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Author Topic:   "Girl, Interrupted": What is your definition of promiscuity?
lemming
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From: Clear Lake City area, Texas
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posted 06-18-2000 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the recently released movie "Girl, Interrupted," Winona Ryder's character Susanna questions a phrase in her diagnosis.

She wonders:

How many guys would a girl have to sleep with to be considered promiscuous? Three, four, ten?

How many girls would a guy have to sleep with? Fifteen? Forty? A hundred and nine?

Do you think there is a double standard for sexuality in today's society? What do you this makes a person be labeled as promiscuous?

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Beppie
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posted 06-18-2000 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beppie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, I hate the term. So long as people have safe consensual sex it's their own damn business. A term I hate even more than that is "slut". The term seems to suggest to me that women can't make their own sexual choices without being judged for them. I've heard some people say "but I call males sluts too", but in that case they're just extending it to everyone. It's still demeaning.

[This message has been edited by Beppie (edited June 18, 2000).]

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HotGrrl99
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posted 06-18-2000 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HotGrrl99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What pisses me off is that when people (guys and girls) find out that a girl sleeps around, she is immediately labeled a hoe or a slut! When boys sleep around with a lot of girls, they are called studs! And what really bothers me is that girls are even faster to judge other girls as sluts than boys are! Just having a big chest will cause other girls to call you a slut. It's totally unfair.

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Beppie
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posted 06-18-2000 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beppie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
>>what really bothers me is that girls are even faster to judge other girls as sluts than boys are! Just having a big chest will cause other girls to call you a slut

I've noticed that too. Often, when guys label a girl a slut, they are just following the lead of the girls they talk to.

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 06-19-2000 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The most basic translation of slut in common use is uaully simply this: jealousy.

It isn't about everyone necessarily wanting to have more lovers than they do, but about a jealousy people tend to feel for those who are okay with their own choices about sex.

For myself, I tend to hold both genders to the same standards for promiscuity, though I agree with Beppie, the term is a bit icky, since it implies not only having many lovers, but having them haphazardly or without really caring who is who. I know that in high school and college I had far more partners than most people I'd known, but I was also the most sexually responsible of my peers, and I very, very rarely chose a partner haphazardly.

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wear*a*smile!
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posted 06-20-2000 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wear*a*smile!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
not only is this sterotype wrong and mean, its dangerous. if a guy thinks that he has to sleep with numerous girls to be considered "the man" or something like that, he's risking himself and/or his partners from getting diseases and pregnancy. i think that a lot of people call others slut's because that is a common put-down. some girls can call someone stupid and the person will reply "hoar" or "slut". whenver someone does that to me, i ask them " oh yea, just what is it that makes me a slut?" and they can't answer, they just say, cuz u are. so the bottom line is to just ignore sterotypes that girls and boys have to deal w/ everyday.

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 06-20-2000 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wear*a*smile!:
not only is this sterotype wrong and mean, its dangerous. if a guy thinks that he has to sleep with numerous girls to be considered "the man" or something like that, he's risking himself and/or his partners from getting diseases and pregnancy. .

Excellent, excellent insight.

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* LAUREN
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posted 06-21-2000 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for * LAUREN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was watching that movie a few days ago, and I was thinking the exact same thing...

It's true.

At my school, a girl who's slept with maybe 3 or 4 guys, is considered a slut, ho, or whore. Notice how none of these terms really include guys? If a guy sleeps with 3 or 4 girls, he's basically considered prude. Now, if a guy sleeps with uh, 15 girls, he's the man. If a girl sleeps with 15 guys, she's constantly egged at and her life is made a living hell.

It's wrong. it really is.

------------------
* LAUREN!
I like bright colors.

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nyam
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posted 06-22-2000 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nyam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have friends who I know have slept with people on the first date or even casually and I have friends who are virgins and plan to stay that way until marrage.

