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September 29, 2006



To me, one of the more surprising things is that you didn't ever think of the fact that maybe the reason she was so shocked and upset was that she wanted to be a mom, someday. Maybe she even really liked you. Maybe she was even sort of hoping she could continue to see you.

I've had several relationships that began as more casual encounters, including my relationship with my husband. With several of these, at the time when the casual part started, I didn't expect it to go further prior to the actual sexual encounter, but sometimes I found myself changing my mind about the person, viewing them as a potential long-term partner, even if I hadn't known them very long before.

I find it fairly likely -- granted, you may know better, since you knew her better -- that she may have had a similar reaction, and was hoping a one-night romance might have turned into something more. She could easily have perceived it as a slight to her suitability as a long-term mate. I know I might have taken it precisely that way: not "I can't keep having one-night sexual encounters," but rather "I can't keep having sexual encounters with women like you, who are unsuitable for wives."

Many women have encountered the dichotomy between the perceived mistresses and wives of the world. If you've heard it stated explicitly at least once (and many wild-oats-sowers have), it is hard not to hear it implicitly in dismissals like yours.


Molly, your suggestion might well have applied in other similar encounters, but not here -- you'll have to take my word for it, though, as the details that make it clear to me that a long-term relationship was not on her radar screen can't be disclosed publicly.

Of course, the comment I made was about myself entirely. I would certainly never preclude the possibility of a marriage/long-term dating relationship merely because it began with a one-night stand. I can think of two enduring marriages that started out as purely physical encounters...

It's true that many "oats-sowers" do have a "madonna-whore" complex.  As I've posted before, I've always believed both men and women are entitled to equally colorful pasts.  I wrote then:

A true lover can say, "Before there was an 'us', there was a 'you' and a 'me', and I will never use what you did in the past against you. I honor your right to have lived the life you chose to live before we were together, and I ask that you honor my right to my past as well."

It never mattered to me, still doesn't matter, whether I'm #1 or #101 on a woman's "list."  To paraphrase the old song, when it comes to marriage, I don't care whose name is before mine on that list, I just want to make sure I'm the last, just as my wife's will always be last on mine.  The number of entries is completely irrelevant.


Part of living a radically monogamous life is being intentional about "erasing the mental videotapes" of all prior experiences

Whoa. This seems weird and unnecessary and unlikely to succeed to me, but it could be that my understanding of monogamy isn't "radical" in your sense. Or, it could be that since being monogamous is by far the easiest thing about relationships for me, I don't feel the need for the extra steps. At any rate, I look forward to your future explanatory post with no small amount of curiousity.


DJW, I meant erasing the mental videotapes" of all prior sexual experiences. Post on that topic will come next week, deo volente and the creek don't rise.

The Gonzman

I'd say go with your first reaction. No way to tell WHAT she was thinking - it could as equally likely been horror at the idea that you might guilt yourself into feeling a connection she didn't feel.


Molly, your suggestion might well have applied in other similar encounters, but not here -- you'll have to take my word for it, though, as the details that make it clear to me that a long-term relationship was not on her radar screen can't be disclosed publicly.

Hugo, even if he didn't want a long-term relationship with you, in our society the implication that she's the sort of woman who's "unsuitable" for a long-term relationship is still perceived as an insult.


Thanks for following up on this, Hugo - I really appreciate your response. And while I don't want to dismiss your taking responsibility for your 'male narcissism,' I do want to point out that this instance of it was noticeable because it's so atypical of your general writing.

One other thing that this post has made me realize is that I *don't* know much about the perspectives of women who have been in these situations, and I'm finding that I'm really curious to know what their thoughts might be. Because so many men do adhere to a double standard of 'my past was fine, yours was slutty,' what happens when women with a colorful past don't want to lie about it, but have a double-standarded partner? What are those conversations like? My knowledge is limited to a pool of women who won't put up with the double standard, but I know that that's not a position that everyone takes.

I'm also intrigued by the mental videotapes idea - the conecpt of allowing sexual memories to fade over time, and choosing to not revisit or revel in them makes sense, but a more conscious erasure is hard for me to envision.


Hugo, you write:

"It makes me wonder -- if I were a woman blogger who wrote about her past in the same way as I do here, would the reactions be the same? No one calls me a "slut", after all. The worst I get called is "self-congratulatory", which is hardly at the same level of insult!"

I don't know. I know I use the word "slut" differently than many other people. Jokingly, when a friend refers to someone as a slut, I remark that they "say that like it's a bad thing." I'm trying to be clever, but only succeed in being trying...

To me, "self-congratulatory" implies pride, vanity... "slut" implies lust. On the scale of cardinal sins, pride and vanity are much worse, as I understand the system.

No, you've been called *much worse than "slut," at least in my idiosyncratic use of the term.


My name is Mary. I don't have anything against sluts, whores, and pain-loving bitches. They are fun, good people. I have slut and whore pride myself. I spread my legs for anything that moves. Yeah! I feel so empowered! My sexuality is expressive and hot! I love your blog Hugo. Rock on! You the man!


Mary, you stupid little whore, you stupid little slut. Are you proud of what you've done? You stole the boy I love! Just because you can bare your butt in some dirty magazine does not mean you can steal my man!!!!Ultimately, though, he will pick me because he wants a girlie with class, not some skank. That's it, I wont invite you to my party. I can't believe you!!


Fine, I didn't want to go to your silly little skank "Party" anyway. Jennifer, you are just jealous because your man is hot for me, and we are SCREWING every single night! I am putting out, and giving this hot stud muffin man what he wants and needs. You were not going to give it up for him, so don't go crying to me about it. I am the proud slutty little whore getting some, and now you want what I have. Admit it, I got it going on...

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