognize that hooking up is not the norm at say, 35. In fact, JF’s experience at age 40 has little relevance for most of my readers. I am particularly sensitive to the needs of these young adults (18-26) because they are at an age that will color their view of sex and relationships for the rest of their lives.
      It’s true that never before in history has there been a period of 15 years between menarche and marriage, on average. This has enormous implications. It means that nearly all young people will have sexual relationships before they marry. It stands to reason that the quality of those experiences will influence future relationships.
      What I’m seeing, and hearing, and reading, is that the quality of those early relationships is sorely lacking in terms of what women need and want. This is very evident on every college campus, in the mainstream media, and in fact, increasingly addressed in the feminist media. Just a year ago Jessica Valenti claimed there was no such thing as hookup culture. Today Rachel Simmons states that hooking up is devastating young women.
      The debate is happening. It’s on. It should be interesting.

  • Sasha

    Two years ago I would of felt overjoyed and possibly to in tears after reading an article like that outlined by JF. I would have rejoiced in the fact that my behaviour was being normalised and that being a “slut” was in fact a way of healing. I have to say now that two years on, some intense therapy for a rape and a few Gender Studies papers later – I am disgusted that someone would find joy or healing in allowing multiples upon multiple people (from Craigslist whatever that is) fuck you meaninglessly. I used to think and act just like JF however I was a newly turned 18 year old that got raped her first few weeks away at University not in my mid to late 30’s. Because of a rape that left me feeling demoralised, dirty, and losing all respect for myself the last thing I had on my mind was worrying about if the men I was sleeping had any respect me for me. I can’t say I was happy at all for that whole year of embracing my “sluthood” – trying to find validation in every sexual encounter I endured – trying to find validation that I could just not care about sex the way that the guy who raped me seemed to have no consideration about having non-consensual sex with me and my body. JF talks about how she was sexually assaulted in College – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she finds comfort in something that she once lost control over. Unlike JF I realised early on that casual meaningless sex didn’t give me any type of validation or control in fact it just made me miserable – I had nothing left for myself because I had shared something that I had valued so highly to anyone and everyone that would have it.
    Now however I feel empowered to know that I worked through my “issues” and am no longer a “slut”. I am empowered that I know I regained the respect of many people – mostly the men in my life – by in fact becoming maybe as some would say a prude.
    I would like to say to all who disagree with what Susan writes in her blogs – that it’s just one of many opinions on the subject. However coming from the “sluthood” and then reading Susan’s blogs I prefer to read her encouragement rather than others opinions of banding together in their need for validation in being slutty. I think that sexual awareness and identity doesn’t come with or from being a “slut” I think being have meaningless sex with anyone in fact does the opposite. I can’t say that I found love or support or (god forbid) healing in any of the men I had casual sex with I was just left feeling dirty and meaningless to them – just another hole for them to relieve themselves. You may say that Susan is backwards and trying to tell young men and women that sex is about supply and demand but from where I’m standing that is exactly what it is. She isn’t trying to repress our sexual identities she’s just trying to help people who are sick of playing the slut game to find a way to get around all the chaos that is the dating world today. I actually enjoy reading her articles and applying them to my own life now that I am issue free and have respect for myself – because they WORK! I wish I could of found this blog earlier so that I could of started my healing sooner!
    Everyone is so up tight about this whole sexual revolution thing – do what works for you. If being a slut works and is healing – go for it. But I’m a believer in the other kind of healing which happens to involve mutual respect, love and support in monogamous relationship. I can’t say that any women wanting to be part of the “sluthood” is happy within themselves truthfully about sharing bodily fluids with dozens of different people. I’d almost say they were so low in self respect for themselves that they feel the need to want to do this to their bodies and souls – cause yeah something isn’t right! They are unhappy. I’ve been there and done that it’s in whole entirety and I’m thankful that I discontinued my membership with the “sluthood” because it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience – how can anyone say that it is?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sasha, this comment from you has made the entire experience of this post worthwhile. Thank you. I have so much respect for your choices, your honesty, and your determination to overcome that devastating experience. I don’t see how any sex positive feminist could read this and not get it. Who knows, a few thousand people may read this comment. Several may be moved. One or two may change their lives. Your sharing this is a profound gift.

  • Anon-E-mous

    Wow. This has been very enlightening. Susan, this topic has demonstrated to me just how woefully pathetic the new “Sex Positive Feminist” is at forming (or defending) a logical argument with the given propositions. NewSpeak has moved Reason itself beyond their grasp. I give this movement another two years before it mercifully implodes on itself. I fully expect cannibalism to be the “dominant normative construct” in their self-induced cataclysm.

    Great Blog! Now, back to lurking, here and at Grerp’s.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Thanks, Anon for the positive feedback. Glad you commented. Don’t be a lurker in future!

  • Esau

    Just as a side note, more about form than content, I’m glad to see all the new commenters appear but I do detect certain telltale patterns appearing in the “feminist-minded” comments:

    .

    1. Bland assertions of authority, ie “I have more degrees than you” or “I’ve done more work” (whatever that means) without providing any new facts or content.

    .

    2. Changing the subject away from facts/contentions about the world (“This is/is not likely to be a good lifestyle choice”) and onto unknowable personal motivations (“You don’t like sluts because you don’t want them to steal your husband”).

    .

    3. Long declarations that everyone is different, no generalizations can be made, etc. etc.; despite the obvious fact that the original post and Susan’s response depend on the possibility that some generalizations can usefully be made.

    .

    4. Micro-fine hairsplitting criticism of imprecise language as a way of avoiding the main logical argument of a post.

    .

    These are all standard patterns that one sees in internet discussions, across all subjects; and to me they are all indicators that the author has a weak logical hand and is doing their best to compensate with tactics. Anecdotally, watching these exchanges confirms my previous impressions that the writing and reasoning of academic feminists is really pretty weak in general. And that’s a shame, because Susan could really use a good challenge from the left!, so to speak, but I haven’t seen one presented here so far.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Esau, you’re a great addition to my blog – you challenge me frequently in ways that make me speak more carefully and reconsider my assumptions about sex and relationships. This support from you means a great deal. Thank you.

  • Stephanie

    I must say, reading through the blog entry again, and especially a lot of the comments being made not just in general about the blog but also from person to person, it’s disheartening the attitude that a lot of people have taken. I know that even as I type this there will surely be some combative comments made, and I open myself up for people to throw a lot of things back at me. But I believe these things need to be said, even if a lot of people (as shown previously) will not be willing to really hear the views before they begin typing a response.

    Susan, as you describe yourself earlier in the comments as more a student than a teacher/ educator of sexual and sexuality education, I hopefully can say without hurting your feelings that you’re not as well known in the field as many others. I will say that I am glad to see you’re beginning to open yourself up to the idea of sex outside of relationships, but I do feel as though you’ve got a long way to go if you wish to become a true educator. An educator, especially in an area so taboo and which often people are embarrassed to talk about openly, must be someone that the people can trust, especially young adults who often don’t have the support. As a young adult myself, I have noticed easily the way in which you often in comments have disregarded the statements and opinions of young adults posting to you. As you said in an earlier post earlier, a couple (though it was a few, not a couple) women came and offered opinions on casual sex. But seeing such comments were met with a fight, rather than really listened to (including might I add making a connection that one had never been in love – something you couldn’t possibly know without knowing her, and that obviously upset her to have such assumptions made about her) it’s difficult to say such young ladies, feminists, would make a connection to a friend in need that you are a reliable source that can be trusted and that will accept such people as they are.

    Feminism, a way of empowering women to succeed – be themselves – and help others to come to accept them as they are and as equals is a very important thing. So many other countries still struggle with this type of equality today. And even as you point out sex-positive feminism as being a bad thing, there’s other countries where women aren’t able to say “no” to sex of any kind. Here, women come to understand about being in charge of their bodies and the decisions that they make about them. That wanting sex is perfectly okay, in whatever form they wish, are comfortable with, and find fits them. A woman *should* be in charge of her own body. And wanting sex should always be an ENTHUSIASTIC yes where anyone involved is actively involved and wants that and feels comfortable with it. A woman, such a Jocelyn, shouldn’t be attacked for her choices. Not ever experience everyone goes through in life is a positive one – but they shouldn’t have a character attack waged on them for that either. You say that you wrote this blog to help her? How? You say about other resources having information that’s hurtful, when you obviously know little of them. And instead of learning from the people that ARE well known in the field, and HAVE helped so many people, you spend the time you could be learning from the example they’ve set waging wars that need never be started.

    Please understand I’m not saying any of this as an attack on you, and I honestly hope that you can recognize that. You said you don’t know a lot about some things here, that you’re a student yourself. So what I’m asking you now it to listen and be receptive to learning. Some of the women that you’ve been attacking over the past days are women that have learned how important it is to listen to people. Women that help SO many, by listening, through acceptance, and mostly through being able to separate themselves from some of the biases that are shining through so clearly from you. These women have a lot of knowledge, and a lot of compassion for those they work with. While a blog like this doesn’t only attack and hurt the person it’s about, but so many people that have been hurt before by others.

    ~S

    • Passer_By

      “Susan, as you describe yourself earlier in the comments as more a student than a teacher/ educator of sexual and sexuality education, I hopefully can say without hurting your feelings that you’re not as well known in the field as many others.”

      Well, Hitler was well known in the fields of governance and social policy. HA! I’ve put an end to this entire comment thread by virtue of Godwins Law.

      P.S. Yours and others constant appeals to your worthless credentials are pathetic, frankly. Your academic discipline has no merit, given the way dissenting voices are treated.

      • Stephanie

        Passer_By: Of course you would be the first to prove my point on the narrow-mindedness of some people, and their inability to truly read and hear a message before responding. I’d also like to note that nowhere in my post was there a *single* appeal of my credentials, and not knowing me from anyone else you can make no such comment about any of my credentials with any knowledge what-so-ever.
        .
        On a side note – your use of Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies, if you truly understood them, means that the poster who mentions Hitler or the Nazis loses all debates and or discussions they had in that topic, and their insults are nullified.

        • Passer_By

          “Of course you would be the first to prove my point on the narrow-mindedness of some people . . .”

          Of course. I’m just not very smart like you.

          “I’d also like to note that nowhere in my post was there a *single* appeal of my credentials”

          No, you questioned hers, thereby questioning her standing to have an opinion on matters that relate to common sense and real world experience. More or less the same thing.

          Yes, I understood the Godwin’s Law reference. It’s called a self deprecating joke. You should try one sometime. Here’s a good one for you to start with:

          Q: How many militant feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
          A: THAT’S NOT FUNNY, ASSHOLE!!!

          Ok, and oldie but still a goodie.

          Hey, you want to hook up this weekend and have some sex positive relations?

        • Stephanie

          Narrow-mindedness does not indicate being unlearned, simply unwilling to hear all sides. I don’t now, nor have I yet thought you were not smart, though you seem readily willing to make assumptions about me.

          And I do willingly apologize if I’ve indicated some attempt to question Susan on any credentials she has, because that was not my intent. I simply used the phrase she offered herself as a means to not insult her by trying a phrase she may not feel she fits.

        • Passer_By

          “Narrow-mindedness does not indicate being unlearned . . .”

          Those who don’t accept your conclusions are narrow minded. Check!

          Actually, I was referring to your comment that implied she was not sufficiently “well known” to be taken seriously, not the reference to being a “student”

          I will concede one thing. I conflated your comment about “not being as well known” with a number of other comments here where posters talked about how credentialed in the field they were. If you’re intent was not to question her standing to have a valid opinion, then I withdrawn the comment.

          But I will say that gender studies types are not exactly renowned for open mindedness and tolerance of dissent. In fact, they usually come across as being almost as open minded and tolerant as muslims when it comes to images of the Profit (PBUH), so there is more than a bit of irony in your accusations here.

          P.S. I’ll take your silence on the issue as a “no” for this weekend.

        • Stephanie

          No, those who don’t at least read and contemplate before returning answers equals narrow-mindedness. I don’t expect everyone to agree any less than I expect everyone to disagree.
          .
          My intent was not to question her standing, rather to point out that as she placed herself, she shall continue to be. And in all truth, the best educators know they will always be students themselves – though she wish not be an educator.
          .
          My silence was nothing more than exhaustion in the late morning hours here, and not feeling well from a medical procedure earlier in the day – apologies.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Stephanie, welcome, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      I hopefully can say without hurting your feelings that you’re not as well known in the field as many others. I will say that I am glad to see you’re beginning to open yourself up to the idea of sex outside of relationships, but I do feel as though you’ve got a long way to go if you wish to become a true educator.

      I began blogging precisely to provide a much needed voice of dissent to voices in the sex pos branch of feminism. These women plow ahead with a political agenda without any regard for collateral damage. HOOKUP CULTURE IS HURTING WOMEN. Geez, is that not a cause you can get behind?
      I am not an educator. I have no wish to be an educator. Most sex ed curricula are horrendous, including lessons in fisting, BDSM, and many other practices in no way relevant to middle schoolers.
      I am a facilitator. I encourage young women and men to step back and assess whether they are happy with their sexual practices. If so, good for you. If not, why not? What’s missing? How can you change that?
      The women you hold up as paragons of good listening and counsel are without a doubt the most snide and sarcastic women I have ever encountered. It’s Mean Girls age 35+. Real conversation and debate is impossible. Their attitude toward any kind of dissent is to accuse the wayward woman of stupidity and ignorance, just as you have done here.
      I said I am a student. I didn’t say I am without knowledge. I am very, very good at what I do. I hope that I will always be a student, learning from my readers and other bloggers. Indeed, I learned something from Jaclyn Friedman.
      If only the women you admire were open to new knowledge. Heather Corinna tells a 16 year old girl who has sex with 5 guys in 3 months not to beat herself up by thinking she’s easy. She knows she’s easy! Society and guys tell her she’s easy! Ms. Corinna’s “expertise” and “acceptance” of that young woman’s demonstrations of self-abasement are criminal. Anything I can learn from such women only increases my disrespect.

      • Stephanie

        My apologies if you feel that I’ve in any way accused you of stupidity and/or ignorance. That was never my intention. Aside from that fact that in many ways we are all ignorant, we all do have ways in which we are smart and helpful. It’s the same way in which *I’ve* felt reading some of your own replies to others in my age group. Dismissals and questions of where we stand without a want for understanding. Or comments on love being the one definite in sex, and whether or not someone you’ve not met nor read about I’m sure has ever felt such an emotion.
        .
        I will not argue with you that sexual education in schools is horrendous. I remember being taught such things as two condoms being safer than one, and not learning much about Sexually Transmitted Diseases because the teacher was too embarrassed to go into details. It’s actually part of why I became such a strong advocate for sex-positive education. Because let’s face it, for schools that have a program it’s terrible, while others promote abstinence which leave students with too many questions and no answers. But I also know that without people willing to fight, that’ll never change. You can hate something you want all you can, but it won’t change what it is. But speaking out to schools does. Things like Special Education students needing to be included in Sexual Education classes (Because it’s known people with disabilities have a high rate for being abused, because often times they’re never taught what’s right and wrong touching.)
        .
        Working with teens that have ED, I know how important it is to understand that age group. What you fail to consider is that teens, and statistically females in the teen years rank high on charts for depression, self-abuse, and suicide. Imagine telling a girl who’s identifying something she’s not comfortable with personally. Then push her to beat herself up for decisions she’s made in the past, ones she can’t change for they’re already made and done. What good does that do? Can you compare what good it would do to the type of hurt it would cause? When I was raped, I was at a party I wasn’t supposed to go to with people a good bit older than I was. I blamed myself for YEARS for that decision. But it doesn’t make being raped my fault. And it did me no good to hold that over my head and blame myself with. And it wouldn’t have helped her to do that either. You make changed by supporting a person forward, not throwing them backwards.

        • Sasha

          Stephanie – before I posted my comment below I hadn’t seen this one.
          I too was raped by an acquaintance – I too blamed myself – but only when my boyfriend at the time told me I deserved it because I was being a “slut” by cheating on him and sleeping around with other guys. Clearly it was not my fault at all that I got raped but I held over my head the fact that I was a slut for close to year and slept with numerous people because I no longer had any self-respect for myself.
          I can see where your coming from in educating young women to not feel bad for their past and previous sexual partners and embracing some form of their is no turning back the clock so don’t beat yourself up. But before I was raped and I don’t know about you I had only had one boyfriend who I had been with for a close to 3 and a half years and regarded sex as a very special thing between two people who love each other – once raped I didn’t see the point in holding out so I become a “slut” but I was very unhappy.
          I think it’s great like you pointed out above to not make a young woman not feel guilty about her past by making her feel like their is not a right and a wrong way but shouldn’t you be wanting to help young women maybe change their behaviours so they don’t have to feel that way about their pasts? Or like that anymore?
          I can’t take back what I did and I don’t regret it but it’s taken me a few years to understand why I did it and I wouldn’t wanna be that way again – in the sense of callous casual sex. I have hooked up with a few guys once I came out of the other end of therapy and I was fine with it but I can’t say that I really enjoyed them as much as I was with my previous partner – in a monogamous relationship.
          Just like you said personally you believe Susan is throwing a person backwards I feel as though Jocelyn’s post could potentially be throwing some girls backwards too. Obviously different ideas of what is backwards and forwards are completely individual to each person.

        • Stephanie

          Actually, what I was referring to was her reply to the director of Scarleteen on a question from a teen that she had answered. Susan was telling Heather that she had taken a horrible approach because she clearly stated that the girl should NOT go into a self-blaming mode for the decisions she’s made, should NOT label herself a slut when it’s something she was obviously worried about. Heather’s reply began:
          “If any of us feels personally empowered by, say, self-identifying as easy, a slut, a prude or any number of other words we might use to broadly classify sexual behavior, I’m down. I don’t think that anyone else has the right to tell someone how to identify themselves or what words are or are not okay to do that with. But if you’re applying those words to yourself and they make you feel bad, I’d ditch them. Making yourself feel bad on purpose is never helpful.”
          .
          I DO feel that Susan is wrong to say that the response was bad for that. A person can change simply by knowing they’re not comfortable where they are. How helpful would it be to a young person, already finding themself somewhere that they don’t want to be to tell them “No, you are a slut. You should think of yourself as one because what you did in the past says you are.” Susan clearly labeled the girl a slut in her response. The teenage years are never easy, and it doesn’t give someone the support they need to ask them to continually hurt themselves with labels and memories that can’t be changed. If nothing else, I hope she can realize how unfair she was in suggesting that’s how it should have been answered, and how potentially damaging that could be.

    • Sasha

      Stephanie as a young adult myself I find that Susan doesn’t shut down any of the young adults comments or questions about casual sex. In fact I have commented about myself participating in casual sex many times on this blog and have never been meet with a fight.
      I believe when you say that feminism is a way of women to empower themselves to succeed – that’s correct. However empowering yourself to succeed in having lots of casual sex with lots of random men and women I don’t find empowering at all. Especially from Jocelyn’s point of view considering she seems to use it as a way of almost self-harm for most of her adult life – still seems to be!
      I myself do not judge Jocelyn for her life choices towards being apart of the “sluthood” but what I do disagree with is advocating such behaviour to possibly others who are finding themselves stuck as to whether being “slutty” is morally right for them or not. As I said if I had read something close to this two years ago I would of continued self-harming myself with casual sex because someone normalized it for me. I don’t think it’s right that someone of her supposed position should be normalizing such behaviour that – I’m sorry – isn’t normal!
      And Stephanie as you pointed out sex-positive feminism is a good thing, and there’s countries within “sex-positive feminism” where women aren’t able to say “no” to sex of any kind either. What you seem to think that those of us that grew up post the sexual revolution seem to have some different advantage to those poor women who still don’t get to say YES enthusiastically to casual sex?
      Susan didn’t write this blog to help people like Jocelyn – or possibly yourself – because you seem to lead your life by what works for you – that is if casual sex empowers you and puts you in charge of your body. However I like to read this blog to help empower me and my body! You yourself are making a huge generalisation that Susan is attacking “sex-positive feminism” because being sex-positive doesn’t mean the same to you as it means to me. The term can mean something different to everyone and for me who has been to the “sluthood” and back this blog works for ME!
      I don’t wage a war against any of you sex-positive feminists because I am sex-positive. I just don’t believe someone that is happy within themselves honestly can seriously enjoy the prospect of having casual sex with someone they picked up from Craigslist. That is not being empowered – it’s wanting to punish yourself. Shouldn’t being sex-positive be promoting safe, healthy and loving sexual encounters with someone who respects you?

      • Stephanie

        Sasha, if you feel as though you’ve not been shut down by responding here, I’m glad. I have seen in this blog alone a few examples (myself included) where comments were made in that such manner. I also have friends that have read through the blogs, and the comments that feel the same sort of lock out between sides.
        .
        Jocelyn wrote the article in asking support, and those unwilling to provide support to her, or feeling it’s not something that fits them for whatever reason need not attack her (which reach is what this blog and so many comments has done.) People have cast her with distain. Generalizations have been made based in little hard evidence, and not in such reliable sources.
        .
        Based on the comments that have been made, many quotes by Susan herself on sex positive feminism *are* an attack on such things. I will never say that all people agree on anything, or that even all people in a particular known group will always agree on everything, but when exact words are used, it is what it is. If you look throughout answers and replies made here, you’ll find quite often the way in which sex pos fem, as well as those people finding they fit in that category had been used.
        .
        I do believe women should be empowered to have the right to choose what lifestyle fits them best. While maybe you haven’t judged her personally, she has been judged quite openly here, from the beginning. And for choices she made that she felt fit her at the time. I understand that’s something that can happen when an opinion on a subject is offered, but it doesn’t make it right.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          This comment thread is the most intolerant and vituperative of over 300 posts. It’s also the first time sex pos feminists have found their way here in great numbers. However, the comments here don’t even come close to the hatred and venom spewed at Pandagon. I suppose I should be thankful.

        • Stephanie

          I’m not sure if you mean the comment thread as a whole, or if you’re referring to my comments being intolerant and vituperative of their own accord as an aside from any others posted here. Considering you posted that rather than doing so separately, as a reply to one of my posts I’m going to guess you’re speaking of me specifically.
          .
          I guess it doesn’t much matter – but I don’t feel that I’ve been less than tolerant and I don’t feel that what I’ve been saying was giving way to censure, because after all I don’t take away I add. However if you mean vituperative in terms of containing or being characterized by verbal abuse – then I say the one that really did that was you to Jocelyn.

        • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

          I agree that you’ve been tolerant, Stephanie, and I’ve enjoyed your point of view.

          One of the things that struck me about Susan is that I’ve been on this blog for awhile, and while she doesn’t shy away from her own opinions, she’s generally courteous and willing to listen even if she doesn’t always agree. She’s also strikes me as genuinely having women’s best interests at heart.

          So in that respect, you both seem to have a lot in common. I’m not sure if I find that the two of you got off on the wrong foot surprising or inevitable :)

        • Stephanie

          Quite honestly, I can’t say I was surprised we didn’t mesh well, but I also think that while her heart may be in the right place sometimes – there’s not always the connection with what’s actually best for someone versus what seems best at the time. I quite honestly was shocked to see her openly state that the right response to a teen uncomfortable with some past choices about sex includes making sure she understands she’s a slut. A point she’s still defending, without thinking of the consequences it could mean to that young lady.
          .
          Actually, while there’s plenty of information about her, she knows little about some of the young adults (indeed sex-positive feminists) and throwing those assumptions as a means to explain why we’re wrong. While I’ve certainly tried to be tolerant, I’ve seen her being less than so with anyone whose views didn’t fit into hers here.
          .
          I will say though I was honestly surprised to see my responses (and through connection myself) described as intolerant and vituperative. Not to mention have someone so boldly throw in my face that for some reason being a sex-positive feminist is such a terrible thing, when in all reality it’s this frame of mind that helps make changes for the better.

        • Vjatcheslav

          Stephanie said: “Jocelyn wrote the article in asking support, and those unwilling to provide support to her, or feeling it’s not something that fits them for whatever reason need not attack her (which reach is what this blog and so many comments has done.).”

          So what? If I wrote an article asking support for a bloody coup d’État and requiring that everyone cheered it on, even if their political views are completely at the other end of the spectrum, I would also be tasked for that. Jocelyn propagates the view that sluthood is good, while here it is felt that it largely is dangerous. If you are OK with its consequences, feel free to sleep around. But most women aren’t wired to navigate the hookup-environment as detached as men, and that could easily damage them (imagine searching for love, putting out your most valuable asset and then getting nothing but the walk of shame – repeat that a sufficient amount of times, and chances are you’ll get cynical and jaded. Men aren’t really attracted by that, and neither are they attracted to women whose history indicates a higher probability of cheating.)

      • Lisa

        “Susan didn’t write this blog to help people like Jocelyn – or possibly yourself – because you seem to lead your life by what works for you – that is if casual sex empowers you and puts you in charge of your body. However I like to read this blog to help empower me and my body!”

        You are empowered by reading about how a woman who claims to have found happiness is wrong and secretly unhappy and destroying her own life?

        May I ask how on earth that makes you feel better?

        Because reading a post denigrating someone’s happiness makes me feel queasy.

        • Sasha

          Yeah I’m going to be honest Lisa, I am, unfairly criticizing someone else’s so called “happiness”.
          I find it hard to believe that being a slut is a happy and wholesome experience.
          I am highly empowered knowing that I managed to salvage whatever bit of self respect I had left for myself and took the unfair criticism that got thrusted upon me being a “happy” and “empowered” slut and made an effort to change my slutty ways.
          I take profound happiness knowing that I consciously stopped putting myself in bad situations with callous casual sex and now can enjoy safe and healthy sexual relationships.
          Reading a post about how being a slut is healing and has had a profound impact positively on ones life makes me feel queasy just as you find my own comment equally as sickening..

        • Lisa

          Is this true of other things you’ve tried but didn’t like? (I don’t know you, so these are all guesses/things that I dislike, but I am sure you can substitute something in that applies for you and get my point.)

          I have tried soccer and I’ve heard that it can be great (and empowering–there was even a movie). I hate it. I don’t feel queasy when I read someone talking about how great soccer is for them, but I would get queasy reading a post about how the person that loved soccer was fooling themselves and that, by asking others to support their love of soccer, encouraging evil.

          I have tried listening to Lady Gaga. I don’t enjoy it at all. My friends love her. They talk about how great she is, and how much enjoyment they get out of listening. I don’t get queasy. I would get queasy reading about how anyone who claimed to love listening to Lady Gaga was deluding themselves and secretly a miserable, damaged person.

          Or, how about this: I love watching I Know Who Killed Me. It is probably one of the worst movies ever made and watching it makes me incredibly happy. I want to show it to everyone I know who is willing to sit through it with me (and I ask all of them). I actually go farther than Jaclyn did and encourage people to see that movie (seriously, count the lamps in her bedroom!!). Now, I don’t expect anyone to love this movie like I do, but I am certainly not lying when I say it makes my life WAY better. If you didn’t want to see it (or saw it once and NEVER wanted to see it again), that is completely understandable. If that were the case, though, would you feel queasy if you read a blog post from me about how much I liked it? How about one that said I was horrible, deluded, and evil? That the science of film criticism went against everything I said I felt when I watched that movie, and that the author of these horrible things had to write such a vehement, nasty response for the good of all women everywhere?

          Not listening to what women say when they describe their own feelings and experiences is a very bad thing. Not sharing those feelings and experiences is a great thing (yay diversity). Getting queasy that people discount women is, to me, a normal reaction. Getting queasy reading a difference of opinion…that’s a pathology.

        • Sox

          So casual sex = movies, soccer, or Lady GaGa?

          That’s unfortunate…

        • Stephanie

          Analogy –
          A) A resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike; similarity
          B) A comparison based on such resemblance

        • Lisa

          Well, not to me. I am happy with my entertainment choices (sex included). Again, I mentioned up front my assumption (since I don’t know you) that you would be able to find things you dislike that would be more apt for you in order to answer the questions.

          You said you were unhappy with your sexual choices, so much so that hearing that other people have made similar ones and feel good about them makes you feel ill. I am confused by this because I don’t have this problem. I love the choices that I have made sexually (I have regrets, but not about sex), and don’t mind hearing about what works for other people. To me, this is the same in ALL areas of my life (even if I have regrets). I know why I made choices I regret when I did, and while I might do some things differently if I could do it all again, I am comfortable with those choices because I have grown and developed as a person in order to get to the place where I could understand, regret, and move past those decisions. If someone made the same decision that I did and it worked out for them, that is fantastic. It just wasn’t for me. That’s life.

        • Sasha

          Ok I need to clear a few things up..
          I very much enjoy sex! Love it in fact. I may not use it as casually-entertainment-wise as watching a movie or playing soccer but I do indeed partake in casual acts of sex outside of committed relationships. However now I do this in a rational mentally stable headspace where I do it for a pleasurable experience not a way of punishing myself.
          What I feel ill about is how I used to identify with Jocelyn and partially still do. If she hadn’t described her trauma (rape) and the fact that she hasn’t sort help for it – I think she’s using sex not so much for entertainment purposes but as a way to relive her trauma with her being in control. I am not unhappy with my sexual choices – because sometimes in life things do happen as you pointed out – but when your raped your perspective on sex as pleasurable stable entertainment changes and you can’t tell me that Jocelyn is acting normal considering her history.
          If someone who was stable mentally wrote this article about how being a slut has changed their life profoundly and they have found it a healing experience at the age of 40 – I wouldn’t have a problem. But I feel for Jocelyn she’s still living in trauma. When your raped (and I don’t know you or know personal experiences but) do you understand that without sufficient treatment the way you interact sexually with people is different compared to people in the general population who have always had a normal healthy sex life?
          I don’t feel ill at Jocelyn because I identify with her – I just feel a bit queasy that some people think her behavior should be praised and normalized to others? I feel for Jocelyn that she has to try and embrace her trauma by being a “slut” instead of coming to terms with the fact that she was raped.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          She’s not secretly unhappy. She’s openly sharing her history of misery. Name one slutty encounter she describes that brought about this evident bliss. The most positive thing she mentions is a hookup that she thought was going well until it abruptly disappeared.
          However, this is all a red herring. The real problem is that she wants our permission, even validation for her personal choices. She wants to be cheered for bravely choosing self-debasement. This isn’t inferred, it’s explicitly stated.
          The point of this post is that she has not earned praise and she shouldn’t be trying to drag other women down with her.
          Here’s the real test: Would you trade places with Jaclyn Friedman for 10 seconds? Didn’t think so.

