Is “Taking One For The Team” Just An Excuse?

"Taking One For The Team"

This post could have also been titled, The Enigmatic Mating Dance of the Human Male, because when I think about guys picking up women I am reminded of those dancing birds of paradise from the BBC’s Planet Earth series. Sometimes a guy just needs his friend to keep the friend of the woman he’s interested in company so he can “do his dance” with her complete attention.

“Taking one for the team,” usually refers to how the male’s friend keeps the female’s friend company during the enigmatic mating dance, but can also work vice versa, though it’s more rare. It is meant to help others and is thus a noble human behaviour. It is making a selfless sacrifice for the rest of humankind! I mean, how awkward and weird would it be if someone didn’t keep the woman’s friend company and she was just left standing there all alone rolling her eyes and mumbling obscenities under her breath?

That said, I have a few observations, and it has nothing to do with the true and awesome definition of taking one for the team, it has to do with using this great and noble behaviour as a ruse! Yes, a ruse! To cover up the fact that you had sex with a) someone you weren’t attracted to, or b) someone you fear your friends wouldn’t approve of.

Now I’m sure many people who’ve indulged in too much alcohol before can name at least one time they hooked up with or slept with a person they weren’t that attracted to. It does happen, and it’s just one of those things, and I totally get that no one wants to admit they got way too blasted to tell the difference. So saying you took one for the team in this case is likely just code for, “I don’t want to talk about it.” No biggie, mistakes happen. Better luck next time.

What is actually of interest to me is the use of the term to describe a liaison for which a person is similarly ashamed, but not because they weren’t attracted to their sex partner, but because they fear their friends wouldn’t approve of their sex partner even though they got their world rocked! Yeah, we are that judgmental.

What does that say about us as a culture that sex has been reduced to such a superficial egotistical expression of status-seeking and friend impressing? That we look outside ourselves for our cues to attraction rather than within? That the simple meeting of two mutually attracted bodies for the sole purpose of pleasure has to be accounted for and explained afterwards? There’s so many other layers involved in attraction, like smell and intellect and other oddities, there’s no way another person can decide who you should sleep with!

If all we’re focused on is trying to impress everyone else than I dare to say we’re literally wasting our lives and are right on track for that impending life crisis to hit. At which point, I might add, you can’t get those wasted years back! So what are you waiting for? Live! Live! When it comes to sex, trust your body, not your friends. And don’t apologize for it – ever!

“Sex at age ninety is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.” ~ George Burns


Why Do Women Call Each Other “Slut”?


Calling women sluts is all the rage these days! Even between women, slut is now a common insult, sometimes passive-aggressively hidden as a friendly jab, but usually meant to cripple a woman’s self-esteem. Popular language is an interesting revealer of collective cultural unconscious beliefs, so let’s see what this particular insult tells us about women’s views on their own sexuality, and why women are using sex as a verbal weapon against each other. I’ll bet you already guessed it’s not looking good.

The word “slut,” in the vast majority of contexts, is meant to draw attention to a woman’s low inherent worth as a human. A slut is probably below human status, actually. There are many different definitions of slut on the Internet, and “dirty immoral promiscuous prostitute” pretty much summarizes them all. I think it’s safe to say this points to a deeply ingrained collective cultural belief in good women’s sexuality and bad women’s sexuality, and I’m guessing that not-a-slut is a “clean moral chaste wife/girlfriend.”

It cuts a lot deeper to call a woman a slut than it does to simply call her bad because of the sub-human connotations of the word. For this insult to work, both women have to believe that female sexuality can even be expressed as dirty, immoral promiscuity. They have to first believe in the sub-human status of the whore. To call another woman “slut” is to pretend she’s that low down dirty prostitute, and also creates the convenient dichotomy in which the name-caller gets to pretend she’s the pure and respected Madonna.

Those wife and prostitute roles are such a super fun game of make believe, aren’t they ladies? In truth, women’s sexuality can’t actually be compartmentalized into good or bad; it is what it is and it’s just sexuality. Your body is literally just a pleasure machine for your own amusement, but since people were also blessed with big imaginations, they can imagine there are two different kinds of sex. Two women could be doing the exact same thing to the exact same man, but one of them is clean, and the other dirty. One is moral and the other is not. One is chaste while the other is promiscuous. One is worthy of respect and the other is not. We’re so amazingly imaginative, right? Because sex is just sex.

In fact, all of society is so imaginative that a woman can still have her reputation “ruined” if she is publicly branded as a slut, and it not even the 1800s anymore. If only there were specific rules and guidelines to follow to keep oneself safe from such an ugly insult, but no clear line exists between Madonna and whore, so it’s pretty much just a free for all in the grey area in between.

Sex doesn’t make the slut, society does. Ladies, we are all trapped in this little box of make believe together and I suggest we focus on how to break out of it, rather than on slinging mud in each others faces. We are not each other’s enemies. We need to stop asking for society’s permission to be the sexual beings we already are. The next time someone calls me a slut, I think I’ll just smile and say “thank you, I’m having so much fun enjoying my life as I want to, and I hope you can afford yourself the same respect.”

And if you missed it, check out my previous post on why men call each other “pussy,” for more fun with words.

~ “If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, you’re always going to be disappointed.” – Madonna