I don't know about you but in my twenty years of being a woman, I have noticed that society tends to encourage men to sleep with as many women as possible, yet discourages women from doing so. If a man sleeps with loads of women, he is deemed a 'legend', 'top shagger', and a 'casanova'; yet if a woman sleeps with loads of men, she is deemed a 'slut', 'whore', and a 'slag'. If a man has a large body count, he is absolutely amazing and men are only deemed as being weird if they have a small body count (although society pretty much says that as long as a man has slept with at least one person then he's doing alright). If a woman has a large body count, she 'isn't worth touching' and must be 'riddled with STDs'; and if she has a low body count, men don't want to go anywhere near her because she 'has no experience' and 'wouldn't be a good shag'. Why are we like this?
I think it starts with the fact that years ago, society used to have this conception that men own women and that women's bodies belong to men. Wasn't that the point of marriage? In many cases, a woman's Dad would find her a 'suitable' man to marry and then the 'ownership' of the woman would essentially go from her Dad to her husband. That's why in a wedding ceremony, the person conducting the ceremony will ask "who brings this woman to be married to this man?" and the person 'giving her away', who is typically the Dad, will give the man his daughter's hand; which is essentially the Dad 'passing' the 'ownership' to the man. The other point of marriage was that by getting married, the woman was making a promise that should they have children, the children would be that man's. That man had to make no such promise and didn't even have to stay faithful to the woman and could have as many sexual relations with as many women as he wished (The Week). Doesn't this suggest that men are allowed to have a high body count, cheat and get away with it, yet women are only allowed to stay faithful and have sex with one person for the rest of their life?
Let's take a look back to when Amy Hart was on Love Island in 2019 ("I WAS COMING HERE TO TELL YOU I LOVE YOU!"). In the show, Amy was very honest about the fact that she had never had a boyfriend and that she was on the show to find herself a boyfriend (I mean, she did find herself a half-boyfriend, but I think the less said about that, the better). In a boys vs. girls challenge, the boys were tasked with figuring out who each statement belonged to, with the one belonging to Amy saying 'I've slept with eleven people but can only remember the names of nine'. Amy then felt the need to explain this, saying that she slept with them over a long period of time and that she's older (26 at the time). We all know for a fact that if this statement had been one of the guys, they wouldn't have to have felt the need to explain and would probably have been called a lad. Yet because Amy is a woman, one of the guys even went as far as to say that this was really bad. He may not have been referring to the number and instead to the fact she couldn't remember two of the guys' names, but even with that in mind, if a guy can't remember the names of all the women he's slept with, hardly anything is said about it. Why?
Let's look at porn. This used to be a big topic when I was at school because people were just starting to discover it. Regardless of whether you are a teenager or not, society seems to have this idea that only men watch porn and women don't. As soon as a woman mentions that she watches porn, men get freaked out by it. This is because for many years society has had this idea that women only star in porn movies and that men watch them and for a woman to watch porn is just plain weird. I think porn has definitely 'helped' in giving men this idea that women's bodies are there for them to lust over and be 'admired' but women themselves are not allowed to 'pleasure' themselves and that it should be the man who gets pleasure, whereas women are only there to be child-bearers. Believe it or not, women actually enjoy having sex and our bodies and not just to be used to grow babies. Yes, our bodies can do that, but some women might not want this or might not be able to do this and it should be our choice on this and not anyone else's.
At the end of the day, we're all human. Men have sexual needs. Women have sexual needs. Let's normalise the fact the women enjoy having sex and it is possible for women to sleep with multiple people without her being a slut, whore, or slag. Let's stop this idea that many people still have in their heads that the only reason women are here is to have babies with one person and should only have sex when they want a baby and not for their own pleasure. Let's normalise women having sex because they want to.
Why do you think society applauds men for having a high body count, but not women?
Love Beth xx