        • Lisa

          I would definitely trade places with her (but not for 10 seconds, if I am gonna get to be someone happily slutty, then I would want at least a week). I’d want to come back because I absolutely love my partner and am committed to him, but “trading places” (Prince and the Pauper-like or Freaky Friday-ish?) would, I am sure, be completely okay with him.

    • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

      And instead of learning from the people that ARE well known in the field, and HAVE helped so many people, you spend the time you could be learning from the example they’ve set waging wars that need never be started.

      Define “help.”

      • Sox

        Yea, making people feel better doesn’t always help them in the long run.

      • Stephanie

        Which would you like?
        *to give assistance or support to
        *to make more pleasant or bearable
        *improve, relieve
        *to be of use to : benefit
        *to further the advancement of

        I could give more, but I figured I’d leave it simple. Susan says such women that are KNOWN to help, acknowledged in the fields, have so many coming to them (like Scarleteen, which is a leading sexual and sexuality education resource for teens and young adults) are not good people to learn from. But there’s a reason they’re so trusted. They’re accepting, (and here berated for telling a young girl not to name herself a slut when it’s something that would be hurtful to her). They help teens through difficult times, support them in their decisions, and accept them as they are. They work with many people that have been through abusive relationships, rape, other sexual assaults. Help teens that *do* feel sex is right for them at any time in any way to know how to do so safely in terms of pregnancy and STI prevention. Yes – they help people.

  • Mike

    What Esau said.

    You really do see a clear pattern in the “argument” these types utilize, and I use the term argument loosely. It really is more of a blend of emotional invective/ad hominem/ and pleas that do not address the core logical issues presented.

    There are a few other points I want to bring up that I have yet to see mentioned which I think are critical although doubtful we’ll get honest answers.

    A good number of female commenters have mentioned they have successfully cycled back and forth between phases of “mind-blowing” casual sex and committed monogamous relationships. I do not doubt the veracity of these claims. But we need to dig deeper. I don’t know, but I would be confident postulating these women are behaving in exactly the way standard Game theory suggests.

    In other words, I think it would be fascinating and instructive to assess the difference in SMV between the male partners they had their casual sex phases with versus the SMV’s of their boyfriends. Yes, I’m generalizing but I’d bet a decent amount of money that the SMV of their casual sex partners are probably on average 2-3 points higher then the SMV of their committed boyfriends. In other words, they fucked the alphas who would not commit and for whom these women likely would have no hope of getting committment, and then for relationships they are with betas who have no other options in the sexual marketplace. I won’t hold my breath waiting for any confirmation on this, because this would require a level of introspection I suspect few of these women have judging from their comments.

    The other point is the issue of the double standard, and whether a previous promiscuous lifestyle/very high number count rightfully warrants caution for men who might commit.

    Roissy had a post today that I think it relevant here:

    http://roissy.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/the-depedestalization-shall-continue-until-morale-improves/

    “AshleyMadison.com, the dating cheating website for married people, had the second-largest number of sign-ups on the day after Mother’s Day this year.

    Momlogic has exclusively learned that 31,427 women signed up for AshleyMadison.com yesterday — which is over ten times the average number of women who typically sign up on any given Monday.

    Now here is the operative question. What is the correlation between women who engage in a ton of casual sex/are highly promiscuous and those who eventually cheat either in a committed LTR/marriage? I don’t know, but the answer of ZERO correlation is preposterous. If you put a gun to my head, and forced me to bet, I’d bet a great sum that cheating/infidelity has a pretty tight correlation with either a somewhat low count versus a super high count.

    This has been a fascinating thread to read. I am convinced there must be a reeducation camp somewhere, where these people have their brains and any remaining common sense removed, and replaced with a standard brain processing unit that operates on lexicon like cisgendered and heteronormative.

    Susan, I think Grerp nailed it that you don’t want to waste too much time and mental energy engaging these types.

    • Mike

      And just to be clear, I think a guy with a super high count is more likely to cheat as well.

      • Lisa

        I have actually had three times as many sexual partners as my LTR partner. We’re fine with that. He is not interested in casual sex, it doesn’t seem appealing to him. He recognizes (of course) that he and I are different people. My casual sex in the past is just that, in the past. We are monogamous and committed now and will remain that was barring unforeseen events. (Some hypothetical events that we have discussed would result in us going our separate ways, others in opening up our relationship. None of those seem likely, but we have discussed them because that is what people who love each other and spend a lot of time together do: discuss random–and not so random–things.)

        I believe that my engaged friend has also had far more sexual partners than her fellow, but I’m not sure if she was talking about the current guy or one of the previous ones. None of her relationships–casual or otherwise–ended because of her sexual history, though.

  • (r)Evolutionary

    Standing back, watching the carnage, the hair-pulling, the sweating & grunting from all the feministas, I chuckle. Truly I do. All sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    I’d truly be entertained to watch the hamsters run overtime in Msrs. Corina’s and Marcotte’s pretty little heads after spending some time over at any one of a handful of blogs in the Manosphere, especially CR, In mala fide, Vincent Ignatius, Seasons of Tumult and Discord, etc.

    I’d love to see them publish something halfway intelligent on the topic of game, because I don’t think they can do that & be congruent with all the hate they’re spewing.

    Really, I’d love to see them try to backpedal on all this vitriol when all you’re saying is that hookup culture hurts women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      They’re a dying breed, and they’re not going down without a fight. I can’t say I blame them. But I will not spare them either.

      • http://dalrock.wordpress.com/ Dalrock

        They’re a dying breed, and they’re not going down without a fight. I can’t say I blame them. But I will not spare them either.

        Agreed, what we are witnessing is the death rattle of feminism (as we know it at least). I say, enjoy the show.

      • Lisa

        About the dying breed thing (not arguing here), have you gotten around to Thomas question earlier in the thread yet?

  • ATS

    So let me get this straight–if we take Ms. Friedman’s call to embrace sluthood to its absurd conclusion, we’ll soon see a slew of 13 year olds who’ve already had 10 partners or more taking inordinate pride in what they’ve become? Oh, and they can tell their parents, “But Mom, sluthood HEALS me!”

    Will someone please tell me where the hell common sense went???

    • Lisa

      I guess the common sense flew out whichever random door you opened in order to conflate an adult woman with a thirteen-year-old child. Just a guess, though.

      When you read about a woman getting married (and liking it! and wanting support!), do you pearl-clutch over all of the potential child brides if we follow her call to embrace it to its absurd conclusion?

      Common sense doesn’t typically lead people to absurd conclusions.

  • Sox

    Until I start seeing/hearing widespread accounts of men being pumped and dumped, I cannot believe that women can approach sex the same way as men. Sorry, it just doesn’t happen that often.

    Are there any men here that actually see JF as LTR material? Seriously. Any quality guy who reads that is going to run for the hills. No, is not the quality male’s job to save her, to look past the baggage she’s dragging around.

    • Lisa

      Quality men don’t “save” women, or love those women despite all their qualities/histories/idiosyncrasies. Quality men approach women as equal human beings, who have led lives and made choices (some good, some bad) just like the men have.

      If a guy runs for the hills after reading her piece, he isn’t a quality guy.

      • http://dalrock.wordpress.com/ Dalrock

        If a guy runs for the hills after reading her piece, he isn’t a quality guy.

        But her problem is all men run for the hills. Well, all except the quality guys on craigslist. Granted this is partly about her weight, age, feminism, personality, and overall appearance; but she isn’t shy about sharing that she auditioned for the role of warpig and couldn’t get a callback. So after a year and a half totally alone (not even a quickie w/ a stranger she met at a bar), she stayed with a woman in a relationship she wasn’t happy with and then finally trolled Craigslist for bottom of the barrel guys. Fortunately for her the option of last resort still worked.

        I can only imagine how many books and articles she will write on Female Sexual Power once she finds even guys on craigslist have standards.

        • Lisa

          Well, no guy has ever run from me. And I mentioned the only guy I have ever see run was from his girlfriend who had been raped. If that is not bottom of the barrel, then I don’t know what is.

        • Sox

          What does men running or not running from you have to do with anything? This isn’t about you.

          It’s not just about her notch count.

          Sure, “quality men” love someone despite their histories blah blah blah. We’ve heard that line. That’s in an ideal world. Just like in an ideal world, “quality women” give equal attention to sweet provider-type guys whose shoulders they often cry on. Maybe we should redefine quality here. I’m not talking about the guy with the good heart, I’m talking about the guy with options. The guy women actually desire.

  • http://dalrock.wordpress.com/ Dalrock

    She is widely known and respected in the feminist community, having co-written Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & a World Without Rape with Jessica Valenti.

    It is both ironic and tragic that someone who wrote a book about Female Sexual Power would find herself dragging along the very bottom of the sexual marketplace. I don’t think there is a young woman on your site who didn’t read about Jaclyn being ultimately reduced to trolling for sex on craigslist and say to herself: ew!

    I’m a slut who craves a stable, loving, committed relationship

    I’ll refer a young woman to her for relationship advice right after I send young men to John Bobbit for marital advice. Fortunately I don’t think there is a young woman who read any take on this story who didn’t come away seeing it as a cautionary tale. No spin required.

    I would have great sympathy for Ms Friedman were she not busy trying to get more women follow her own nightmarish path.

  • Vjatcheslav

    Since my webbrowser or whatever doesn’t want me to see the whole comment thread, I’ll have to do it this way (my apologies).

    Lisa: “[B]ut the oxytocin theory has nothing whatsoever to do with your “being rejected sucks” argument.” and “[H]as nothing to do with women “bonding more” during sex because of a hormone found and released in both sexes.” . Makes studying literature and mathematics people really this obtuse? If you bond more strongly with something or someone, you’ll be more unhappy if it doesn’t work out. That is, if you hadn’t observed it yet, a QUANTITATIVE argument, not a qualitative argument. Quantitative as you’ll find much in mathematics (which you have studied, you say). You know, that little thing with numbers and such. If you haven’t bonded with someone, you won’t care much or long if he goes away. If your boyfriend were to leave now (permanently), you would very sad, I presume. . Men don’t bond as much through oxytocin BECAUSE IT IS PARTIALLY SUPPRESSED BY TESTOSTERON.

    Here is the new reply:
    But oxytocin has not been proven to CAUSE a bond, it has been shown to make you feel (while it is in your system) that a bond has already been formed. While, if you want a bond, this will probably aid you in getting one, it does not actually create one all on its own. Oxytocin actually is believed to have more of a physical effect on men than it has on women. This is why men go limp after orgasm while women’s pelvic floors prime for another go round. Hormones don’t create long-lasting effects like that in the body. If they did, women who started menstruating would never stop, women who happened to conceive a child would never give birth, and women who had sex with a guy and orgasmed would never get over their lost love when he walked out the door the next morning. I, of course, would be sad if my boyfriend left because we have spent six years together and I’d have to go back to cleaning the litter box. Y’know what would (temporarily) make me feel better? Oxytocin released during an orgasm. It would make me feel bonded socially even when someone wasn’t there to actually be bonded to. (If that is the way that oxytocin actually works, by the way, the studies on its effects in humans are somewhat undefinitive.)

    This argument sounds rather as if you tried to prove that phantom pain doesn’t exist. It can be as painful to lose an imaginary bond as it is to lose a real bond. “If people define situations as real, they become real in their consequences.” (Thomas and Thomas) And it seems that being in love has a shelf-life of about 4 year. Also, some people have been known to continue to mourn dead relatives, spouses and friends for a very long time. Sometimes things are self-reinforcing.
    .
    Moreover, many of the rejections are in a short period of time after the hook-up itself (“why doesn’t he call back?”).

    • Lisa

      But oxytocin has a half-life of three minutes once it is released into the bloodstream. If you wanted the guy to call on his (or her) “Walk of Shame,” then yes, that would be immediate enough rejection. Hours or days, probably not so much. An imaginary bond you planned in your head might hurt as much as a real one. A passing emotion during a time of heightened physical pleasure, when you probably weren’t THINKING all that much? Not really the same thing.

      And that argument was giving you the benefit of the doubt that oxytocin is really all about bonding to begin with (its probably not). It’s theorized that oxytocin just amplifies any old social emotion. So, if you felt bonded before, it might heighten it. If you didn’t feel much to begin with, it might not do anything at all.

      (To get back to older comments, there is a link at the bottom of this page.)

      • Vjatcheslav

        Let’s put oxytocin aside for a bit. There is some mechanism in many girls (not you, it seems) that makes them bond to their sexual partners. If I remember well some of the links I have already given make that point well enough (I think that “sources”, above the page, could give some additional evidence). How it exactly works would be interesting if we wanted to create a pill against bonding with persons with whom you have sex, but for us it makes no difference if it is a black box or not.
        Guys have this mechanism also, but something tends to dampen its effect (not always that good, but much better than by women). As they don’t bond as much to their sexual partners as their sexual partners do to them, they have it easier to reject them implicitly of explicitly. Result: women have pain, men not so much.
        .
        (Thanks! I hadn’t observed it.)

        • Lisa

          You missed my link on the previous page that shows men actually feel MORE pain after a relationship ends.
          http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/06/romance-men-relationships-breakup.html

          Hormones are really commonly misunderstood things. We tend to take a lot of obvious physical changes, and traditional (but not necessarily correct) wisdom and use that to make sense of mechanisms we are just beginning to uncover.

          Did you know that men have a monthly cycle? Pretty much just like women’s except that there is no incredibly obvious shedding of lining to accompany it. Men’s cycle (hormonally speaking, and in terms of hard-to-notice things like fine motor skills) actually is more major, bigger differences from beginning to middle to end. I wonder what would happen if we had a male commander-in-chief with his finger on the button the week when he was at the mercy of crazy hormonal imbalances?

          Men and women do have different hormones, but a lot of the results are actually pretty much the same. If women bond by hormone (or whatever), then men do something similar by the same or a similar whatever. Unless, women bonding more than men is just a product of socialization, then we can spare women the pain of bonding too much by offering them a range of options from slut to nun, and removing the stigma surrounding each of those options.

        • Vjatcheslav

          We are discussing the effect of (theoretically) casual sex, not of break-ups in LTR’s.
          .
          Interesting, the bit about the monthly cycle of men. I’m going to search a little bit about that.

        • Lisa

          Sharon Golub’s Periods (I think), it could have been Karen Houppert’s The Curse.

          So, bonding in an LTR is substantially different than bonding during casual sex? Do you have a study for that?

        • Vjatcheslav

          I have some possible sources (I don’t have access to the studies themselves, but the abstracts are interesting – the text is a citation from them):
          http://psp.sagepub.com/content/31/6/747.abstract (Across several different cultures, short-term mating was moderately associated with insecure attachment, and insecure attachment was strongly related to maladaptive personality. However, short-term mating was largely independent of maladaptive personality. In some cases, especially among young men, short-term mating was associated with adaptive personality traits, especially higher self-esteem.)
          http://ccr.sagepub.com/content/42/3/220.abstract (the degree of gender differentiation in dismissing romantic attachment varied across cultures in evolutionary-predictable ways, with smaller gender differences evident in cultures with high-stress and high-fertility reproductive environments.)
          http://www.springerlink.com/content/44j645v7v38013u4/ (Women were less likely to report that hooking up was a positive emotional experience than men.)
          More generally: “Sex and the City Uncovered: Exposing the Emptiness and Healing the Hurt” by Marian Jordan (she isn’t quite happy with her experiences in hooking up)

          Add to this the general observation that men don’t have too much problems with hooking up; women seem to reap most of the bitter fruits.

        • Mike

          You missed my link on the previous page that shows men actually feel MORE pain after a relationship ends.

          Actually, I think is absolutely true which is even more reason men have to be very careful about the types of women they essentially give their heart to and become involved in LTRs or marry.

  • Vjatcheslav

    “Um, “The Glory of RA” is a song from The Ten Commandments musical, sung by Pharoah, so me singing it throughout the streets in the morning (as that character did in the show) in order to wake people up would be treating them EXACTLY as I would like to be treated. Look, if you don’t understand a reference, ask me (or Google) and I’ll explain it to you. Don’t hurt your head trying to figure it out.”

    There is in general only one pharaoh, so you’ll have to learn to write better as choirs are per definition with several people.

    • Lisa

      Well, if everyone felt as I did, they would come out and join me as I passed.

      Have you NEVER seen a musical?

  • Vjatcheslav

    “I didn’t know it was en vogue in feminist circles to advocate male paternalism. Since when did you come upon this insight that women aren’t to be trusted when they want to have sex with no strings attached? . So, concluding: if a woman approaches a man and offers him sex, it is first and foremost the duty of the woman to see to it that her interests are guarded. Men don’t have an obligation to know better than said woman (of course, if the woman in question is drunk or high, it would be more problematic because then she isn’t that well able to guard her interests). And if a man approaches a woman with an implicite offer of sex, she must consider whether she would benefit or not (the man must be open enough for the woman to know whether he is in for casual sex or for a relationship). If the woman consents to sex (and is able to consent), the male hasn’t a special duty to search after circumstances and such that would result in a negative effect on the woman. There are a few exceptions – it wouldn’t be a good idea to offer sex to someone of whom you know she is allergous to your semen. . The man must have respect for the decision of the female. We all must have respect for decisions that do no harm to others than those who make the decision. Whether to respect the person in question depends on his or her behavior and merits.”

    Here is the new reply:
    [Lisa] “I fail to see where I called for male paternalism or why I am now the mouthpiece for feminism, but, whatever. I think women, and men, should be trusted when they want no-strings sex. What I was objecting to in my post was the fact that Friedman writes about her sluttiness, and everyone comes down on her. But there are at least a dozen male blogs that I’ve seen that tout the virtues of being a man slut. I was objecting to the alive and well double standard still being flung around after all the “horrors” of feminism have been unleashed. And being the mother of a son and daughter, I have a dog in this fight and I dislike the garbage being offered to them on the internet, especially wrt to this topic and my son. And I feel compelled to speak out against it when I see it.”

    Saying that men shouldn’t go after all that sex that feminism has unleashed. After all, the girls do it voluntarily.
    .
    I have already explained whence the double standard comes: the fear of men to be cuckolded in combination with the impossibility to be sure of paternity. Women may fear being cheated, but they are at least sure of maternity.

  • Liza

    Thanks, but I know from whence the double standard comes. And in this day and age of condoms, the pill and paternity tests, why is there still this irrational fear of being accused wrongfully of paternity?

    Men can and do “go after all that sex that feminism has unleashed.” But they’re still man sluts and should be scorned just as much as woman sluts. You seem to be avoiding that. So let me ask you directly, in this day and age of paternity tests and reliable birth control, aren’t male sluts Just As Bad as female sluts? If not, why not?

    • Athlone McGinnis

      Liza: “Thanks, but I know from whence the double standard comes. And in this day and age of condoms, the pill and paternity tests, why is there still this irrational fear of being accused wrongfully of paternity?”

      Athlone: Reliable birth control originated about 40 years ago, proliferating widely thereafter.
      Human beings have been around for hundreds of thousands of years.

      I think you can see where I’m going here, but I’ll spell it out anyway. Humans have spent virtually all of their existence without safe contraception, and so evolved to live in an environment without it. These impulses come about over thousands of years, and aren’t going to be wiped out over the course of 4 decades.

      Liza: “Men can and do “go after all that sex that feminism has unleashed.” But they’re still man sluts and should be scorned just as much as woman sluts.”

      Athlone: We’ve already touched on the main reason why this is not the case, and why four decades won’t change that.

      Other reasons aside from this? Well, there is the “who started it” argument. Women unleashed feminism and all of the casual sex that goes with it. They demanded it and the freedom that comes with it. They got what they wanted.
      One can argue that men are simply responding to female wants. If females want casual sex…then why should any of the blame fall on men for responding to it?

      There is the “lock and key” argument, which goes as follows: A key that can unlock many locks is valuable. A lock that is easily opened by many keys is not valuable.
      If you have not already guessed, the key is the penis, and the lock is the vagina. This is in reference to the different ways that the two genders can enter into the casual sex arena.

      For a girl, being a slut isn’t all that difficult to accomplish in and of itself. If this girl is at least somewhat attractive(not overweight, at least a 6), then acquiring a large number of partners JUST FOR SEX will not prove difficult, especially with the aid of alcohol. Even without soliciting for it, these girls usually have several individual men who are at any given time hoping to have sex with them at some point in the future. If said girl were to walk into a crowded club/frat party/bar and solicit sex from the many men there trolling for it, she is almost guaranteed to walk out with a partner. This applies to just about every decent looking girl.

      The male equivalent of a decent looking average girl cannot approach things in the same way. Even the most masterful of seducers today has a success rate of 10% or less. Legendary men like Casanova often took months to get just ONE girl into bed, and he was said to be the most skilled seducer history knows of. In order to have sex with a lot of women, and man has to work a lot harder, invest more time and make a conscious effort to actually understand women and understand them well. Most men are clueless about women, so this proves to be a fairly rare feat. The only way a man can approach the easy access to sex that the average attractive girl has is to become famous(movie star, musician, athlete, etc). Obviously, very few men ever actually do that. Even a fairly good looking, desirable guy in any environment has to put in a significant amount of work to rack up a large number of partners(must read signals, must approach, must convince her of his worth, etc, etc). He can’t expect them ever to come to him.

      Contrast this to an above average looking, desirable girl. She can, at any given time, count on the availability of numerous men DYING to have sex with her. All she needs to do is say yes to their advances and she will have created a pretty decent notch count.

      Because of this difficulty, men who succeed in seducing large numbers of women are respected and looked up to(mostly by other men), while women who seduce large numbers of men are not.

      Another argument focuses on the way different genders view promiscuous individuals. I suppose this could also relate to another double standard: The male virgin vs. the female virgin.

      Lets say we have two virgins. The male virgin is a solid 7, decent looking with enough going for him. The female virgin is also a solid 7. She is cute and slender, but not a supermodel. She also has plenty going for her. Both are 20 years old.

      Society values one over the other. Male virgins(who are not making the choice to remain so out of religious conviction or whatnot) are often ridiculed by society, especially when they remain so past their teenage years. They are assume automatically to be complete losers. At any given time, the male virgin 7 I outlined above can never expect to illicit a ton of female interest, especially if his virginity is a well known fact. Girls prefer more experienced guys, and other guys don’t respect less experienced guys either.

      Female virgins aren’t without negative publicity. They can be called prudes or teases, but they are never lambasted by the opposite sex as complete and total losers, and they aren’t regularly made fun of. Female virginity has been valued by society since the beginning of civilization. The cute female virgin I outlined above can still expect to illicit a large amount of sexual interest from men based on her looks and “purity” alone. She can probably expect men like the male virgin I outlined above as her counterpart to chase her to.

      Inexperience for guys = huge detriment. Women may openly criticize players at times, but as a whole they tend to prefer them as sexual partners(hence the consistent rise of the average player’s notch-count). This is why male virgins don’t usually have women lined up for them. For the females they want, their inexperience is a problem.
      Inexperience for girls = benefit. Even older, more experienced guys can see a virgin as a “prize”, a pretty piece of clay that can be molded to their needs. If this virgin is decent looking, she can expect plenty of suitors despite her inexperience. Statistically, chances are that when she DOES lose her virginity, it will be to an older guy with at least slightly more experienced that her.

      This relates to our argument in that it shows a way in which incentives drive behavior. Inexperienced guys who don’t engage in casual sex are considered low value, so there is little incentive for a male NOT to try and partake in casual sex.

      If he becomes a highly experienced guy(read: manwhore) he actually becomes a much higher value individual because experience is a huge benefit for guys when it comes to attracting a female.
      Inexperience for a girl can be beneficial given the sheer number of men who idolize and fantasize about female virginity. However, there is no similar benefit for a girl who gains experience in the way a guy does. Her ability to attract mates often depends on her physical appearance, a variable that isn’t affected much by increased experience. Because of this, sluts are not considered quite as valuable, creating a double standard.

      • Liza

        Ok, do correct me if I’m wrong, but what I get from that torrent of information is that the double standard exists because:

        (1) Female sluts are viewed as worse than male sluts by men because men have still not evolved past their cavemen “impulses” (must make sure baby is mine) which then overwhelm their present-day intellectual processes (well, I can always get a paternity test), so they distrust and devalue women sluts (while still trying to have sex with them as much as possible); and

        (2) Male sluts are more valued cuz men have to work harder than women to get sex and this work ethic is admirable. (Sorry, but that made me laugh)

        Men who sleep around might be slapped on the back in the locker room, but I have never, ever had a conversation with another woman about a man slut where we talked about how we’d love to go to bed with him cuz of his “experience.” Those conversations tend to be of the “run away as fast as you can” variety. I think it’s another man myth like the one where you guys truly think size matters.

        And if men and women all agree that a double standard does indeed exist, can’t we also agree to do away with it? Or agree that a man who sleeps around is just as much of a skank as a women?

    • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

      With women in every area of the workforce now and actually outnumbering men in college, they have a ton of options. If you don’t like the way men are, it is entirely possible to live independently of them. Here is my position: why should women tell men how they should be? Let men police themselves.

      Or, better yet, how ’bout we adequately parent our own children of both sexes – educate them, spend copious amounts of time with them, and place their needs before our own needs to self actualize in the bedroom or the boardroom?

      Also, how about instituting mandatory paternity testing on site in the maternity hospital? And easy test that would relieve a lot of minds and probably get a number of married men off the hook for child support.

    • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

      @Liza’s Aug 4, 1:19 comment (in case I reply to the wrong comment as I am wont to do)

      I suspect it comes from being human. Fear–irrational or not–is part of the package.

      I’m enjoying reading the comments, but i’m getting confused because I’m not always sure whether we are using ‘bad,’ ‘wrong’, etc. in the sense of ‘morally wrong and worthy of societal condemnation’ or in the sense of ‘unhelpful, self-destructive, counter to one’s own happiness.’

      Personally, I liked the article. I think it’s natural to take someone’s personal story and fit it into our personal view of the world. One of the dangers I find is it’s so easy to get caught up in scoring points, winning, or being right that I start putting my personal agenda in front of why adopted those beliefs in the first place, which is because I want to help myself and others have happier lives.

    • Vjatcheslav

      There is no mandatory paternity testing, and in many jurisdictions the possibility to prove you’re not the father is limited. And it is a very old fear, something we can’t just erase from our brain because now the external circumstances have changed.
      .
      Male sluts often get jaded themselves – they see how easy it is to manipulate women for sex and they lose all respect. So psychologically I don’t see much differences.
      .
      If we hold sluthood – here to be defined as the indiscriminate (and consummated) choice of numerous sexual partners, mostly because they are willing and not ugly enough to reject – to be bad, then yes, male sluts are as damnworthy as female sluts. (A little aside: I don’t like sluthood, neither male or female. Female sluthood removes a relatively important group of women from circulation towards relationships, who, in better circumstances, wouldn’t have done that [for example: some victims of rape seem to get pretty slutty because of the trauma] and would probably be acceptable or even good in relationships. Male sluts tie up a great deal of girls when they are at their prime, thus at the moment when they are most interesting sexually speaking. Result: a great number of young men who are exiled to the sexual desert.)
      .
      There is one problem, one essential difference, though. Men don’t control who will get sex, women do. If (and in the measure that) women ask a reasonable price for sex, men will have to do some more work – for example, demonstrating that they are responsible and mature, or in love, or… – and man sluts won’t simply have enough time and energy to be man sluts on the scale they can achieve nowadays (depending on the ease with which women can be misled, of course). You can berate men for following their biological urges – after all, we also berate people who work out their frustrations on other people – but as long as women continue to give sex this indiscriminately, there will be many man sluts.
      Women, in contrast, are on average much more interested in stable relationships. So female sluts could – biologically – be scourged more because they act slutty ànd against their own interests (a large part of women says that they hook up because they are in search of a relationship).
      Female sluts who hook up because they in general prefer casual sex are on the same plane as men.
      .
      Conclusion: morally and psychologically sluts of both sexes don’t seem to be different, but economically/biologically female sluts seem to be somewhat less “natural” or “rational” than man sluts.

      • Sox

        A central issue here seems to be whether the pro-sex fem crowd believes that women are more inclined towards stable relationships than men are. I obviously believe they are, and, like I said, I’ll continue to believe this until I see men being pumped and dumped to the extent that women are today.

        Seriously, in my lifetime I’ve only run into one woman who could detach from sex to the extent that men do, and I would never, ever, ever consider her for a LTR, she’s got red flags up the wazoo.

        VJ brought up a good point regarding the definition of slut here. Men that do the equivalent ARE just as damnworthy.

        • Vjatcheslav

          A woman looking for a LTR would do better to keep man sluts away, in every case. They are every bit as promiscuous, if not much more, as female sluts.

    • Mike

      But they’re still man sluts and should be scorned just as much as woman sluts. You seem to be avoiding that.

      Maybe they should. I’ll grant you that. But so what? That isn’t going to happen. Women will still have sex with man sluts. Most men will still be wary/reluctant about marrying a slut. We can argue until the cows come home what “should be”, but normative beliefs aren’t going to overrule hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.

  • Vjatcheslav

    Here is your original comment:
    The problem with sarcasm is that is isn’t a legitimate debate tactic. Kindly desist, if you want to debate.
    .
    Here is the new reply:
    Sarcasm is a completely legitimate tactic, it is just a hard one to counter. If you aren’t up for it, that is fine by me. The Greeks counted it among rhetorical tactics and God (or learned men, whichever you prefer) thought it fine for the Old Testament. If you perceive it, it just means your brain is working correctly. If I am communicating it correctly (which it seems from your response that I am), then it means my brain is working correctly. If you want to argue that the brain does such unnecessary things that don’t contribute to the good of our species, then we can discuss that (non-sarcastically, I promise), but it is discussion that evolutionary psychology fairs particularly well in.
    .
    Sarcasm is preaching to the choir. If our brains worked as they should in these matters (more logically etc.), we would limit ourselves to arguments with facts and logic.
    “In sarcasm, ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes.” (dictionary.com, cited by way of the wikipedia-article) If that is the definition of a good debate, there is a problem.

