Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Term Time

How come you never hear of promiscuous men? It's applied to girls quite a lot - a phrase that springs to mind is from David Lodge's sublime Nice Work - "in the second year she was recklessly promiscuous"; similarly, the official subtitle to Kerry Cohen's Loose Girl is "a memoir of promiscuity" - but it never really seems to apply to the less fair sex. Now I think about it, I don't think I've ever heard the term "promiscuous man".

There's no reason why the word shouldn't be used. Dictionary.com's definition of the word reads:


1. characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, esp. having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis.

Surely, then, a boy who sleeps around is also promiscuous?

The term I sometimes hear applied, however, is "stud". This is the male equivalent of "slut", because apparently if you have a penis and you sleep around, that's fantastic and there's nothing at all wrong with what you are doing. It's supposed to make you feel good about yourself, too. I don't know what I'd do if somebody called me "stud"; it's like being told you're the bump on the bottom of a football boot, and I don't like football.

If you're a girl, however, and you've held hands with more than one person, you're the root of all evil and that's why burning at the stake was invented
(the wizard stuff was just hocum, propaganda spread by the government spreads easily...). Another old friend I probably haven't mentioned was labelled a "slag" (I've eliminated the 73 million extra "A"s the LiveJournal commenter felt he needed to add until everyone found out that she'd slept with seven people. It's more than one, but it's hardly a shedload. Unless it's a very small shed.

So, what do I call someone who's slept around relentlessly and is a boy? What do I call the guy who had half of the first year at university? ("Cunt" was the word I decided upon; it's actually not a bad description, either.) I can hardly just go up to a boy and say, "you are promiscuous." It conjures up an image of a girl in a short skirt with very low morals. That's just somewhat unfair.

I think it should be used more often. Boys, admit your promiscuity. It's only a polysyllabic word, after all. It's not going to hurt anyone.

I think.


Anonymous said...

You could go with manslut or manwhore. But I'd say why not just go for plain slut? I use it just as happily for men as women. But then again to me the word has very pleasant connotations ;)

Stud is a horribly cheesy word, I couldn't take anyone seriously who used it seriously.

ladypandorah said...

But, BS, there is no male equivalent of 'promiscuous' which is a more formal description of a slutty boy-thing. There's stud and maybe to an extent, 'player'.

*shudder* - hate that term.

Yet there exists no posh word that has connotations of male promiscuity. Or is there?

Prove me wrong. I beg to find one!

Innocent Loverboy said...

I've heard "pimp" used as an alternative to "player", in that it's a brash word in a similar sense. Odd, because I can't think of a job I'd hate more than being a pimp.

Anonymous said...

Philandering? That one's quite good. Libertine is too cool a word for negative connotations. Um, that's all can think of...

Innocent Loverboy said...

Come to think of it, Dante's Inferno is full of them...

Anonymous said...

Philanderer...yes. That's a gudd'un. I did ponder Libertine, but didn't think it was suitable either.

ILB - Ooh! An another excuse to fly to my pretty pretty copy of the Divine Comedy with illustrations by Doré