Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kathy Shaidle on the Whole Slut Thing

I'm a lot older than Kathy Shaidle, so I remember the Great Liberating Sixties, when everybody realized that all the rules of morality that had developed over thousands of years were silly. Clearly, a sixteen-year-old's libido was wiser than centuries of experience. And, as a result, we no longer have those suffocating families such as the Cleavers, with all their Neanderthal notions of "right" and "wrong" and "propriety."  Indeed, we have hardly any families at all, and the nanny state has taken over most of that responsibility. Male responsibility for children, an idea that took women just about forever to establish, was tossed out and replaced by the state again, with education and free lunches and breakfasts and day-care centers and birth control counseling and yadda yadda yadda.  Are we liberated yet? We're certainly liberated from boring old Ward and June, who have been replaced as role models by Bill Clinton and Miley Cyrus. And now that sex is just recreation and sluttery is an approved lifestyle choice, of course the rape rate is way down... No, wait.  Well, Kathy Shaidle writes:

BITCH, PLEASE!

Confessions of a Failed Slut


One afternoon very late in the 20th century, my then-best friend and I were walking back to the office with a coworker after lunch.

Our colleague was mocking a new trend she’d just read about: granting unwed teen moms special recognition in high-school yearbooks so they wouldn’t feel “left out.”

“But I don’t think the poor girls should be shamed,” my friend put in, a bit meekly.

“I do!” our coworker shouted gleefully—in unison with me.

My friend and I had been practically sisters since age sixteen. We’d reached our thirties having had a grand total of three disagreements in all that time. And this was one of them. The whole “casual sex” thing had always been a sticking point—or should that be “wet spot”?—between us.
“My attempts to ascend the heights of zeitgeisty sluttery were an abject failure.”

My friend had always been convinced that she could “screw like a man.” I can’t really blame her. As I’ve written here before, we’d been marinated in that message throughout our 1970s childhoods. At every cash register, Cosmo celebrated one-night stands, and the ubiquitous Fear of Flying touted the Holy Grail of “the zipless fuck.” My friend and I were hooked on after-school reruns of M*A*S*H, which depicted the Korean War as a khaki-clad orgy of no-regrets cot-hopping.

The embarrassing truth is, however, that my attempts to ascend the heights of zeitgeisty sluttery were an abject failure. Like a midget’s dream of signing with the Lakers, the project was doomed from the (very late) start. (I screwed up the courage to dispose of my virginity at the advanced age of nineteen.)

In the first place, I was never a head-turner and could never be bothered—as had my equally dorky pal—to cultivate a bubbly, “open for business” personality to compensate.

Even if I had been more attractive, “events, dear boy” conspired to thwart my halfhearted ambitions: a temporarily crippling chronic illness, AA’s “first year” rule, the AIDS scare.
(Keep reading HERE.)

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