  • Undamaged Goods

    A direct question for Susan:

    You’ve made it clear you do not approve of Jaclyn’s sexual experiences outside a committed relationship. Can you imagine any circumstance where such activity could be healthy (or at least harmless) or do you believe that this is always damaging?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Yes, I have actually advised women who want relationships that it may not be realistic to wait until after the commitment is made. In this era where young men are under considerable peer pressure to maximize the number of sexual partners and eschew commitment, a woman will need to demonstrate that his life with her will be considerably better than his life without her. It’s very difficult to make that point without sex, as most men will want to ensure sexual compatibility before committing.
      The advice I give – again, to women who want a relationship is to wait until she feels comfortable with the person’s character. Is this a man who treats her with respect? Who does what he says he is going to do? Women get pumped and dumped so often in hookup culture that they become fragile over time, much as JF described in this article.
      If a woman wants nothing but sex, and feels comfortable that she has no expectations for further contact (the working definition of a hookup), then I see no problem with it. However, I will offer the caveat that I do hear from many women who believed they were in this latter category, only to be profoundly hurt.
      As I said in the post, we all have different chemical and genetic profiles – it’s not one size fits all. I do take issue with promoting casual sex as having positive healing attributes, and certainly with describing an extremely dangerous practice as a “miracle.” This has the potential to be truly damaging, in my view.
      And I reject any pressure on women to hook up when they’d rather not. Sex pos women do a lot of ridiculing of women who embrace chastity or abstinence. And that’s just not right.

  • CT

    This “deconstruction” is just riddled with biased subjective schlock. I never understood how people like you can just sneer from their high horse and point their finger at someone else just because they did something differently, did it outside the social norm, had a different (or even *GASP* good!) experience than you. What’s the point? Jaclyn Friedman made a choice and it worked for her. Maybe it is the wrong choice for you, who knows? What’s right for you is not right for everyone else. That’d be like me eating apples, and then angrily criticizing someone else for cutting their apples into slices before they eat them ’cause they don’t eat them the same way *I* do and therefore THAT’S WRONG!
    Sure, casual sex can be risky, both physically and emotionally, but so can monogamous partnered sex. Just because you’re in a relationship exclusively with one person doesn’t mean you’re safe from being raped or abused or having your heart broken by that partner. To say one is more “right” than the other is just ignorant.

    By the way, this B.S. about sluts taking away all the good girls’ menfolk is ridiculous. Many of my friends are or have at one point been promiscuous and many good friendships and even loving, traditional boyfriend/girlfriend partnerships developed out of casual sex encounters. Also, these women and all of the other women I know who are having casual sexual relationships certainly do not think of themselves as “damaged goods” as they shouldn’t. This nasty little tidbit of slut-shaming misogyny that you’ve thrown out in your post is exactly one of many that needs to go extinct.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Yawn.

  • Rachel

    As charming as it is to apply business metaphors to matters of love and sex, the idea of sluts ruining the “supply side” of the dating pool is not well thought out. Both men and women are capable of seeking either casual sex, or a relationship, at various points in their lives. It’s more accurate to think of it as two separate marketplaces: one for casual sex, and one for relationships, where both men and women are capable of being in either market (and lest you reference oversimplified science here, allow me to point out that the effects of oxytocin are still being explored, that men have it too–and women have testosterone!–and that the human brain is unfathomably complex, even for scientists who actually have degrees in the subject).

    Relationship-minded women attract commitment-seeking men, but turn off men looking just for sex. Female sluts are attractive to men who are looking for no-strings sex, but they don’t appeal to men seeking relationships. If a man wants to settle down, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be distracted from his deep needs for intimacy by the various scantily-clad tarts on the road to True Love. He might have a fling with one of them, but it’s not going to change his main goal. A slut can’t supply the needs of a man looking for a relationship, because she’s not selling what he’s buying.

    There’s only one possible way sluts could be ruining the dating marketplace for relationship-seeking women: If a man is seeking casual sex and can’t find any women to offer it, he might enter a relationship just to get sex. But are these men a big loss to women seeking relationships? Do you really want to date a guy who’s been strong-armed into a relationship because that’s the only way he could figure out to get laid?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Actually, I don’t think it’s charming at all to apply economic principles to sex. It’s just accurate. Here’s the short version:
      Prior to the Sexual Revolution, men exchanged commitment for access to sex. People married others with similar backgrounds and attributes – education, resources, attractiveness, intelligence, etc. In a broad sense, 10s married 10s, 6s married 6s, etc. Most men wanted to marry because it was a guaranteed source of sex, as well as love. Women wanted love before having sex – research clearly demonstrates that women prefer to have sex with a “favored male.” Men were required to court them. Having a girlfriend was a status symbol. It meant you were getting laid regularly. Having a boyfriend was a status symbol – it meant you were well on your way to being provided for by a desirable mate.
      Enter the 1960s. Pregnancy is no longer a risk for women. They can have sex with impunity, for the most part. Thanks to the Women’s Movement, women began to earn more, a lot more. They no longer needed that provider man, thanks very much. Women began to have sex with men when they felt like it. By the 70s one-night stands were prevalent, but dating was still the norm. Sometimes we dated boyfriends, sometimes we had one-night stands. We never did both. Monogamy was still an important cultural value.
      The most attractive men (the 9s and 10s, say) learned quickly that they could sail through life by having a string of one-night stands. They didn’t need to court anyone to get sex. It was now free! Whoo hoo! At the same time, women learned that they could snag a desirable man for a night. And hope springs eternal! So we now have women who are 6s and 7s having one-night stands with 9s and 10s. The guys who are 6s and 7s are now just chopped liver. The women who are 9s and 10s have priced themselves out of the market. Way too much trouble for something readily available with someone less attractive. But hey, a vagina is a vagina.
      By the 1990s, the entrenched system on college campuses fit this description. No one went on dates anymore. Most sex was “one and done.” Over time, some students found that having sex on a regular basis with a guy friend was an appealing idea. Men availed themselves of this FWB arrangement as a stopgap measure, ensuring a supply of sex while keeping their eyes open for someone even better. Some women approached this the same way, but college counseling centers and student health services began to fill up with women who were heartbroken. Or infected with an STI. Genital herpes rates skyrocketed, and now a third of college students are infected by graduation.
      This culture of hooking up with randoms has become more and more entrenched. Until recently. Many educators and mental health professionals, as well as medical professionals, are deeply troubled by the emotional trauma that many women suffer. We encourage men to respect women and not take advantage of them. This is senseless – incentives drive behavior, and women are providing many incentives for casual sex. On what basis should men refuse?
      This means it’s up to the women. If all women became discerning in their choice of sexual partner, or demanded more in the way of relationships in exchange for access to regular sex, then the paradigm would shift. This will never happen. Women who enjoy sex without emotional intimacy (and there are some, for numerous reasons) will continue to provide the ready supply of NSA sex. Women who choose to have sex in the context of a meaningful and loving relationship find that there are very few takers. The guys who are 6s and 7s might be game, but many of them are shut out of the sexual marketplace entirely now, and have little self-confidence with which to pursue those women.
      We are at a standstill. Many women are miserable, but the sexual marketplace has very few relationships. The demand for relationships far outstrips the supply. It’s truly survival of the fittest. A woman who wants a relationship has a very tough sell, and needs to be smart about her choices in hopes of getting what she wants without compromising her values.
      Supply. Demand. Not in equilibrium for either sex or relationships.
      You might find this post interesting – it examines sexual mores in a number of countries based on the ratio of men to women. When it’s low, women are promiscuous:
      http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2009/09/04/hookinguprealities/why-women-are-hottest-in-countries-with-too-few-dudes/

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Stephanie

    I quite honestly was shocked to see her openly state that the right response to a teen uncomfortable with some past choices about sex includes making sure she understands she’s a slut. A point she’s still defending, without thinking of the consequences it could mean to that young lady.

    I did not openly state that. I have never called any woman a slut (except JF, who apparently prefers it). My point was that a 16 year old wrote to Heather Corinna confessing that she had had sex with many guys in the past year, including 5 in the past three months alone.
    Are you so tied to a radical ideology that you cannot see how incredibly damaging that must be for her? I am incredulous. If she were happy with her choices, she would hardly have written for advice! I honestly believe there is not a parent alive anywhere in the world who would wish this sexual history for a daughter of 16 years. Wow. I am speechless.

    The risks: STDs, loss of fertility, pregnancy, depression, loss of self-esteem, ostracization by peers
    SIXTEEN YEARS OLD AND TEN PARTNERS IN A YEAR! CURRENTLY AT TWO PER MONTH!
    Responding with “I’m down” is one of the most reckless and disturbing things I’ve ever heard an adult say to a child. I’m stunned that even one person on this thread is defending that.

  • Karyn

    Clearly you didn’t read past the first paragraph of Heather’s response to that particular young woman. Neither Stephanie nor Heather is encouraging her to become comfortable with her choices if she is not happy with them, only saying that if the word “slut” isn’t one she is okay with per using it as a label, then there is no need to do so and no need to accept others calling her that either. No one who cares about the well-being and happiness of young adults would advise continuing behaviour they are unhappy with, but no one should be calling them sluts either. What good does calling someone – who is already having trouble dealing with the choices they’ve made – nasty derogatory names like “slut” do apart from make them feel even worse?

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Karyn
    Of course no one should call her a slut! That’s not the point. The point is that this girl – not woman – girl cried out for help. There is no way, no way in hell, that this is OK behavior. HC allows that perhaps, just maybe, she might rethink. And that’s great. But HC’s reply was so long my eyes glazed over and I’m into this stuff. I doubt even the recipient read it all, much less anyone else.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Lisa
    Sorry, could you be more specific? I confess I’m finding it impossible to locate, much less respond to every single comment. I will say that I’m suspicious of Thomas’ role. I asked if he was JF’s PR person, and he didn’t respond. I’m not really interested in engaging with a paid lackey.

  • Stephanie

    “And you encourage her to abandon any words or thoughts that encourage her to consider the negative emotions her behavior is causing her.”
    .
    If you’d read the post and understood it (as I have and many other people my age that I know have) then you would understand the point being made there was that constantly holding onto words or anything else that damaging her is a PROBLEM. She won’t be ABLE to move on from it unless she can come to a point that she accepts what’s happened as being in the past, but knowing that the future is still changeable. Heather isn’t telling her to “slut-up” as you so indelicately put it, rather to not allow others (or herself) to label her as something that’s hurtful to her.
    .
    Nowhere in my reply did I even *indicate* that I was suggesting that she continue with behavior that she was uncomfortable with. If you were aiming to strike a chord there, congratulations – because I work with teens and young adults EVERY DAY and I would NEVER suggest that they EVER continue on with a behavior or choice that they were uncomfortable with or that they found was hurting them. But I also understand from working with and listening to them every day that they, despite what adults often believe, have very difficult and complex lives. Lives they often don’t feel they can share with adults for fear of being judged. Lives that (as studies have proven) lead to high rates of depression, and suicide. Yes, I think it would be INCREDIBLY unfair to expect said teen to relive those moments over and over again just to learn. It’s not NEEDED! There’s ways of moving on WITHOUT dwelling in memories that cause discomfort. That’s what listening offers, and you know nothing about me, so please don’t ever assume I would do something so irresponsible or hurtful, for any reason. And I would hope you know Heather wouldn’t either, or she’d not have teens and young adults turning to her every day.

  • Karyn

    I know for a fact that she did in fact read the whole thing. If it’s a topic they’re into (and even if it isn’t!) teenagers will read a LOT in search of information.
    Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to have these conversations with you, because you are so clearly determined to see the world – particularly sexuality and relationships – in black and white, and reject out of hand any voice or opinion which conflicts with your views. People are just not as straightforward as you’re making them out to be. The amount of misinformation here is astonishing (evolutionary psychology is pretty solidly accepted as Very Bad Science and not at all useful, to give one example), and your unwillingness to simply LISTEN to some of the young people who have commented here, including myself, expressing viewpoints different than your own, is frankly sad, especially considering that you say your goal is to HELP young people.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Karyn
      Ah, I see. You work for Heather. That explains a great deal.
      It’s interesting that you should accuse me of seeing the world in black and white, because I am in the midst of writing a post about how casual sex is not black and white. It’s not binary. Stay tuned.
      Your comment about Evo Psych being solidly accepted as bad science is flat out wrong. You’re drinking the Kool Aid, I’m afraid. It’s the predominant paradigm for evaluating human behavior in research universities today. If you could pull your chair away from the Women’s Studies table, and venture into Psych, Anthro, Sociology, etc. without that lens, I think you would be quite surprised. Something tells me you won’t risk it, though.

  • Stephanie

    “There is no way, no way in hell, that this is OK behavior.”
    .
    .
    And that is EXACTLY why she went to Heather and NOT to you. You say you don’t judge, but that’s a judgment. And lecturing someone on the terrible choices they’ve made,throwing them back in their face? That’s not helpful. If she wanted that reaction, I’m sure she could have told her mother and gotten more than enough lecturing for her honesty. And where would that get her? Thinking she couldn’t trust adults, was worth less than she was, and in a WHOLE WORLD of hurt.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stephanie

      And that is EXACTLY why she went to Heather and NOT to you. You say you don’t judge, but that’s a judgment.

      The real question is, why did she have sex with many different partners at that tender age in the first place? Could it be that sex ed sites like Scarleteen, and programs like the one in my own town told her that if it feels good, you should be all means do it? Fisting, BDSM, polyamory, swinging, yup, all part of the curriculum. Sex Week at Yale (and many other colleges and universities) make available to students a live SM performance complete with nipple clamps, whips and live expressions of ecstatic pain. Girls like this are afraid to go to the adults who love them because they know that their behavior is not in keeping with their parents’ values. They have nowhere to turn, but to the women like Heather Corinna who affirmed this behavior in the first place. She tells them it’s cool, no worries. Back to the boys locker room she goes. And the question is: where does she end up? What service has Heather provided? How has she protected that girl in any way from the intense shaming experience she is surely experiencing every single day?
      No one here is suggesting that this girl be labeled or lectured for her badness. What she needs is to be hugged and told that she has the strength and power to make choices that she can feel good about. That despite what Scarleteen says, it really is OK to stand up and say one isn’t ready for sex. At all.

  • Sox

    And that is EXACTLY why she went to Heather and NOT to you. You say you don’t judge, but that’s a judgment. And lecturing someone on the terrible choices they’ve made,throwing them back in their face?

    Wisdom and guidance can take many forms. Seriously, people coddle their kids too much these days as it is…a little dose of the ugly/uncomfortable truth here and there isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • Stephanie

    @ Sox: It is when it’s a truth they’re already struggling to come to terms with. It’s kind of like taking a small child to the pool and realizing they don’t have swimmies when you get there. So you work with them on getting used to the shallow end, you don’t toss them in the deep end and go “Should have brought your floaties… maybe you’d be able to stay above water.”

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    @Stephanie – or another way of looking at it, that same parent telling the kid, “Do not, do NOT try to swim in the deep end before you learn. You’ll drown.” Susan doesn’t just have a sexually experienced female audience here. She’s also got young women who haven’t tried out the pool and would like to know the dangers for the uninitiated.

  • Esau

    ” Heather isn’t telling her …, rather to not allow others (or herself) to label her as something that’s hurtful to her.”

    .

    And this is your standard for good counseling? When the young man carelessly drove the family car into a tree and his father told him he was an idiot, is it your idea that he “not allow others to label him in a hurtful way”? How ridiculous! By your standard, the young man should not have his driving criticized at all, but instead should be allowed to “make his own choices” about driving into trees, until he himself tires of the repeated head trauma.

    .

    When young people do stupid and self-destructive things, they need to be informed, directly and correctly, that their behavior is stupid and self-destructive — ideally BEFORE they get themselves badly hurt. If we’re just going to wait around until they figure it out on their own, then what are parents for? Helping an idiot hide and deny the truth about his behavior doesn’t respect reality and isn’t doing him a favor in the longer run.

  • Stephanie

    @Grerp: If you’d read that, she was calling out Heather for telling a teen that she shouldn’t label herself with things she’s not comfortable with – like slut – when she’s already struggling with choices she’s made. Sox’ quote of “a little dose of the ugly/uncomfortable truth here and there isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
    .
    I was pointing out that that is NOT a good tactic to take in this situation, because you’re taking someone with a problem already (like not having floaties) and hurting them (like throwing them in when they cannot swim) just to prove a point (being that that should have packed the floaties knowing they were going to the pool). The analogy is in alignment with what was said before. The Sexpert Advice answer is STILL posted at the website (the link was given my Susan in her example), which then serves as the information to other users wondering about the same thing … WITHOUT hurting the girl in question in the process. Please don’t tell me you would actually make an example of this girl for others by berating her and lecturing her when she’s already stating discomfort.

  • Stephanie

    @Esau: Labeling a young girl a slut, or telling her to label herself as one, is VERY VERY different than a boy who carelessly runs a car into a tree. Are you really thinking the two instances are equal in comparison? Honestly? I would hope someone would never cause the kind of emotional damage to that young lady as reacting in that way could.

  • Stephanie

    @Esau: I’m sorry, even after responding I can’t get past how little you seem to really understand the IMPORTANCE how and why questions on such things are answered the way they are. HC is told how wrong she is because she told a teen girl not to label herself – or allow others to label her in such a way that was hurtful to her.
    .
    SO MANY teens don’t turn to adults for exactly this reaction when they are having a struggle, especially on things like sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity. Allowing others to see her that way is allowing BULLYING. So let me ask you, ever heard of a boy named Jon Gettle? Why not do a little reading? You can find out about him here: http://www.bullyingteasingteensuicide.com/
    .
    Some others you should see?
    http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/suicide.html
    http://aacap.org/page.ww?name=Teen+Suicide&section=Facts+for+Families
    http://www.teensuicide.us/
    .
    Does it make a little bit of sense? See why it’s IMPORTANT not to downplay such things?

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Liza: “Ok, do correct me if I’m wrong, but what I get from that torrent of information is that the double standard exists because:
    (1) Female sluts are viewed as worse than male sluts by men because men have still not evolved past their cavemen “impulses” (must make sure baby is mine) which then overwhelm their present-day intellectual processes (well, I can always get a paternity test), so they distrust and devalue women sluts (while still trying to have sex with them as much as possible);”

    Athlone: Evolution takes thousands of years, not 40. Furthermore, paternity tests don’t do anything for guys today. If you marry a woman and find out a few years later that you were actually cuckolded and the children are not yours, you will still be liable in most states for child support and alimony. The law holds the children’s wellbeing and that of the mother over that of the male, and the belief is that forcing you to pay will cause less “heartache”.

    Of course, there’s another reason to try and avoid dealing with it all: emotional stress. It sucks finding out that the woman you loved and hoped to start a family with cheated on you and tried to do the same with another man. You want to try and avoid this outcome if you can. That means that girls who sleep around regularly and almost impulsively are to be avoided for long term relationships(hence, the devaluation of sluts). Most men follow this path. A few may not mind the possibility of their women sleeping around, but most do.

    Liza: “(2) Male sluts are more valued cuz men have to work harder than women to get sex and this work ethic is admirable. (Sorry, but that made me laugh)”

    Athlone: This line of argument is just annoying and it does you zero justice. You attack on emotional grounds and don’t address the argument AT ALL.

    I’ll restate my point. Seduction of females in large numbers is more difficult for men. The most famous players/pick up artists have low success rates. Casanova took months to seduce ONE woman and he is touted as the most skilled seducer of all time. Even good looking, high value men have to work to convince women who are attracted to them to go to bed, whereas a good looking, high value woman need only dress seductively and approach one of the many men who are already spending lonely nights dreaming about screwing her.

    Please actually dispute these points and explain why this logic is laughable and incorrect. SHOW US why it is NOT more difficult for attractive men to acquire casual sex in large amounts than it is for an attractive woman. If we are to remain absent of a legitimate, rational rebuttal, I will simply assume that you have conceded the point.

    Liza: “Men who sleep around might be slapped on the back in the locker room, but I have never, ever had a conversation with another woman about a man slut where we talked about how we’d love to go to bed with him cuz of his “experience.” Those conversations tend to be of the “run away as fast as you can” variety. I think it’s another man myth like the one where you guys truly think size matters.”

    Athlone: That you’ve never had the conversation does little to disprove the fact that men with high partner counts tend to be of higher sexual market value and tend to stand a better chance of attracting mates than men of lower partner counts.
    Having a high partner count provides more than a number for men. Men who regularly have sex and regularly seduce women successfully are able to project more confidence, self assuredness, and a whole lot less neediness and desperation than men of lower partner counts. Most women would never come flat out and say that they like a guy because of his experience-this is not what they’re perceiving in their head, so that argument is just a strawman. What they ARE saying is that they like a guy because he is confident around them, far from needy, smooth, and self assured. All of these qualities are greatly enhanced by sexual experience. You don’t NEED a high partner count to have these qualities, but that is the quickest way to get them. Pre-selection also plays a significant role(women like men who are already visibly liked by other women).

    As a result of this, men with high partner counts tend to be more attractive to women as a general population. Some women who have already had negative experiences with such men will avoid them, but most girls will find them attractive. The very fact that these men have maintained and continue to expand these high partner counts proves my point. Women do not tend to avoid them, and they ALWAYS find attractive, willing sexual partners for casual(and even longer) encounters. If your claim that you and your friends tended to run away from such men was true of the wider general female populace, then none of this could ring true. Most chicks dig these guys, that’s obvious to anyone who looks around the dating world long enough.

    Sexual experience for men = Huge benefit. That’s not a myth.

    That size matters is not a myth either. Size does matter, just not as much or in precisely the way people tend to think it does(example: longer is not always better).

    Liza: “And if men and women all agree that a double standard does indeed exist, can’t we also agree to do away with it? Or agree that a man who sleeps around is just as much of a skank as a women?”

    Athlone: C’mon, really? We already went over this. I’ll quote myself:

    “Evolution takes thousands of years, not 40.”

    For the double standard to go away, you would need these things:

    1. Women would have to stop finding players so much more attractive as a whole and quit sleeping with them.
    2. Men would have to do away with their paternity concerns regarding sluts.
    3. Men would need easy access to sex in order to match the availability a decent looking female enjoys(this will remove the “difficulty” factor from the equation and players would get slapped on the back less).

    None of this is happening. all of these factors have strong roots in our biology, and evolution takes more time and effort than can be found in the making of the simple declaration(“The double standard doesn’t exist and sluts of both genders are equally bad!”). What you’re asking for is not realistic.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    @Stephanie – no, I would not say to her, “Girl, you’re a slut.” I would think to myself that this really is a terrible pattern of self-destructive behavior, and then I would try gently to get her to see that what she is doing is causing her to feel pain. I would ask her to go over what happened and then I would ask how each step of the process made her feel and what was the outcome of her actions.

    This is how I would proceed with the girl in question. My end goal, however, would be to try and get her to cease and desist with this pattern of behavior and not to stuff her hand with condoms and pamphlets about HPV or directions to the nearest abortion clinic just in case.

    And ultimately I reject that happiness is the end-all-be-all goal. Happiness is cyclical and dependent on any number of factors including emotional stability. I don’t tell my son to do what makes him happy. I tell him to do what is right and good. And I give him a specific framework for defining right and good and expect him to stick to it. Plenty of people have had a hell of a time doing all sorts of evil and deviant things including sociopaths, serial killers, prison guards, bullies, etc. I’m not signing up for moral relativism in any of its incarnations. If we reduce the incentives or opportunities for destructive behavior, we have fewer of these messes to mop up after the fact.

  • Esau

    “labeling a young girl a slut, or telling her to label herself as one, is VERY VERY different than a boy who carelessly runs a car into a tree.”

    .

    Your fixation on labeling and particular language is really beside the point. Whatever language an adult uses, young people who do stupid and self-destructive things need to be told that those behaviors are stupid and self-destructive, and that they should stop before they get hurt. That’s the essence of the necessary guidance. As for the reflexive denigration of “labeling,” call me simple but I think things should be called by their true names; and if a girl who sleeps with ten boys a year knows what the word “slut” means, then I think she’ll recognize one when she sees her in the mirror, whether anyone else tells her so or not.

    .

    (Wait, though, perhaps we should back up a moment for a reality check. Do you dispute or disagree with the statement that a 16-year-old girl sleeping with ten boys in a year is stupid and self-destructive? If so, then I hope you are never in a position to advise or influence my daughter!)

  • Stephanie

    @Esau:
    My fixation is that if you’d actually READ the link that Susan posed to that, you’d know that’s what was actually being DISCUSSED. Do you understand that fact that a majority of teens will NEVER feel comfortable talking to a parent about their sexual decisions, whether they truly need and want help or not. For exactly the reason you’re stating here! Chances are VERY high statistically you will not get the chance to tell a daughter that she’s made a mistake, or done something that can hurt her, because she wouldn’t trust talking to you about it.
    .
    Understanding this, that takes out parents, often teachers, family friends, etc. So who is left for teens and young adults to talk to? They turn to sources they CAN find, and if those sources run them away by hurting them in such a way, they are left with NOBODY that they feel they can trust. Then the trusted adult becomes everything the teen/young adult was AFRAID of adults being, and shuts down most any chance they’ll talk to any adults when they need to.
    .
    And again, if you’d ACTUALLY READ the link given, Heather was helping her find ways to move on, to not do these things that she was uncomfortable with and were hurtful to her, WITHOUT the pain of labeling her, WITHOUT scaring her away from a trusted adult source when there really are so few they will trust. So yes, I hope any adult your daughter feels she can trust to talk to with something so delicate and personal would treat her with respect, and not confirm any and all fears she has of talking to an adult. Yes, I know how this works, I see it EVERY DAY working with teens and young adults.

  • Esau

    “I hope any adult … would treat her with respect”

    .

    My last word on what is obviously a dead-end exchange, as you cannot seem to stay on point for the space of even one reply. Still, this may have some value in the historical record.

    .

    I think that telling people the truth is respectful, while hiding it and dancing around it is not. And telling the truth always involves some kind of “labeling,” since nouns will necessarily be involved. When I think back to being a child or a young adult, I trusted adults who I perceived were willing and able to tell me the truth, even if it was hurtful; because truth was reality, and anyone who wanted to help or protect me was only credible if I could see that they were dealing in reality. An adult who says “Your behavior is nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s stupid you should stop doing it for your own good” is not being consistent and so will not come across as trustworthy: you cannot deliver the second clause credibly if you insist on preceding it with the first. Children, even down to fairly young ages, can (I believe) sense when adults are insincere or self-contradictory; those children will not be guided, reassured or comforted by such speech, but rather confused or frightened that the adult is not making sense.

    .

    In short, you cannot raise “avoiding the pain of labeling” to an absolute value and hope to succeed in changing anyone. Getting someone to understand that their behavior is stupid and self-destructive _must_ involve some level of pain, or the message hasn’t gotten through. There are certainly better and worse ways to advise people, but being completely non-critical and non-judgmental cannot be the best approach.

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  • nooly

    “When, oh when, will feminists learn that men are usually spouting complete BS when they throw around phrases like male hegemony, patriarchy and heteronormative?”

    er….in my experience most people are spouting complete bullshit when they throw around phrases like male hegemony, patriarchy and heteronormative…

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    For the record, I do not do PR for Jaclyn. She’s my friend and colleague. I didn’t respond to the question initially because it seemed so obviously and transparently a cheap deflection that I didn’t think it was a serious question.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Thomas
      Fair enough. I initially wondered because you were first out of the gate with comments on every blog that mentioned her piece, thanking those who were supportive of her, and denigrating those who aren’t. Your comments are clearly not the work of an impartial observer. If you are close to her, that would explain your strong bias.

  • synthesis

    Wow, did the comments explode? 507 comments and I only see 7 of them.

  • Stephanie

    @Esau: Then again, READING the post you think you can offer solid opinion on would tell you the girl ALREADY knew these were decisions she was uncomfortable with and thus DID NOT need to walk back through them or have them thrown back at her in lecture. She would inevitably do that on her own. But that’s what you will never understand trying to fight something without knowledge of the situation.

  • Stephanie

    @Synthesis – under the last comment of each page is “Older comments” and when your not on the last page you’ll also see “Newer comments.” Just cluck that and you can go back through the rest.

  • Stephanie

    @Grerp: Again… to people obviously not having READ or really seemingly looked at the site at all. Scarleteen’s Sexpert Advice section (if you look it up) is in the format that a question is submitted once. The message boards there is a place for discussion, while the Sexpert Advice section is a place for one question one answer. Had it been on the message boards or in person, you may have had such a conversation if you so chose. But that’s not how it works there. And again, working with teens on something like this isn’t easy, and the price of saying something they deem makes you untrustworthy is very costly, for all involved with that teen.

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    Calling me biased towards Jaclyn (which is true) is not an answer to my question about your ten percent statistic. You said that only ten percent of US college women identify as feminist, and fewer as sex positive feminists. In response I posted a 2005 CBS poll where about 25% of US women identified as feminist, higher with more education and in younger cohorts than the gen pop, from which one would infer that something like 30-40% of US college women identify as feminists.

    Then I asked for your source, so your readers could evaluate yours and mine and compare.

    We’re still waiting.

    I’m asking you flat out. Do you have a source for that other than your own opinion?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Thomas, haven’t forgotten this question. I’m not familiar with the CBS poll but there was a study “I’m Not a Feminist, But…” that cites that 75% specifically identify as non-feminist, which is pretty interesting. Anyway, re the 10% statistic, I definitely read it, am not in the habit of making things up to suit my needs, your implications to the contrary. I’m swamped at the moment, but did spend about half an hour last night searching through my thousands of bookmarked links. And googling, of course. BTW, I found an interesting article at the Guardian that bemoans the lack of research conducted by Women’s groups to quantify the number of sympathizers. Hmmmm, wonder why that is.
      In any case, it’s driving me crazy – I’m determined to find the notation. It is possible that it was specific to one university. Duke, perhaps? Maybe Michigan? I’ll keep searching, and if it’s a number specific to one institution, rather than the U.S. overall, I’ll issue a correction.
      Regardless, I think you would agree that the conclusion is the same. Young women are loathe to call themselves feminist, even when they sympathize with the achievements of the Women’s Movement. The most common complaint is that feminists hate men. Women’s Studies profs perpetrate this impression, for the most part.
      Feminism needs a major makeover, so it’s too bad, really, that you’re not a Public Relations pro.

