I wrote an article for True Love magazine, titled “Sleeping your way to the top”, in which I expressed why I thought this was a perfectly legitimate career advancement strategy.
Predictably, it elicited a strong reaction. It spilled over to Twitter, Facebook and two radio stations, resulting in a far wider audience than True Love readers. So for about 3 weeks, almost everywhere I went, people who knew I was the author brought it up. Some agreed with me, others disagreed. The most prevalent objection was that I am promoting something that is wrong, which, in fact, was the point of the article; to question who gets to decide wrong and right for us.
I had gone to the trouble of detailing the reasons why I was not opposed to people sleeping their way to the top and even pre-empted the more predictable objections. The same objections resurfaced in my debates, that it is wrong on religious and moral grounds, and some ludicrous ones, like I was fueling the AIDS epidemic. I dealt with all of them. Finally the rebuttals just boiled down to “it’s wrong because it is wrong, dammit!”
The interesting thing was how women approached the debate. The article was an opinion piece, not a recruitment drive yet the objectors seemed highly invested in winning me over to their side. They weren’t satisfied with agreeing to disagree, they needed me to recant my stance, despite not having rational reasons for theirs. It boiled down to; “It’s wrong because it is wrong, dammit!”
I concluded, during these debates, that when it comes to sex women are not on women’s side. For instance, men were comfortable with women choosing prostitution as a profession, but women were not. Women are not okay with another woman exercising her freewill to choose sex as an occupation.
“Because it is wrong!”
Incredulously, the vehement disapproval is not equally distributed; little is directed at the pimps and clients, males integral in the prostitution equation. The harsh judgment is reserved for the women, even though it takes two, or three or a whole gang, to tango depending on your inclinations. The same applies to mistresses and their married lovers; women’s wrath is reserved for the other woman. Cheating spouses? Same thing. It is unfortunate when a woman is cheated on, but unforgivable when she does the cheating. Then there are the sluts and the studs. According to women a slut is bad, a stud is lucky.
Women want liberation, autonomy and equality in most areas, like work, remuneration, politics and sport, but seemingly not sex! Here we are all for a double standard, and not in our favour.
Taking men out of the equation, literally, through masturbation doesn’t seem to help.
Say to your women friends; “I am looking forward to a nice, long bubble bath with a glass of wine and my vibrator” and see the colour drain from their faces. Many will forgive you if you are single, sexually frustrated or both but if you are happily coupled and sexed-up; admitting to self-pleasuring in many female circles elicits the same reaction as drowning kittens.
Why do we have this sexual repression double standard?
In the book The Lost World, a scientist called Ian Malcom, challenges the belief that humans are sentient beings; “Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told – and become upset if they are exposed to any different view…other animals fight for territory or food, but uniquely, in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their ‘beliefs’…we are stubborn, self-destructive, conformists”.
It matters not to me what you think is right or wrong, what does matter is why you consider it so.
In Redemption Song, Bob Marley pleads with black people to “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”, as he sees them continue to oppress themselves and each other long after slavery ended. Similarly, in the sexual arena, me thinks women suffer from internalized sexism.
 After writing most women, many women, the majority of the women, and so on, a lot, it became ungainly so I removed the disclaimers. I acknowledge that these sweeping statements do not apply to all women or men.