Promiscuity is awesome, partially because it has so many words associated with it that you’re bound to find one that suits your every need, regardless of the context. Like lasciviousness, for when you want to sound intellectual while describing the notches on your belt. Yet as awesome as promiscuity and all its licentious associates are, puritanical worldviews still maintain that casual sex is a terrible thing.

I’m sure most people reading this are aware of the gendered stigma attached to sluts. The promiscuity of women is condemned while the same behaviour is regarded as studly in men. If you haven’t, I wrote a handy blog about it. It’s a good one. If you liked lasciviousness and licentious, I use words like “verisimilitude” in it.

I’ve noticed, however, a new trend in slut-shaming: fuckboys. I’ll let you look up verisimilitude on your own, but I’ll give the urban dictionary definition for a fuckboy. “A guy who tries to get with everyone. A player. A guy who will lie to a girl to make them hook up with them or send pics. They think they are the shit when they aren’t. A guy who will only date a girl for their body. A total ass. A guy that will make a girl cry and laugh, and a guy who lies when they said I love you.” There are also definitions where a fuckboy is just a “weak ass pussy” with all the blatant misogyny that that implies, but the context I’ve been hearing the term used centers around a man who uses women for sex. How novel that a term used to disparage toxic masculinity is also associated with its reinforcement.

Now, it will be argued that it is the manipulation that merits the shaming in this slutty behaviour rather than the slutty behaviour itself, but let’s think about this for a second. A promiscuous woman is often called “easy,” and with the negative connotation associated with female promiscuity already discussed, many girls take pride in being difficult to “get.”  This being the case, a promiscuous man would require more effort in his promiscuity than a woman. Given the demonization of open male sexuality as perverted, creepy, or predatory, hiding one’s true intent becomes a prerequisite for its success. Does this make deception and manipulation appropriate? Of course not, but the current societal norms are imposing these standards on men who wish to be promiscuous, and alternatives are virtually nil outside of narcotic-induced orgies. Anecdotally, the promiscuous women I have known in my time (take that how you will), have told me that they could easily get laid any time they wanted, they just choose not to because the men who are upfront about their intent, the “easy” men, are unworthy of their standards. Fuckboy may be a denouncement of manipulation, but in doing so it still attacks a man’s choice to be promiscuous because of the roundabout way he must take in order to get there.

To harken back to yet another blog, wherein I use terms like “douchebag” because they can’t all be winners, I describe the active nature of male sexuality confronting the passive nature of female sexuality. These are the roles conditioned into each respective gender, and it means that men have sex, and women are sexed. This method of sexuality is in crisis because passive sexual beings will not assert their sexuality, and if active sexual beings are punished, they won’t either. This crisis would inevitably lead to a decrease in sexual activity.

And hey! Turns out I’m not making this up, and young adults today are having fewer sexual partners than their parents. This isn’t because attitudes toward casual sex have changed; they haven’t. Well, they have, I guess, just in a direction you wouldn’t think would correlate with decreased sexual activity. The same study says that significantly more people today are okay with premarital sex than even in 2004. My initial claim of the awesomeness of promiscuity isn’t likely to find great resistance, but even with dating apps like Tinder, the glut of pornography, and abundant sexualized media imagery, people aren’t porking like they used to. I doubt there has been any change in our biological drives in the past generation, so something else must be dampening the libidos of millennials.

This crisis of sexuality needs to be resolved. Just as women should be able to express their sexuality as they see fit, so too should men without being demonized or forced into a position where they must manipulate others to satisfy their natural human urges.

Advertisements