  • Stephanie

    @Susan (Gawd… I’m really going to be tossing myself to the dogs on this one – and somehow get the uncomfortable feeling I’m not going to come back healthy and unharmed…) I can’t explain why she specifically chose this course for herself. But I can say that after I was raped (just before my sixteenth birthday) I also began making choices about sex for myself. Before I’d even chosen to have a partner on my own, I went through STI testing, took EC, and when the hormones in EC knocked my period off schedule sat in a clinic with a close friend to be tested for pregnancy. I was so afraid of how adults would react, and I didn’t want to have to go through a court case – so I worked hard to hide it. I didn’t tell my mother until years later, after the statute of limitations was up, and before I even had the first words out I was crying. And telling an adult, I was petrified.
    .
    Over the next two years, I would choose multiple partners from groups of friends at parties, in clubs with me, so on and so forth. I learned to protect myself, and that I was in charge of my own decisions. I learned how to protect against STIs and pregnancy, and those protections with any partner were non-negotiable. I didn’t often have relationships because I was all too aware of how if I triggered it caused them pain. I won’t dare mention a number in a forum like this, because I’ve seen all too well with this discussion how quickly people jump on such facts to tell someone how wrong they are. I don’t regret the decisions I made, because they helped make me who I am today – and I like where I’ve come to from where I was. But I can say I understand being afraid to talk to adults. I understand coming to a point of not knowing which adult could actually be trusted, and which ones would throw everything that happened back in my face. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing, and … wait for it… revolutionary concept – have the RIGHT to choose. Whomever is involved, it’s THEIR decision. The chances of finding an adult they trust to ever talk about it is low. There’s a REASON that girl didn’t talk to her mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpap. Because she didn’t feel she could trust them.
    .
    Maybe before bashing something like Scarleteen (which really is different than the school you’re describing here), you should spend a little time looking around it. If you conduct a search … I know I have … at the message boards you’ll see PLENTY of times when the staff and even other users have suggested that a teen/young adult think about readiness (take into account the readiness checklist) and whether or not they’re really ready to be having sex. But readiness isn’t about age, and people reach the point of being ready at different times with different people. One person may be ready at 16 or 18, which others aren’t ready until much later. Some people may feel ready with one partner in 2 months, but not with the next until 7-8 months into a relationship. Better re-check your facts there. But the true fact is… teens and young adults ARE going to make their own decisions about what to do with THEIR OWN bodies, and need support in that. That support, if you expect them to ever be open when they need to be, when something happens, when they need support – must always include respecting that person and not throwing back at them decisions they made at the time. Helping someone doesn’t mean hurting them.
    .
    And yes, actually if you’d read the responses clearly Esau definitely did clearly state that labeling and lecturing was the approved method.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Stephanie
    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I can only guess at how painful that must have been, and it sheds considerable light on your views.
    As a survivor of sexual violence, I know that you don’t want to see any woman get hurt. On that we agree 100%. So let me ask you, straight out:
    Is there any set of circumstances or conditions where it is healthy for a 16 year-old girl to have sex with 10 men in a year?
    If not, is refraining from labeling her behavior the most critical concern, as it affects her self-esteem?
    Or is responding to the emergency she is experiencing with regard to her emotional and physical health more important?

  • ATS

    @Lisa–random door? My OBGYN has seen a marked increase in 13 to 14 year olds giving birth in the past five years of her practice, as well as contracting STDs. So please don’t say that this isn’t happening, and that this isn’t a result of girls being confused about what has become acceptable or not in modern society. You have the sexualizing of tweens in the media, and girls getting confusing messages all around, to their detriment. Unless you think it causes no damage to a girl barely out of puberty to have had quite a number of random partners before she’s even legal enough to drive? And we’re not even taking into account STDs. What makes you think teenage girls didn’t read what Ms. Friedman wrote, and that they did not nod themselves and say, yeah, you know, she IS right? If even just one thirteen year old takes to heart what she said and as a consequence suffers for it–either because of an unwanted pregnancy or contracting an STD, that’s one thirteen year old too many.

    I’m all for feminism, but not when it causes more harm than good. And as a married woman, I’m against child brides myself–but then that’s a misleading analogy if there ever was one. Child brides have no choice, but in this platform where Ms. Friedman chose to shout out her message, she puts out a message that can have disastrous consequences for very young women who can peruse this message and choose to follow it. This, I believe, is what Susan is railing against as well.

    As a parent, that this message is out there for girls young enough to be my daughter (my eldest is 12) to take in disturbs me. That it is being pushed as acceptable and to be embraced and supported is just plain irresponsible.

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    I’m really less interested in your opinions than your support for them. There’s a huge difference between 10% and 24%, and there’s a huge difference between one university and the US. The CBS survey, factoring in for age and education, implies much higher than 24% for women at college, though I have not done the math to derive a figure.

    I’ll be waiting to see if you can find that source. I wonder if it will say anything about sex positive feminism, which was the second part of your empirical claim.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Thomas
      Haha, if it had said anything positive about sex pos fem I wouldn’t have come away with the impression I did. I agree that the diff between 10 and 24% is significant, but either way you guys are in deep trouble. Just ask POTUS about his 24% approval rating. The point I made is valid either way.

  • http://www.yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com Thomas MacAulay Millar

    You do realize I already noted the year? You do realize that there’s not a more recent survey on the subject that either Susan or I can find? You do realize that the survey discusses the stability of the numbers over time?

    I’m afraid you’re not keeping up with the discussion.

  • Karyn

    Yes, I work for Heather, and yes, doing so has been an influence on how I think and my views (notice I said AN influence, not the ONLY influence). But I haven’t been “drinking” anything; I don’t just sit back and accept someone else’s viewpoints and opinions and beliefs as truth without evaluating them for myself and doing a lot of thinking. None of that evaluation process, by the way, involved any women’s studies classes, although it did involve a lot of study in anthropology and quite a lot of biology as well (apparently you missed my comment earlier, the one where I mentioned that I was an anthropologist, one who studies sexuality and gender). I threw a few psych and sociology classes in there too, just to keep things interesting. I’m not stupid, so please don’t treat me like I am, and as I’ve said before, please don’t make assumptions about my life.
    Because pseudoscience really, really irritates me, I’m going to say one more time, too, that evolutionary psychology is not a scientifically credible or reliable branch of psychology. It has its proponents like any other academic trend, but then, so did phlogiston and the idea that humans are in no way related to other apes.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Evo Psych has proponents at the best universities in the world, including Harvard, the London School of Economics, UT Austin and UCSB among many others. I didn’t say you were stupid, but your ignorance is showing.

  • escarondito

    @Thomas

    You also do realize that your CBS survey is from 2005 correct? You know you’re citing a 5 year old survey for 2010 relevancy?

  • escarondito

    “In response I posted a 2005 CBS poll where about 25% of US women identified as feminist, higher with more education and in younger cohorts than the gen pop, from which one would infer that something like 30-40% of US college women identify as feminists. ”

    1)You do realize I already noted the year?You do realize that there’s not a more recent survey on the subject that either Susan or I can find?
    Yes, in fact. DUH. Which is why I keep wondering why you cite is for relevancy. 5 years ago is a long time homie. I just started college 5 years ago and the hook-up situation, along with the rise of game, teengae pregnancy in the media, that pill (forgot what it’s called) that caused a little skiffle for purporting to preventing HPV, etc. Alot changed within 5 years, so those results you have must be taken with a grain of salt. Point being, that percentage could’ve dropped or risen considerably.

    2) From what you wrote, “from which one would infer that something like 30-40% of US college women identify as feminists. “, how does this discuss the stability of those numbers over time? do highly educated and young cohorts ideals not change? This study takes that into account? And also, what was there definition of Feminism the women were to self-identify with?

  • jamesEQ

    Susan, nice site.

    What is interesting to note is how on Antifeminist sites like this yours or The Spearhead, feminists are freely allowed to comment, repeatedly.
    However Antifeminists find their comments, even modest rebuttals, in eternal moderation on most of the big feminist sites.

    How can a space be safe feminists, if it cant even stand the test of a mildest earthquake. Are your arguments so weak, that they crumble so lightly. That they melt upon the daylight of scrutiny.

    Look at the wasteland that is feministing. a ‘safe space’ so safe, it is Sterile. With only a rare feminist even bothering to comment. Jill’s Moderation on her Feministe site is slightly better, but I do wonder how that tyrant chally was ever made a mod. A true autocratic bullying domineering despot. Just read her dear-usians-on-the-internet blog post http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/02/15/dear-usians-on-the-internet/
    Or Jezebel where nonwhite feminists have often complained that their comments disappear, not just to the back of the bus (to use that USA term), but straight through the back window!

    All Antifeminist comments are on feminist blogs, parodying the words of the feminists, ‘are silenced , and I find that deeply problematic’ * deep sigh simpering lillylivered sigh

    jf;
    ‘A slut needs a posse who finds her exploits almost as delicious as she finds them herself, who cares about her safety and her stories and her happiness but not one whit about her virtue.’

    The average het/bi/gay man or instinctive lesbian (jf wasnt an instinctive lesbian if reports of her bio are accurate) would laugh heartily at the idea that 9 people in a year make someone a slut!?! lolol Such a low number. We’ve quantatively eased, diluted our money. Are we now quantatively easing, diluting the word slut. At this rate, soon a person will be a slut if they even have just the thought ALONE of eg having a sexparty with 5 other people

    A female friend of mine goes through 100 men or so a year, and DOES NOT ‘need a posse who finds her exploits almost as delicious ‘ to cheerlead..oops is that word problematic, for her. * deep sigh simpering lillylivered sigh

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hey, JamesEQ, nice to meet you. You’re right about the moderation on feminist sites. When I first started blogging, I naively thought that I could leave comments on Feministing and engage in debate. I was always civil and never used shaming language. However, I did offer a dissenting view. The first couple got through, unleashing a hailstorm of insults and denigrations. After that, no comment I ever made saw the light of day. After a while I gave up. Is it any wonder that those posts get very few comments? It’s all just radicals clapping each other on the back.

  • ExNewYorker

    What’s funny about this, is that Susan really isn’t an anti-feminist. She’s typical of an older generation of feminism, pushing for equal opportunity, and probably would agree with a majority of modern day “standard” feminism.
    .
    But because she deviates on a few things (e.g. sex-positive feminism), she’s attracted the hordes of the abyss on top of her. Note that Roissy and a host other, truly anti-feminist sites, have commented on JF’s article, in much nastier and cruel ways, and yet you barely hear a peep out of the usual feminist suspects. Susan provides a blog where she allows an alternate view to help young women and girls “THINK” about their situations, and goodness gracious, all of sudden she’s transformed into some fundamentalist social conservative who must hate men (please read the comments at the various blogs attacking her to see it firsthand).
    .
    While there have been harsh comments on this blog regarding JF, it’s still pretty apparent that Susan’s main argument was simply: “following JF’s actions may be harmful to a lot of girls and women out there who have different feelings about casual sex, and thus, I cannot give a blanket endorsement of it”.
    .
    But for a lot feminists, that isn’t good enough, so cue the flames. Don’t believe me? Go to http://www.feministe.com and check out last weeks post by a guest blogger Maia. She’s a WOC, a mother, an activist, but doesn’t call herself a feminist (because she’s been thrown under the bus by the mainstream feminism). How a post celebrating “mamahood” could result in such flames just boggles the mind…
    .
    And I don’t work for Susan, or even know her personally…she just reminds me of my aunts: hard-working, practical women who’s counsel was worth listening to (even if we didn’t take it)…

  • Karyn

    There are proponents of intelligent design at many of those universities (and others) as well, but that doesn’t make them any more credible.
    Evo psych is full of holes and its hypotheses are difficult, almost impossible, to prove. One of the major flaws is that it relies fundamentally on the speed of evolution being incredibly slow in humans, which is not always the case – for example, in the 10,000 or so years since agriculture and the domestication of animals began, groups of humans (usually in Northern Europe) have adapted and evolved so that they can digest the lactose in milk which became a part of their diet past the age of 3 or 4. Another flaw in the hypotheses of evo psych relates to the inherent plasticity of the brain: while it is difficult to tell, it is quite likely that humans living 10 or 15 thousand years ago faced rapidly-changing environments and were constantly having to adapt; the notion that any aspect of our psyches was “set in stone” would mean that those early humans would not have been able to adjust to such rapid change successfully. It’s especially bad at explaining gender roles, because while some evo psych hypotheses can be sort of made to fit with a few groups worldwide, in order for those hypotheses to really be proven, they would have to explain the social organization of every single group of people on the planet. And they just don’t. Not even close.
    Really, the only thing it’s possible to say about people when it comes to sexuality and gender is that everyone is different, and influenced by so many different factors that generalizations become pretty much impossible and totally useless.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Evo psych says gender is biological. Culture reinforces each gender’s natural tendencies.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ Karyn
      Evo psych says that gender is biologically derived. Culture can reinforce gender, but not create it. It is true that we really can’t know what humans did socially 10,000 years ago. The field is theoretical.

  • Stephanie

    @Susan
    I strongly believe, both via my own experiences as well as my working with teens and young adults, that there needs to be a lot of importance put into understanding and compassion first and foremost. When willing to listen, truly listen 100% without casting judgments, you can learn a great deal from these individuals.
    .
    No, I don’t want to see any woman get hurt. It’s why I advocate so strongly and in the ways in which I do. But I think you’re missing one vital piece to the puzzle in so much of what you’ve said. You seem to be assuming that helping someone, supporting someone, means that you agree with everything they’ve done or are doing. My friends support me, though they may not always agree with the decisions I make/have made. Do I know that the term I would use for my own decisions regarding sex at 16 would be “heathy” well I’m not sure. I can say most adults wouldn’t think it was – and you yourself obviously don’t think it is, but they were just that, MY decisions. Just as what decisions she made were HER decisions. Decisions she was uncomfortable with already, and thus needed help moving on and away from them. And looking back on them, I don’t regret the things I’d done – so I guess it wasn’t too unhealthy for me at 16.
    .
    Notice how you put emotional and physical health together? Because they are both important in their own ways – but also notice she was uncomfortable with decisions so she was moving herself away from the physical. If she was at her computer reading the response from Heather, just a guess she wasn’t also at that moment having sex. (Okay… I know what assuming does. But really, while I could be wrong… I’m going to say at that point I know I would have a pretty tough time reading or comprehending anything I tried to read. Just not the multi-task activity.) So she was indeed atm away from the physical that was causing her pain and discomfort. However, can you concede that she may very well (and considering her post very likely was) suffering emotionally at that point – when she was reading the post. So yes, I think at that moment it was very much a better decision to work with the emotional in the real time, then the physical on how to not do what she was uncomfortable with. Just as if a student comes to me about something that happened at home. My first response must be to check that the student is okay, if I know they are physically then emotional support comes first, then a report of whatever type needs made. You deal with the there and now, then with the before and after. But I would never say that I need to agree with someone to offer them support, and I don’t think Heather or her staff agrees with everything, but support means putting biases aside and being there for a person in what they need.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Stephanie, you probably saw that I told Heather that I thought there was a lot of good stuff in her response, I really just objected to how she prioritized certain things. I agree 100% that it is not useful to judge. I really started this whole project because when my daughter was in high school, I somehow wound up with a group of about 12 young women who wanted to gather around my kitchen table and pick my brain. I never made any of them feel badly for their decisions (and there were some doozies, including one girl losing her virginity in my bed and bleeding all over the place). Because I knew them and felt great affection for them, I could never think of any of them as “bad” human beings, no matter what they did. However, it became clear to me that much of their pain originated from their being generous sexually with guys who did not appreciate or value them as human beings. I began to advise them not to give themselves to unworthy males. You may take issue with my approach, but it was straight from the heart. My only goal is to help young people avoid heartbreak. Those who wish to keep things casual don’t need HUS, and rarely show up. But there are many who come again and again, looking for support and information, and also a bit of reassurance that their feelings are normal. That’s what I aim to provide. My agenda is not political, really. It’s personal.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @ExNewYorker
    It’s funny, but you’re right. I grew up with a real appreciation for feminism, and a father who assured me that I could do or be anything I wanted. I never marched on Washington, but I recognized the Women’s Movement as having profoundly bettered my life. It’s been strange, and disturbing, to go up against the Feminist establishment. However, the more I’ve read, the more I’ve understood the infighting among Feminist factions. Also, most, if not all, of the goals of the Women’s Movement have been met. This leads to nonsensical crusades like the one for sex positive feminism. I believe that these are the end days for feminism.

  • Stephanie

    (Just an add in, you’re separating self esteem from emotions, when they’re actually not separate. Self-esteem plays very deeply in the arena of emotions and emotional stability.)

  • Stephanie

    @Susan
    I did see that. Of course we all are entitled to our own opinion, and so often will stand by it. Honestly, with questions like what was asked I can’t help but think of an amazing friend and a three o’clock phone call that the only words I heard clearly were “Oh god, I’m a terrible person.” One of many times I would leave my house in pajamas to be with someone that shouldn’t be alone. Emotions can be a horrifying thing. You can’t run from them, and no matter how hard to try hiding they’re always there. You can box them up – but at some point the box is overfull and you have to hope someone’s there to help you pick up the pieces. And in a lot of ways, it’s so much worse than the physical pain, because at least there’s ways to hide those effects. For what it’s worth, I think it was handled the way it needed to be for someone in that situation – but we’ll likely never see eye to eye on that one.
    .
    I would hope you knew as soon as this was written there would be a lot of people with a lot of different views that showed up. In saying you don’t judge, I can’t help but wonder what you would do gathering around that same discussion table with a group of young adult or teen sex-positive feminists. Perhaps they would be okay, if they never saw any comments you make as general statements to sex-pos feminists on a holistic scale here. Maybe they’d be able to show you they’re not all bad, and there’s still a cause for (us) to be around. Though I can’t say with any certainty, I suspect it would have been a different (and perhaps even unsettling) experience sitting across that same table with me at sixteen.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I don’t think sex pos feminists are bad people. I’ve never said that. It’s not personal, it’s ideological. The culture has embraced and promoted sexual activity in a way that pressures girls to view themselves via their sexual appeal. It has also promoted fictional characters that appear to thrive without attachment, e.g. Samantha on SATC. The problem is that failure to attach is a psychological disorder. When we romanticize that behavior we create loneliness and depression in young women. We tell them they should be able to have sex without emotion, and when so many fail to achieve this, they feel like failures. Meanwhile, their failure to remain detached has left them heartbroken. This is a very real problem, and I know that you understand this. If I were acquainted with a group of sex-positive teens, I would watch them very, very closely and make it clear that I was available at any time if things get rough. I already do that for college women, and there’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t get a call for help.
      I don’t think there is a reason for sex positive feminism to exist. You will never eradicate the male preference for long-term mating with a less sexually experienced female. Will there be men who don’t care about that? Yes, and I don’t know what the percentage is. They are definitely a standard deviation or two above the mean. That reduces the pool of potential life partners very, very significantly. Every woman should and does have the right to control her own body and make her own choices. Sometimes we make choices and take risks that we can’t fully comprehend up front. I believe that sex-positive feminism encourages women to take risks they many will be ill prepared to handle.
      This has already been observed by several spf’s – it’s been a hot topic in the media recently. I’m working on a post right now that looks at the timeline of dissent within the spf camp on this issue. There is real movement here.

  • Karyn

    Just so we’re all on the same page with this: sex is biological, and gender is sociocultural. Also, there are more than two sexes, and way more than two genders, so making statements or doing any kind of research based on the idea that there are only two of each just isn’t sound.

  • http://www.letsgetincharacter.blogspot.com Sarah

    I’m not going to bother reading through all the comments, because it feels like a war zone.

    What I will say is, right on. Right. On.

    You were able to put into very clear words what was troubling me when I read through “My Sluthood, Myself.”

    I don’t know how many of the comments here are positive and how many are negative, but thank you for this.

  • Stephanie

    To be honest, I’m not sure you can lump all sex-positive feminists together in one group and call them the same. Take for instance any other group. Can I put all environmentalists into a circle and say they’ll agree with everything everyone in that circle says? I’d think not. Because being an environmentalist means different things to different people. And that’s okay.
    .
    I identify as sex-positive and feminist, but understand that that’s a very large and widely dynamic group of people, and I don’t and won’t always agree with what others in that group say. I’m okay with that. Because at the end of the day I know that I have to go with what feels right to me at any point in time. But I certainly don’t think it means I would need to be watched more closely. I made decisions about sex and my own sexuality and sexual orientation based on what felt right. At sixteen, I did have many partners, some of them in relationships, but many of them not. I was and am comfortable with that. But I know not all people are or would be, and I support people with the decisions they do make. And if a person makes a decision they felt right at the time but feels differently later, then I am there to support them all the more and help them through these feelings.
    .
    If you walk into any High School, and even many Middle Schools, you would know that it’s not sex-positive feminism that’s doing the pushing. It’s peers. Proven fact – when people talk about sex there’s very often a tendency to make the stories more interesting. It’s a subject that quite often is surrounded less in fact than fiction. It’s why SO MANY people have ideas of sex that are inaccurate. (Also a note- I saw a stat on your about page linking to hooking up and orgasm, studies have actually shown a majority of all women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone – a fact so many don’t know, including so many women not knowing. It’s not just about “hooking up” it’s any time with LTRs and casual sex alike.). Many times, teen and young adult males identify more strongly feeling pressure to have sex than females, because the idea that it’s “Just how guys are” or “What a ‘real man’ would do.”
    .
    Despite identifying as sex-positive and feminist, I don’t encourage anyone to make choices or take risks. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about letting women know they have the *right* to choose for themselves. Offering the information on *how* to protect themselves with any choice they may make and feel is best for them. Sex-pos feminism doesn’t encourage teens to have sex, any more than a quality sexuality education class does (and trust me I KNOW how many are not quality… but it’s another thing that so many people are fighting to change in schools). It allows people to know they’re not bad for whatever choice they make for themselves, and teaches how to prepare and be safe in those choices. Teens make their own decisions regardless, which makes it all the more important to really offer all information so they can make sure decisions they make will be safest.

  • Pingback: Sluts and Mothers « PAB: For the poorest of elites.

  • Clarence

    Sigh.

    Susan while I agree with your larger points about how women should guard themselves emotionally and re-consider uncritically participating in the hookup culture, the “sex negative” feminists tend to be no more accepting of your world-view and are probably even more damaging to male/female relations and society in the long run. It’s the sex negatives that have redefined rape, attacked heterosexual intercourse, etc.

    If I’ve read you right, you are trying to give women both the positive and negative sex messages they would need to make informed choices. Correct?

  • Dilithium

    @Stephanie: “It’s about letting women know they have the *right* to choose for themselves. Offering the information on *how* to protect themselves with any choice they may make and feel is best for them….and teaches how to prepare and be safe in those choices”

    .

    Yes, I can see the applications of this idea now:

    .

    Stephanie to teen: “Yes, you certainly have the right to choose to shoot heroin, as long as you feel it is best for you. For safety, though, let me show you how to sterilize a needle.” Of course, Stephanie is not _encouraging_ the girl to shoot up; she’s just not being judgmental and criticizing the choice, but rather helping the girl be safe in that choice.

    .

    My God, woman! is there any choice you will actually criticize? Drunk driving? Train surfing? Russian roulette? (“Be sure to put a tarp on the floor, you know, just in case.”) Is there no bottom here, no choice that is so suicidal as to make even you say “No, that’s stupid, don’t do that!” Or have you made “choice” into such a holy oracle that you’re willing to sacrifice people’s lives to it?

  • Shirley

    Heterosexual seems more PC to me than “straight”. The opposite of straight is “crooked”.

    Lisa, out of everyone on this blog you came with the most science regarding research and data about hormones and chemicals. I learned from those posts of your’s – along with Thomas Macaulay Millar’s.

    The frenzy of platitudes around this subject matters is rampantous on the net. Thanks to both of you for bringing some hard rationale to it all.

    As far as the 16 year with multiple partners, I think the point Stephanie or Sarah brought up about Teen depression and suicide is a very pertinant one. We do have to be extra cautious, especially on the internet, when giving out advise to people who call out to us for guidance. Non-verbal cues like facial expressions are missing and we do not know how sensitive someone may be or “on the verge”.

    That being said, I do believe the reply was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too verbose.

    A teenager who is still in school and living in her/his parents’ house should be under the guidance of his/her parents, and the first advice I would have asked her is – where are your parents?! Teenagers are granted way too much freedom in today’s America and I consider this a form of “parental neglect”.

    Snowdrop111 has offered the best social commentary here yet.

    Jaclyn’s choices are not uncommon for people who have been abused in their childhood or youth. We should show some empathy and compassion. Also, I doubt she is any threat to the sexual market place for young women. She would do well to cast her net to the older men, say 10 or more years her senior. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, especially with all the young, hot men out there willing and eager to satisfy a cougar, but are those young, hot cubs LTR material? You can also turn off the lights, close your eyes and fantasize about someone else when making love with an older guy. If younger is her thing, as it is mine, she might have to go for the guys with fewer options.

  • Joey

    @Susan: I haven’t gotten a reply back from you re. your sources for the numbers you cited. This might seem trivial to you, but the fact of the matter is that, in academic circles, citing your sources is pretty much key if you want to be taken seriously. ‘Cause if you don’t, it means that you’re either a) making stuff up, which is profoundly uncool, or b) plagiarizing your source, which is even less cool.

    @Dilithium: I know you directed your question to Stephanie, and I’m sure she’ll give you an excellent answer, but I just wanted to point out that analogies only work if there is some correlation between the terms you are using. Either you don’t know how an analogy works, or you just equated sex with shooting up heroin or playing Russian roulette.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Joey
      At 550 comments, I’m losing track of some details. Could you please remind me which numbers you wanted sources for? I do think it’s a stretch for you to consider Scarleteen “within academic circles” ;)

  • Karyn

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that having sex that is wanted, consensual, enjoyable and physically safe is comparable to using a highly addictive substance or playing with a weapon? Seriously? How are they even remotely similar?

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Karyn

    Just so we’re all on the same page with this: sex is biological, and gender is sociocultural. Also, there are more than two sexes, and way more than two genders, so making statements or doing any kind of research based on the idea that there are only two of each just isn’t sound.

    We are most definitely NOT on the same page!
    Sex is biological: Check
    Gender is sociocultural: Gender is largely defined by genetics, which is biological. Culture does play a role, but is not the dominant factor.
    There are more than two sexes: What?
    There are way more than two genders: I thought that transgendered people identified either male or female. Not sure how there can be more than two genders.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Karyn – how do you stand on these wanted, consensual, enjoyable and physically safe sexual pairings:

    15-year-old girl/35-year-old man
    14-year-old girl/35-year-old man
    13-year-old girl/35-year-old man

    Remember, if you say the above scenarios are illegal, you are relying on an outside standard to determine acceptability and not on the feelings of the 13 year old girls who would like to better explore their sexuality with an older experienced lover.

    There are 1000 11-year-old girls on the birth control pill in Britain. Wonder why?

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Stephanie
    I actually really like your comment about where you fit within spf, and what it means to you. I respect that. I actually don’t feel the need to debate anything you have said. I would quibble about one claim – I believe that women are under tremendous pressure to have sex at a young age. The pressure comes from men, women, and cultural expectations, in many different forms.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Clarence

    the “sex negative” feminists tend to be no more accepting of your world-view and are probably even more damaging to male/female relations and society in the long run. It’s the sex negatives that have redefined rape, attacked heterosexual intercourse, etc.
    If I’ve read you right, you are trying to give women both the positive and negative sex messages they would need to make informed choices. Correct?

    I’m extremely interested in your question, but I don’t understand it. Could you define what sex negative types are?

  • Karyn

    Due to a neck injury, I’m on some pretty strong painkillers at the moment, so I apologize if any of this isn’t as clear as it could be.
    @Susan
    Biological sex takes into account a person’s chromosomes and their genitals, primarily. On that basis, there are far more than two sexes: XX and XY (which are the most common), XXY, XYY, XXX, and XO (a single X chromosome).
    Gender, as well, is not divided only into men or women – transgendered people identify as solidly men or women a lot of the time, but then there are two-spirited people, people who identify as genderqueer or agendered, hijras in South Asia….it’s a pretty extensive list.
    I don’t know where you’re getting your definition of gender from (source, please?) but it doesn’t match up with anything I’ve ever read or heard. If gender were primarily biological as well, there wouldn’t really be a need for a distinction between sex and gender, for one thing, and for another, the range of gender expression between individuals and among various ethnic groups worldwide would be nowhere as varied as it is – there are far more ways to define “masculine” and “feminine” than there are combinations of chromosomes.
    @Grerp
    To be perfectly honest, I would question whether any of those relationships are or can be truly consensual, without coercion or pressure, but if they truly were, then it really isn’t up to me. However, I would be very surprised to find a 13-year-old and a 35-year-old who would be compatible in any way, including sexually.
    As for your comment about 11-year-olds on birth control, you do realize that hormonal birth control can be used to treat medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis or even acne, yes? It doesn’t need to be prescribed as birth control.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Karyn
      In my role here, it’s rare that I encounter more than two sexes or genders. I’m happy to have a small following of gay men that read HUS, and that’s about as exotic as it gets. Talk of hijras or agendered folks is not exactly my bread and butter.
      For my purposes, biological differences account for most of the unhappiness that women feel in the sexual marketplace. One of the primary failings of feminism in general is the notion that biological differences are minimal or even non-existent. This is especially problematic when talking about mating – both objectives and behaviors. In a sociocultural vacuum, men and women would still be extremely different. It’s biology. I’m baffled as to how you can downplay this. A simple laundry list of the chemicals/hormones coursing through women vs. men proves it. Each sex has deeply rooted bio patterns and instincts of its own.

      I’m sorry you’re injured. FWIW, I do appreciate your debating in good faith here. Your views are welcome, even if we don’t agree.

  • Karyn

    Stating the obvious here as well, perhaps (although I have a feeling my previous comment is going to be seriously attacked) but just to make it perfectly clear, the comments I make here are my own views: not Heather’s and not Scarleteen’s as an organization.

  • Stephanie

    @Dilithium
    I’m not really sure how to take your response honestly. Either you have no concept of what an analogy is (which actually, considering how you chose yours I am quite frankly preferring.) or you seriously just compared a person having consensual sex with heroin (a very addictive drug, often use leading to death) and Russia roulette (a potentially lethal chance game in which participants place a single bullet into a revolver then spin the cylinder, place the muzzle against their head and pull the trigger.) If the second option is really what you chose to do, then quite frankly I am shocked and appalled.
    .
    If indeed it was the second choice (still hoping it was not) then you really think a person choosing to have consensual sex – using protection, should not have that choice? Or are you saying no teen should ever be able to make a choice about what they feel is right for them sexually? If you don’t think they should be able to make decisions, then you are basically advocating rape (as they could also not choose who they do not want to have sex with) – and I don’t care who you are that is ABSOLUTELY NOT OKAY in ANY way shape or form! Talk about ways people get hurt, in very long lasting ways. Newsflash, teens and young adults DO have sex. They do, whether they know about protection or not. So teaching them how to protect themselves should they choose to have sex is EXTREMELY important.

