Two web articles started this whole Sex and Society ball rolling for me. [1, 2]. Lauren and Liz bemoaned the fact that their behavior resulted in surprising social reactions.
Lauren decided to become a porn actor in order to pay for her schooling. Liz advertised herself as a sexual object available to the highest bidder. What could go wrong?
When Lauren’s peers found out what she did for a living, she was attacked in ways that let her know that she was no longer thought of as a “nice” girl. Liz became the object of too much attention, her pornographic “selfies” became internet sensations, and her body attracted a Japanese millionaire offering 800,000 dollars for one night of sex.
The angst Lauren and Liz felt before was that society has already pigeonholed them into simple categories. Both, before they were outed, were “virgins.” An unacceptable category for many men, because they represent something to be attained and conquered. Virgins are also unacceptable to most women, because peer pressure forces them to want other women to be just like themselves. Many (not all!) women think “if you aren’t just like me, then you can’t be my friend.”
The whore is another world, at the opposite end of the spectrum. Men appreciate whores for being available, but at the same time know they will make poor long-term mates. Women can despise “whores” in the sense that they offer up sexual services competing with their own. Therefore they not only demean themselves, they also lessen the value of all other women by association.
How does one negotiate being a “nice” girl? You have to walk the invisible shifting line. If our culture was well-defined, that line would be visible and solid. In our nebulous dynamic culture, a young lady finds herself stumbling, running into trouble and obstacles at every turn.
The nice girl must play the game of being both a virgin and a whore. She must be a whore to the extent that she can compete with the real whores. She must also be a virgin to the extent that she can prove she is a valuable long-term mate.
In terms of behavior, there is only one way to play this game.