The Double Standard

A good buddy of mine who, in his own words, was a “man-ho” during his single years once told me that he planned to tell his sons to get whatever they could (sexually, if that’s not obvious) while they could. I asked him, in all innocence, if he would give the same advice to his daughters, and he demurred.

(I do this sometimes. I’ll ask a question in innocence and trip up someone, and then sort of feel like a jerk.)

Now, he obviously enjoyed himself. The women he was with for the most part enjoyed themselves, I think–though I’d guess a few didn’t believe him when he said he wasn’t going to settle down–he was extremely popular. He didn’t seem to hold them in contempt.

But he didn’t want that for his daughter. Very clearly. He was repulsed by the idea, I would say.

Cognitive dissonance emerges.

I sort of understand the madonna/whore thing better: There are women you “date” and women you “marry”. (Though I’ve wondered if they’re not good enough to marry why would you date them? And shouldn’t good marriage material also be good date material?)

I also think, logically, one wants one’s children to have good sex lives, within the parameters of whatever morality one subscribes. (I think that viscerally, one also doesn’t want to actually think about it much.)

I guess what I wonder is, if it’s really just that the “whore” side of the madonna/whore duality has become more acceptable, or if–sexual revolution or no–people still feel like they’re sinning when, uh, fornicating, and if the evidence of that is a rejection of that lifestyle for their daughters at least.

Or is it just a hold over?

I hear more from women that “women aren’t wired” to have the sort of sex that the sexual revolution has freed them to have. It’s even reflected in some movies (like the Judd Apatow oeuvre) as a defect for women to pursue casual sex. (I guess that isn’t too much different from the past; the lead female is never vigorously active with a bunch of different men.)

I guess I don’t get what’s going on. I think the old way, however hypocritical, was better. We all agreed that virginity, monogamy and fidelity were optimal, even as we fell short of it. But maybe I’m just a killjoy.

I should say that I’m writing here from the viewpoint of the individual. I think it’s pretty clear that society would clearly be better off with virginity followed by lifelong fidelity. (Limited polyamory could theoretically provide stronger family structures, as long as fidelity was strictly kept.)

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