  • Stephanie

    @Susan
    I don’t think women aren’t under pressure to have sex. I was simply saying that it wasn’t sex-pos feminism doing that pushing (and that boys sometimes identify as feeling pressure more often because too many partners and a girl is a slut/easy, but too few for men and they’re a geek/dork because they’re not “real men” or “Players” which is seen as a good thing often more than a bad thing.)
    .
    Certainly teens and young adults are feeling pressure for a lot of things. Drinking, drugs, fitting in, and sex from peers – excellence, time, dedication from school – values, morals, bonds, perfection, etc from parents. The list goes on and on, and many topics fit under multiple categories with many meanings. The sad thing is they/we are often so misunderstood as “Having it so easy” when it’s quite frankly just not. It’s just different reasons and types of pressure sometimes between boys and girls.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stephanie
      I agree that both young women and men feel pressured by a wide variety of forces. I maintain that sex-pos feminism has pushed an agenda that “sex is no big deal.” One example of this is the sponsoring by Women’s Studies department of Sex Weeks on many college campuses, including information sessions for students who would like to explore becoming sex workers, to live BDSM demonstration, to panel discussions on the joys of polyamory. (All included in Yale Sex Week). Sex-pos fem is not neutral. It glorifies sex at the expense of relationships, and promotes sexual practices that are only relevant to a small percentage of the population.

  • Stephanie

    @Grerp:
    I know you addressed Karyn with this message, and I think she gave a great reply. I just wanted to emphasize a few things as well.
    .
    You cannot force someone to listen, but it really would be irresponsible to not at least make this person aware of some of the consequences of this relationship. So often people really don’t understand the types of things that can happen should relationships like these be figured out. And no, saying they are illegal is not relying on an outside standard to determine acceptability – it’s a form of protecting the parties involved. Do you know and really understand the consequences of a relationship like this? What it means to be labeled a sex offender – in terms of jobs, where you are and are not allowed to live and travel, what type of a change and how it can literally RUIN a person’s life?
    .
    Can you also understand how the statistics for these types of relationships mean a higher chance of physical and emotional abuse? That a person of that age really likely doesn’t have that partner’s best interests at heart – so whatever feelings often aren’t reciprocal? Can you also understand the statistic for child pornography, rape/sexual assault (and I don’t mean just in terms of statutory). This question is REALLY off base for the point you were trying to make. Are you really suggesting Karyn or anyone else would say nothing at all, and consider that’s in the best interest of everyone involved? Honestly? What a truly bold and might I add awful thing to imply in any way about someone you know nothing about.

  • Joey

    @Susan: In two posts directed at me, you quoted statistics without citing the studies. In the first one, you claimed that “at least 80%” of sex is no-strings-attached, and then directed me to the CDC when I asked for a source. However, as I’m sure you realize, it’s impossible to find a specific study on the CDC website if all I have is one figure from that study.

    In another post, you made this claim: “Stats on how surprisingly rarely either sex orgasms during hookups prove it (M:44%, F:19%)”. Again, without providing a source.

    And, no: I was not referring to Scarleteen when I was talking about academic circles. When I’m not volunteering at ST, I’m a graduate student.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Joey
      HUS is not a PhD dissertation, lol. It is peer reviewed, but only in the most casual way. I offer opinions, though I routinely offer research to back them up, including my own.
      You may find this comment from Herman interesting in giving you a sense of the sexual marketplace:
      Sex is only readily available to a small number of alphas while large numbers of betas remain sexually frustrated. This conclusion is supported by the fact that 40.5% of never married US men (the betas) have not had sex in the last year. In contrast, 22.7% of US men age 20-29 (the alphas) already have 15 or more lifetime sexual partners.
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad384.pdf
      Betas would be glad to commit to get sex, but women are not attracted to them. Betas hate feminism because feminism killed monogamy, which was the way that betas previously got sex. The PUA community is mostly betas who turned to game as a way to get sex after the death of monogamy, so the PUA community largely hates feminism. Roissy and Tucker Max are the evil spawn of feminism.
      If the epidemic of involuntary celibacy among young men weren’t bad enough, the inflation-adjusted median income of US men age 25-34 has dropped 24% since 1973.
      http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/p

      You may also find this link useful:
      http://www.iub.edu/~kinsey/resources/FAQ.html#relation
      In addition, my own About page has key stats and their sources, but I’ll make it easy for you:
      91% of students report that hooking up is very common or fairly common on their campuses.[2. Glenn, Norval and Marquardt, Elizabeth. "Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right - College Women on Mating and Dating Today." Institute for American Values. July, 2001.]
      87% of college students report having hooked up.[3. Kahn, Fricker, Hoffman, Lambert, Tripp and Childress. "Hooking up: Dangerous new dating methods?" American Psychological Association Symposium: Sex, unwanted, sex, and sexual assault on college campuses. 2000.]
      73% of girls wish dating was more common.[4. "The Truth About Hooking Up." Cosmopolitan. October, 2008: 190-1.]
      12% of hookups eventually lead to relationships.[5. Hayes, Allison, McManus, Brian and Paul, Elizabeth. "Hookups: Characteristics and Correlates of College Students' Spontaneous and Anonymous Sexual Experiences." The Journal of Sex Research. February, 2000.]
      60% of sexually active teenagers will at some point have sex with someone they are not dating.[6. Manning, Giordano, and Longmore. "Hooking up: The relationship contexts of 'non-relationship' sex." Journal of Adolescent Research, 21(5), 2006: 459-483.]
      49% of students who have intercourse during a hookup never see the other person again.[7. Bogle, Kathleen A. Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus. New York: New York University Press, 2008.]
      61% of women who say hooking up makes them feel desirable also say it makes them feel awkward.[8. Glenn, Norval and Marquardt, Elizabeth. "Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right - College Women on Mating and Dating Today." Institute for American Values. July, 2001.]
      44% of the time guys have an orgasm during a hookup, while girls have orgasms only 19% of the time.[9. "The Truth About Hooking Up." Cosmopolitan. October, 2008: 190-1. England, Paula, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University.]
      12% of women say that it is sometimes easier to have sex with a guy they don’t know than to make conversation.[10. Glenn, Norval and Marquardt, Elizabeth. "Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right - College Women on Mating and Dating Today." Institute for American Values. July, 2001.]
      .
      I’ve done most of the work for you here, but you’ll need to use your brain and common sense.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    You cannot force someone to listen, but it really would be irresponsible to not at least make this person aware of some of the consequences of this relationship. So often people really don’t understand the types of things that can happen should relationships like these be figured out. And no, saying they are illegal is not relying on an outside standard to determine acceptability – it’s a form of protecting the parties involved. Do you know and really understand the consequences of a relationship like this? What it means to be labeled a sex offender – in terms of jobs, where you are and are not allowed to live and travel, what type of a change and how it can literally RUIN a person’s life?
    @Stephanie and Karyn – Yes, I understand all of this, and that the pill is prescribed for things other than regulating ovulation. What I’m saying is that your position is pure and unadulterated moral relativism and if you take that position you can judge nothing because the value of everything is how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel good, it’s good. If it makes you feel bad, it’s bad.

    I also reject the idea that 15 year olds (or 16 or 17, etc.) are precociously wise and know exactly what they are doing when they decide to explore their sexuality. Fifteen year olds are not very educated and have little experience of the world. Many of them think shoplifting is a kick or that defacing public property with graffiti is a laugh, but if they engage in that type of anti-social behavior and get caught we tell them that’s unacceptable and offer disincentives like community service and fines to keep them from repeating it. Because we clearly see that they hurt other people with this behavior. But people who make sex into a morals-free activity fail to see that what results from that sex – damaged psyches, STDs, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, a skyrocketing illegitimacy rate – also hurts society at large both socially and economically.

    If my 15-year-old daughter was having an affair with a 35/25/15-year-old man, I would ramp up the supervision and make sure she had no opportunity to continue with that behavior.

  • Sox

    Teenagers’ frontal lobes (and reasoning abilities) aren’t fully developed. It kind of reminds me of when I was six or so and my parents had me start taking karate lessons. The first thing I did was go out and use my new moves on all my friends, until I was scolded by my parents. Oh well, I felt pretty empowered for a while.

  • Stephanie

    @Susan
    Actually, if you do a little bit of research on Sex Week and what that is on college campuses, you’d find that the practices of these classes at Yale are really not typical. You can find out about Sex Week if you do a little searching on websites (many have old documents telling about things like this that are revamped for the following year and posted again). Most of what I found was more closely related to what my own college did (which I was a part of) – things like bringing in the vagina monologues, having a rape survivor speak, passing out free condoms and coupons for water based lubricants, teaching about STIs, and ending the week with a massive show down between professors and students in sex squares (which is like Hollywood squares).
    .
    See, again you’re trying to lump everyone together in a small group. The more you do that, the more you cast judgment that everyone in a particular group is alike. They’re not. And the ideology that spf glorifies sex? No. The idea is to teach it – not glorify it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      And the ideology that spf glorifies sex? No. The idea is to teach it – not glorify it.

      Teach sex? That right there is troubling. What’s wrong with letting two people figure it out on their own? All they need to know is how to stay safe and free from disease. It sounds like sex week at your school was nothing too wacky, but I am aware of several other programs that I would describe as waaayyy out there. William and Mary is another one.

  • Stephanie

    @Sox
    Ohhh… I get it… teenagers are like six years olds. Check!
    .
    Wait… WHAT?!? Do you understand that studies have shown having in place a quality sexual education program rather than abstinence only has actually shown teens waiting longer to have sex, and a decrease in pregnancy rates? Yeah… totally a bad thing right? *HEADDESK!*

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  • Sox

    Err, never said teenagers are like 6 year olds. I’m saying that there’s nothing wrong with discouraging certain “choices” when someone’s ability to make rational decisions is not yet fully developed.

    I also never said I had any problem with quality sexual education programs, where the hell did you get that idea?

  • Clarence

    Susan @ 11:03, August Sixth:

    By Sex negative feminists I mean those such as Andrea Dworkin and Catherine McKinnon whose basic viewpoint may basically be boiled down to : heterosexual intercourse is rape. Though they never explicitly state as much, that is where their philosophy leads. Such feminists tend to be anti-pornography, anti-prostitution (or sex work of any type) and tend to line up with religious conservatives on such issues.

  • Clarence

    Karyn:

    Many of those chromosome combinations you listed have nothing to do with whether a given person can or cannot carry a baby, so most of them are not proof of “intersexuality”. Furthermore, there are no naturally reproducing human hermophrodites meaning you need xx, xy, and one or two of the other combinations to reproduce the species. Hence “male” and “female”. I’m down with “gender” though I think its overused, but I think your post would confuse people as to how rare a “true” intersexual individual is.

    Trying to deny biological brain differences and average traits between the two reproductive sexes based on arguments involving inter or a-sexual individuals does not impress me, nor does it apply to the vast majority of people who ever lived.

  • Stephanie

    @Sox:
    When you say something reminds you of something else, you’re pointing out a likeness or qualities. So by saying that teenagers remind you of yourself at six, you are stating a likeness between being six years old and a teenager. Thereby making the comparison that teenagers are like six year olds.
    .
    When you stated, “The first thing I did was go out and use my new moves on all my friends, until I was scolded by my parents. Oh well, I felt pretty empowered for a while.” In connection to a post I made about empowering women and teens/young adults to make their own decisions on what was best for them and felt right to them, I made the logical assumption that you were still talking about that same subject. I had said sex-pos fem teachings, much like sexuality educations in schools with good programs, offer the information needed for teens and young adults that will and are already making decisions about what’s best for them sexually to make better more informed decisions. Honestly what you’re arguing sounds more like you don’t think they should be making those decisions at all, but they are the only one’s that should be making those decisions about themselves and what’s right for them. They also need not be “scolded” by their parents for doing so.

  • Joey

    Well, no. This page is clearly not a dissertation. But then, it’s just common courtesy to both the people you are talking to and the researchers you are quoting to credit your sources.

    So, um, thanks, for this barrage of sources, only one of which is connected to the statistics you had cited earlier.

    I wasn’t asking for your sources on using the language of economics to ask about sex. I had merely pointed out in a previous post that I find the language dehumanizing. That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware that plenty of people DO use that language.

    Your second link leads me to a page that has this to say:
    “Sorry, the page you requested has either been moved or is no longer available on this server.”

    The next link leads to the wonderful folks from Kinsey, but the page doesn’t mention anything that’s relevant to our discussion here.

    The ton of citations below that are, I suppose, meant to back up your claim that “at least 80% of all sex” is casual. However, saying that 87% of college students having hooked up is not equal to saying that 80% of all sex is casual. NONE of your citations refer to that particular figure.

    The second to last link, at least, finally gives me a source for the stats on orgasms that you gave. Thank you.

    Look. Basically, I feel that you’re intellectually dishonest. You drop figures and statistics left and right, but when asked to provide sources, you fail to do so. When you do cite a source, such as that Sexpert Advice answer from ST, you completely misrepresent the content of the source (apparently in hopes that your readers will take your word for it and not bother to read the rest). You claim to advocate for young women, and yet have dismissed out of hand the comments of several young women in this comments thread, simply because they reported experiences with casual sex that don’t mesh with your own feelings on the topic.

    I absolutely respect your opinion. I do. But I do not feel that it gives you the right to declare it as the only valid one, and to posit that anyone who ignores your opinion is doomed. There is more than one valid way to live your life, and feminism is all about supporting those different paths. What you’re doing here isn’t feminist. You’re engaging in slut-shaming, and directing that hatred at the very demographic you claim to want to support.

    And for that reason, this is going to be my last reply here.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Joey
      Well your departure comes not a moment too soon. You have really been rather unpleasant – I know that’s part of the fem mystique, but you honestly have a lot of nerve talking about numbers when you can’t even handle the question about a 16 year old having 10 sexual partners. I’ve been working hard to respond to nearly 600 comments, and you don’t get special treatment. You could learn a lot by dedicating a weekend to reading my 350 posts.
      .
      Furthermore, there is great data in the sources I gave you. You will be required to use your brain and do the math. Do you know anything about statistics? If you sit down with all of the material I pointed to, and read all of those books, you will be able to derive conclusions using reason and analysis. It’s not my job to serve up links to you on a platter.
      .
      What I advocate is intelligent behavior. That applies to young men and women. I actively support anyone who is trying to make smart choices about their bodies and their emotions. I have no preconceived notions of what choice they should make. As I’ve said elsewhere, I have never advised a young woman not to hook up, though I have had many conversations with women who came to me because they wanted to stop hooking up. I have never said that anyone who opposes my opinion is doomed. I do not promote abstinence or encourage women not to engage in premarital sex. I am a Massachusetts liberal. I just know that sex pos has run amok, and it’s important that people have an outlet to debate these questions. No such debate is permitted on your site or any of the feminist sites.
      .
      Sex pos feminism is not about supporting different paths. It prioritizes non-heteronormative behavior. It glorifies porn. It celebrates bukkake, BDSM, polyamory, and swinging. And now it’s cool and brave to share your sex stories via Craigslist. So yeah, tell Jaclyn Friedman you applaud her self-destructive choices. That’s your specialty, after all.

  • Stephanie

    @Grerp
    Honestly, you seem to be really off base with some of your thinking. The idea of working with teens and young adults, especially with a subject matter that is so very personal is absolutely not about judging them at all. If that’s the way in which you react to things like sex and sexuality and choices surrounding those, then I really do feel for whomever it may be that you’re working with at the moment, whether that be your daughter or someone else’s child. When a person looks at a teen or young adult that has actually decided to talk about something personal such as this, only to judge them, in all reality risks them not only not trusting talking to them again, but also talking to ANY adult about this, whether they need a trusting source and some support in something or not.
    .
    “They also rated how much they trusted their parents. Predictably, the more teenagers trusted their parents to accept and understand their decisions, the more likely they were to share the details.” – NY Times (“Why Teenager’s Don’t Talk To Parents About Sex”)
    .
    “Share your values regarding sex. If you believe a person should save having sex until marriage, say so. ****Accept that your teen may choose to have sex despite your values.****” (Palo Alto Medical Foundation – “Teens and Sex”)
    .
    Fifteen year olds are more educated than you give them credit for. Teens and young adults are smart, and pick up on things extremely quickly about society. Do you understand the concept of TEENS WILL MAKE DECISIONS ON THEIR OWN REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY KNOW HOW TO PROTECT THEMSELVES OR NOT? For schools that have quality sexual education programs, students are making safer more informed decisions. Pregnancy rates in those schools are comparatively lower.
    .
    Also understand, views like “… I would ramp up the supervision and make sure she had no opportunity to continue with that behavior” are EXACTLY why teens don’t feel they can trust and talk to parents about decisions they’ve made. It’s why teens need resources outside of parents for this information, because parents are often not able or wanting to accept and support teens, rather so often sadly the first reaction is judgment. Also, since you’re pulling out damaged psyches, how do you think parent’s reactions and inability to support without judging so often fit into that? Though I can’t say given many of your responses that your reactions would be as such.

  • Stephanie

    @Grerp
    Edit: Last line, Though I can’t say given many of your responses I’m surprised that your reactions would be as such.

  • Karyn

    @Clarence
    I’m really not clear on how reproductive capability is related to this discussion, as sex is about far more than reproduction; for that matter, I am not clear on what point it is exactly that you’re trying to make. I will say that intersexuality is not nearly as rare as you are making it out to be: even accounting for differences in what “counts” as intersex, it isn’t terribly uncommon. Some statistics on that are here: http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency
    As for your comment about being unimpressed, I wasn’t trying to impress you – I honestly have better things to do with my time.

    @Susan
    You say that the majority of people who find your blog are straight young women and a few gay men (though what orientation has to do with sex and gender I don’t know). Have you ever thought that perhaps the reason for this may be that you’re very good at rendering everyone else invisible, invalidating their lives and experiences and them being fully aware that were they to frequent the comments sections, they’d be treated as totally abnormal or as “statistical outliers”?
    I will also make the point that just because you only ever encounter one very homogeneous group of people doesn’t mean the rest of the 6 billion people on the planet don’t exist, and pretending they don’t doesn’t do anyone any favours.
    As for the influence of biology on gender, in general, female-bodied people and male-bodied people have the same hormones, although usually (though not always) in different amounts. Too, people are so much more than a collection of hormones; as I said in an earlier comment, if we were entirely at the mercy of our hormones, then there would not be the tremendous range of gender expression historically and presently worldwide that there is.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Karyn
      I get to write whatever I want to write about. It’s my blog. I write what I know. I know a lot about two sexes, and two genders. I figure I’ve got a pretty good target audience right there – maybe about 5.999999 billion people? I am under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to wade into the LGBT waters. I’ll leave that to you.
      .

      As for the influence of biology on gender, in general, female-bodied people and male-bodied people have the same hormones, although usually (though not always) in different amounts. Too, people are so much more than a collection of hormones;

      Both the hormones and the amounts are vastlydifferent, especially in the two genders I specialize in. Honestly, I find this kind of PC talk nonsensical. Estrogen vs. testosterone. That explains much of gender right there.

  • Average Joe

    @Susan.

    You go girl!!!!!

    The word that comes to most men’s minds when they hear of a 40 year old woman who in the last 11 months screwed 9 people from craigslist is PATHETIC, not liberated. Jaclyn is being really dishonest with her advice. Thanks for putting up the good fight against this kind of bad counsel to young girls and women. It’s troubling that the same bloggers who so vocally support her typically vilify guys who do same thing for “objectification” and label them douche bags. What hypocrites!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Average Joe
      Thanks for the vote of confidence and support. Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti keep accusing me of cynically writing this just for traffic, but honestly, I’d rather walk across the Sahara than host some of these wackos again. A few linger, but soon things should be back to normal. Until I stir the pot again, that is ;-)

  • Clarence

    Karyn:

    Depending on where I wanted to put the numbers based on that chart alone I could go from about 1 in one hundred to one in 150, 000. If we count only people who need surgery to reconstruct one genitalia or another , it comes out to about 1 in 1500 or there abouts, so yes, I’d say less than one tenth of one percent is pretty damn rare. It’s certainly not something to build a whole intellectual edifice on nor to deny the existence of the biological sexes as some radicals try to do.

    As for the rest of your argument to Susan, I will state that female bodied and male bodied females having exactly the same hormones, let alone in anything near the same amounts (right off the top of my head boys tend to have tens of times the amount of testosterone for example) is a bit of ignorance on your part. As a bio major who has recently studied genetics there are dozens of other differences between males and female bodied persons even in their brains. That we don’t know exactly what all these differences tend to do, nor what they mean in terms of group averages for this trait or that trait, doesn’t mean such differences don’t exist. Point is, we keep finding more and more, and I don’t think “gender is a social construct and is somehow divorced totally from sex” is a very useful argument.

    This blog is mostly about straight single women, and what Susan thinks will benefit them. As a straight single man, as a gay man, whatever, I know this blog is not for me, and I don’t expect it to be. Hooking up smart can safely ignore the intersexed, the gay, women who are married, feminists, and arguably it could even ignore straight guys like me if Susan feels she’s learned enough to give her girls who are presumably interested in protecting themselves while forming a relationship with one of us good advice.

  • Clarence

    In preceeding comment, change “females” behind male-bodied to “persons”.

    Who says I don’t think women are persons too? ;)

  • Stephanie

    @Susan
    A lesson to myself, being ill and a lack of sleep combine to make responses occasionally have things come out jumbled. I didn’t mean teach sex as in “you two are pairs, those two are pairs – teach your partner how sex works” teaching of sex, I meant sexuality education/ safer sex practices.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @stephanie
      OK, gotcha. Fair enough.

  • Karyn

    Clarence: I’m glad to hear you’re a bio major – so was I, before switching to anthropology for grad school, and it’s fascinating. As a bio major, then, surely you’re aware that while there are, on average, differences between male-bodied and female-bodied people, there are also just as many genetic differences between two males or two females. And it’s entirely possible for women to have more testosterone, for example, than men. There was actually an episode of the NPR show “This American Life” done a few years ago where several staff members had their testosterone levels tested, and the one woman in the group turned out to have the highest level of any of them. I am not at all saying that differences don’t exist, what I am saying is that with such extreme range of variation possible, talking about averages in this trait or that one is only so useful when discussing the lives of real people. Statistics can only tell you so much, and people don’t fit very tidily at all into the neat little boxes so many of the commenters here seem to want them to.

    Susan: My apologies, I didn’t realize you were enough of an expert in this area to “specialize” in anything. Though if 1.5 years of blogging qualifies you as an expert, I’ll go get started on that nuclear physics blog ASAP – I’ve always wanted to be an expert in that field but those pesky calculus classes kept getting in my way (’cause, you know, I’m a girl and math hurts my brain, it must be all that estrogen getting in the way). I had no idea one could without education and experience; it’s such a shame I’ve already wasted all that money on tuition and books, and all that time writing papers and theses. It is your blog, and you get to write what you want, and you do have an audience, for sure, but it’s a lot smaller than you think: once you take out all the feminists, the sexuality educators and researchers, the young people who are LGBT, anyone who’s intersex or genderqueer or agendered, the young women who don’t have any problem with casual sex, the people who don’t think males and females are from two different planets, and everyone who frankly knows better, your audience is very tiny indeed.
    As for wading into the LGBT waters, no, of course you’re not obligated to. (Although I do wonder why if you have no interest in anything LGBT why you would pick on Jaclyn, who is, in case you hadn’t noticed, queer.) In fact, please stay out of our waters – we don’t want you. You can go hang out with those evo psych “experts” and that anthropologist you keep citing who doesn’t seem to distinguish between sex and gender and that guy who wrote “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”. Guess who’s going to be having more fun?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Karyn

      My apologies, I didn’t realize you were enough of an expert in this area to “specialize” in anything. Though if 1.5 years of blogging qualifies you as an expert, I’ll go get started on that nuclear physics blog ASAP – I’ve always wanted to be an expert in that field but those pesky calculus classes kept getting in my way (’cause, you know, I’m a girl and math hurts my brain, it must be all that estrogen getting in the way). I had no idea one could without education and experience; it’s such a shame I’ve already wasted all that money on tuition and books, and all that time writing papers and theses.

      This is why people can’t stand feminists. So very nasty. Always hitting below the belt. Honestly, you’re like the MEAN GIRL in 6th grade.

      It is your blog, and you get to write what you want, and you do have an audience, for sure, but it’s a lot smaller than you think: once you take out all the feminists, the sexuality educators and researchers, the young people who are LGBT, anyone who’s intersex or genderqueer or agendered, the young women who don’t have any problem with casual sex, the people who don’t think males and females are from two different planets, and everyone who frankly knows better, your audience is very tiny indeed.

      If you weren’t incredibly threatened by my views, and by extension my blog, you wouldn’t have dedicated the last five days to hanging out hear. You’d find it unnecessary to peddle your views. I think you know perfectly well that this message is resounding among young people. And you spf’s are scared sh*tless that so many guys are joining in the conversation – guys who are actually encouraging women to be more judicious in granting sexual access! As for the size of my audience, all I can say is that Jessica Valenti’s tirade against me had 7 comments last time I checked. Amanda Marcotte’s post had 21. This conversation alone illustrates that something very special is happening here. When you consider that commenters comprise around 1% of readers in general, you have no basis for dismissing my audience as tiny. It’s smaller than Scarleteen’s to be sure, but it’s MUCH more invested.

      (Although I do wonder why if you have no interest in anything LGBT why you would pick on Jaclyn, who is, in case you hadn’t noticed, queer.)

      Is she? As I noted in the post, she identifies as queer, but is clearly trolling for men on Craigslist. Funny, that.

      In fact, please stay out of our waters – we don’t want you. You can go hang out with those evo psych “experts” and that anthropologist you keep citing who doesn’t seem to distinguish between sex and gender and that guy who wrote “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”. Guess who’s going to be having more fun?

      HAHA! Guess what? You don’t get to say what you want. This is the interwebz!!!! I will continue to hang out here, discussing what interests me and my readers. And let’s not kid each other – you’ll be lurking.
      As to who will have more fun? If JF’s life is what you call fun, I’ll take boring, thanks. A boring life with Love, the whole enchilada. I have it. She doesn’t. As she said herself, she’s doing it wrong.

  • Stephanie

    @Susan:
    I don’t expect you to know this as you yourself have shown that anyone outside of a very small population of people is truly welcome here (or in the least made to feel welcome). I hate to break down the walls on your theory of Jaclyn not being queer because she was looking for men – but the term queer is actually a term used to describe a sexual orientation, gender identity,or gender expression that doesn’t conform with/to heteronormative society. It can be used by someone to describe that they are gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, intersex, and even non-normative heterosexual. (Just thought I’d help you out with that one).
    .
    Also, you’re again making comments and statements generalizing a group of people. I can’t speak for every SPF, but I will say on behalf of some friends I’ve asked and myself that you can’t generalize all SPFs as being “Scared sh*tless.” Too?
    .
    “I’d rather walk across the Sahara than host some of these wackos again. A few linger, but soon things should be back to normal.” Were we really that bad? Honestly? Sometimes different views can teach you something you didn’t know… it doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing.

  • Stephanie

    Edit: Truly (not) welcome

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  • mike

    Feminism is the mind-killer.

  • Clarence

    Susan:

    In some ways, I’d be considered a sex positive person, though not a feminist. For instance, I don’t think there is anything inherently shameful in sex or nudity. But heck, when it comes down to it if the only way you can be considered sex positive is to think that JF’s Craiglist behavior is something to be emulated without careful thought and consideration by most young girls or that MILD criticism of a 16 year old for being unwise enough to obtain ten sexual partners in a single is wrong, then yes, I suppose lump me in with the Christian Coalition or Andrea Dworkin, and all those who would rather young women wear hajibs.

    I think some “sex pozzies” have things useful to say, regardless of how you view there overall sexual philosophy. For instance there’s great stuff on Clarisse Thorn’s website about communicating during sex, believe it or not some good stuff has come out of the bdsm community that could help people who aren’t into that at all communicate better with their partners for more enjoyable and less contentious sexual experiences. And the blogger Renegade Evolution has some stuff to say about sex workers lives -the good and bad (such as those with no choice) – because she is one herself. I can’t go to either extreme on this, and from reading you awhile I don’t think you do either. Liking sex, or having a few sex partners does not inherently damage women.

    Anyway, I do urge you to read these two blogs a little bit when you get the time, to possibly round out your philosophy on this stuff. Both women identify as feminist, but tend to be more the “equalist” type, so not necessarily would they be accepted as feminist by the rads.

    http://clarissethorn.wordpress.com/
    http://theger.wordpress.com/
    Ren’s new blog. Her old blog is still up, but no longer updated. It blew up because of internecine warfare that got personal between sex pos and sex neg feminists.

  • Clarence

    Stephanie:

    I can appreciate how some new terms have been added to the language by people “outside of the binary” and I even agree that such terms can be useful.

    But redefining commonly used words such as “queer” for political purposes is not something I appreciate or agree with.

    For instance, in popular terminology, “Queer” means homosexual. It doesn’t include those other categories. It seems as if the word has been expanded by some in order to increase the perceived amount of “non-heteronormative” people. As far as “generalizing”,stereotyping, everyone does it. It is a USEFUL and inherent part of how humans (all humans) perceive the world. So long as it is accompanied by the intellectual openess to admit exceptions and so long as those stereotyped are not dehumanized, there is nothing wrong with it.

    Most people are “heteronormative” there is nothing wrong with that, and there is nothing wrong with catering to them.

  • Dilithium

    @Susan: “Betas would be glad to commit to get sex, but women are not attracted to them. Betas hate feminism because feminism killed monogamy, which was the way that betas previously got sex.”

    .

    While there is probably a lot of truth to this, it’s also a somewhat deeper argument than a very simple one that comes to mind. Downtrodden, sexless betas don’t like feminism because feminism, at least in its modern form, insists that men’s complaints are never legitimate. You can see the theme running through the many comments of the last few posts: women’s decisions should always be supported, never criticized, simply because the people making those decisions are women. Women, in the main, are never wrong and can never be the source of any ill in the world. Any man who dares complain is automatically judged guilty, simply because of the act of complaint, of something that de-legitimizes his complaint (see the many, truly sickening incantations of the “fake nice guy” canard).