The thing is though that the ones who are having sex are actually more often the females and the virgins are the males. I don't think I'm from the twilight zone knowing 5, 19 year old male virgins. It doesn't feel like the twilight zone. Is this really that odd?

The way one of my guy friends put it was that he'd like to be his wifes first time and If he hopes that, he's not going to be hypocritical and not expect that of himself (and it's not religious motivation). It's not that he wouldn't marry an non virgin if that should be who he falls in love with, but he'd rather share the experience with just one person.

I guess the short version is that neither guys nor girls seem to be more promiscuous, but girls seem more likely to be labeled as such.

~nyam~

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HotGrrl99
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posted 06-22-2000 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HotGrrl99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yup.. We girls get put down for doing the exact same things that the guys are praised for! It's totally screwey!

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 06-22-2000 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, you guys can smack me for asking this (See? I have questions that seem stupid to me, too), but....

...when I was growing up (I'm 30 right now) neither I nor most of my freinds ever got any kind of seriously negative reactions overall for being sexually active (if it was within a modicum of control). I've been hearing from all of you over the years that you're getting those messages everywhere. So, out of curiousity, where are they coming from? Parents? Teachers? Friends?

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wuwuwuwu1
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posted 06-23-2000 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wuwuwuwu1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My parents never told me anything about sex, so I don't get any vibes from them. With some friends, they look down upon sexually active people. Others just don't care. I don't really know anyone that looks positively at it.

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nyam
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From: ,Manitoba,Canada
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posted 06-24-2000 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nyam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ms. Scarlet,

The problem with the lable of promiscuous in high school actually has very little to do with fact. If people think you 'sleep around' you can get labeled a slut even if you're a virgin. If nobody or only a select few know you're having sex and you present yourself as the clean cut sort normally that label is avoided.

In my experience it all comes down to petty High School and Junior High politics really.

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 06-24-2000 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see that, nyam. As someone who squeaked through a hellish year in a public high school (before I switched to a performing arts school that was heavenly) at a time when I was the ONLY one with a mohawk, big boots, girlfriends and boyfriends alike, labeling can be really silly, annoying, and is more often based on fear, misconception and jealousy than anything else.

At the same time, if it comes from people you know just don't know what they're talking about, you have to justt let it go. That happens all your life. Heck, myself and Hanne get it incessantly because we work in sex ed.

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HotGrrl99
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posted 06-24-2000 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HotGrrl99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Miz S... You are like older, so you probably were in the hippy movement or free love generation or something. Nowadays, girls who sleep around are called sluts by just about everyone! Our parents think it's totally wrong, disgusting and dangerous, guys think that we are sluts and hoes for doing it, and other girls are totally the worst about it! Sometimes I kinda wish I was born like back in the '60s or '70s, when girls could screw as many boys as we wanted, and everyone thought it was totally cool!

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Beppie
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posted 06-24-2000 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beppie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Miz Scarlet was in high school in the 80s actually.

My mother, however, was a teenager in the 60s, and trust me, there was still a lot of "nice girls don't" mentality. The hippy movement took place largely in universities, but there were a lot of people still stuck with their parents in high schools, or who didn't go off to uni. Plus, the idea that every single hippy was into free love and unprotected sex is just something the media tells us. It did exist, don't get me wrong, but to say something like "all hippies were into free love" is like saying "all feminists hate men" or "all lesbians are butch", just because that's what we get on TV. It's simply not the case.

People back then clashed with the attitudes of their parents and peers as well. It wouldn't have been a time of utter peace, harmony and sex without anyone being upset about it.

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HotGrrl99
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posted 06-25-2000 12:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HotGrrl99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're right. My aunt said that even in the '60s and '70s, some girls who fooled around with a lot of boys were called sluts too. It's really amazing how some guys are. They try their best to have sex with girls, then they insult us and put us down when we go along with them and do it!!

