In the modern world of dating, even with the avid use and variety of dating apps available today, there’s still an old-fashioned mindset common among men — this is the notion that a woman can’t be taken seriously if she embraces her sexual freedom and has had more than a handful of sexual partners. She’s considered to be easy and cheap; she’s not “good enough” to even be considered as relationship material, much less earn the title of wife.
Men are still free to sleep with as many women as they please, all while getting accolades from their friends for the “body count” they’ve amassed. As a woman that is honest and verbal about enjoying sex, with a desire to have a variety of such enjoyable experiences, I’ve witnessed the backlash mentioned above. The scales are so unfairly out of balance.
Should I keep quiet about my love for sex or be considered too promiscuous, labeled, judged and not made to be marriage material?
What man wants to have sex with a woman who isn’t enjoying herself or doesn't have the experience to provide him with fantastic sex? Just because I possess a vagina I must be virgin-esque and pure? These are the questions that crept up in my mind when the double standard topic fell in my lap and became a significant topic of discussion.
The double standard bothered me, and it irritated me. I started to investigate and do my research. I went to men in my life who I knew would be able to discuss the topic openly and honestly. From exes to platonic friends and even men I was currently dating. Some of the explanations for the double standard were very sad; some were clearly influenced by environment and upbringing. One man told me that a woman should have few partners because her body can carry children and shouldn't be “damaged”, it should be preserved for the health of childbearing. Another told me that he didn't feel a woman who had multiple sexual partners would be able to take him seriously and had a higher potential of hurting him. Then, another told me that he couldn't bear the thought of his woman being with other men. The answers to the question seemed to bring up even more profound issues.
Are we truly not in touch with ourselves sexually, even in this day and age? As I continued to do my homework and truly understand this topic, I came across answers that made perfect sense.
Many years ago, I started my college career as a psychology major. That career never came to fruition, but I have spent my whole life learning, in one form or fashion, about human psychology. I find that to be one of the most fascinating things in life. The most unbiased answers, to the double standard questioning, came from an extremely experienced woman and a man I consider to be very successful, direct and real. Their answers were nearly identical. Male ego, plain and simple. The typical male ego is so sensitive, and that is why the double standard exists in the first place. My mind comprehended this idea almost instantly. At the same time, the simple complexity of this theory made me sad. Why is our society set up in such a way that men feel that ego is what makes them more of a man? This brought up so many questions, perhaps for a future article.
In the meantime, I believe our bodies, male and female alike, were designed to enjoy sex. I think if we are being safe and not hurting anyone, including ourselves, sex should be freeing and enjoyable. Without stigma. I had no idea the double standard would turn out to be so complex.