    .

    There’s a real sense of betrayal here. Beta men are often described as those who drank, or at least sipped, the feminist kool-aid and believed the “pretty lies” that women place a high and primary value on being respected and taken seriously. Betas are the ones who did what polite society told them to, and then got screwed over twice for their enlightenment: girls generally aren’t actually attracted to guys who follow the feminist line; but rather then defending those guys who did what they recommended, feminists then shit all over them! because any honest recognition of what happened would involve criticizing women in the main, which is completely forbidden. So one doesn’t have to look as deeply as you did to see why betas perceive hard-core feminists as an enemy.

    .

    Now taking my turn to think deeply, it seems to me that the hard-core or SP feminist line is bad for women in a subtle way, in that it prevents or discourages women from developing their own selves. If you take any substantial group of young people — women, say, or the hereditary rich, or any kind of racial master class — and drill into them as part of their basic education that “You are never in the wrong, your gut feeling is always right and can’t be questioned or criticized, it’s always the `others’ that are the source of problems” then two things will happen: (A) Those people will develop a horrible sense of entitlement that will lead them to do selfish and unwise things, and (B) Those people will feel no need to develop themselves morally or spiritually; why should they? if they already can do no wrong.

    .

    You can see the implications immediately. Picture a young woman who always picks the wrong kind of men and winds up unhappy, a case not unknown to you. She needs to re-evaluate her instinctual choice mechanism in order to be happy. But, radical modern feminism will instead teach her to always locate the flaws in men, never in herself; it’s always that all men are bad, never that women choose poorly. Women are always the pure victims, men always the pure villains. This kind of indoctrination will only prevent and delay her from making the re-evaluation she needs in reality to do, and so the modern feminist outlook is really hurting her in the long and medium runs.

  • Stephanie

    @Clarence
    I’m going to guess (and please forgive and feel well correcting me on this should I be wrong) but guessing you’re straight – or heterosexual if you prefer that. If that truly is the case, then why should it be something you have to agree with or appreciate? That given, why exactly are you telling us what our community language is, should be, or is acceptable to be? Queer most certainly DOES include all those categories I listed. I’m not sure why you feel you can decide that, but it doesn’t work that way. Just as some people wanting to believe gender and sex are one in the same doesn’t make it true. You’d be hard pressed to find an LGBT/LGBTQ group that does not identify with this – and indeed each person has the right to choose what fits them best.
    .
    I myself identify one of two ways when asked, I either say that I am bisexual, or that I am queer. As they both can identify me as someone that likes both men and women, it fits. It’s not about political at, it’s about personal and what people in the community feels fits best for them and they are comfortable with. (and newsflash, it’s been changed and accepted for quite a while: From the Human Rights Campaign Glossary of Terms: Queer – A term that is inclusive of people who are not heterosexual. For many GLBT people, the word has a negative connotation; however, many younger GLBT people are comfortable using it (http://www.hrc.org/issues/health/3336.htm). Also see:
    http://www.Pflag.org
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer
    .
    @Dilithium
    Not sure at all where your views come from, but again Feminism is about empowering women, not about dehumanizing men. It’s not about telling someone all men are wrong, and all women are right, or about telling women they’re always victims. Too? It was teens and young adults in general we were talking about supporting, not just women. My being feminist doesn’t mean I support any student, friend, acquaintance, or stranger that comes to me for help. Also not sure what you mean about the guys supporting feminism being “sh-t on.” My partner (male) has been there to support myself and my friends in so many things we did to support others. He’s attended meetings, fought for people that had been hurt, and to be there in general to let me know he supports what I do and believe (so much of which we have common beliefs on). When we don’t agree on something, we agree to disagree, because we are each entitled to our opinions.
    .
    Also not sure why you think feminists would tell someone unhappy to blame men for that unhappiness in relationships. Save when a woman is in an abusive relationship, be that physically, mentally, or emotionally the only person she can truly know was behind her decisions was herself. The idea isn’t to send her on blaming anyone – whether that be her partners OR herself, rather to accept that those decisions were in the past and she needs to be making decisions she is comfortable with. In the case of abusive partners, it is the abuser at fault (and that abuser may be anyone – male, female, trans – but the abuser is at fault, not the abused.) But to assume feminism is about placing blame is inaccurate.

  • Clarence

    Stephanie:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/queer

    5.
    Slang: Disparaging and Offensive .
    a.
    homosexual.
    b.
    effeminate; unmanly.

    I’m fully aware of how “Queer” has been used by various political factions of certain minority sexual orientations. However, this usage hasn’t yet made its way into popular usage, and it never will so long as it is accomponied by a snarky tone of superior enlightenment or the proposed usage is perceived as being motivated for use in forwarding an unpopular political stance. In short, call yourself whatever you want. Do not insist I follow suit unless I choose to do so. By the way, I’ve been aware of the issues of the intersexed and transgendered as well as the political controversies surrounding gay marriage since I was 15 or thereabouts in the mid 80′s. I”m not new to either these concepts nor what many of these concepts are meant to imply to members of the sexual majority.

    I’m generally supportive of “gay marriage”. I’m not a supporter of many of the other cultural causes and assumptions of the GBLT community, and one of the things that least impresses me about them is their often mindless adherance to codes of speech and their attempts to impose their speech usages and sexual assumptions on the larger culture.

  • Dilithium

    Stephanie, even though we’re having a bit of a heat wave on the continents of our northern hemisphere right now, I can tell you that Earth is a nice planet with some lovely spots.

    .

    You should come visit the Earth sometime. Really, I know a travel agent and may be able to get you a package if you’re willing to stay over Saturday night.

    .

    Meanwhile, I hope the weather is good on whatever planet it is that you’re from.

  • Anonymous

    Clarence:
    Again: It’s not about politics, it’s about what any group of people are comfortable with. Still again, it’s about what the group in question is comfortable with and finds acceptable, not someone outside that group. If, for instance, you were a member of a group and you all decided calling yourself Banana was what fit. Others may not feel it fits, may have other views on it – when in all reality the only people it matters to is you all. That’s not political, it’s not about having that group feel bigger, it’s simply what you all chose and were comfortable with. And far be it from someone outside that group to tell you you’re wrong for identifying as you feel comfortable. Whether you believe it’s right that Jaclyn classes as queer, or myself, or anyone else doesn’t matter. What matters is that we do, it’s what feels right for us, and questioning whether a person is as they identify because it doesn’t fit your tiny window view isn’t right. Just as some people identify heterosexual, straight, etc.
    .
    Clarence: I am a feminist. Are you really trying to say I don’t know or understand what that means? Honestly? I’m not living in some dream world or on a different planet. I live here, the same place as you do. The problem is that here, some people choose to believe only a small population of people exist just as they are. Everyone else are outliers in some prim proper view that so many people I’ve seen here have. The thing is? Trying to forget groups of people don’t exist, or supposing to understand a group or what they stand for by telling those in that group they’re wrong or imagining a different world is exactly why SO MANY people don’t understand. It’s the same stance so many people take “If I act like they’re not gay, they won’t be. If I pretend my child isn’t trans, he or she won’t be. If I pretend feminism ruins everything and is there solely to blame men for everything so it shall be.” But you won’t get anywhere running over everyone that doesn’t fit that perfect view.

  • Stephanie

    Not sure why that posted as Anon, my comp saved the 411 and had it types in the name/e-mail boxes. But EDIT: Second Clarence should be @Dilithium not Clarence

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Clarence
    Thanks for the suggestions. One thing I’m certainly guilty of is throwing all the sex pos feminists into one bucket. Feminism is known for its factions and infighting, and sex is perhaps the area with the most disagreement. Of course, warring groups tend to polarize, so on one side of the ring we’ve got women believing that all sex is rape, and the backlash to that is women who want to push the envelope and make provocative statements that sex need not mean anything at all, it’s just pleasurable. As the culture absorbs the latter view, it’s necessary to keep raising the stakes. We have to keep exploring ever more fringe sexual practices just to achieve satiety.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Dilithium
    Of course, it’s a cliche that feminists are man-hating, but I confess to being at least somewhat surprised to see so much anti-male knee jerk response in the SP feminist corner. Amanda Marcotte sent me a Twitter message saying “have fun with all those asshole dudes on your blog.” What???? I responded by saying that the participation of men in the conversation was quite surprising on a blog that was initially started for college-aged women. I wondered whether she didn’t think that was interesting in and of itself. Of course, she didn’t reply, but the only men that showed up here to defend JF have clearly been fully indoctrinated into SP fem. I hate the term mangina, but I understand its meaning better now.
    .
    As for the indoctrination that a whole generation has undergone, the MEMEME self-esteem push, I’m glad to see you point out that women also suffer from this. Narcissistic women are less sympathetic than sexually frustrated young men, but the truth is that both groups have been deceived to their great detriment.

  • Average Joe

    @ Susan

    Everyone knows of course that just because something is a cliche doesn’t mean that the cliche is not accurate. I just got a chance to read many of the comments from your critics and wonder if they have ever thought of pie charting their daily posts/tweets to see their true face rather than what they FEEL is their true face.

    Here are a couple choice examples for reference.

    “My own marriage of over ten years came about because some woman I didn’t know started flirting with me to make someone else jealous” -Thomas Millar

    Translation…I met my wife as a result of her being sexually manipulative. She wasn’t really into me, but it all worked out in the end. And this guy publishes the “yes means yes” blog.
    Apparently for his wife, Yes doesn’t actually mean yes, it means “I am really interested in some one else besides you”.

    ” I’m sure all those asshole dudes that read your blog loved imagining the feminist as a perma frowny face.” – Amanda Marcotte

    The woman who tweeted “asshole dudes” in a complaint about her photo is mad cause you chose a picture that didn’t have her smiling. She’s right in one sense. It is the wrong picture of her. You should have chosen a picture of her looking half crazy. Only a nut would tweet that ironic sentence.

    Anyway. These people crack me up. You are truly a saint!

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Average Joe
    Haha, thanks, you made me laugh. Actually, Amanda Marcotte worrying about perceived as having a permanent frowny face struck me as rather vulnerable. She’s a wolf, but I suspect there are some soft spots she’d rather not reveal. Indeed, she’s a ball buster of the worst kind!

  • http://brightstormyday.wordpress.com Mandy! XD

    I don’t understand how women could have so many one night stands. I really don’t. And I don’t think she’s realized she’s damaged herself, or perhaps she has but she’s seeking validation and support from other damaged women.

    Even sex in relationships can be rough. I’m waiting to have sex with my current boyfriend because I know I’m not ready and if I do sooner rather than later, it’ll destroy the relationship. And we have something really good right now. Sex should make it better, not wreck it.

    But maybe that’s just me. I’ve never had a really high sex drive and my first sexual experience was pretty much forced upon me by someone I thought was a friend a year ago this September. So I still don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t understand how someone who was sexually assaulted could be so slutty, but then again, everyone reacts to those experiences differently.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Mandy
    The important thing is that you are taking your time until you know it’s right for you. Especially if you were raped or sexually assaulted – the worst thing you could do is succumb to any kind of sexual pressure. I give you a lot of credit for having the self-awareness and personal strength to wait.

  • http://brightstormyday.wordpress.com Mandy! XD

    I think if everyone spent a little time figuring themselves out before they dived into relationships/sex a lot of problems would be solved.

    You know, figure out what you want, think long term, make yourself happy, figure out how to deal with baggage.

    I know fully figuring yourself out can take a lifetime for some, but I’m just saying. If a relationship oriented girl stays focused on relationships, then you would think she wouldn’t fall prey to the pump and dump.

    I feel like a lot of “sluts” are just women who haven’t figured out how to do good for themselves.

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  • http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com Lisa

    Hi,
    I’m not a slut, I’m a 32 year-old virgin waiting for the right man. That slipping out so you may know where my point of view is coming from, I honestly don’t see why I should condemn someone who takes her pleasure where she may. Considering some men are also that way, why should it be the woman who is disgraced? Not all men are rapacious beasts who can’t control themselves and it seems insulting to men too. Women shouldn’t be against eachh other because we have different ways of expressing our sexuality. It’s very doubtful that women will start humping every adult they see if given free reign.
    I think it’s mean to be talking about someone the way you are on your blog, bringing up trauma, and trying to stigmatize someone. Not good at all.

  • Aldonza

    If a relationship oriented girl stays focused on relationships, then you would think she wouldn’t fall prey to the pump and dump.

    You would think…but I’ve found that a lot of girls (and grown women) have no idea how to figure out the difference between a man who is physically attracted and a man who is emotionally attracted to them. If she keeps mistaking the two, then she is going to waste a lot of time on the guys who just want sex.

  • Aldonza

    Considering some men are also that way, why should it be the woman who is disgraced?

    .
    I’m not for slut-shaming. I’m not for man-bashing. I am for women understanding that having lots of casual sex has repercussions, even if I personally don’t like the idea. There are men who honestly don’t care how much sex their long-term partner had. But there are also a lot of men who do care.
    .
    As an attractive and intelligent woman who wants a relationship, it makes sense to know the house odds and play your hand accordingly.

  • http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com Lisa

    I personally don’t think I could emotionally tolerate casual sex, but if there is a double standard for women, I believe our society should try to overcome it among consenting adults. I find this post morally reprehensible. It’s obvious this blogger is not writing this post for the good of Friedman. It was cold, not as kind advice. It was a personal attack. How would she like it if someone wrote Deconstructing the Virtue of Susan Walsh?

    But I do thank you kindly for noticing my comment. :)

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Lisa
    I honestly don’t see why I should condemn someone who takes her pleasure where she may.
    I agree. Jaclyn Friedman’s sexual choices are her business and noone else’s. If only she felt that way! Indeed, I am not writing for the good of Friedman, and never meant to offer her advice. I have made it clear that what I object to is her sharing her POV in what I consider to be a proselytizing manner. She requests something from the reader – understanding, empathy, and support for sluthood. Sorry, I’m just not down with that.
    As I said, if JF kept her adventures to herself or her personal circle, none of us would have to know or care about her Casual Encounters. As a woman who writes to support young women who are struggling in the hookup culture, I find JF’s request to be self-serving in the extreme. No, I will not give JF the thumbs up for sluthood, I will not sanction behavior that can literally get women killed. And neither should you.
    .
    Oh, and when I write an essay for worldwide consumption entitled My Virtue, Myself, I give you full reign to deconstruct it. That’s only fair in the marketplace of ideas. I wouldn’t want to censor you, no matter how much you found objectionable in my scribblings.

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  • http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com Lisa

    Hi,
    Thanks for replying to my comment.!

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  • http://rangerbagel.com Stephanie

    “When, oh when, will feminists learn that men are usually spouting complete BS when they throw around phrases like male hegemony, patriarchy and heteronormative?”

    That is horribly sexist and offensive. I can’t believe you believe that men can’t be aware of the gender binary.

    Also, I can’t believe that you suggest that sluts are messing with the “supply side.”

    So because other women don’t want casual sex, we sluts shouldn’t be sluts in order to codependently ensure our ‘sisters’ get theirs too? Your slut shaming under the guise of pursuing some sort of healthy relationship education is both laughable and horrifying. The article you seek to deconstruct offers a brave account of an HONEST negotiation of casual sex. Being a slut is not easy. It’s not easy because people like you think that it somehow damages other people who are not sluts. It does not. It only damages you if you decide to get pissed off and worked up about the fact you’re pursuing men who are at all interested in casual sex.

    Sign up for e-harmony and leave the CL sluts alone. Sexist.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stephanie
      You need not be concerned about how other women are experiencing the sociosexual environment. Indeed, one of the things I find most difficult to comprehend about sex positive feminists is their patent unwillingness to even comprehend the intense emotional pain that so many young women are in. The DTF chicks have every right to bang who they want, but they certainly shouldn’t expect support for sluthood, which is what JF asked for. No woman seeking a relationship should support or reward sluts – it’s not in her best interest. Remember, incentives drive behavior. And by the way, if you have time you might take a look at this thread – lots of guys here, and nearly all of them (with 1 or 2 exceptions) would not even consider a LTR with a slut. It’s no coincidence that most of the professional/feminist sluts are not in committed relationships. The sexual double standard is biological, and will never be eradicated. Deal with it.

  • TeflonExpat

    Amanda Marcotte spews:

    “you see women like Susan Walsh arguing that other women have a responsibility not to have sex when we want with who we want, because that means that fewer men will have to pony up wedding rings in order to get laid.”

    This egghead really knows how to twist words around. A master at propaganda. Hitler wold be proud.

    Hey Marcotte: Thanks to your efforts, some men are getting laid just fine. But those SAME men will not pony up their hearts for women they relegate to the S list. Men worth marrying will not marry whores.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/08/23/punishing-womenwomens

    The core issue for SPF’s (though it pains their trite egos to admit it) is not slut shaming but slut rejecting.

    In the perverted mind of Marcotte, men slut reject when choosing a wife because they are somehow influenced by messages put forth by a slut shaming media and the men can get away with it because there are enough non-sluts to choose from (one would hope). So these SPF’s want to remove the cock-hopping stigma so that all women can “explore their sexuality” AND have a crack at marriage to a man worth marrying. But marriage-proposal-equality cannot be codified into law and Marcotte will not grovel to men and beg them to change their attitudes. That is why the SPFs have an inconsistent message and don’t know exactly what to do.

  • TeflonExpat

    Moreover, SPF cannot succeed if most men continue to segregate women into sex camps and marriage camps. These feminists believe that men are controlling women’s bodies (gasp!) by not considering all women as marriage or LTR worthy. That is, women who one day want to be married but naturally want to be promiscuous today will restrain themselves if such behavior will affect their marriage prospects. That restraint is seen as control by men and creates sexual inequality. Wise women and men with wifely standards are the greatest threat to sex positive feminism.

  • Anonymous

    If someone (male or female) Jaclyn just checked-in @ My bed want to be a slut it’sa O K with me. Its their business and no one else should care. It may be viewed differently by different people, but thats why were different,,,,IMAGINE EVERYONE THE SAME AS YOURSELF SEXUALY, QUITE BORING…I’D LOVE TO MEET A FEMALE SLUT , LIKE MYSELF….P.S  I KNOW ONE AND THERE IS NO DISRESPECT IN THE RELATIONSHIP…

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  • Bob

    even if you don’t ever want sluthood for yourself, you’re going to be called upon to support a slut.

    This is just a wordy way of saying: “Sluts need enablers.”

    Sorry for re-opening another old thread, but I have been conditioned to call people on their denials and delusions.

    Frankly, I don’t want an LTR with the slut or with her friend who gets a vicarious thrill listening to the sluts exploits. I want the one who decides “this crowd is not right for me” and quietly disengages, or the one who keeps her friend real.

    Thank you, Susan, for keeping it real.

  • http://www.colonzone.org Henway

    I seem to find the reverse true: sluts have a bad image, and men tend to stay away from these people, instead seeking women are “harder to get”.

  • Jenny

    About five years ago I had a distressing thing happen to me. I wanted to be with a guy, in a relationship, and he simply didn’t. He used my feelings for him to manipulate me into having sex with him. He even told me he loved me. You could technically call what he did to me rape- he simply pushed me down on the bed, pulled my pants down, and did it. With no foreplay. No kissing. No warning. No questions. After he was done, he got up and walked away. The next time he tried, I said no and got very upset. He stopped talking to me after that, called me a bitch. Typical total asshole behavior.

    A few months later, I hadn’t had sex still. I was afraid to. It’s like, after him, it wasn’t fun anymore. It made me feel disgusting and ashamed. I asked a friend of mine whom I thought was attractive if he would want to have casual sex. He agreed and we did- quite a few times over a period of a few weeks. To this day, we are still friends. Having casual sex- being a “slut”- put the power of sex back into my hands. I reclaimed my autonomy. I had a few more people over the following 6 months or so who I messed around with- no strings attached. And that was it.
    I am now in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend and we have been together happily for a few years now.
    Moral of the story- Just because you can’t possibly imagine the ways that casual sex can be beneficial doesn’t mean it can’t be. It can be and it was for me. In her essay, JF describes the ways in which casual sex helped her feel loved when she was too broken and not ready for a long-term relationship…. I reiterate- when she wasn’t. ready. for. a. long. term. relationship AKA- being in a long-term relationship would have been the more harmful thing. If casual sex gave her the satisfaction she needed before she was ready for a committed relationship- what is so wrong with that? If she isn’t ready for monogamy, why should she deny her libido too? She’s a f%&$ing adult! Let it be.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jenny
      It’s interesting. I’ll agree with Clarence that based on the facts you presented, that was not rape. However, you clearly felt assaulted. It seems like many of the women promoting sluthood are victims of sexual assault or abuse. Jaclyn Friedman is, as are other prominent sex pozzies. It’s as if casual sex serves as a sort of exorcism where the survivor has meaningless sex to avenge the prior incident. I’m not a shrink, and if it works for you I’m not going to say it doesn’t. In general, though, I’d call that a highly risky and potentially harmful way of healing. Oxymoronic.
      .
      Being able to enjoy physical intimacy without being able to engage in emotional intimacy is probably a strong indication for an attachment disorder.

  • Clarence

    Jenny:
    If you didn’t say no, it wasn’t rape. It was your responsibility as an adult to do so, and I’m not going to let you off the hook on that.

    As for casual sex being ok or even useful in some situations, I could see that.

  • Jenny

    HA! What an incredibly presumptuous and dickish thing to say, clarence. First off, I wasn’t an adult at the time. And secondly, I believe anyone who wants to have sex with someone has the responsibility to ASK. Victim-blame, much? He assumed that because I had a crush on him, that I would want to have sex with him. He was dead wrong. Nothing like that had happened to me before and nothing similar has happened since. I assume that you have never been in that situation before. Too scared to scream? It’s not as cut-and-dried as you think it is. But I will tell you this- I was there. You weren’t. The fact that you think you have a “hook” to let me off of in the first place is laughable.
    Also, Susan, you aren’t a shrink. Good point. And I would like to add- casual sex isn’t necessarily MEANINGLESS sex. As I said in my post earlier, that sex was VERY meaningful to me. It was important. Just not important in the conventional way that you want it to be. Also, I didn’t completely disregard my casual-sex partners feelings. That would be ridiculous. We were both aware of what was happening and wanted to enjoy the experience together. We connected emotionally, just in a different way.
    Susan, you are a very close-minded person, I feel. And I’m no shrink either. But I’ll go ahead and overstep my intellectual bounds since you have the gall to do so yourself… over and over again….
    I feel like you want everyone to fit into this strict monogamous regimen and there is no other way to go about it. I feel that you feel sex has one single appropriate way to play itself out and that way is the only “right” way. And everyone who doesn’t fit your idea is somehow “dysfunctional.” You’ve tried many times throughout this post and throughout the comments to try and show how women who do this are dysfunctional psychologically in some way-that they are denying their true nature or the essence of being a woman or something along those lines. And I find it slightly offensive that you discount the testimonials of women about casual sex by pointing out the fact that they have been abused sexually in the past. As if suddenly they have lost touch with what sex is or something and have no right to speak on it. You’re constantly rooting for reasons to disprove the idea that sex ISN’T only the one way you think it is. Why don’t you look at it this way: People are different. They have different lives, different problems and consequently- they find different solutions to those problems. If all these women are saying that casual sex fulfills them- why don’t you believe them?? Are you so stifled by your ideology as to ignore the raw feelings and experiences of these people?
    I understand that it is troubling to see a person who has been abused sexually having sex casually for you because you see sex in a very narrow way. On the surface and from an outsiders perspective, it seems like it could be bad. However, I think you are dressing up your fear of non-monogamous sex with half-assed concern.

    Also, thank you for taking the time to reply. I didn’t think anyone would be reading my post on this semi-dead thread.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jenny

      Nobody said I was not able to experience emotional intimacy. Not wanting to doesn’t imply an inability to.

      Either is problematic.
      .
      Look, I couldn’t care less what JF does. I object to her proselytizing. I object to her need for validation as a result of making bad, dangerous choices. My job here is to help women who DO want relationships. And having sex thru Craigslist is not a straight line to anything but an STD or worse. A woman unable or unwilling to experience emotional intimacy can find plenty of support at any of the sex pos feminist sites.
      .
      Re S&M, yeah, not seeing the attraction of nipple clamps as demonstrated during Yale Sex Week by the BDSM folks. Ball gags aren’t my idea of a good time either. But I repeat: I don’t care what you do. And I’ve never felt the need to write about S&M on this blog. In fact, only the sex pos crowd has ever brought it up. Come to think of it, it seems to be rampantly practiced among them. Interesting – more food for thought re intimacy.

  • Jenny

    I missed your last sentence Susan.
    Nobody said I was not able to experience emotional intimacy. Not wanting to doesn’t imply an inability to. And not wanting to doesn’t imply dysfunction. It’s just different.
    It takes all kinds. If you’re not too keen on casual sex, I shudder to think of what your take on S&M might be….

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    If your current boyfriend considers a woman’s casual sex romp to be nothing more than an extension of kissing, well then good for you. Assuming of course if he knows, as he should know especially if he is considering marriage.
    .
    It does not matter at all if a women has sex any way she wants it. That’s respect for a person’s choice. If a man worth marrying decides that he does not want to marry a women who engaged in these activities then that choice must be respected too, no matter how promiscuous he was.

  • Jenny

    @TeflonExpat

    Sure, sure.

    I just hope he would hold himself to the same standards if that’s the case.
    And yes, my boyfriend knows all the gory details of my past sexual exploits ;)

  • Julius

    Off-topic: Everything from Average Joe @ August 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm on shows as italicized on my end, do you know why?

  • Jenny

    I think, again, that her message is threatening to your view of what sex should be and how men and women are supposed to relate to each other and you take her message as proselytizing because of it. She’s not trying to convert anyone to slut-dom. You can take her story or leave it. I appreciate it because I have honestly never heard anything like it. I think it’s wonderful. You don’t hear sluts telling their stories very often- unless it is a story of regret. Why can’t she just tell her story? She didn’t ask for your approval- she asked for her friends approval. Which, according to my understanding of friendship, is pretty damn normal. And you’re tossing aside her judgment again. Her story. She did in fact gain something from her CL hook-ups. So why do you say “having sex thru Craigslist is not a straight line to anything but an STD or worse” as if her experiences never happened? I don’t understand why you think her decisions were bad and dangerous. It may have been risky in a sense because she was meeting somebody in the real world who she only knew from online. She was pretty damn safe as far as risky moves go. Called her roommate, gave the address, knows self-defense…. But that’s only a small part of it…. I don’t think you dissected her sluthood simply because you thought it was risky to have sex with someone from CL.

    “A woman unable or unwilling to experience emotional intimacy can find plenty of support at any of the sex pos feminist sites.”
    Dude….. dude. Did you read my last reply?? My point is- who cares if she is unwilling to have emotional intimacy? What’s wrong with satisfying your libido, which continues to exist, even when you’re not in a relationship? And as for unable, well, I’ll back track to my last post again- different people find different solutions for their different problems. And if it works for them- awesome. Sluthood worked for JF. Maybe sex pos sites work for someone else.

    Re S&M HAHAHA! Yes, I agree. S&M certainly isn’t my thing, either. The thought of nipple clamps makes me want to curl up in a ball. I do find it interesting though that you’re indifferent to S&M but seem to have a moral apprehension toward casual sex? Both of which, if practiced safely, can be fun and fulfilling. And both of which can be looked upon as devoid of emotional attachment. Both of which have their potential dangers. S&M arguably even more so than casual sex.
    How about casual S&M, eh? That must be the motherload of psychological pathology! (joking, joking.)

    I suck at short comments, as you can see.

  • Jenny

    I forgot to add,
    the reason that “sluts” need support from friends is not to thwart their own misgivings about their behavior. It’s to thwart society’s misgivings about their behavior…. as you know well ;)

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    “society’s misgivings about their behavior”
    .
    They are not concerned about what “society” thinks. Society cannot have a negative impact on their lives just because they took advantage of their easy access to casual sex (due to the fact they are women and can do so with ease). The actual concern is how their current impulsive feel good behavior (that ironically happens to involve men) could and probably will negatively affect their ability to find an accepting male life partner. Admitting this truth will end the denial that men do feel this way and finally expose the hoax being promoted by the forlorn sex positive cult.

  • Jenny

    Interesting. Seeing as how I am one of those “they” that you are referring to and I know a lot of those “they” that you are referring to, I’m going to have to say your clever conjecture is false.
    You’ve missed the point entirely.

    What you’re saying: “Women need support from their friends to have casual sex because they themselves feel bad about their impulsive decisions. They know that having casual sex will hurt their chances at finding a partner in the future and they remain in denial about it”

    How archaic. I can’t argue with you at all if you don’t acknowledge the fact that I’m not in denial, I simply disagree with you. That’s a terrible way to go about convincing someone of your point.
    “Well, you know my point of view. You’re just in denial.”
    O.K. that showed me.
    And, just like Susan, you are begging the very question at issue.

  • TeflonExpat

    Perhaps it would be useful to know how “society” is projecting misgivings about their behavior. Who in society? Who are these people? If the disdain for the behavior is being expressed in the media, well the media picks up on messages from people and then amplifies them. Especially messages that sell or that get attention. To say that “society” – that fuzzy impersonal entity – is the sole source of these misgivings is a way of denying the true source, and if denial is not a cozy enough word, then ignorance will do fine.

  • Anonymous

    How does “society” make gay people feel unwelcome? In the same way it makes women feel that they aren’t allowed to have casual sex because it is not becoming for a woman to do such a thing (oh no!). And if they do, they’re breaking a social norm… Pretty pervasive things, they are. Social norms. So pervasive, that to break one requires the support of people close to you. It helps you face the world…. who typically follow social norms.
    “To say that “society” – that fuzzy impersonal entity – is the sole source of these misgivings is a way of denying the true source, and if denial is not a cozy enough word, then ignorance will do fine.”
    Denying the true source.. What would be the true source then? Where does a social norm come from? That’s what you’re asking me. Complicated question.

    You obviously accept this double standard. You are a person expressing misgivings about the actions of women who engage in casual sex. And if you aren’t, you are still expressing support for a man who would give this hypocritical evaluation of a woman. You don’t find it particularly unsettling. So, I’m not sure what you’re trying to relay to me. There is no convincing reason why it’s acceptable for a man to be able to have as much sex as he wants while a woman cannot. Both adults, but strangely, women are still treated like children.
    What am I so “ignorant” of? Did I misinterpret your position? Or is it that I disagree with you; is that what makes me ignorant?

