Women complain about the sexual “double standard” all the time. “Why is a girl who sleeps around a slut but when a guy does it he gets praise? So unfair!!”
Females definitely dislike this reality, and feminists are especially vocal about it. The irony, however, is that girls are actually the main drivers of the sexual “double standard”. They just don’t admit it.
The main reason “studs” get so much more praise than “sluts” is not just down to the difficulty associated with approaching and seducing women (we all know that any decent looking girl can get laid whenever she wants). Rather, this praise also stems from the fact that girls prefer men who are also preferred by other girls (the more, the better). This is tied to the concept of pre-selection: the more you are seen to be objectively desired by other girls, the more girls you are able to attract.
What women want is a man who could get with many other girls, but chooses not to exercise those options and instead seeks to be with her alone (at least to her knowledge—a savvy player will often renege on this, but even a smart girl will still often make the effort to “change him” and gain his sexual exclusivity despite having no real shot at doing so).
This is the stud’s biggest advantage: his ability to get lots of girls to sleep with him just gets him more appeal among the other girls he might run into who become aware of his popularity. Other men praise him too because they envy all the female attention the stud gets and would love to emulate it (read: they dream of being in his position). Thus, the stud is idolized by both genders.
The Madonna and the Whore
Sluts have things a bit differently. Men don’t feel about sluts the way women do about studs. They aren’t impressed by a girl’s ability to attract other men (which makes sense, since so many girls have that ability—cute girls can run through men with ease if they wish). Men also want a woman who is sexually exclusive and loyal ONLY to them. This is best illustrated by the Madonna-whore complex: he wants her to be Madonna for everybody else, but a whore only for him, or a “lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets”. He wants to know that he has access to a side of her that no other man can have.
This is sort of similar to the female dynamic I mentioned above in which girls desire the exclusive focus of a stud’s sexual/romantic attention. The difference really rests in the way each sex treats sexual history: for the woman, sexual promiscuity can be a signal of value and therefore a plus so long as she can tame it and make that man exclusive to her at some point (women do not value chaste men). For a man, sexual promiscuity can be a negative insofar as it can signal her potential inability to satisfy the Madonna-whore complex mentioned above by giving him full sexual exclusivity (men do not value promiscuous women).
Sluts, by definition, don’t tend to offer sexual exclusivity to one guy—they spread it to several. Instead of being his whore and everyone else’s Madonna, she is everyone else’s whore and nobody’s Madonna. That’s about as uncomfortable for a guy as the notion of losing an attractive man (stud) whose exclusive commitment she thought she had to another woman could be for a female.
So, the double standard can be summed up as follows:
A: Girls don’t want guys that have not shown the ability to consistently attract other girls. That gives studs a massive advantage over less socially-dominant men with lower partner counts since women tend to prefer them when given a choice.
B: Guys don’t favor girls that a whole lot of other guys (particularly guys they could know) have been with.
Women also aggressively shame girls who are seen to have been with many other guys. In fact, women are the primary source of “slut-shaming”, and certainly the most vicious about it. Why?
As I said above, women want to be able to find a stud (the man that all of the other girls want) and gain his commitment and exclusive romantic focus. Sluts (especially the cuter ones) make that more challenging by providing a very tempting sexual alternative to these men that undermines any given girl’s ability to lock him down. Women want their stud for them, not other women, and the slut poses the greatest threat to that bid for exclusivity.
Some women will also use slut-shaming to help their competitive odds with women who are not sluts. As I mentioned above, men have a Madonna-whore complex. They want the whore bit to be exclusive to them when it comes to any given girl, something no other man gets to see. Sluts (by virtue of their tendency get around with multiple men simultaneously or within very short periods of time) threaten that ideal, and so men tend to be more hesitant to commit to them. This includes studs, who (true to the double standard) have the same Madonna-whore complex as any other guy. A slut, by virtue of being a slut, undermines her chances of gaining long-term commitment from a true stud. It isn’t impossible, but it is harder.
Women instinctively understand this. They know that a high-value male could be turned off by any sexual history that could be viewed as a sign that she may not be 100% sexually exclusive to him (his whore, everyone else’s madonna). This is part of why they are generally not forthcoming about their sexual histories and usually underestimate their “number” when asked (and/or just get offended by the question).
This is also why it is not uncommon for a young girl to shame another young girl she has a rivalry with (maybe she’s prettier, or maybe she’s caught the eye of a stud another girl likes, etc, etc) by attempting to paint her as a slut (or a similar term like skank, whore, etc). She’ll do this either by calling her those names outright or by making up rumors about a given girl’s sexual promiscuity that have no basis in reality. Among young girls this can sometimes manifest itself as serious and at times fatal bullying.
The goal of this slut shaming? Undermine the girl’s social capital. If the slut-shaming is successful, she’ll receive fewer offers of commitment from the most attractive men (who, as I noted, are generally more wary of sluts for anything serious) and other girls (who, as I noted above, are threatened by sluts).
Here’s a website that provides a good example of how women do this. The site is essentially a rumor mill. There are valid stories there, but many of the female entries (females make up the majority of the visitors, commenters and submitters) are clearly tied to sour grapes and have no real basis in reality. They are just the result of one girl attempting to undermine the social capital of another girl who threatens her ego by associating her with a gossip website and publicly attempting to slut-shame her.
Thus, as you can see, sluts are shamed and manwhores are celebrated by both men and women.
When will this change?
If you’ve seen the show Entourage, consider this: Eric vs. Vince. Who was the more attractive guy, generally, to women?
Obviously Vince. Guys like Vince (who play the field extensively and are known by the women they approach to be players) are generally preferred to less prolific men like Eric or Turtle.
Those are good guys and it isn’t like they were forever single (both had girls from time to time, Turtle had Jamie Lynn Siegler and Eric married one of the prettiest females ever to appear on the show), but the balance of power when it comes to the ability to attract females clearly leans toward players like Vince. That is just a fact.
The double standard will go away when that reality goes away, and men like Eric or Turtle are considered by the average woman to be just as attractive as men like Vince despite their less promiscuous histories and lower levels of charm and game. When that happens, the celebration of the stud will end: women will obviously not be favoring the stud and men (who only worshiped studs because of how many women they could attract) will cease their praise as well. The stud will be held in no higher regard than the slut. Why desire to be a stud like Vince when you can just be Eric and be on a level playing field? At this point there would be no more double standard.
Of course, we all know this will never happen. Why? Because women love studs and always will. Give 100 women a choice between the chance to start a sexual relationship with Vince Chase the stud (whose promiscuity is well known and whose commitment they know they are VERY unlikely to obtain beyond a superficial level) and Eric the good guy (who isn’t as handsome or famous but is smart, affluent and more likely to actually stick around) and 80-90 of them will take their chances with Vince.
This isn’t changing and, as a result, the double standard will remain with us. Those who oppose it had best get used to it.