Manwhores: For Casual Sex Only
by Avery Chokl
In my recent post What a Slut Is, there were several commenters who stated that there is no such thing as a male slut. I offer the popular terms manwhore and manslut as evidence to the contrary. Unquestionably, some women are rejecting previously highly promiscuous men for relationships. I’ve called this the Boomerang Effect of Social Proof. According to one study, 70% of women lose respect for men who hook up frequently. This may have little effect on short-term mating strategies, but is likely to have a profound effect on long-term mating strategies.
A man’s success in obtaining sexual partners increases his value in the eyes of women. However, there is some point at which he is viewed negatively for having excessive sexual experience. This has become evident only recently as increased female promiscuity has enabled a minority of men to have 100, even 200+, sexual partners while still under 30. Commenters have floated the following theories about mansluts:
- He can avoid this judgment if all of his sexual conquests are attractive.
- Women seek men with compatible views of sex. A woman who believes sex should be meaningful, for example, may reject a man with a history of casual hookups as incompatible.
- A high number of sexual partners signals more than the attractiveness of the male – it signifies impulsivity, and a high priority on sexual conquest.
- Less experienced women are nervous about “measuring up” in the bedroom when the guy has had a great deal of experience with many women.
- Women seeking “true love” question the likelihood of ever being truly special to a man with a very high number.
- Women reason that men who have had mostly casual sex have been primarily with sluts, and will have a tainted, cynical view of female nature.
A 2004 study on premarital sexual promiscuity looked at the effect of promiscuity on later degrees of marital sexual satisfaction. The sample was national and random, from the National Health and Social Life Survey. It included 313 married men and women, aged 18-40, all with their first spouse.
|Extremely satisfied with sex life||88%||85%|
|Moderately satisfied with sex life||12%||15%|
|Range # of partners||1-191||1-66|
|Mean # of partners||11.35||4.25|
Interestingly, respondents were allowed five choices to describe their level of sexual satisfaction, and the researchers were surprised that nearly everyone indicated that they were extremely or moderately satisfied.
The most significant finding of the study, in my view, is that for every premarital sexual partner, a man’s likelihood of being extremely sexually satisfied in marriage falls 5.3%. This means that a man with a number of 10 before marriage is 53% less likely to be describe himself as extremely satisfied in marriage. By implication, all men with 20 previous partners will feel moderately sexually satisfied in marriage at best.
Women’s partner count had a lesser effect, with the likelihood of being extremely satisfied decreasing 4.6% for each partner. The females’ result did not meet the criteria for statistical significance, while the males’ did. From the study:
There were significant gender differences between men and women but the significant effects were much stronger for males, not females. The gender variable in the full model was not significant but in running different models for males and females, the male model was significant while female model only approached significance. Therefore, while males’ marital sexual satisfaction is affected by premarital sexual promiscuity, these results indicate that the relationship is not significant among females.
While men report a lower age at first intercourse, higher number of sexual partners, a higher frequency of intercourse, and tend to report more permissive sexual attitudes (Oliver & Hyde, 1993), it appears that their marital sexual satisfaction is still affected more by premarital sexual partners than females’ marital sexual satisfaction.
This may be due to the evolutionary biological theory that males tend to be more invested in or notice more the physical aspects of the sexual relationship, while women tend to be more invested in or notice more the emotional aspects of the sexual relationship (Buunk, Angleitner, & Buss, 1996). Due to this difference, premarital sexual promiscuity may not influence females as much because the past emotional connections are no longer salient and the focus is on meeting the needs of the current relationship.
Further, women tend to be aroused more and are more likely than men to report attraction increasing in long-term relationships, indicating that having previous sexual experiences may in fact lower the overall comparison levels and comparison level for alternatives for women in a marital sexual relationship (Knoth, Boyd, & Singer, 1988).
This finding that past emotional connections are no longer salient for females flies in the face of the whole pair-bonding theory. It may be that females with a high number of sexual partners are more risk- and novelty-seeking, making them more likely to cheat. They may be a poor marriage risk for that reason. But the number of previous sexual partners in and of itself does not have as large a negative effect on sexual satisfaction as for men.
The study provided an illustration of how this works:
If Tom and Mary were sleeping around a lot before they got married, once they are married they will not be as happy with each other sexually. There are several reasons why, which may vary between people. One reason is because they may think they are a know-it-all when it comes to sex and will not be as likely to listen to what their partner wants.
Another reason is because they can become more selfish, wanting to be satisfied themselves more than wanting to satisfy their partner even to the point where they may view their partner as a sex object.
A third reason is that they will not be as committed to each other because they have more experience to be able to think about how past relationships, or future relationships, could fulfill them better sexually than the one they are in.
Finally, if they are not as committed to each other they will not want to invest as much time and energy into the relationship.