For the past few years I have been asking just about any woman who I thought was smart and insightful the same question about college life – I wanted to know whether there are any long-term or permanent consequences that women suffer from, if they have a lot of casual sex during college, but then, as soon as they graduate, they start a new life, taking things slowly with guys, and looking for some kind of commitment before having sex. Most of the girls told me that there is no price to be paid whatsoever, assuming a girl doesn’t catch any venereal disease. According to them, a woman can really get away with the most promiscuous “girls gone wild” kind of lifestyle and casual sex and easily get pass that stage of sexual debauchery as soon as her college life is over.
I was reluctant to believe in this kind of sexual and emotional impunity. I thought – if going on tons of dates with random guys causes dating fatigue and kills excitement about meeting new people, how can having sex with many random guys not trivialize the whole experience and make a woman lose or at least seriously impair her ability to develop a strong attachment to a man. When sharing those thoughts with women, some of them, instead of addressing my question, would go on a typical non-responsive feminist rant of “Well, don’t you think that the same consequences apply to men who sleep around?”
This article on the price that women pay for having casual sex contains a number of very important observations that every woman should be aware of, that in many ways answered my question in a bold way. In her writing, Ms. Wade makes it clear that she believes in double standard when it comes to casual sex and there different effect it has on women v men. She points out that the damage that casual sex does to women is very different and far more serious than the harm, if any, that it would bring to a man. Casual sex indeed depletes a woman’s love reserves – her finite ability to care for and provide genuine physical and emotional affection to a guy.
You are probably eager to ask now – aren’t guys depleted of their capacity to love and care when having too much casual sex just as much as women? – That’s a good point. Whether casual sex has the same or lesser effect on man is a separate question. However, what happens to men who sleep around bears no relevance to the harm casual sex does to a woman’s dating and love life in the long run. Establishing that men become just as insensitive after sleeping around for too long is not going to reduce the negative effects of casual sex on women. Therefore, talking about men in the context of how casual sex affects women is useless and unproductive.