If you’re a man who seeks out people just for sex, you’re looked at as possibly having too much self confidence or being selfish.
On the other hand, if you’re a woman who does the exact same thing, you are viewed as someone who has no self respect.
Why the difference?
Monogamy is deemed respectable in society as it is what is viewed as benefitting a stable system of governance by men, promoting stability and equity among men, first and foremost. Our perspective is that of male authority figures.
Told by government that society treats them all as equal, men decry a man who monopolizes more than his fair share of women, or they may smugly congratulate him, if he is their friend and can share hordes of women.
Similarly, if you are a woman and you want to pursue and have indiscriminate sex with men, you are an even greater destabilising influence on equality between men. Not only will you disturb the equity among men in access to women by, if there are a group of you, gravitating towards the most attractive men, but even the most attractive man will loose some of the control they have over you as a woman, as he can look forward to the possibility of ‘sharing’.
This is because if sexual satisfaction is a woman’s aim rather than monogamy, circumstances may arise where more women will openly chase after fewer men, a prospect many men secretly fear. Women who are not monogamous and do not reproduce might act like men: uncontrollable and competitive in the realm of sex. These man-like women may behave differently towards men, may in fact be asexual, or they could be nymphomaniacs, as they won’t be weaned on a lifestyle of being pleasing for men like girls and women today. Many of the most young and fertile women will be shrewd and out of reach. They might choose to be ugly, successful in business, so they can be rich and buy male prostitutes.
In any case the entire ritual of sex risks becoming one in which women have a lot more control, and that could lead to other types of control.
This is why, in our narratives of fiction and policy, largely controlled by men, women practicing ‘casual sex’ lose respectable status, especially in the eyes of men.
There are harsh consequences of laws touching women especially who have casual sex for example, children may be not provided health, care or education by the state placing an undue burden on single parents, women’s sexual health care is accessible, not paid for or is poorly distributed. At worst women are not allowed access to abortions, not allowed birth control, or whatever other pains men in government can inflict upon this offensively destabilising female sexual freedom.
Socialisation in early life
Most women are taught not be be sexually assertive. In early life, girls find their chastity and beauty are idealised. Female privilege goes along with that, wrapped in promises of happy marriage, gifts, leisure, self-indulgence, work-free lifestyle and other forms of sexual entitlement that females are bought with. Chastity is part of the price of that gift, and women sacrifice their sexual assertiveness. Women who ‘sleep around’ may think they have forfeited all that female privilege, that they are ‘loose women’ who ‘have no self respect.’
The ingrained psychology of shame may haunt women who ‘sleep around’ despite the newfound anonymity of the internet. It is now easier than ever for women to escape a loss of social status among her peers when seeking casual sex.
Sexual assertiveness in women is something that can be very rewarding, as women often learn in later in life. One day the sense of shame may vanish and women will wonder why they were ever tricked into thinking casual sex would degrade them to society.
Men and women also have other very valid reasons to be monogamous apart from social status: health, children or a preference for work or other activities. But hopefully this is a helpful explanation of why dating is different for men and women.