Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Theory & Essay

A Conversation About Double Standards And How “Reformed Homosexual Man” = “Promiscuous Woman”

***A (somewhat) paraphrased summary of a conversation I had with a female friend last week***

“I read your “Slut” post”


“Shut up.”

“What did you think?”

“You’re a semantics ho.”

“You always give me the best compliments.”

“That wasn’t a compliment. More like an assessment of how annoying your awkward principles are”


“Anyway, I see the point you made, and I agree…kind of, sort of. But, there are certain words that’ll never be cool. Bitch. C*nt. Kappa, etc. Slut is one of them. There’s just too negative history behind it.”

“Why are you bringing this up now?”

“Something about that discussion just rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn’t really the discussion itself, either. It’s just…I don’t know. I know that promiscuous women are  frowned upon by men, but I have trouble understanding why y’all n*ggas even care. I get the whole male ego thing, but if a woman is sleeping with you, devoted to you, and monogamous, why should it even matter how many men she’s slept with before she met you?”

“You kind of answered your question right there. I doubt that most adult men would dead a relationship with a woman who’s sleeping with, devoted to, and in love with him just because he found out that she’s been around the block more times than a mailman with dementia. Thing is, if he found out that information beforehand, he’d probably be less likely to want to get into a relationship with her”


“Because, many men feel that a woman who has been promiscuous is less likely to be devoted to him, monogamous, and capable of staying in love with him. Basically, it’s not as much about “being with someone everyone else has been with” as much as it’s about “The more men she’s been with, the less likely she is to be completely fulfilled by what I’m bringing to the table.” You really don’t “get the male ego thing” because this is all about ego.”

“Yea, I’ve heard that before, and I still don’t get it.”

“Get what?”

“The visceral dislike many men have of promiscuous women. I guess I understand why it matters. What I don’t get is why it seems to matter to y’all so damn much. Are all of you really that damn insecure?”


“Why are you making that face?”

“I know you hate my analogies, but I have no choice but to make another one now.”

“Give it to me.”

“That’s what she said.”


“Nevermind. Anyway, remember the conversation we had about homosexual men, and how you wouldn’t be able to be with a dude who’d done even one non-straight thing in the past — even if you knew the guy was devoted to you and monogamous?”

“Of course. I’m not special, though. Most women feel that way.”


“Exactly what? Will you stop speaking in f*cking code for once?”

“How you (most women) feel about “hetero” men who might have done something gay before is exactly how many (if not most) men feel about promiscuous women.”

“Apples and oranges. How do those things even compare? It’s nowhere near the same thing.”

“Maybe not, but how that knowledge makes the opposite gender feel and react is the same. The same reasons why many woman wouldn’t want to be with a guy with a homosexual past — the doubts she’ll have if she’ll ever be enough for him, the fact that she might not be able to help picturing him f*cking or getting f*cked by another man, etc — are the same things going through many men’s heads when thinking of promiscuous women.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“That’s ok. You don’t have to.”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • VeeWoo

    *Nailed it.

  • It’s ok Champ. I believe you.

  • The King of Hearts

    Your stance on this issue will be referenced, quoted, and cited by black people (of all races) for years to come. Very, VERY profound my brother. In one analogy, you have captured the wisdom of an issue so simplistic, and yet so misunderstood.

  • pretty much.

  • If that equal sign was one of the squiggly equal signs, I’d be all in. I think there’s a little bit of a difference, though. The increased risk of STD/STI transmission among gay men makes it dangerous as well as “promiscually risky”.

    Well, looking at the quote again it says most men. Doesn’t say me. On that account, I have to agree.

  • SororSalsa

    I can definitely relate. This year, I had a guy I had casually dated reveal to me that he was bisexual. After which, he expressed how much he wanted to continue dating me. I had already stated that we should stop seeing each other (for other reasons), but this definitely gave me pause (not that kind of “Pause”).

    Even though I had already made the decision to stop dating him before his revelation, I had to give this some thought. If I’d still been interested and he revealed this to me, would I stop dating him because he was bisexual, or because he wasn’t honest about it from the get go? Definitely, something to make you say “Hmmmm”.

  • KT


  • SpirytSista

    That makes a lot of sense.
    Side note tho,
    Its funny how you can be a “former lesbian”, and ppl will accept that. But once a man has been gay, ppl will always look at him like that.

  • Iamnotakata

    I don’t have a problem with the word s!ut b/c there are a lot of s!uts in the world. But I don’t think the whole previously a gay male thing compares to a women wh0re.

  • Biker Chick

    I think you presuppose that being gay is a choice, I don’t believe it is. So it is hard for me to say that your analogy makes senses. Being promiscuous is a choice. Being gay is not. And why still, the double standard? Most men have “been around the block” but can settle down and not get the side eye, but women will.

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