  • Jess

    To the recent posters:
    .
    If you are trying to convince ExPat- save your breath- his anger issues tend to blind him to simple operational logic. (in fact I suspend my troll detector settings when reading his stuff).
    .
    you wont find rationale thought on this issue and people have been quite open about that. They openly accept the double standard and justify it on grounds of biology. I know its nuts but they are sincere. But I wouldnt worry too much- I mean how many men or women do you know that really hold such views? That are literally living a different era?

  • Stephanie

    The double standard will never make sense on any logical grounds. It’s perfectly fine for men to have as many partners as they like. It makes them a “real man.” However it is not okay for a woman to have as many partners as she’d like to, because it gives her a more derogatory title that helps her to be seen as immoral, bad, or damaged. SO, unless all these men are having sex EXCLUSIVELY with other men … there are BOUND to be women that take partners. As one builds a reputation of the good, another builds one that’s shattering. It’s much like asking someone to climb to the top of the empire state building and attempt flying with another person. One has a flying aid, the other doesn’t. If the one without chooses not to try, they are teased and taunted for being “closed” and unwilling – a prude to the idea. But should they try and SUCCEED they will be praised – so many will jump and fall to their death, people will forever speak badly of them for their decision not caring they were pushed into it. But surely, it’s perfectly okay for people to live in a world with double standards and justify them, right? Oh wait… slavery was a double standard of one person’s life and freedom not being worth what anothers was. Somehow it seems to lose it’s pallor to live with double standards.

  • Jenny

    I posted as the last “Anon” post. I’m not sure why my name didn’t show up- but it’s just been me.
    And thanks for the support Jess and Stephanie.
    I believe the answers to Expat’s questions about society could be easily answered in the first class of an Intro to Soc. class. Perhaps you should look into it, Expat.
    And for the people who rationalize the double-standard with “biology,” I’m curious…. how do you all explain fasting? People disregard their basic need for food in order to do something spiritual. How do you explain people who take a lifelong vow of celibacy? People disregard their basic need for not only sex, but feeling close to people physically, in order to do something spiritual for themselves. How do you explain suicide? People disregard their basic drive to survive because they do not wish to live anymore.
    The answer is FREE WILL. We have control over our actions, people. We have that power. If men are SO driven to have sex all the time and women are not, why aren’t all men sluts and why are some women sluts? Because they have free will. That’s why. Biology is no excuse.

  • Mike C

    The double standard will never make sense on any logical grounds.It’s perfectly fine for men to have as many partners as they like. It makes them a “real man.” However it is not okay for a woman to have as many partners as she’d like to, because it gives her a more derogatory title that helps her to be seen as immoral, bad, or damaged.
    .
    Well….the first thing here is you have what is called a false premise. There is no reason “logic” should apply to sexual preferences/opinions.
    .
    That said, there is a “logical” reason for the double standard. And that is because of the issue of male paternity. A woman knows a child is hers. Bluntly speaking, obviously it came out of her pussy. It can’t be anyone elses, unless she was drugged, and implanted with some other women’s fertilized egg.
    .
    Until recently (DNA tests), a guy could never know for sure. He couldn’t be sure that he was devoting 20 years of his labor and resources to another man’s child except by the woman’s “reputation” and the “double standard”.
    .
    Obviously, the pill, contraception, DNA tests takes this all off the table and therefore it is in some sense “illogical”. Problem is you can’t rewire tens of thousands of years of evolutional programming.
    .
    I find it interesting that you remark about “rationalizing” the double standard with biology when it is just really factual science. The real “rationalizing” is the reverse position which is to try and rationalize away deep-rooted biological programming with appeals to “fairness”, “free will”, etc.
    .
    Sure, one could exercise free will to try and overcome the aversion to committing to a highly promiscuous woman. That is certainly an option. But why? Why should a guy try to fight his innate preferences out of some sense of “fairness” just because you would like him to, especially if other relationship options exist.
    .
    I must admit I find very interesting the position that many female commenters maintain that it is just a minority of guys that feel this way. All I can say is you really are clueless. Being a guy, having talked with other guys, I simply know how most guys feel on this. And the ones that tell you otherwise are part of the minority, or simply lying because they are less competitive males in the SMP and are telling you what they think you what to hear so they can bang you because they have no other options. Again, I would point some of you to some of Athol Kay’s comments about college age men athletes and the boxes they put various women into.
    .
    But really to summarize, if you are happy pursuing whatever sexual lifestyle you are then go for it. But those decisions should me made with an accurate understanding of reality.
    .
    Here is the fact. A highly promiscuous woman WILL be able to get a relationship. My GF works in the salon industry and a few of her co-workers are mid 30s with very high mileage, and I have met a few of their current boyfriends. Whether they are “consciously” or “unconsciously” settling I don’t know, but these are guys who certainly don’t have options. They can’t get the 22-28 year old who hasn’t been very promiscuous. They are getting what they can, and if the choice is between a older slut and being celibate, they’ll take the former. If you need to get from A to B, and the choice is between walking and driving the beat-up clunker, you’ll drive the beat up clunker because the price of the Infiniti is totally out of your price range and income level.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If you need to get from A to B, and the choice is between walking and driving the beat-up clunker, you’ll drive the beat up clunker because the price of the Infiniti is totally out of your price range and income level.

      This cracks me up. I can’t help but think of the Cash for Clunkers program.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Mike
    .
    “Sure, one could exercise free will to try and overcome the aversion to committing to a highly promiscuous woman. That is certainly an option. But why? Why should a guy try to fight his innate preferences out of some sense of “fairness” just because you would like him to, especially if other relationship options exist.”
    .
    That is the root of the social norm that so disturbs women who view intercourse as an extension of kissing. Or as something to fill a void, or gain their sexual power back, or whatever the gripe du jour is. Its the option that men are happily willing to opt out of a relationship based on a promiscuous past that drives the society view that promiscuous women should be cast out and are not worthy of love. The root is men, and the vast majority of men. Therefore, the only way to change this societal view is to change men. So, how do you go about doing that?

  • Jenny

    @ Mike C
    “Obviously, the pill, contraception, DNA tests takes this all off the table and therefore it is in some sense “illogical”. Problem is you can’t rewire tens of thousands of years of evolutional programming.”

    You had me there for a split second. We live in a complex society which takes away the necessity for women to not have sex all the time with random people. And then blah blah blah evolutionary programming, again. As if we are NOT much more intelligent than we were in 10,000 B.C. As if we DON’T have all of these technological innovations. It’s still ok, you say, to smite women who step out of the social line because there is a slight difference in the sex drive of men and women.

    And I still just find it too funny that men are allowed to be promiscuous. Like the point Stephanie made, who are these men having sex with, exactly? Other men?? They’re having sex with women. Their promiscuous behavior doesn’t support the “biology” argument either- unless there are many, many more women than there are men. Hint: There are not. They too are facilitating the development of this fictitious world where no man knows who their baby is because of all the dirty slut women.

    On a species-survival note, we’re overpopulated. Promiscuous behavior, in general, doesn’t do much for the future of our species at this point. We don’t live in a world of bands and tribes where it is necessary for men to take many wives(oh, that kinda rhymed). We changed the direction we were heading in as a species when we decided to start growing our own food(emphasis on “decided” not “driven biologically to”). We made the choice (although not knowing the future) to take our species survival into our own hands. That too is a fact, sir. These particular biological drives do not serve us in the present world-which WE made, of our own free will. We have intelligence. Why don’t we start using it? This social norm is bunk, yo.
    Let me tell you what women want, Mike. They want to stop being treated like children in a society and a modern world which can healthily facilitate whatever sexual desires they have. That so much to ask? Adaptation. It’s what evolution’s all about. Our body has developed to not store so much fat because we eat so much crap now. We made the choice to eat shit food and our body adapted. We made the choice to domesticate crops and our population levels soared. We made the choice to make birth control in the face of this over-population issue as well(both over-population and birth control being consequences of us having free will). So why, OH why, would we cling to the fact of sex-drive differences to excuse the bullying and shaming of women who are simply adapting to the world we chose to make? Even though we have the free will to change this illogical double-standard as a society?
    Ha. Free will…. whatever that is. It’s ONLY led us to exactly where our species is today. Psh.
    You have explained to me the purpose of this sex-drive difference, the purpose of women not having the social acceptance to have sex whenever they want- as it applies to the PAST. However, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but times have changed. And historically, humans are characterized by their ability to defy nature and make the world their own. Can we not use this power for good and give up the old notion that women who want to have sex are somehow bad? Because in today’s world- they simply aren’t.

  • Mike C

    As if we are NOT much more intelligent than we were in 10,000 B.C. As if we DON’T have all of these technological innovations. It’s still ok, you say, to smite women who step out of the social line because there is a slight difference in the sex drive of men and women.
    .
    Jenny, where did I say it was OK to “smite women” who step out of social line. It is very difficult to address what you are saying here because it isn’t a logical argument. At the risk of offending, your entire comment here is an incoherent list of non sequiturs.
    .
    Yes, we are more intelligent then 10,000 years ago. Yes we have technological innovations. NONE OF THAT has anything to do with what is HARDWIRED AT THE INSTINCTUAL level as a result of tens of thousands of years of evolution. And certainly 100 or so years of different cultural norms won’t have changed that one bit. Evolution works at a much slower pace then that.
    .
    You keep arguing about what SHOULD BE. Actually, I probably agree. Maybe there SHOULDN’T be a double standard. But the fact is there is and that isn’t going to change.
    .
    And I still just find it too funny that men are allowed to be promiscuous.
    .
    Honestly, this is a completely nonsensical comment. What do you mean by “allow”. Legal prohibition or permission? Or free of any negative judgement? Both men and women are “allowed” to be promiscuous. Nobody is following promiscuous women around trying to snap their legs shut. They are allowed to be as promiscuous as they want. Will most men negatively judge them for that? Yup, you bet. Will promiscuous men will judged similarly generally speaking? Nope, they won’t. Why not? Because generally speaking, women are not going to avoid manwhores who are very attractive in the other ways that matter. They will get a pass FROM WOMEN. Just the way it is.
    .

  • Jess

    Well the hilarity continues. I’m sure we all knew Jenny wasn’t suggesting that sexually active women are legally prevented from having sex. She was saying that some men and some women condemn or criticize them for it. Which mike confirms in his last paragraph.
    .
    I would go further than Jenny actually. Recent science suggests that pre modern women were, and had to be, highly promiscuous. So the biology argument is double bogus. Its wrong and even if it were not there is free will.
    .
    I’m not sure about the argument that the hunks want a virgin wife. I have heard men say they want confident sexual wives. A young virginal wife may be pretty to look at but that’s not everything. I would accept the concept of a market place to a degree but some of the recent comments are just silly.
    .
    As regards what most men think none of us here can make such a claim for sure. Generations and locations throw up differing opinions. In my social set the word slut doesnt even exist. Its as bad as nigger or paki. Its just unacceptable My guess is that a decent, confident attractive guy would not care if his partner embraced her sexuality.
    .
    Ps on the other hand most of the western world watches x factor. Maybe I hold humanity in too high a regard!

  • Höllenhund

    Jess,

    men generally want their wives/girlfriends to be highly sexual with them while being ladies (meaning: virtuous and non-flirting) towards every other man. I guess it’s the mirror image of the similarly unrealistic but nevertheless strong female desire to “tame the bad boy”.

  • jess

    You may well be right. And as long as everone accepts these notions as being silly and out of date them i guess no harm done.

  • jess

    I beg to differ. The fact is that paternity tests ARE available so that concern shouldnt be there. I also dont think that men see women and sex as always linked to kids anyway. A guy doesnt get aroused whilst thinkimg ‘I bet shes good with diapers’.
    In fact I know some men who married girls who already had a child and made great dads. Being a father is not about ejaculation its about 18 yrs of support and rearing. (this I quote from another male friend with 2 kids, one of which was adopted).

  • jess

    Sorry, I had also meant to say that a lot of assertions are being made here about what guys are looking for. Some are saying that the only guys who ‘settle’ for ex sluts are losers. This is ludicrous.
    People are different and have different tastes and beleifs so whilst some guys might fit the above description they are not the majority.
    Most guys dont want to bring home a vagas show girl to mummy but many dont want a mute virgin either.
    The ex sluts as you like to call them tend to end up with attractive decent resourceful guys- because such girls are often attractive, confident and witty. They often earn good money and are engaging conversationists. The Owen girl for example will not be short of LTR options when shes older because of the qualities she possesses.

  • Obsidian

    Jess,
    Here’s the problem thought: paternity certainty. Although we now have the Maury Test in our time., the very real concern on the part of Men that they may be hoodwinked into caring for a kid that ain’t thiers is nevertheless a real one, and yet another area of concern for Men that isn’t taken seriously by society. Hence the intense focus on sluts and the like i our time. If Women want a good guy, they have to go to extra lengths not to give the impression that they may be sluts, and that includes type and style of clothing, patterns of speech and who they hangout with. Of course, if they don’t care about such things, then they’ve got nothing to worry about. But make no mistake, guys out there looking for a LTR are not going to consider such gals. No matter how much tech we have in our time.

    O.

  • Höllenhund

    Jess,

    “The ex sluts as you like to call them tend to end up with attractive decent resourceful guys- because such girls are often attractive, confident and witty.”

    You’re projecting. Confidence and wittiness aren’t the same turn-ons for men as they are for women.

    “The Owen girl for example will not be short of LTR options when shes older because of the qualities she possesses.”

    One small problem is that women like Karen Owen will only be able to attract the type of men for LTR whom they, after having ridden the alpha cock carousel, won’t find sexually attractive (i.e. beta males with low standards). Even if they get a lucrative divorce, they will be condemned to richly-deserved psychological misery.

    And what makes you think Karen Owen has qualities that attract men? Delusional nonsense. She’s a bitter carousel rider who was rejected by every alpha she tried to lock down, yet another useful idiot of feminism. She’s definitely not witty, otherwise she wouldn’t have sent her presentation to anyone in the first place. Remember the useful advice of Vatican officials: think everything through, speak rarely, don’t put anything in writing. As I’ve said, it’s useful. Learn it. And don’t give my the usual rubbish off-topic response about altar boys you’ve previously given.

    “The fact is that paternity tests ARE available so that concern shouldnt be there.”

    That’s meaningless. Alphas won’t get them because they don’t get cuckolded in the first place. Betas will be massively shit-tested and abandoned if they ask for one. By the way, paternity testing is already banned in France. In most other countries they can only be done with the mother’s written permission. Western men have zero reproductive rights.

  • Jenny

    @ Mike
    Indeed. I didn’t have a professor look over my comment and proofread it because…. well, I’m commenting on a blog. Big deal. There aren’t exactly high standards for writing here. Let me try again, though I doubt even an expert in this field could convince you of my point anyway.
    And I’m bored. So the back-and-forth continues.

    1. Thousands of years ago most humans lived in bands and tribes (i.e. not overpopulated). Thousands of years ago most humans were hunter-gatherers. Thousands of years ago, men took many wives because it was necessary to keep population stable. Infant mortality rate was high.

    2. ca. 9600 BC, Humans began cultivating their own food. Because of this, populations soared- doubled, tripled, quadrupled at a rate which is not sustainable. The drive for men to take many wives is not sustainable in this climate (Honestly, I’m not altogether convinced that this drive exists and/or is strong anyway. Only that it makes logical sense for men to take many wives in an under-populated world with high infant mortality rates. But I’m going with it for the sake of argument.)

    3. When we took control over the future of our species, we were making a choice to ignore what we are “hard-wired” to do because what we are “hard-wired” to do is not sustainable in the world we have created for ourselves.

    Given that we have the intelligence to go off species auto-pilot and take control over our food sources and the intelligence to make birth control, paternity tests, etc., how do we not have the intelligence to simply STOP slut-shaming? Men, and women actually, don’t have the free will to shut their mouths and not judge a woman who has sex because men are hard-wired to take many wives..? Rapists have their way with women they deem sluts because they are hard-wired to take many wives? Children bully girls who aren’t virgins because men are hard-wired to take many wives? Humans no longer have the luxury of excusing their behavior with biology. We lost that luxury when we stopped living on auto-pilot. The aversion to sluts is not ALL biological if it is at all. And it certainly has negative consequences in the world we live today. It is especially unsettling to hear people excuse this damaging behavior with biology when the study of hormones is not exactly thorough. We’re in the dark ages of hormone-science. Were you aware that science is not altogether unbiased? Scientists are still people and sometimes see what they want to see.

    On that note, the argument from biology was once used to legitimize women staying home(staying home includes: not being involved in politics, not having a need for education, obviously having no need for work, and CERTAINLY no need for casual sex.) and men working(working includes- living in the big bad world and having freedom in that big bad world). Men said women couldn’t and shouldn’t work outside the home (and some women too). Now, women make up the majority of the work force and yet women still do the majority of housework and childcare whether they have a job or not. In fact, when a woman is working and a man is not, the woman is more likely to do ALL the housework and childcare. I just think that’s a little convenient, don’t you? So we’re both hard-wired for the women to stay home and the man to work but the women seem to overcome this HUUUUGE hurdle- the men can’t seem to. Weird. I wonder why. Perhaps, it has something to do with a little thing called “free will” and, dare I say, “privilege.”

    And yes, I do think that people will eventually stop having this double-standard. I don’t think we would be having this discussion if it weren’t a possibility. I think my great-great grand-daughters will say “slut shaming??” like I say “scarlet letter??”
    Though, it still kind of annoys me that this is even considered an argument:
    “Can we vote?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”
    “Can we go to school?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”
    “Can we own property?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”
    “Can we work?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”
    “Can we have sex?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”

    Either way, I don’t feel like I HAVE to convince you of anything. I’m just enjoying the exercise of brain-meats. I believe this change in the social order is inevitable and we are certainly moving in a direction toward it and have been for a long, long time. Awareness of and disgust for this double-standard is definitely becoming more mainstream. In fact, this particular blog is the ONLY place where I have ever heard people so fervently defend it. Why? “Because that’s the way it is and get over it.” Nothing would ever get done if that statement held any meaning-even in the face of biology, a constantly changing field which has legitimized many things which we now consider archaic. Things change in all spheres because that statement gets constantly ignored. And I’m glad Susan B. Anthony didn’t listen to people like you. I’d be nursing my third one by now and I certainly wouldn’t be discussing politics and science with a MAN! A man who isn’t my husband! Oh my! I’m such a harlot(ridiculous, no?)!

    On smiting women:
    “Here is the fact. A highly promiscuous woman WILL be able to get a relationship. My GF works in the salon industry and a few of her co-workers are mid 30s with very high mileage, and I have met a few of their current boyfriends. Whether they are “consciously” or “unconsciously” settling I don’t know, but these are guys who certainly don’t have options. They can’t get the 22-28 year old who hasn’t been very promiscuous. They are getting what they can, and if the choice is between a older slut and being celibate, they’ll take the former. If you need to get from A to B, and the choice is between walking and driving the beat-up clunker, you’ll drive the beat up clunker because the price of the Infiniti is totally out of your price range and income level.”
    This entire paragraph assumes that men who get with “beat-up clunkers” are settling for less than what they want. So no “slut” has a husband who ACTUALLY loves her-this’d be how I take that to it’s logical conclusion. Smite was a strong word. But you are still putting down these women and find that acceptable to do- despite societal consequences, despite damage to young women and girls, despite taking away the autonomy of women, despite the fact that rapists use this attitude to legitimize rape of women they presume to be sluts- in the name of what now? An all-powerful drive which somehow overpowers the will to be rational? I thought women were the irrational ones due to hormones, Mike. No rationality in my head at all. It’s good to see we’re at least on equal footing there.

  • Höllenhund

    “I also dont think that men see women and sex as always linked to kids anyway. A guy doesnt get aroused whilst thinkimg ‘I bet shes good with diapers’.”

    That’s true – and completely irrelevant to the subject. Obsidian was referring to male preferences for LTR, not casual sex. When a man considers marrying a woman, you can be damn sure he asks “Is she good with diapers?”.

  • Jenny

    I still have not received the answers to my questions a few posts ago!!!

    How and why do people fast or go on a hunger-strike? How are they able to overcome the will to eat?
    How and why do people kill themselves? How are they able to overcome the will to live?
    How and why do people take a vow of celibacy? How are they able to overcome the will to have sex and procreate?
    When you get very angry at someone, I mean SEETHING, why don’t just up and punch them in the face? How are you able to overcome your strong desire to fight? How do you quell that surge of testosterone?
    When you’re having sex and you are getting closer to orgasm than your partner, how do you stop yourself?
    When I’m feeling depressed, I mean can’t-get-out-of-bed depressed, how do I get myself out of that funk?
    When men feel an aversion to women they presume to be “loose,” how do they get over it?

    How do hormones, or biological drives, excuse this statement:
    “Well, I bullied her because she’s a slut.”

    And not this statement:
    “Well, I punched her in the face because I got angry”

    Because we all know very well that we have control over ourselves, hormones and biological drives or not. And this is coming from a woman with all those CRAZY ALIEN hormones that men couldn’t dream of.
    So why SHOULD men ignore these drives? Because it isn’t RIGHT. Just like hitting people when you get angry isn’t right. Both are urges that our bodies might tell us to do, but somehow, we overcome them.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    “Can we have sex?” “Ha! Can you convince the men?”
    .
    As a gender, any woman can have casual sex with a man without having to convince him to do so. Not the same for a man who seeks casual sex. Therefore, we have two different (or a double) standard from the get to. Since you would prefer that double standards between men and women fade away, perhaps you can start with that one (yep, a lot of “fun” will have to be sacrificed). Then, the really annoying one – where men reject women for a LTR based on her promiscuous past – will naturally also just go away.
    .
    See how simple it is?

  • Jenny

    @Expat
    Um, no. That doesn’t make any sense at all.
    I was implying that they are asking for acceptance to have sex-AKA the right to have sex without stigma as men do. Not literally to have sex with the person they’re asking….

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    Having sex as men do implies that women have to make an effort to have sex. But they do not. So that is part of the reason there is a stigma.
    .
    Acceptance? from whom? Yep, men. But not for casual sex. No man would place a stigma on a woman for having casual sex with him. Or having sex with other men for that matter…unless of course he is considering a LTR. You want men to change this attitude. Make some suggestions

  • Obsidian

    Jess,
    You’re still not getting my point. This is a hardwired concern here, just like the desire of Women to date Men taller than themselves is hardwired. Just because YOU happen to know a few outliers, doesn’t kill the rule. Ask the Men here if what I said is offbase or not. Bottomline: if you’re a Woman and you want to land a good Man, looking or giving the impression that you’re a slut probably isn’t the best way to go.

    The. End.:)

    Hiolla back

    O.

  • Stephanie

    You know, everyone’s talking about this in terms of “I’ve known her forever and happen to know her past. How many people DON’T know about someone when they begin dating them. They’re set up on a date, move to a different area for work or pleasure, meet them at a work gathering, so on and so forth. Adults meeting adults often leave behind the past when they begin dating, because it’s the “now” not the “then.” Imagine if the first thing you asked when meeting someone on a blind date was “Please list every man/woman you’ve had sex with and how many times. I want to make sure you’re not a slut.” A LOT of times people don’t know about the past until later in the relationship when confidences are shared – when feelings are strong for one another. Frankly though, the past is not something for ANYONE to judge about anyone else. And in the present, that woman would be with that person.

  • Jess

    Jenny-awesome posts. People forget how in recent history how land and voting rights were denied women.
    .
    Hoolenhund- I’m sorry but I really have no wish to heed the advice of catholic priests. I’m aware they don’t like to leave behind incriminating evidence of course but give me a 100 Karen Owens over a single pedo preist any day. And she is undeniably witty despite an error of judgement/ bad luck.
    .
    Paternity testing. In all countries a strand of the childs hair and a hair of your own and 200 dollars is all you need. For this you don’t need maternal permission and this in fact quite legal in France. I checked.

  • Jenny

    @Expat

    “Acceptance? from whom? Yep, men. But not for casual sex. No man would place a stigma on a woman for having casual sex with him. Or having sex with other men for that matter”

    Three words:

    Walk
    of
    Shame.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    From Wikipedia:
    “The walk of shame refers to a phenomenon in which a person must walk past strangers or peers alone for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy. Most commonly, it occurs the morning after a night out at a bar, dance club, or party. People undertaking the walk of shame are understood to have spent the night at the house, apartment, or dorm of a sexual partner (or perceived sexual partner), particularly a one night stand.”
    .
    Lets assume that this self imposed feeling is from a woman who may have willingly drank alcohol and without any effort (remember the “real” double standard – women need not try) “convinced” an always-known-to-be-willing man (she has her pick per the double standard) to sleep with her. That was some accomplishment…heck, I would be a bit ashamed too.
    .
    Lets also assume, because it makes the boo boo feel better, that this shame feeling is somehow rooted in the attitudes of men. Therefore, men are the root cause for the view society has of women who behave in this manner – not the other way around. That attitude of men persists and when marriage is being considered, men reject women for their prior promiscuous ways. Tough love, that reality.
    .
    In this forum and others, there is a lot of discussions, opinions, anecdotes, blaming and criticisms…regarding this topic. Fine. But now its time for some solutions to be offered, don’t you think? What could or should be done to change the view men have of promiscuous women so that these women can always feel warm and fuzzy despite their behavior AND find the loving partner they deserve? I congratulate you in advance since this question has never been answered and you would be the first! Imagine that.

  • Jess

    total tosh.
    Expat seems to have trouble understanding what a double standard is.
    He seems to think that because an attractive girl can have casual sex easier than an unattractive man that somehow the expectation of ethics changes.
    Obviously it doesnt- either it is or it isnt ethically acceptable to have sex with 7 different people in 2 weeks. And thats regrdless of gender. Or looks.
    In any case his premise is wrong- plenty of men can and do have casual sex whenever they want. (Utimatley men can even pay for it if they must!)
    Plenty of women choose to have casual sex too.
    Both can and do go onto to great LTRs.
    As to the solution there doesnt have to be one- as I said most men are intelligent enough not to think like that. I simply cannot think of a guy I know personally that would sniffly tut ‘slut’ at a particular girl.
    .
    I know some people have issues with sex- you know- they have been taught its dirty and secret and so on. Lets just turn the page shall we?

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jess

    .
    False. At almost all levels of attraction, a girl can get casual sex ALOT easier than ANY man. It has nothing to do with ethics. If something is easy to attain and it feels good to do, it will be done often. This is not so complicated.
    .
    True, plenty of men do have casual sex with any woman at any time, not including prostitutes. But that plenty is a tiny minority of all men.
    .
    True, plenty of women (in the West) do have casual sex. In this case, it is a much larger percentage of women. Why? well because very few men (about 0) will turn a woman down – Why? see line 1 above. Again, not so complicated. And the men they go after? – see line 2 above.
    .
    Therefore, there are two different standards, or two different situations, or two different opportunities, or two of whatever makes you most satisfied to call it.
    .

    “As to the solution there doesnt have to be one- as I said most men are intelligent enough not to think like that.”
    .
    Smart or not, most Western men are a captive audience until, if lucky, learn about the other 95% of women on Earth. And you are giving most men WAY too much credit. If no solution is needed then there would be no Owen-Friedman goupies, there would be no Sex+ “Movement.” There would be no societal view that scorns women for not challenging themselves in the “attainment” of casual sex. The root of that view is from men and if its not, perhaps you can tell us from where this view originates.

  • Jenny

    @Expat
    I got my idea of the walk of shame probably from movies and jokes made by guys I’ve known.
    .
    Either way, a big issue in this conversation(if you could call it that) is the fact that you seem to assume that the aversion to women who have casual sex only manifests itself in the minds of men who are looking for a LTR. That is simply not true. I don’t know where you got the idea that men who have casual sex with women don’t stigmatize those women as sluts but from personal experience, and especially from living in a college town for as long as I have- I can tell you that those men are stigmatizing those women more than anyone else. And what a hilarious irony.
    .
    Sure, women can find sex easier than men can. And men don’t hold their one-night-stands to high standards like women do. Men look for willing women. Women look for attractive men- very attractive men. And I know and have known a lot of attractive men who take advantage of that fact and have sex QUITE often with a frighteningly large amount of different people. Are attractive men WORSE people for having casual sex than unattractive men because it’s far easier for them to find sexual partners? Should they be reprimanded and stigmatized for having sex just because it’s easy for them to do so? I think not.
    .
    If you have read and understood anything at all that I have said so far, you would see that I’m not really penalizing men who say “she has had a lot of casual sex. I wouldn’t want to marry her.” I think that sucks but honestly, I don’t know if I would want to marry a person who has lost count of their sexual partners- if for no other reason than health concerns. However, I can’t really say. I’ve never been in that situation before. I can guess that if I found out I loved a person before I found out their sexual history then I could see their sexual history being unimportant. I’m concerned more about the bullying, chastising, stigmatizing, gossiping, etc. over women who do decide to have casual sex from… pretty much everyone! The fear of reprimand, bullying, gossiping, and stigmatization then overwhelm a woman’s desire to be sexually autonomous. The argument from biology that is so popular on here in a small way excuses men from looking down on casual-sex-having women IF they are completely unaware of the fact that it is “hard-wired” (which, again, I have yet to see a source for. I would be interested to read about it myself). It does not however excuse all the things I’ve expressed concern for whether they are aware of the biology of it or not.

  • Höllenhund

    “I’m sorry but I really have no wish to heed the advice of catholic priests.”

    Jess,

    I’m afraid you’re a bit close-minded. What Vatican officials were referring to is the inevitable risk one automatically assumes when one exposes himself/herself and publicly voices his/her opinion. That’s why they never criticized their superiors in writing. But that’s a different issue. My point is that you need to watch what you expose about yourself, even to your closest friends, especially in the digital age, because that information can prove detrimental to you afterwards. College girls cannot expect to have a good reputation and thus high LTR value later in life if they engage in gossip or post any stuff about themselves in the Internet (Facebook, blogs etc.). Whatever gets posted on the Internet stays there in one way or another. Reputations are much more difficult to preserve in this day and age. It is slutty girls in particular who must therefore watch what they say, send or post about themselves.

