The Madonna-whore-lawyer conundrum 

Some good girls do, and some bad girls don't. Either way, we love to label them.

It was the conversation that ended our friendship.

"She's a virgin," he told me. Then in his late 20s, my lawyer friend proceeded to ask me how he could convince the woman he was seeing to let him go down on her.

"Considering she's in her 30s," I responded, "I'm pretty sure she's decided she's waiting until she gets married." His persistence annoyed me. The woman was waiting for something more, why didn't he understand that?

It wasn't so much his ignorance that irritated me as it was his attitude toward sexually open-minded women (i.e., "sluts") that irritated me. He made judgmental statements about the type of woman who wants to get down in a parking lot, saying he wasn't looking for that, exactly — yet ultimately it's what he wanted to do with his new claim.

It's not easy sometimes for men — and even women — to swallow the reality that in the past their partner has done dirty deeds with someone other than them, that in the past their partner woke up with someone else's scent. The more partners, the more deeds, the more assumptions, the bigger the pill.

It's not that we all desire virgins. And there are reasons for concern, such as STDs. Ultimately, however, casual sex goes against our societal goals to settle down, especially for women, seeing as how men are genetically wired to share their seed.

It's easy to understand why sluts are scary. Slutdom is anarchy. It's zero ownership. It means the person can take off and leave at any moment. We are a nation of consumers, always clamoring for the next hot thing to own and people are no different. Like conquerors, we want to stick our flags on the wet earth and say we were there first and had the hottest toy before anyone else.

But sluts are people, too. The jumping of bodies doesn't necessarily mean a lack of emotion, a lack of connection with one's self and others. It's all about where you're at in life. Sometimes even sluts want a flag to puncture their flesh.

Recently, while recapping my date with a man, my friends asked if we'd had sex. "Dude," I told them, "No. It was our second date." There are implications in such a statement, ones I cannot deny having acted on in the past, but simply no longer hold true.

"Don't lie," one of my guy friends said, half-jokingly.

"It's true," I said. "We made out. That's it."

"You better not wait too long," he advised. "He'll get bored and leave. One month — tops."

"Know your worth," a girl friend chimed in. "Make him wait."

"We'll see," I said.

A slut by any other name

I asked readers (on Twitter and Facebook) to tell us what a "slut" or "whore/ho" is to them. Some responses, edited for grammar and punctuation:

@iaredada: What men call a woman when they're threatened by her sexuality. And what women call women when they're being haters.
@party_fowl28: A ho/slut is someone who has sex because she/he feels she/he needs to, not just wants to.
Kevin Mcvay: People okay with being taken advantage of, who makes choices based on something other then their true desire.
Jamie Iredell: ... Personally, I think being a slut is fun, especially when you're in your 20s, and only sometimes do I miss it now that I'm married. I just covertly convince my wife and myself to be sluts to each other.
Jon Ciliberto: The websites Gear Sluts and Book Slut come to mind, redefining slut to mean "enthusiast."

Definition

Urban Dictionary definition of "slut":
"A woman with the morals of a man."

Urban Dictionary definition of "slutdom":
"The state of being a slut. Example: 'She got her STD test results back. Hooray for clean slutdom!'"

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