Americans love to throw around the word “whore” -- and Millennials are no different. It’s rarely ever a compliment, frankly, but I will say its crassness varies among whom you say it to.
According to the book – and by “the book,” I mean the dictionary – a “whore” is a prostitute. A prostitute denotes someone who accepts retributions in exchange for some form of sexual favor.
With that said, women who have a lot of sex – generally without any retributions (past a sweatshirt, at the most, for their walk of shame) – get called “whores” just the same.
For dudes, it really isn’t any different. While, in our own circles, we may take pride in our respective “kill count” – like Dexter perusing through his wood box of glass slide “trophies” – it’s not long before men, too, will merit the label “man whore.”
And once earned, regardless of gender, the label is often hard to shake.
So, what’s the deal with whores (cue Jerry Seinfeld voice)?
As it appears, nothing. The word “whore” has simply become one used to describe sexual promiscuity in modern society, and – as science dictates – sexual promiscuity is nothing “modern” whatsoever.
In fact, according to Christopher Ryan, a PhD of psychology, a look at our most primitive ancestors will provide a look into our age-old history of sexual promiscuity.
At the TED2013 conference last year, Ryan told the audience that we’re not simply descended from apes – but, rather, we are apes due to our genetic similarities.
We aren’t like all apes though, as Ryan continues to explain. An average human will generally have sexual intercourse upwards of 1,000 times throughout his or her lifetime, which correlates with the number of times chimps and bonobos will have sex, per birth. Gorillas, on the other hand, enjoy far less sex – at about only 12 times per birth.
While 1,000 times might seem like a lot, especially on average – considering that many religions preach sex as solely a means of reproduction – Ryan argues that it’s human nature to regard sex first as a “bonding experience” and as a vehicle for reproduction, secondarily.
So, if this sexually promiscuous nature is seemingly embedded in our genetic code from birth, “man whores” are the norm – and those more sexually reserved are the exception, right?
Well, not so fast. As Stephen Diamond, PhD writes in Psychology Today, the roots of promiscuity do not lie within one’s aptitude for frequent sexual encounters, but rather one’s lack of sexual discrimination.
Diamond continues to say that repeated bouts of random sexual encounters – in women – can be “commonly seen in various mental disorders.” He then goes on to mention psychosis, manic episodes, substance abuse and a number of different identity disorders as examples, among others.
However, for men, there’s usually a bit of a double standard drawn with regard to indiscriminating sex.
When men act upon their natural instinct to seek out sexual encounters, they’re often applauded for it. In college, in movies, on the radio. The media glorify sexually capable and experienced men as the “alpha males” of their given social environments.
Diamond references Rollo May who, in his magnum opus titled "Love and Will," described sex as a “diamonic.” Diamonics, defined, are natural functions that have the potential to take over an entire person’s thought process.
The word diamonic is often used interchangeably with the word “drive.” As in sex drive, or one’s drive for success.
Part of the reason males in our society are apparently hailed for their promiscuity is that it could reveal something about their overall drive – whether it be for sex, money or power.
Ambition is a commendable trait in American society, almost regardless of the end game. If a man works his ass from 9-5, striving for a better tomorrow – it’s commendable whether it be in the financial district or the back of a kitchen flipping burger patties. Drive is drive.
And in order to contain one’s own drive, one must display restraint.
However, while societal norms might allow less freedom for women to act upon their sexuality, while remaining within the boundaries of “proper etiquette” – science explains that men have a far more potent, and frequent, sexual drive than women.
As Natalie Angier of the New York Times illustrates, it’s common that women will only experience male-type levels of sexual motivation during the few days of the month where they’re fertile.
This owes to the fact that women have a monthly system that regulates their hormones.
Ultimately, everyone has sex drives – regardless of their vigor. It’s a natural aspect of our being, and nothing to condemn, or even hold to some social standard.
Focus on what happens to be on your own respective plate – or bed, for the purpose of this discussion – and let Mother Nature run her course.