  • TeflonExpat

    @hollenhund
    .
    “Reputations are much more difficult to preserve in this day and age. It is slutty girls in particular who must therefore watch what they say, send or post about themselves.”
    .
    And beg frat boys not to expose them, but such profiles do provide men with more informed consent when considering marriage to one of these girls. One day there may a site called “Don’t marry her, man”

  • Jess

    You just must be a troll, sorry but you MUST be. Anyone able to operate a pc simply cant holds such views. either that or you are the reincarnation of my grandmother sent to taunt me due to a childhood indescretion.
    .
    I have a lot to learn on many issues granted but please dont tell me about the catholic faith. I know more than most and have worked on cases leading to investigations and convictions in the past few years that you may have heard about in the press.
    .
    So i dont have a closed mind on such issues whatsoever. Only recently the no3 in the catholic orthodxoy uttered homophobic comments. The majority of RC sex abuse victims for the past 700 years (likely millions) got NO JUSTICE. When preists say ‘hold your tongue’ its about burying the truth- a habit which served them well- and it DISGUSTS me.
    .
    In this day and age a ladies virtue and reputation is more about quality of character. Not how clean her petticoat is and how large her dowry is. Your notions are ludicrous. If any man rejects a girl because he thinks ‘she isnt pure enough’- then she has had a LUCKY, LUCKY. LUCKY escape. Move onto the confident guy who has no hang ups and enjoy your brief time on the planet.
    .
    Let the Expat guys scowl away and utilise their fleshlights.(oh yeah- im down wiv the kids!)

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jess
    .
    “In this day and age a ladies virtue and reputation is more about quality of character.”
    .
    Quality of character is very important. Who is deciding what defines a ladies virtue and reputation? Who gets to define what makes a woman marriageable?

  • Höllenhund

    Jess,

    I don’t care what you think about the child abuse scandals of the Church. That’s not the issue here. Not even the saying among Vatican officials I cited has anything to do with them.

    Nobody mentioned petticoats and dowries. You simply cannot accept the obvious and easily provable fact that men on average don’t view promiscious women as LTR material. Your statement that Karen Owen will have good LTR prospects is so delusional it’s almost mind-boggling. A simple Google search will bring up her presentation. It will forever be on the Internet. Do you think any man that she finds attractive will ever view her as LTR material after finding it? Really? Do you seriously think she has good character traits?

    The bottom line is that promiscuous girls will be better off if they don’t publicize their sexual history to many friends and/or on the Internet, like Karen Owen did. If you cannot even entertain this simple idea, well…

  • TeflonExpat

    “You simply cannot accept the obvious and easily provable fact that men on average don’t view promiscious women as LTR material.”
    .
    Imagine if men were repeatedly told by women that their ability to attract a modest LTR-worthy woman would be severely comprised by their current promiscuous ways. Would men then attempt to impose and unleash a whiney repulsive boorish sex+ campaign on society? No. They would merely adjust their current activities, and do so quietly and plan their lives accordingly. Like civil people do. Like gentlemen.
    .
    So why don’t women do the same? That’s easy. Because they are drunk on the extremely easy access to casual sex to cure whatever ails them – this week. To find herself, to empower herself, to discover her sexuality, to experiment with this or that ethnicity, to get back at a man who walked out…just yesterday. So rather than even remotely consider the wishes of good men to cool it, they cower behind a movement in defiance, and then get even less respect. And like little children, start name calling men who call them on their behavior (and that’s most men) – archaic, throw backs, ludicrous, shamers, partriarchers, blah blah blah. If they were honest, they would just call men party poopers and state the truth: we like sex, its easy (cheap) for us to get it, we’re going to get it often from your friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, pool boys, bartenders, bouncers, “massage therapists,” bachelorette party strippers and rock stars for whatever reason we want and you, future husband, must accept that as a growth and discovery phase that makes us the person you love.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    “Sure, women can find sex easier than men can. And men don’t hold their one-night-stands to high standards like women do. Men look for willing women. Women look for attractive men- very attractive men. And I know and have known a lot of attractive men who take advantage of that fact and have sex QUITE often with a frighteningly large amount of different people. Are attractive men WORSE people for having casual sex than unattractive men because it’s far easier for them to find sexual partners? Should they be reprimanded and stigmatized for having sex just because it’s easy for them to do so? I think not.”
    .
    If woman wants to avoid a LTR with such a man, it is her choice to do that. Typically, women compete for this minority of men for both casual sex and marriage. Their choice. But those same women project their world view on men – they expect men to accept the same woman who engages in short term romps as a qualified marriage partner. And they get all in a lather when they find men do not think that way and that is understandable especially if women do want to sleep around today and one day want to be married. That way of thinking runs deep in men even if they are not seeking a LTR and it manifests itself in chastising promiscuous women for rendering themselves unqualified to be future prospects. Its animalistic behavior but you would be asking A LOT from men to change based on free will. The ONLY way to get men to change (if that is a goal) is for women to become less willing to use their advantage, as you stated “women can find sex easier than men can.” That is, have sex at the same rate as men, have sex with not just very attractive men, etc. But since none of that is going to happen, the chastising and LTR rejection will continue.

  • TeflonExpat

    The anger coming from this woman is palpable. She wrote it because she believes enough men feel this way to make it a disturbing phenomenon. Of course, not one man was asked why he feels the way he does. In other words, she pulled those self-serving misandrist male-denigrating conclusions out of her ass. Nevertheless, many women would agree with her and are nervously preoccupied with this issue and the private personal beliefs of men.
    .

    http://laicite.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/the-moralistic-notion-of-chastity-till-marriage/

  • jess

    You know its funny. All of the women that I have known over the years that have had a moderatley varied sex life. ie a few one night stands, 4 or 5 relationships etc are now in an LTR and most of those have 1 or more children.
    .
    The women that have had relatively staid sex lives- are either unhappily married by their own admission or resolutley single (unahappy but resigned and accepting of the situation).
    .
    Maybe its a british thing but guys just are not as threatened by female sexuality as much as you guys think they are.
    .
    ps my other half has just reminded me that I have relatives who are actually happily married and were likely virgins when married. He has 2 sets too on his side. So that makes them a small minority.
    .
    you will note nobody was able to answer jenny’s question “is a promiscious handsome man a bad person?”
    .
    also to answer expats repeated question about who jugdes a women fit for an LTR- and if its a hetero scenario- its society and men. Happily most men dont have such hang ups. Those that do, tend to be religious, inadequate, angry, damaged or controlling or some combination of the aforementioned.
    .
    So as SW said months before, rejection is efficient. what girl wants to wind up with the above? Move onto a well adjusted guy who you will be compatible with?

  • Mike C

    All of the women that I have known over the years that have had a moderatley varied sex life. ie a few one night stands, 4 or 5 relationships etc are now in an LTR and most of those have 1 or more children.
    .
    Well, in my book, this doesn’t exactly describe a highly promiscuous women aka “slut”. Again, it isn’t the sex per se, it is what the sexual activity speaks to. 1-2 one night stands? OK. 10? Dozens? Now we are talking about someone who has serious impulse control issues. This speaks to the type of woman who might be on a business trip, see the hot stranger, and cheat if married simply because her sexual impulses take over.
    .
    Really, what you, Jenny, and can’t remember who else simply cannot get through your heads (yes that is a bit blunt and rude) is that the sexual behavior is indicative of other personality traits, namely a big one being the propensity to cheat and/or being disloyal. Not sure the studies have been done, but I would literally bet every last penny that I have that there is a correlation between female adultery and a promiscous past. I have no doubt about it. Read a few of the “Cheating Wife” type blogs and you’ll get a picture of who they are as human beings and their past.
    .
    And again, the double standard exists for a few simple reasons. Female cheating is more serious because of the paternity issue, and secondly although I can’t prove it, I am certain of it, that because of the biological hardwiring, men have a higher degree of sexual jealousy. In other words, cheating impacts us emotionally and mentally to a greater degree. Ever read Othello???
    .
    I’ll share a bit of my past. My ex-wife cheated on me. I’m a high testosterone guy as it is, and it literally sent me into a rage. I was very close to doing things I would have regretted.
    .
    So, again to really drive the point home for those of you who are obtuse, it really is and should be a high priority item for a guy to avoid LTRs and marriage with women who have higher probabilities of cheating for strictly pragmatic reasons. And those are going to be your former “sluts” at a much higher rate. Now before any of you get nonsensical with not all “sluts” are going to be cheaters, or some virgins/low count women will cheat, realize I am talking probabilities, not absolutes. Look up Bayesian probability before you respond with any stupidity.
    .
    Happily most men dont have such hang ups. Those that do, tend to be religious, inadequate, angry, damaged or controlling or some combination of the aforementioned.
    .
    You keep repeating this over and over again as if repeating it makes it true, and you have insight into the minds of numerous men. I’m a man. You aren’t. Trust me. You have no f’n clue what you are talking about here. I said it before. Go read Athol’s comments. Based on the guys I know I’d say at least 80-90% feel this way. Many who are telling you otherwise are either lying or don’t have the balls to tell you the truth.
    .
    Most guys lie about this kind of stuff all the time to women. Especially their significant others. Most guys if asked by their SO if they desire to fuck a hot girl they see, will blatantly lie and say “no, honey, all I want is you” despite the fact that they mentally undressed and fucked the girl in their mind. I’ll tell my SO “yeah, I thinks she is hot and would like to fuck her, but I wouldn’t because I am loyal to you”. Fact of the matter is most guys don’t have the balls to tell woman the truth about what they are thinking. “Do I look fat in those pants”? Yeah, you do look kinda chunky, versus No, you look just great (while thinking how fat her ass looks).
    .
    you will note nobody was able to answer jenny’s question “is a promiscious handsome man a bad person?”

    Not necessarily, and neither is a promiscuous female. Maybe she is a good person who works at soup kitchens on Christmas. Again, get the distinction here and stop conflating bullshit. Has nothing to do with being a good or bad person. Again, it just means the person is a bad risk for a LTR/marriage. That is it.
    .
    Some of the female comments on this thread have just been surreal. They are literally a potpourri of projection, conflation, solipsism, and the rationalization hamster at work.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jess
    .
    “Happily most men…” Well, its nice to fantasize.
    .
    Jaclyn Friedman and her only friend, Amanda Marcotte, do not seem too happy. Bitter in fact. Karen Owen is a foregone conclusion, and rightfully so. So they would agree that “most” men do not acquiesce beyond wam bam thank you ma’am.
    .
    In order for their to be happiness on the part of US women (if that is at all possible), men would need to “accept” in addition to “participate.” Getting them to participate with a sexually willing woman is very easy (aka cheap). A woman does not have to ask for casual sex. She is spoiled that way and need not fear rejection. But she does risk rejection if she wants acceptance into a man’s life, versus his pants. Its a sure bet that feminist-marinated US women are averse to asking men to give them a break or change their own behavior to appease men. Rather, they prefer to complain amongst themselves, look for support from each other, tell other women to jump in and screw around so men have to suck it up and take what’s available and, of course, employ the same old tired unsubstantiated plagiarized shaming language: “hang ups, inadequate, angry, damaged or controlling or some combination of the aforementioned.” But they are scared to ask men how they really feel because deep down they know what the responses will be and they cannot handle the emotionally devastating truth.

  • Jenny

    I haven’t gotten any substantive answers to my questions. And I have received no sources for any of the “biological” arguments which are the ONLY semi-legitimate arguments made by people arguing with me. Needless to say, I haven’t been convinced in the slightest.
    .
    @ Mike
    “Female cheating is more serious because of the paternity issue”
    There is no paternity issue. Paternity tests exist.
    .
    “and secondly although I can’t prove it, I am certain of it, that because of the biological hardwiring, men have a higher degree of sexual jealousy.”
    I think “I can’t prove it” is something which should be emphasized here because what you can’t seem to prove is central to your entire argument.
    .
    “In other words, cheating impacts us emotionally and mentally to a greater degree.”
    And I’m the non-sequitur-loving one? There have been studies done to show that cheating (as well as other relationship problems) affect men to a greater degree because they do not often have the safe social circles for emotional support as women usually do. Men usually depend on their significant other for emotional support and when that is gone, who do they have?
    .
    “Ever read Othello???”
    At first, I wasn’t even going to mention this. But I’ll go ahead and state the obvious anyway- citing any play (especially such an old one) or movie to prove your point is a very bad tactic. Not convincing.

    @expat
    “The anger coming from this woman is palpable.”
    Classic.
    .
    “in other words, she pulled those self-serving misandrist male-denigrating conclusions out of her ass. Nevertheless, many women would agree with her and are nervously preoccupied with this issue and the private personal beliefs of men.”
    Classic.
    AND I would have to say that any “private personal belief” held by one group of people about another group of people which is extremely hypocritical… isn’t truly a “private personal belief” at all. It effects another group of people in a big way. A personal belief is neither private nor personal if it restricts the rights of others.
    .
    Male-denigrating??? HA! I think you are confused. There is a difference between a “belief” and a “person.” “Belief-denigrating” would be a more accurate description.
    Self-serving? My forehead is red from smacking it so many times reading your posts, expat. I could easily call your argument self-serving and it would be even more legitimate. You are trying in any way that you can to keep the status quo in effect. Seems a little suspicious to me, but you know, I wouldn’t go so low as to call you a selfish, sexist, woman-hater. I will, however, call you a misinformed hypocrite. I wonder, are impoverished people selfish for demanding a living wage too? Greedy, even? And MLK jr. wasn’t demanding de-segregation because he was a sensible human being who saw equality as a good thing, he was just greedy for the good water at the white water fountain. What a racist.
    .
    Demanding equality doesn’t make you self-serving, it makes you sensible.
    .
    Again, and I can’t stress this enough, until I see evidence for this biological hard-wiring, every single comment made by my opposition on this thread is entirely null. And no matter how strong this drive is, it will still not excuse the shaming and bullying of young women who express their sexuality, the bullying of teenage girls who lose their virginity, and it CERTAINLY won’t entitle therapists to call teenage girls who are having a lot of sex “stupid sluts” in a sad and ass-backwards attempt to “help” them. Whereas a teenage boy who is engaging in that behavior experiences the same potential exposure to STD’s, the same risk of accidentally making a child, but calling him a slut would not be acceptable. Nor would it mean anything even if it were said. It’s just a word meant to hurt women.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jess
    .
    “Demanding equality doesn’t make you self-serving, it makes you sensible.”
    .
    Demand away, but unlike the irrelevant analogies you mentioned, this one cannot be legislated by law. First change the unequal premise and you may have a shot at changing men. And you have to ask them nicely.
    .
    The reality was already acknowledged by Jenny above.
    .
    Quote from Jenny:
    .
    “Sure, women can find sex easier than men can. And men don’t hold their one-night-stands to high standards like women do. Men look for willing women. Women look for attractive men- very attractive men. And I know and have known a lot of attractive men who take advantage of that fact and have sex QUITE often with a frighteningly large amount of different people. Are attractive men WORSE people for having casual sex than unattractive men because it’s far easier for them to find sexual partners? Should they be reprimanded and stigmatized for having sex just because it’s easy for them to do so? I think not.”
    .
    Therefore, per Jenny, equality does not exist in the current social construct. Its not about being a worse person or a good or bad person. But, if equality is sensible then the defacto harem that casual-sex-women maintain by their actions must FIRST be deconstructed and then the majority of men will have much less reason to look down upon those women. Until then, status quo away.

  • Mike C

    @ Jenny,

    I am going to try and make this my final response to you as you clearly are intellectually dishonest, disingenuos, and are generally playing the avoidance game. In your response to me, you conveniently avoided 95% of my main points including the critical point about the link between female promiscuity and subsequent increased probability of adultery. I suspect you know I am absolutely right and avoided it for that reason.
    .
    There is no paternity issue. Paternity tests exist.
    .
    Paternity tests exist? Really? No shit. Most importantly, MOST men are not going to ask for or secretly run paternity tests despite the fact it is probably smart to do so (cuckoldry rates for those already suspicious run around 30% according to a study). It is a classic game theory problem (look it up if you don’t know what game theory is).
    .
    Question for you which in all likelihood will reveal that you are in fact full of shit and blatantly dishonest and disingenous. Do you support MANDATORY paternity tests automatically being run right at birth to determine paternity thus TOTALLY ELIMINATING the female opportunity for cuckoldry? If you do, then yes, the paternity issue is off the table, and a sexual double standard for that reason is gone. If you do NOT, then you are a blatant liar and bullshitter arguing out of both sides of your mouth. If you do NOT support it, then the reason for the double standard is valid.
    .
    To my citation of Othello, I really don’t care what you find convincing or not convincing. The simple fact is historical literature exists because it represents the human condition. Obviously, the literature shows that part of the human condition is that males go into violent rages over sexual betrayal. Generally speaking, females do not. That isn’t good, bad, or anything normative. It simply is what it is, and speaks to the necessity for men to form strong emotional bonds with women who are likely to be sexually loyal for their emotional well-being. Which leads right back to the main point that “sluts” are more likely to be sexually disloyal in committed relationships, and thus that is the primarily male reason for avoiding them for committed relationships/marriage.
    .
    Go ahead and respond with your typical obfuscation of the main points. You would do well to read some of Susan’s comments to understand how to form a logical argument where A follows from B follows from C rather then arguing basically nothing that makes any coherent points.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Mike
    .
    That was directed at Jess, not Jenny. To the point about adultery and promiscuous women, it is perfectly valid (and fun) to have sex with these women, but not marry them. You lie in the bed you make. In fact, there should be a website the ID’s these women called “Don’t Marry Her”
    .
    Mandatory paternity tests have been proposed but then opposed by, guess whoooo? Yep, feminist groups. Women the US really are toxic for matrimony and reproduction.

  • TeflonExpat

    Actually, you were right. I was wrong. It is Jenny we are both responding to

  • Mike C

    Mandatory paternity tests have been proposed but then opposed by, guess whoooo? Yep, feminist groups.
    .
    Expat,

    To me, a woman’s position on this issue is a litmus test as to what type of woman you are dealling with. Are men fellow human beings with emotions that one should have some empathy for, or are they mere vehicles to extract resources from? I think Roissy overstates it a bit, but knowingly duping a man on this is very similar to rape.
    .
    For some reason I can’t quite determine, many women don’t seem to understand the importance of the genetic link and “fatherhood”. “It is just genes”, “fatherhood is about support” (the resource extraction angle), blah, blah, blah.
    .
    Yes, men can be fathers to another man’s genetic child, but in those cases it is a CHOICE, not something being tricked into.
    .
    Really, the only logical option for opposition to mandatory paternity testing at birth (since it isn’t physically invasive and causes no pain) is basically to maintain the prerogative for female deception.
    .
    And again, just to really hammer the darn point some of these commenters can’t seem to grasp, is that no doubt in probably 99% of those cases with the 30% cuckoldry rates, those women were highly promiscuous prior to marriage. I could link to some blogs of self-proclaimed married women that would blow your mind. I highly doubt any of them were low-count women prior to getting married. So again, it really comes down to the fact that high-count women are probably going to make for a bad, tumultous marriage that ends in despair for the guy. Just a dumb risk to take once you get past all the bloviating about double standards.

  • Jenny

    @Mike
    Oh, you’re frustrated that I’m missing your “main points”? Ditto. In fact, I believe I have asked similar questions over and over again which have not been answered or acknowledged and you have actually literally ignored an entire reply of mine. Two, actually.
    I’m still arguing against a point you made a while ago which you have not responded to meanwhile you have been making new points saying it was the central point all along???
    .
    Cue “main point” remix.
    .
    If you have read and understood anything at all that I have said so far, you would see that I’m not really penalizing men who say “she has had a lot of casual sex. I wouldn’t want to marry her.” I think that sucks but honestly, I don’t know if I would want to marry a person who has lost count of their sexual partners- if for no other reason than health concerns. However, I can’t really say. I’ve never been in that situation before. I can guess that if I found out I loved a person before I found out their sexual history then I could see their sexual history being unimportant. I’m concerned more about the bullying, chastising, stigmatizing, gossiping, etc. over women who do decide to have casual sex from… pretty much everyone! The fear of reprimand, bullying, gossiping, and stigmatization then overwhelm a woman’s desire to be sexually autonomous. The argument from biology that is so popular on here in a small way excuses men from looking down on casual-sex-having women IF they are completely unaware of the fact that it is “hard-wired” (which, again, I have yet to see a source for. I would be interested to read about it myself). It does not however excuse all the things I’ve expressed concern for whether they are aware of the biology of it or not.
    .
    Given that we have the intelligence to go off species auto-pilot and take control over our food sources and the intelligence to make birth control, paternity tests, etc., how do we not have the intelligence to simply STOP slut-shaming? Men, and women actually, don’t have the free will to shut their mouths and not judge a woman who has sex because men are hard-wired to take many wives..? Rapists have their way with women they deem sluts because they are hard-wired to take many wives? Children bully girls who aren’t virgins because men are hard-wired to take many wives? Humans no longer have the luxury of excusing their behavior with biology. We lost that luxury when we stopped living on auto-pilot. The aversion to sluts is not ALL biological if it is at all. And it certainly has negative consequences in the world we live today. It is especially unsettling to hear people excuse this damaging behavior with biology when the study of hormones is not exactly thorough. We’re in the dark ages of hormone-science.
    .
    Again, and I can’t stress this enough, until I see evidence for this biological hard-wiring, every single comment made by my opposition on this thread is entirely null. And no matter how strong this drive is, it will still not excuse the shaming and bullying of young women who express their sexuality, the bullying of teenage girls who lose their virginity, and it CERTAINLY won’t entitle therapists to call teenage girls who are having a lot of sex “stupid sluts” in a sad and ass-backwards attempt to “help” them. Whereas a teenage boy who is engaging in that behavior experiences the same potential exposure to STD’s, the same risk of accidentally making a child, but calling him a slut would not be acceptable. Nor would it mean anything even if it were said. It’s just a word meant to hurt women.
    .
    I still have not received the answers to my questions a few posts ago!!!

    How and why do people fast or go on a hunger-strike? How are they able to overcome the will to eat?
    How and why do people kill themselves? How are they able to overcome the will to live?
    How and why do people take a vow of celibacy? How are they able to overcome the will to have sex and procreate?
    When you get very angry at someone, I mean SEETHING, why don’t you just up and punch them in the face? How are you able to overcome your strong desire to fight? How do you quell that surge of testosterone?
    When you’re having sex and you are getting closer to orgasm than your partner, how do you stop yourself?
    When I’m feeling depressed, I mean can’t-get-out-of-bed depressed, how do I get myself out of that funk?
    When men feel an aversion to women they presume to be “loose,” how do they get over it?
    .
    How do hormones, or biological drives, excuse this statement:
    “Well, I bullied her because she’s a slut.”
    .
    And not this statement:
    “Well, I punched her in the face because I got angry”
    .
    Because we all know very well that we have control over ourselves, hormones and biological drives or not. And this is coming from a woman with all those CRAZY ALIEN hormones that men couldn’t dream of.
    So why SHOULD men ignore these drives? Because it isn’t RIGHT. Just like hitting people when you get angry isn’t right. Both are urges that our bodies might tell us to do, but somehow, we overcome them.
    .
    In conclusion, all the ways in which you try to show that the male aversion to promiscuous women is legitimate and biologically linked mean nothing in the face of the points I’m making. Perhaps this is why they have not been acknowledged. If YOU knew MY main points, you would know that my response to your elaborate descriptions of the biological hard-wiring would be an impatient “So, what?”

  • jess

    Dear, dear, dear..(setting BS and troll detection unit to OFF- it was squeking too much)
    .
    So many posts its difficult to start:
    1. Paternity tests can be done by the man at any time after birth. He can do it behind the womens back. So thats that dealt with.
    2. Fatherhood is indeed about support. A 5 second ejaculation does not compare to 18-35 years emotional and financial support. I suspect you guys dont have children.

  • jess

    3. You keep saying men hate these awful women. I can only repeat the majority of women I know who cannot get LTRS are conventionally plain or shy or inhibited or highly religious. The so called sluts are the ones settling down happily. I should say my previous jobs have involved dealing with 100′s of women. The ones who married young and only knew one guy are often the saddest, unhappiest, lonely people you could meet. I know my job skewed my exposure but well, they existed then as they do now.
    4. Biology. I cannot be bothered to post any links but recent research suggests that female promiscuity is a natural state. Its religion which has shackled us. This does not mean we should all be swingers because dying of AIDs is bad for your health and happiness (really bad). It doesnt mean we have to experinece the nth degree of sex becuase then our future partners may bore us (yes- I concede that) but its ok for a little fun isnt it?
    5. I should like to know your maximum number of guys a women is allowed to have to be LTR worthy?

  • Clarence

    Jess:

    I assume you are talking about America when you mention paternity tests? You do know that doing paternity tests without the mothers knowlege is illegal in Britain?

    You also know there’s a time-limit that varies by state but is usually two years or less. If you fail to do the test by the time-limit it doesn’t matter.

  • Jenny

    @Clarence
    “If you fail to do the test by the time-limit it doesn’t matter.”
    That’s really ridiculous. I wonder what the “justification” is. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be able to do a paternity test at any time with anybody for any reason.

  • Clarence

    Jenny:

    In Britain as in America , it’s “best interests of the child”. This phrase is open to disagreement and is as you can guess often widely abused.

    America, though, lets you test. You simply have to do it with the timeline for states which have timelines. I used to know more about this but it’s been awhile, but I think there are maybe 5 states that don’t care about timeliness..the rest have restrictions, usually the first two years. The rationale is that by that time the child has bonded to it’s presumed parent and would be hurt by being “disowned” so to speak.

    England, aka GB is worse. But then it has an actual feminist ministry as part of the government. There, the rationale is that biological parenthood isn’t important – for fathers, only of course.

  • Jenny

    @ Clarence
    Very interesting. I’ll have to read more about it.. but from what you say- sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Quite disturbing. It would be bad for a parent to abandon a child… but that happens all the time. Happened to me and I turned out o.k. If there is still love in the family no matter how many parents or lack thereof, the child will be well-adjusted. It seems more wrong to force a parent and child to live a lie even if it isn’t in the best interest of the child. That doesn’t seem like a liberty the government should be able to have.

  • Jenny

    … to force a parent and child to live a lie even if it IS* in the best interest of the child

  • Sox

    It’s funny, all this talk about “hard-wiring” and nobody mentions female attraction. Once I see women changing their sexual preferences en masse to be more fair, I’ll consider changing my own.
    .
    Don’t try to tell men what is and isn’t attractive based on fairness. Fairness is a construct.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Jenny
    .
    I read a lot of opinions, observations, criticisms from you. Informative yes, but no remedies are offered. You have identified so called slut-shaming and LTR aversion as being problematic for women’s sexual autonomy, freedom, equality and so forth. Problems potentially have solutions. What solution or solutions do you have in mind, if any? I’m willing to bet that you have no solutions at this time.
    .
    “I’m concerned more about the bullying, chastising, stigmatizing, gossiping, etc. over women who do decide to have casual sex from… pretty much everyone! The fear of reprimand, bullying, gossiping, and stigmatization then overwhelm a woman’s desire to be sexually autonomous.”
    .
    Yes, we get your concern. So what is your proposed solution? While you are concocting that, here is mine and you may not like it but at least its being offered:
    .
    It may have never been done before but maybe, just maybe, women start requiring men to demonstrate commitment way before any type of sexual activity. That is, all or nearly all non-charge-money-for-sex women. Then, there would be no “loose” women and very little or no “reprimand, bullying, gossiping, and stigmatization.” Oh sure, the feminist lobby would howl and screech over such a suggestion, but aren’t we all tired of their ruinous bullshit by now anyway? YES, men would go along with this “novel” concept because women decide when consensual sex will happen and men will wait provided that all women play by the same rules so the man does not have alternate “quick” sources for sex. Also, women would not be under pressure to have sex because no other women would be available to “steal” their man through sexual offers.
    .
    “When men feel an aversion to women they presume to be “loose,” how do they get over it?”
    .
    Have sex with all of them. Then one day marry someone else.
    .
    For every presumed or perceived “loose” woman there are corresponding hundreds if not thousands who are not presumed to be, and in reality are not. Therefore, there is no compelling reason for men to “get over it.” Just based on sheer numbers, men just detour around, graciously, like gentlemen. “Loose” women are a tiny majority of all reproductive-age women on the planet. How fortunate for men, if they take a bit of initiative and don’t lazily take whatever local leftovers are thrown at them. American women are not a very marketable bunch.
    .
    @Jess
    .
    “I should like to know your maximum number of guys a women is allowed to have to be LTR worthy?”
    .
    That question should be put to each of those “non-LTR sexual expression experimentees,” yep, all those other male humans who clearly did not find her LTR worthy. They had their reasons and the last-in-the-string at the very least deserves feedback as to the nature of all those “relationships”, if he is still on board at all.
    .
    @Sox
    .
    “Once I see women changing their sexual preferences en masse to be more fair, I’ll consider changing my own.”
    .
    See my “solution” above. Under that unheard of scenario (in the US), women would be considering a much broader range of men and not just the most-attractive or most-whatever because those men would also have to demonstrate commitment. There would be no casual-sex-haremization of the female population to less than 20% of all men, as it factually is currently.

  • Jenny

    @ Expat
    Wow, what a great solution. And I suppose we should tell gay kids to stop being so gay so they’ll stop being bullied, too. Just tell all those nerdy kids to stop being so nerdy.
    Encourage someone who is being bullied…. to just do what the bully tells them? That’s your great suggestion for a “solution”? That isn’t really much of a solution at all. In fact, you’re just empowering the bullies and legitimizing the reasons they bully in the first place.
    .
    I propose that we stop slut-shaming/bullying in the same way we try to stop other bullying. Punish bullies, not the bullied. Explain to kids why it is none of their business what someone else’s sexual orientation, sexuality, etc is. And explain why it is unethical to bully and what the terrible consequences might be for someone who is being bullied as well as what punishment is in store for a bully.
    .
    “Challenge Day” is a good start. Therapists who don’t think calling kids names or shaming them is a good way to get them to change their ways would also be a good start.
    .
    Just like all the kids who get bullied for being gay aren’t all necessarily gay, all the kids getting bullied for being “sluts” don’t necessarily fit the profile either. A girl could just lose her virginity to someone older than her… lose her virginity at all, people could hear a RUMOR that she lost her virginity, she might wear a skirt people think is too short, grow boobs earlier than all the other girls, etc. And encouraging girls to simply NOT be sluts does NOT solve those problems at all. Again, it encourages the bully to monitor other people’s behavior (or what they think is their behavior) with shaming and taunting and intimidation- 3 things which shouldn’t be acceptable at a