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Sexual Behavior
December 16, 2003 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Why are sexually promiscuous men "studs" and sexually promiscuous women "sluts"? And on that note, is it studly or slutty to hook up with one person on a Monday and go out with a different person on a Tuesday? Just asking.
posted by adrober to Human Relations (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's called a double standard and life is full of them. For what it's worth, not everyone thinks this way. Some people think men who sleep around are "slutty," though in a more male connotation, aka "lothario" or "womanizer."
posted by scarabic at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2003


I can only speak for myself, but I'd call them both sluts.

(not that I'm saying it's a bad thing)
posted by skryche at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2003 [1 favorite]


I suppose there's also the biological answer, propagating the genes, etc. A man can conceive 100 children in a month if he works at it, vastly out-stripping his monogamous male friends in spreading his genes around. But since a woman can conceive only one child at a time, there isn't much point in her sleeping around a whole lot. She should concentrate more on selecting the best possible mate, so that the child will be genetically viable, and carry her genes on.
posted by scarabic at 2:55 PM on December 16, 2003


And on that note, is it studly or slutty to hook up with one person on a Monday and go out with a different person on a Tuesday?
Depends if it's a boy or a girl? ; >
I think it's fine, as long as all the people involved are single, and not pathological about it, and being safe. So I would go with "fun people on a roll." I think the whole "slut" thing and the stigma attached is slowly going away, at least for adults.
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on December 16, 2003


i finished reading 'fast girls: teenage tribes and the myth of the slut' over my lunch hour. very interesting and gets into trying to answer your question.
posted by sugarfish at 3:05 PM on December 16, 2003


Because of their greater time-and-energy investment in each child, females in a community are typically the ones who have more to gain from monogamy. As long as everyone plays by the rules, women can be assured of a provider for their children. However, this creates a very tempting payoff for the woman who breaks ranks, and becomes "the other woman" to a high status male. Because of the high payoff, women will socially exclude the rulebreaker as a disincentive. For men, the same behavior -- cuckholding a lower-rank male -- is a mark of overt power.

This varies widely throughout the animal kingdom, depending on the dynamics of the species. Check out Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, and the old standby, The Selfish Gene.

Of course that's a lot of reading to do before your date.
posted by condour75 at 3:18 PM on December 16, 2003


Not an excuse, just a possible explanation:

Envy and similar peer-ish effects? "Studs" are succeeding at something that lots of 16-year-old boys would love to succeed at at least once, and doing it repeatedly. "Sluts," less so.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:20 PM on December 16, 2003


Well, think of the slang term "getting some". Men "get it, "women "give it away". Like some demented contest. Why do you think they call it "scoring"?
posted by konolia at 3:42 PM on December 16, 2003


I believe that "stud" is a reference to breeding stallions. According to the OED, the word goes back to Old English ("stode"), and originally referred to both the place in which the breeding took place and the animals (mares and stallions) themselves. Interestingly, it seems that for most of the word's history, it referred primarily to mares. Sometime during the 19th century, possibly with the widespread institution of "stud fees" (payment to the owner of a stallion for breeding rights, with the owner of the mare to keep the offspring), the word began to refer mainly to stallions. The connection to sexually promiscuous men appeared at this time, for obvious reasons.

The etymological origin of "slut" isn't as clear, though it seems to be related to similar words in other Germanic languages: German "schlutt" or "schlutte", Danish "slatte", Norweigian "slott". The original sense of the word focused on the woman's hygiene or appearance--a slut was a dirty or unkempt woman (the OED provides the helpful definition "a foul slattern"). The connection to sexual "uncleanliness" should, again, be clear.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:17 PM on December 16, 2003


Depends on who you ask. I'll be happy to call the promiscuous male of your choice a slut. Fair is fair.

The University of Virginia, which I attended as an undergraduate, has or had an honor code (no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no tolerating anyone who lies, cheats or steals.) I pledged a fraternity, and during pledge year the brothers made it clear that they thought the honor code covered "everything but what you say to girls. What you say to girls is your own business." I worked on wrapping my mind around that concept for several months but it just wouldn't digest. Ended up depledging. Still don't understand, though I believe shrinks now have a word for it ("compartmentalization.")

But that was years ago. Now, I don't understand hookups.
posted by jfuller at 4:23 PM on December 16, 2003


"Loose wench" orginally was a term used to describe a woman who didn't lace her bodice tightly.

I never use either the words slut or stud. I usually use the word "player" to indicate a "person who has casual sex with whomever he/she wants without being or intending to be emotionally involved with his/her partners". And I consider "player" a neutral term - there are both nice players and sleazy ones. I don't think any less of a player as a person - I just don't want to date one.
posted by orange swan at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2003


"Studs" are succeeding at something that lots of 16-year-old boys would love to succeed at at least once, and doing it repeatedly. "Sluts," less so.

Really? Girls are either being forced to have sex against their will, or they're just as interested in it as boys.. after all, it takes two to tango.

16 is probably a bit high too. More than half the UK population has lost their virginity by that age, according to recent research. Not sure about the US.
posted by wackybrit at 7:17 PM on December 16, 2003


Out of interest, when did 'slut' suddenly mean a lass who couldn't keep her knickers on?
posted by twine42 at 2:38 AM on December 17, 2003


Most people burn out after a couple years of that lifestyle but everyone wants to try being stud/slut at least once. It's kinda like drinking in college, you go overboard with multiple partners and eventually the hangovers become not worth the hassle and you just want to settle down. That is what I have noticed anyway.
posted by stbalbach at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2003


I think this question should be answered differently:

He's a slut.

He is such a slut.

He is a slut.

She's such a stud.

She's a stud.

She is a stud.


Out of interest, when did 'slut' suddenly mean a lass who couldn't keep her knickers on?

Suddenly in 1450, according to the first site in the OED.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2003


Cite, not site. Doh! Beer and bratwurst at lunch do not for good typing make.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:57 AM on December 17, 2003


....is it studly or slutty to hook up with one person on a Monday and go out with a different person on a Tuesday?

Many people would consider it either, or both. It really depends on who you're talking to and who the people are that are involved since sluttiness and studliness are essentially in the eye of the beholder. You can try to be a stud all you want but if people still think you're a dork, at some level you'll be a dork, no matter what your statistics say.

What you may be asking is whether it's uncool, or laudable to exhibit this behavior. A someone who's done what you appear to be describing, my opinion would be that it's uncool if the people involved don't really know what's going on [i.e. to tell someone, or even imply, that they are your one and only when they really aren't isn't cool] but otherwise it's really a matter between you and your personal god or girlfriend/boyfriend. As stbalbach says, it's usually something that people who have the ability and interest try at least once, and then some people who have the inclination and the interest stick with.
posted by jessamyn at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2003


Well, think of the slang term "getting some". Men "get it, "women "give it away". Like some demented contest. Why do you think they call it "scoring"?

I know several girls who talk about getting ass. One even uses getting ass to refer to giving head, which I find a bit confusing. Of course, that girl is considered a slut by her peers.

Ah, highschool.
posted by Ptrin at 1:51 PM on December 17, 2003


I like to go to Las Vegas to play the sluts.
posted by wackybrit at 8:26 PM on December 18, 2003


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