You’ve been dating for a while. You’ve had lots of first dates that didn’t evolve to seconds. So your dating numbers seem high to those who’ve been out of the dating scene for years. To them any number over 10 seems outrageous if you exclude anything before age 30.

They assume you are a skank. Yesterday, at lunch with a group of women I barely knew, a woman asked, “Of those you’ve dated since your divorce, how many have you slept with?” I didn’t tell, as it was none of her business, but she’d be surprised at the tiny number.

But people think that because you have gone out with a lot of people that means you have also slept with a lot of people. “Dating” means “sex” to them, and it appears they think indiscriminate sex, easy sex, or promiscuousness. In other words, you’re a skank.

I know some women fall into bed easily. That is their choice. I am taken aback, however, at the assumption by people who don’t even know me that I fall into that category. It really says more about them that they would determine my skankiness having no information about me or my discernment.

So how do you deal with nosy or assumptive people speculating about your morals and behavior? Mostly, just ignore them, or if you prefer to be more forthright, say “It’s really none of your business.” But if you want to be clear, polite and make your point, simply say, “Many fewer than you’d imagine.”

What has worked for you when people assume you are a skank?

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8 responses to “Skanks-R-Us”

  1. Deanna Avatar

    Are you sure she thought you had slept with a lot? I totally agree, the question itself was rude and none of her business, but unless she said something else to imply she thought you were a “skank,” she may have only been curious, and not automatically thinking it was a large number. Could it be that you were assuming that was the case? Of course, I have no idea of the details of the rest of the conversation, but just that one question from her (even though it was none of her business) I would not take to mean automatically that she thought you slept with a lot of men. I have dated a lot of guys post-divorce, as well, but most people I know thought the opposite… since the dates ended up being one or two dates at most, the people I know assumed I was being picky, not loose. Sometimes people are (inappropriately) curious about things, but it doesn’t automatically mean they are assuming the worst.

  2. Elena Avatar

    I blame this mentality on Sex & The City. Everyone assumes that a single, attractive woman over 40 who is actively dating must be a Samantha type (Kim Cattrall’s character.)

    The other day I read a MSN story about the average number of sex partners for Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) the typical female has an average of four sex partners in her lifetime!! Based on that, I’m would be considered a skank since I’ve slept with more than 4 men in my life.

    I think everyone’s definition of what a skank is, is subjective. For some, a skank is a woman who only sleeps with a guy because of his money. For others, it’s meeting a guy in a bar and taking him to bed the same evening.

    The rude woman who asked you that question revealed more about herself than about you. She’s probably had more sex partners than all the other women who were there combined!! That’s why she asked the question, because she was thinking about herself and her own little black book!! 😀

  3. Mike Avatar

    Not much you can do about it. I’ve dated about 45 women since my divorce. I’ve slept with 1 of them. However everyone hears the first number and their eyes open wide. Can’t do anything about others perceptions. You know what you did and as long as your okay with it that is all that matters.

  4. Kari Avatar

    I don’t sleep around, but even if I did, I would consider it no-one’s business but my own.

    I also wonder, how many men fret about being called a skank, even if they ever were?

  5. nysharon Avatar

    Now now Milly, don’t you know that dating is dating and not sleeping around—-you silly………She should have known that was a “bitchy” thing to ask. It is the equilient of girl-tween bullying. Its said to make you feel bad and for her to feel important. Its done usually by woman who secretly feel they missed out. If someone asks me this usually it is by a long-time married woman who is curious how the dating fun is after marriage. I have replied that I have had a little “fun” and that I am looking for something steady so I don’t sleep around. I don’t even tell how many I’ve dated. But I will tell bad date antidotes–thats more fun.

  6. Glenda Avatar

    One of the big issues here is “what is a skank?” What if you did sleep around some? What is wrong with it? The only considerations should be protection against disease and keeping yourself emotionally healthy. If you are having sex because you are needy and doing it because it’s the only way you know how to attract a man, then that’s not healthy. If you are searching for life mate, then jumping into bed immediately won’t let you explore them in other ways. If you associate sex with love, then you may not want to do it with someone you don’t already care deeply for. If you have only ever had one partner (your spouse) it could be healthy to explore your sexuality a little.

    There are many variations of the above, and the key is doing what is right for YOU. And that may change over time.

    What is the magic number of dates you need to have before you can “give it up?” Who decides? There are no rules, so YOU need to decide. What other people think is not important. And if whatever behavior you are engaged in does not get you the desired results, then you have to change it.

  7. jaynes Avatar

    It’s difficult for the smug marrieds to comprehend that mostly dinner is just dinner. Maybe it’s them projecting their deep dark fantasies onto us ?

  8. Alison Avatar

    I’ve had this same experience. I was mentioning to an older acquaintance of mine (over 50) that I’d been on many dates lately. She said to me, (tongue in cheek) “Well, in my day we would call that a Slut.” And then she laughed. I came back with, “John Gray (The Mars and Venus author) advises to date around, but don’t sleep around. That’s what I’m doing.”

    Making assumptions is just what humans do. By our nature we want to categorize and put people in little boxes. Regardless, I think it’s important to stand up for ourselves and let the uneducated know that their assumption may be incorrect.