A ton has been written on this topic, and what I’ve mainly gathered from other peoples’ writing is that it’s a double standard. I’m here today to challenge that notion, at least for Americans.
In America, we value (ok, the responsible majority value) hard work, determination, effort, and skill. If a person inherits a ton of money, nobody thinks he is awesome. If anything, we all want to punch him in the nuts. If a person is born on the mean streets and pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps to become rich, famous, or successful in some other way, we go “damn, that person kicks butt.” We respect the person who puts in the effort.
Sex is no different. What is more difficult? A woman racking up conquests, or a woman saving herself? What’s more difficult? A man racking up conquests, or a man saving himself?
I may have just made my point, but let me continue.
If a woman wants to rack up conquests, all she needs is a vagina. Any woman, no matter how ugly, can walk into any bar in America and get sex the same night. If a man wants to rack up conquests, even if he has low standards, he must learn how to game, work his butt off, face tons of rejection, and still not have any guarantees. We see men who put in these efforts and successfully “score” as studs. Conversely, we see women who have the willpower and self-respect to say “screw off, perv” as a highly valued person.
If we’re being honest, we have all known people in both categories. And, if we’re being honest, those people tend to be pretty unbearable human beings. Guys who chase conquests are almost universally assholes. And women who chase conquests are almost universally vacuous twits, or emotionally damaged. Tons of research shows that as human beings, we weren’t designed to rack up conquests. We are built for relationship and intimacy. If you share yourself sexually with everyone you meet, you start to lose sight of the emotional aspect of sex, which once again, if we’re being honest, is the most important thing about sex… at least the way God intended.
Sex is for reproduction, certainly, but in a relationship, sex is an incredible emotional glue. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, counter depression, increase self esteem, and hell, even cure headaches. The physiological part of sex is only a small percentage of what it’s supposed to be. If you have sex with 50 people, how can you possible still experience the emotional end of sex? You’re giving up 90% of what it should be.
But let’s talk about the double standard for a minute. Is it fair that men are valued for getting partners and women are valued for saving themselves? Probably not entirely. But the reasons for the disparity are apparent.
In the same way there’s a double standard that looks down on promiscuous women, there’s a double standard that looks down on male virgins and males who fail to rack up numbers. Find me a female virgin and you will have found one of the most highly valued things in society. Find me a male virgin and you will have found a “nerd, loser, geek, sissy, fag”. Isn’t that also a double standard?
I’ve had conversations over the years with male friends about my “number.” Almost universally, men look at me with shock and a little bit of disdain at the “pathetic” nature of my number. I’m a loser because I didn’t put more notches in my bedpost. If I was a woman, it would be the opposite reaction.
At the end of the day, God designed sex to be special. An intimate emotional and physical bond between husband and wife. Our society has really devalued sex, and it’s a shame. I hope we can teach our children to respect themselves and each other.
But the double standard isn’t a double standard at all.