I don’t know why, but a few months ago, the urge struck me to write down my lays over the years. I used to keep very good track of them on the back cover of a journal, but then they started getting jotted down here and there, and then when I went electronic and started blogging, the list moved over to a Word doc on my computer. By then, I had definitely missed some and the farther away they got from recent memory, the less easily I was able to remember. So there are a few gaps, but I’ll be damned if I can remember the names of who fills them.
It’s a significant number. It’s a respectable number. Well, let me rephrase that; if I were a man it would be considered ‘respectable’. But because I’m a woman, I’m quite sure if I were to reveal it, well…not so much.
Why? Because we, as women, are constantly judged, and judged unfairly, and not just by men, but often also by our fellow lady folk. We are held up against different standards than men and it’s expected that we live our lives by a completely different moral compass. So, as I racked my brain, to rack up my ‘number’, I couldn’t help but think of that article “Why Good Girls Have Become Unicorns” which went viral last spring and caused quite a furor (and for good reason); because, if what the writer says is correct (which it isn’t, because he’s a sexist douche) I’m no good girl. In fact, I’d say I’m many times removed from ‘good girl’.
Ha! But we already all knew that, didn’t we?
So, in not being a ‘good girl’ (or what society and mainstream traditionalist/vanilla culture deems as ‘good’) I must therefore be, by default, a ‘bad girl’; a designation which has actually followed me much of my adult life, simply based upon the fact that I’m a confident, sexually forward and liberal female, who’s comfortable in her own skin, solid in her sexuality and isn’t afraid to be open about it. Oh, and I suppose I have a certain ‘look’, if we’re going to go there. I don’t exactly fit the French-mani, sweater-set, pearls and pumps archetype. I’m about as far from conservative and conventional as you can get, but does that fact in and of itself, make me ‘bad’ as opposed to ‘good’? What makes a girl ‘bad’, anyway? Being a feminist who likes sex and isn’t shy about it? Being a take-charge kinda gal who goes after what she wants and doesn’t apologize for it? Why does one kind of woman denote loose morals and only being ‘good for one thing’, while the other equates to being respectable enough to bring home to meet the parents, pick out china patterns, and have the 2.5 kids and the Golden Lab? Seriously?? Are we still doing this Madonna-Whore Complex bullshit?
It would appear we are. And by ‘we’, I mean society: our repressed and judgmental society that’s sex-obsessed but still reluctant to embrace sex and sexuality as not dirty and shameful, but beautiful and natural. And so the separation of bad and good continues. ‘Bad girls’ are desired and lusted after, but it’s the ‘good girls’ that get the respect and engagement rings. Ironically though, they’re also often the victims of betrayal, as their Unicorn-obsessed men seek out a ‘bad girl’ with whom to get freaky, once the beige-ness of lights-out missionary starts to pervade their lives. As the writer of the Unicorn piece writes
“when we do actually find a unicorn and settle down…we find them a bit too boring for our liking, so we decide to cheat. It’s like a double-edged sword… What we look for is a lady on the street and a freak in the bed, as Ludacris once explained”
(ok – he actually just quoted Ludacris).
The double standard is doubly frustrating because it’s not like it’s veiled or subtle. ‘Unicorn’ author (along with other quasi-writers of misogynist ‘bro club’ websites) openly acknowledges not just its existence, but that it’s alive and well.
“For men, it’s great that these women have decided to become just like us…[but] the truth of the matter is that you can’t change women that are already broken, so those are the ones that men use for exactly what we want: sex with no strings attached…But at some point in time, we are going to grow out of chasing someone that has been with everyone. Sure being a bachelor is fun and all, bragging to our friends is epic, but we are eventually going to want more out of a female than just sex.”
I’ve never liked designations, least of which ones that are so laced with misogyny. I’ll put it to you this way – I’m a highly educated girl, with morals and a code by which I live my life. I’m not saying I don’t believe sex and committed partnerships to be sacred, because I do. I just don’t feel like ‘other types of sex’ and with who and how many, is something to be shameful of (nor is it anyone’s business, really). I’m neither reckless nor haphazard and it’s not like I’ve been backing my ass up onto willing erect penises any chance I could get; I’ve had many long fallow periods in my life – some of them lasting months at a time. That said, I have also enjoyed much sex in my life thus far (both within committed monogamous relationships and in NSA situations), but it’s been my choice and has come from a place of confidence, strength and power, and that most certainly does not make me a slut, nor a ‘broken woman’.
These labels are around to keep women in their place and to keep them in check. And as I sit here, 4 days out from a milestone birthday, with a whole lot of life, love and sexual experience under my belt, this girl is flipping two birds at anyone who feels compelled to judge the way I (or anyone else) choose to live life. Do what you do, cause no hurt or harm, and mind your own. Straight up – if being a strong, independent and sexually liberal woman makes me a ‘bad girl’, then baby, I don’t wanna be good.