Women Who Have Sex with “Wild Abandon”
Studies have begun to reveal that women’s sex drives are not necessarily lower, but largely situational. For instance, in long-term relationships, they tend to take a hit, in contrast to men’s whose remain relatively steady. According to The Atlantic reporting on a similar topic, a Finnish study from 2016 showed “women’s sexual desire varied depending on relationship status: Those in the same relationship over the study period reported less desire, arousal, and satisfaction.” The article goes on to say single women experienced sexual desire at a level rivalling men’s, meaning long-term monogamy is actually what killed desire in women. The take-away? Women became sexually bored with the same partner.
With relaxing social norms and recent information challenging traditional ideas on dating, it’s no surprise modern-day women are choosing more sexual partners over relationships. Add dating apps like Tinder and Bumble to facilitate these brief dalliances, and women are having a lot more casual sex. The question now is: how are men reacting to this new world of dating, where women are open, confident, and more direct about sex than ever? And specifically, how are they reacting to women who are comparatively more promiscuous than their peers?
A cursory glance on the internet doesn’t reveal many studies about modern-day men’s thoughts on their newly-open, promiscuous counterparts. This is perhaps because men’s reactions to women’s activities have been well-documented throughout human history, and new studies choose to focus more on what women want—a welcome change. It’s common knowledge that women have been vilified for generations for having and enjoying sex with men that aren’t their husbands. The fact that “female promiscuity” has its own page on Wikipedia (while “male promiscuity” is just an entry on the page under “promiscuity”) reflects how societies have historically considered female promiscuity much more than the reverse. After all, it’s this pondering that has inspired a good portion of classic literature from D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover to The Bible, complete with cautionary tales reciting the consequences of promiscuity. So men (and society) have agonized over women’s bedroom activities throughout history.
While not so recent, a 2007 study on sexual double standards confirmed some unsurprising societal attitudes towards the perceived promiscuity of men and women. While there wasn’t a perceptible difference between how promiscuous men and women were judged when an individual judged another individual, “when collaborative groups of participants evaluated the targets, a double standard emerged.” The abstract of the research, led by sociologist Michael Marks, goes on to state, “results highlight the value of studying interpersonal processes in a group context.”
Basically, men and women were both likely to judge women with many casual partners more harshly than men when in a group—or societal—context. While this is not new information, it is one of the first studies giving hard evidence of an already suspected social phenomenon. It still doesn’t answer the simple question of what men think about women who have a lot of casual sex.
I couldn’t find any specific studies or surveys to answer this particular question, so I created my own. Aside from being a highly unscientific, poorly conducted, and led by a woman who gives no thought to the less fair sex’s opinion, I think the results speak for themselves.
So ladies, don’t be afraid to jump off the unsatisfying relationship-sex wagon and into the casual-sex saddle, if that’s what you want. You’re definitely not alone.