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 06-25-2000 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HotGrrl99:
Miz S... You are like older, so you probably were in the hippy movement or free love generation or something. Nowadays, girls who sleep around are called sluts by just about everyone! Our parents think it's totally wrong, disgusting and dangerous, guys think that we are sluts and hoes for doing it, and other girls are totally the worst about it! Sometimes I kinda wish I was born like back in the '60s or '70s, when girls could screw as many boys as we wanted, and everyone thought it was totally cool!

Actually, Beppie is right, I went to high school in the eighties. Honestly, at the time, I don't know that I'd say everyone thought having sex partners was "totally cool." More than not, I think my friends and the people around me were a little ambivalent. I went to an arts school in downtown Chicago, and most of us there had to travel really far every day to get to school, spend 8 hour days at school that was very challenging, then another 2 - 6 in evening rehersals, then back again. There were simply other things that were much more impressive and intersting to everyone. A lot of us lived inner city, too, so honestly, there were bigger things to worry about. Taking the subway at 12 at night to come home was dangerous. You know what I mean?

And I'd chime in with Beppie again, here: as the child of "hippies" it certainly was about a lot of things to a lot of different people. For my parents, it was about political action. For others, about sex or drugs, and for the majority of people alive at that time, if they were outside San Francisco or another major city, it was about being very confused and afraid while the whole world seemed to be in total chaos. Very, very few people could "screw as many boys as they wanted," and those who did were judged far more harshly than most people are today, because of the strict mores of the fifties and mid-sixties still firmly in place with most.

I'd also have to say that right now having multiple partners IS dangerous. Even with condoms, that only reduces the risk, it doesn't eradicate it, and I know for myself, it's a little easier to see that because I've known quite a few people in my life who have died from HIV, gotten cervical cancer from HPV, and so forth.

I think though, what you see more than anything is a lot of name-calling because it's easier to name-call than to honestly and sincerely address something.

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DubSummer
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posted 06-27-2000 11:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DubSummer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well so far we talked about alot of people being called sluts and there virgins or its not true. But what about the women and men that really are. For example I knew a girl who slept around even when she was going out with someone. She would even tell people about it. Everyone would know except her boyfriend at the time. She tried to be my friend but I couldn't because not because she slept around but she didn't seem to have any morals. I don't go around and say hey look at that girl over there she is a slut. But if one of my guy friends asked about someone that I knew for a fact slept around. I would tell them to be careful and tell them that she might be unsafe because she sleeps around. And anyway I don't care if a guy says he is a virgin (cause hey anyone can lie) before I have sex with him he better show me his test results that are negative for STDs or he isn't gonna get anything from me.

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Equinox
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posted 07-06-2000 01:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Equinox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I define someone as sexually promiscuous if they frequently engage in sex without relationships. I don't see what numbers have to do with it. Why should someone who has been in 10 relationships and sex with all 10 partners be considered more promiscuous than someone who had 5 one night stands?

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Equinox
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posted 07-06-2000 01:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Equinox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
neither I nor most of my freinds ever got any kind of seriously negative reactions overall for being sexually active (if it was within a modicum of control). I've been hearing from all of you over the years that you're getting those messages everywhere. So, out of curiousity, where are they coming from? Parents? Teachers? Friends?

I think it comes from none of the above. Those messages usually come from those who do not know you very well, or do not like you very much. Or those who kinda envy you because they hear that you're getting some and they aren't.

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Etch
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posted 07-10-2000 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Etch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know i was thinking about all this and i think i might know some reasons why people have these double standards. I also want to adress why some people believe that gays and bis will have sex with just anyone.

Now i also want to point out that i dont agree with these points of veiw because they are very close minded, but they may just be a subconscious thing.

Perhaps girls are considered sluts or promiscuous quicker and more easily then men and boys because women are the ones who have the babies, and men (steriotypically) want sex just to get off. They say women think of sex as more of an emitional thing so if a girl sleeps with a lot of boys then she must be less emotional towards them. and therefore a slut or promiscuous.

