On the topic of the "Slore," may I present the following dialogue between two of the greatest deconstructive minds of the 21st century (fox!)
(NOTE: Josh would like to warn all of my lady-readers that he is v. v. v. non-judgmental in re: sloring, and that you should feel free to approach him with offers of wine and dinner).
(SECOND NOTE: Do I have any female readers? Let me look through my magic mirror... Romper Bomper Stomper Boo, I look through my mirror for my female readership and I see: Amelia! Abbey! Esther! Okay, there's at least three).
AND NOW ...
A nonplay in one-act.
PROLOGUE: (in which we establish our topic of conversation)
Bex: who did you lunch with?
Josh: my desk
Bex: i'm going to run downstairs to the Slodge and get some soup
Bex: lodge + sludge = slodge
Josh: like slut + whore = slore. i've been trying to promote that amongst my peers
SCENE 1: (in which we parse the difference between "slut" and "whore"
Bex: what's the difference btwn a slut and a whore? (real question, not a joke)
Josh: hmm. whore has more of a malicious connotation? like, your teenage daughter is a slut, but your cheating wife is a whore
Bex: hmmm. slut implies youthful misjudgement? and whore implies mature misbehavior?
Josh: i feel like slut is actually more directed at sexual behavior,whereas whore can be flung about like "bitch" and "motherfucker"
Bex: is whore disconnected from sexual behavior? i never thought about it like that... whore, to me, implies sexual promiscuity, whereas bitch and mofo are more random insults
Josh: whore is definitely rooted in promiscuity
Josh: but i feel like it carries additional meaning
SCENE 2: (in which we re-examine the contextual basis of "slut v. whore")
Bex: my gut, malcolm gladwell thinslicing word association: slut = you are easy and sleep around but you are not a bad person. whore = you are a bad person
Josh: movie characters always toss out "whore" in anger; slut is more like …it's hissed with squinty eyes, not shouted
Bex: slut is hissed, yes. and i think you call someone a slut, but you refer to someone as a whore. like slut stings only when it's said to the face?
Bex: and it's also been reclaimed, like the way queer was reclaimed. whore = unreclaimed
Josh: wasn't there a pop-soc book called Slut 2 or 3 years ago?
Josh: yes, there was. By Leora Tanenbaum
Josh: read it, meh
SCENE 2 PART B:
Bex: are we the first people to wonder about this issue? the slut v whore issue?
Josh: i'll check the index
Bex: "And the whore vs. slut question really hinges on this: are you truly getting anything out of it? Because if not, the term would have to be "slut." If there is some sort of tangible reward, "whore" is more accurate."
Josh: interesting. so... slut = promiscuous, whore = manipulative
Bex: well, by nature: a whore expects to be paid, right? and a slut doesn't. so a whore has sex (or, say, writes screenplays) for money … and a slut is promiscuous but doesn't expect anything in return …and if that's so, then why are is humanity so fiercely judgmental about asking for money for it?
Bex: It's such a judgment thing. Like if people find out i was a slut in my early 20s, that ain't no thing, but if someone started the rumor that i was a whore in my early 20s, i'd be mortified
Josh: which is odd, if you really think about it, given that woman are already cast as the gatekeepers of sex, and then chastised for doling it out in amount that aren't in accordance with someone else's wishes. damn, did i go to wesleyan or what?
Bex: .... hey! wait just a second! this whole thing is totally fucked up! so it's totally cool to be a slut and sleep with lots of people, but as soon as i ask for money for it, suddenly i'm evil?
SCENE 3: (in which a gradual realization begins to sink in)
Bex: so it's the asking-for-money-in-exchange-for-sex that's the evil (and illegal) party? and that's why "whore" is such an insult?
Josh: it's the exchanging sex for anything part, ie, not offering it up for free, which makes you a slut
Bex: so expecting something in return makes you a whore
Josh: so really, there's no winning, is there?
Bex: being easy makes you a slut -- SO WAIT -- in that respect, if i sleep with a guy and then expect him to call me again, am i a whore? because i expect something in return? because, fer sure, when i was slut-tastic, i never expected anyone to call again
Josh: no, because he's still in control of that situation. if you sleep with a guy and expect him to keep you in shiny baubles, then you're a whore. porn actress = whore / porn character = slut
SCENE 3 PART B (in which personal anecdotes are offered hypothetically)
Bex: once i slept with a guy -- NO WAIT, this happened TWICE -- twice, i slept with two different guys, and then they gave me cab fare home. and i said, "no no, i don't need this"
Bex: and they said, "but you came back to my house and now you have to travel home, so it’s only fair" -- were they just being gentlemanly, or was i a whore?
Josh: depends on the context in which it was given. i'd say more likely gentlemanly (as gentlemanly as "here's a bus token" can be). Now, if you were like "thanks for the cab ride... and that's a nice Le Creuset casserole dish" then you're a whore
Josh: (this is assuming you take the casserole dish) (and have no plans on calling him or returning his kitchenware) (now, if you make him a "thanks for the nookie" casserole, then you're not a whore)
SCENE 4: (in which additional theortetical examples are parsed)
Bex: hmmm. so only girls get to be whores, eh. what if, theoretically, there was a guy i slept with a few times, and then I expected him to call, and he didn't. Is that whorish, because i wanted a phone call (which in my life is equivalent to shiny baubles)?
Josh: did you sleep with him so that he would call you?
Bex: i think i slept with him because i wanted a boyfriend
Josh: were you like "i really want this guy to call me, and the best way to get him to do that is to sleep with him first"?
Bex: that implies a phone call. no, i was like, 'if i sleep with this guy, he will sleep with me again'
Josh: sex for sex is a fair trade. i think it's when sex becomes secondary and a means to some individual end that it gets the whore label
SCENE 4, PART B: (in which we uncover the cold, hard truth)
Bex: so, like if i wanted a job, and i slept with the guy who could hire me, then that would be whorrific
Bex: but if i slept with a guy because he was hot, and all i wanted was a good lay, that would be slutastic
Josh: yeah, that's called sex
SCENE 5: (a slorry conclusion)
Bex: say what? oh. oh, right. that IS what sex is. I'd forgotten.
Josh: maybe you could make the slut argument
Josh: but it's certainly outside the whore realm
Bex: i think sluts sleep with guys because they want to have sex and don't want relationships ... girls in relationships never get called sluts
Bex: even girls who are relationship codependent … this leads to another question: if you sleep with 30 guys are you're not really involved with them, you're a slut. but if you have 30 different "relationships" and therefore you've slept with 30 guys, are you still a slut? … because my gut says no, relationship-sex is nonslutworthy
Josh: that's another category altogether: serial dater or something. and no one has ever slitted their eyes and hissed "serial dater!"