I went to a wedding in Montecito this weekend, and despite my skepticism about happily ever after in your early 20s, I was touched by the couple’s devotion. Imagine promising for better or for worse — from singing your heart out to puking your guts out, from buns of steel to haggish wrinkles, from a black American Express card to chronic diarrhea. It’ll probably be fun. I mean, built-in best friend for life? Bitchin’. A mate you can always talk to, travel with, depend on, sleep with. Just the one, huh? Yea, I guess that comes with the territory. Of course, if it is a problem, if a lacking sex life causes problems within a marriage, then our “party rage” reputation isn’t only reckless fun, it’s also a way to exhaust our sexual urges before we tie that knot tightly around our necks. In a beautifully crafted tulle bow, of course!
[media-credit name=”undefined | Daily Nexus” align=”alignleft” width=”113″][/media-credit]I think I know why people get married (aside from the constant companionship and a date on all major holidays). It’s because of the stigma attached to singles. Mates are a great way to avoid the lecherous or impotent rep attached to bachelors, and the slutty cat lady label stuck to single women. But these labels, especially the one showcasing female sexuality as an unsightly blemish on an otherwise fascinating species, are interpreted as such solely by old-fashioned, unattractive social paradoxes. The double standard stigmatizing the expectations for men and women has encouraged the repression of female sexuality. That stops here. Being physically expressive in college can be a great outlet for the sexual creativity that will help sustain future relationships, but it should not merit the dubious label of promiscuity.
The annoying part is that before we “find our lobster,” our sexual behavior is paraded around the streets of Isla Vista — in public image, if not in individual practice. Discussions prompted by performances on campus, blunt sex columns, spin the bottle games, whatever — always lead back to personal experience. I’ve played 10 Fingers in five countries and three continents. Oral tradition doesn’t just refer to below-the-belt action, but to the practice of sharing our stories with anyone who will listen, which thankfully allows secrets to crash in waves over the streets of Isla Vista.
Men and women may be part of the same Homo sapiens population, but as far as social perceptions go, they’re as alike as the Keystone can under my couch and the glistening Corona in the fridge (as my feminist voice has left the studio, we won’t discuss which gender corresponds to which beer). As my roommate so aptly put it, “Boys’ definition of a slut generally refers to a skankily dressed girl who shoves her boob in his face, then moves on to his respective housemate, then his respective bunkmate, all in the same night.” A girl’s definition is more likely to designate the term to a manipulative, scheming, swooping contender who uses her padded bra and chicken legs to mask her deplorable Heidi Montag-esque tactics. Regardless of the type of so-called-slut, the beholder of said promiscuity can’t possibly see the whole picture. Secrets don’t exist in Isla Vista, but then again, neither do truths. Between our alcohol intake, interchangeability and misinterpreted texts, encounters in our little town are kaleidoscopically skewed. Who’s to say what constitutes a slut when the truth about our stories overlaps with our secrets?
Recently the topic of one night stands came up between some friends of mine. One friend hailed the benefits of holding out. Another preferred casual intercourse. I’m a fan of the adventurous flings that start off with an embarrassingly raunchy one night stand. Does that make us all sluts? If a six-month dry spell gives way to a double stacked Cinco de Mayo feast, is it the multiple sex partners that define us, or the celibacy beforehand? It seems to me that one can’t judge another’s slutty level without knowing the extenuating circumstances leading up to the skank-nasty.
Let’s face it: We live in a place where shorter, thicker and smoother is best for dresses, dicks and legs, respectively. Compared to Pepperdine and the University of Repression and Celibacy, we must look like a bunch of sluts. To those who dare to judge us, I have only four words: my life, your dream.