Now the gay and bi issue. When some of my friends find out a girl is lesbian or bi they try to aviod her because they think that just because she likes other girls she will like them. I see this even more with my guy friends when they learn another guy is gay.

My guess is that these steriotypes came from the 80s. This was when the gay movement was very big and a lot of gays were "comming out." The problem is a lot of them who came out in the beggining might have had many partners and were very open about it. This might have given them the reputation of being promiscuous and just go for anything they can get.

And also AIDS may have something to do with it. Since the intial outbreak was among the gay communtiy, and spread by a man who have over a hundred partners the media showed this and the public just assumed.

Does all that make sense? And once again i would like to say that i dant agree with those points of veiw. i was just trying to explain what some others might think.

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WildChica
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posted 07-25-2000 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WildChica     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the guys didn't have us girls to have sex with...They couldn't be cool anymore, now could they? They should just be thankful we ARE putting out and shut their mouths.

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lemming
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posted 07-25-2000 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lemming     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I gotta say you have a point there, Wild...

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"Two little girls, growing out of their training bras/This little girl breaks furniture, this little girl breaks laws/Two girls together, each a little less alone..." ~Ani DiFranco, "Two Little Girls"

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Daisyluv
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posted 07-26-2000 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daisyluv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see it as coming from school and friends. I'm not seen just as a slut but as a tease. Sure I flirt with guys but their all usually friends and they know nothing is coming out of it. The fact that people see two people together flirting and just hanging out, well those two give each other a hug and next thing you know theres a rumour going around that your sleeping together. Most of time its people that don't have the confidence to flirt with others or try anything call people sluts. Its not the person's fault for knowing what they want and going out to get it as long as their responbile. And about my parents I have a boyfriend who I am completely faithful to and my dad has told me that he would be happier if I went out with a ton of guys cause he doesn't think that teens should have serious relationships. So my parents would never call me a slut because of how many ppl i date or do whatever with.
thats what I think anyways

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*~ Daisy ~*

Love ya wheelbarrow & wheelbarrows full

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bettie
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posted 07-26-2000 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bettie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think a promiscuous person is someone who has many sexual partners. I don't have a number, but I think it might depend on how old they were and the period of time they had these partners. 10 partners at age 15 over a period of 3 months to me is different than 10 at age 25 over a period of ten years. In any case, I don't put a value judgement on promiscuity, just like I don't judge someone by their height or level of education.

I do put a value judgment on dishonest people who cheat or lie about their relationships, but that is a completely different thing. I think sometimes people mistake these things.

I don't think I have always been this way. I believe that when I was younger I was intimidated by people who had an unusually high number of partners and judged them harshly for this. I also felt this way about any sexually and socially confident girl that I knew. I don't think I called anyone a slut, but I am sure I thought it. Like I said, I thought this way because of my own insecurities.

[This message has been edited by bettie (edited July 26, 2000).]

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fuzzhead29
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posted 07-31-2000 01:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fuzzhead29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the beginning of the summer, an ex-friend of mine (she offered herself to another friend's boyfriend; the rest of the group didn't approve- the short version) gave head to a guy at a party. Now my circle of friends is referring to her as dirty and other things. (One memorable conversation- "She's dirtier than a mud puddle! what's dirtier than a mud puddle? Blake!") Anyway, while I don't approve of her actions, I can't help but wonder why exactly this is so dirty. True, some other actions of hers are pretty dirty, but the boy she gave it to is probably a stud. He occasionally hangs out with my group of guy friends, and I'll bet when they all compare what they did this summer, he'll be a hero. When They were comparing what happened this school year (for which I was present) I felt a little embarrassed at my lack of experience. I know I shouldn't, but wasn't Blake really just going on her gut feelings? Everyone wasnt girls to go with their gut, and girl power! and all, but why does the line get drawn at this for people with an xx chromosome? Why, if women's rights have come so far, are we still supposed to be the prim virginal little schoolgirls??

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