One Vagina Forever: On the Transformation from Man Slut to Happily Engaged

Feminists argue that there’s no male equivalent term for the word “slut” and they’re right. It’s time the term applied to both women and men. I am a slut – or I was a slut before I fell in love with my wife-to-be. Not a “womanizer,” which implies I did wrong by the women I slept with; not a “playboy,” which smacks of wealth and branding; and not a “man-whore,” as I never traded sex for money. I was a slut because I was a person who had many casual sexual encounters, which I say with neither pride nor shame. I’m simply stating a fact. I loved the pussy. Still do. But differentiating the term on the basis of gender divides men and women when we should be banding together to fight a common enemy: anyone who makes anyone else feel shame or guilt for enjoying sex, or not enjoying sex; for wanting to have sex with a wide variety of people, or with one person for the rest of your life.

With that being said, I don’t mean to paint myself into a corner. I wasn’t simply a slut. I’ve been in love before, a few times, and have been in long-term, short-term, long-distance, short-distance, codependent, independent, constructive, and destructive relationships. The one I’m in now is somehow different. Being engaged for six months is different than being committed to the same partner for years. There are nuances to monogamy, as there are nuances to sleeping around, dating, friendships, and relationships in general. What strikes me as interesting is how I went from slut to committed-for-life in a relatively short amount of time. What prompted the change? What makes me think this relationship is different from the others I’ve been in? And how can we be certain that our vows to each other will last a lifetime?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, other than to spout a number of clichés that are absolutely true. Timing is everything. When you know, you know. Trust your instincts. Honesty is the best policy. The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

One-night-stands, short stints destined for messy ends, long and tumultuous love affairs, duplicitous flings, first kisses, and broken hearts have all taught me lessons good, bad, and somewhere in between. But I only recently figured out the following.

Love Need not be a Power Struggle

When I was nineteen, I dated a girl with curly blonde hair and a gummy smile, big lips, blue eyes, and a faultlessly kind personality. She seemed to be crazy about me, but the feeling wasn’t exactly mutual. I knew I shouldn’t string her along. I knew that we’d end in tears. But I didn’t break up with her, for several reasons: Falling asleep with a pretty girl is better than falling asleep alone, hurting a nice person’s feelings makes you feel like a not nice person, and I liked her. I just didn’t love her and knew that would never change.

Anyway, I was somewhat tortured by how best to behave as a decent human being. So I sought guidance from a trusted source: my aunt, a happily married mother of three. “Do you think it’s more important,” I asked, “to be desperately in love with someone, or that they’re desperately in love with you?”

She hesitated, for a split second, and answered, “It’s more important that they’re in love with you.” I nodded and thanked her. Then promptly ignored everything she’d told me and entered a new relationship, which was marked by the push and pull of love and power.

With that girl, a dark-haired beauty with a diamond-shaped face, we dangled our love in front of each other’s noses like hunters leading wolves into a kennel with slabs of bloody meat. “Come here,” we’d say in soft whispers. “Come closer. Good girl. Good boy. Don’t bite me. Good. Now leave me the fuck alone.” We tried to domesticate each other when neither of us wanted to be domesticated, and we tore at each other’s hearts and confused that struggle for passion, and that passion for love.

Finally, there was a girl who didn’t love me at all and who told me as much. “I think you’re amazing,” she said, “and I think we’re good for each other, right now. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully love you. Sorry.” It was hard to hear, but I appreciated her honesty, and like a fool in love, I thought she’d come around, which thankfully she never did.

Love Need not be a Power Struggle

Looking back at these relationships, I can see how I utilized the lessons I learned and incorporated them into my slut phase, and later incorporated the lessons from my slut phase into my relationship with my wife-to-be. I was brutally honest with the women I was sleeping with, and they seemed to respond to my honesty. “I really like you,” I’d find myself saying, “but I’m not ready to get into anything serious right now.” Or, “You’re beautiful. Everything about you is beautiful. I’m just not ready to commit to a single person, and I’m not sure I’ll be ready any time soon.” Some girls never called me again, but most hung around—as I had with the girl who didn’t love me—waiting for something to shift: a mindset, a change of seasons, an epiphanic bolt of lightning. We continued sleeping together and I continued to hold the reins of the relationship. Love, I figured, could come later.

And it did—that’s what shifted me from slut to happily engaged. I fell in love with a woman and it just so happened that she wouldn’t put up with my shit. She had too many other things to do, too many friends, too many places to go and people to see, too many other offers on the table. “Don’t fuck me over,” she said, a few weeks into our romance. We were driving from my place to hers. “I like you too much. And I don’t have time to go down this road if you’re planning on ditching me. Just be honest. If you’re wavering, let me know. We can still be friends, but I don’t want to waste my life if you’re just going to bounce when the next best thing comes along.”

Had I offered a half-baked response about how I wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit, she would have listened, nodded her head, and promptly dropped me off at the next intersection to Uber home. She’s a woman who knows how to announce who she is and what she wants, and she demanded the same from me. There was very little space allotted for pussyfooting around the truth. All men know when they’re in love, they know when it’s staring them straight in the face, as do all women. We just get scared to ask questions about love and commitment for fear of pushing the other away, which is silly, because there’s no need for tug-of-war when it feels so good to let go of the rope and take care of other tasks, or to stand on the same side of the rope and make out.

Love Need not be a Power Struggle

The answer to the question, “Is it more important to be desperately in love with someone or that they’re desperately in love with you?” is, “That’s a stupid question.”

Love doesn’t have to fluctuate between lovers. There doesn’t have to be a push and pull for each other’s affection and attention. Games are for children. Struggle is not the same as passion. Or perhaps I’m just the luckiest man on the face of the planet. Or perhaps these are early days and we’re destined for failure like every other relationship. All I know is that there is no tug-of-war between me and the woman I’m looking forward to marrying. No questions as to whether or not we’re loved. No games. And that’s not boring, as I thought it might be when I was younger. It’s liberating. We both get to love each other with every ounce of courage and passion that we can muster. Our only rule is that we remain completely open and honest with one another. She does her thing and I do mine, and we love each other without caveats.

Granted, there are other factors that transformed me from slut to happily engaged. One, she’s a babe. Two, I was bored with the slut phase, the dead-end Tinder conversations, the blind dates, and the juggling of various people’s schedules and emotions. I’d sowed my wild oats and was ready to commit without knowing that I was ready to commit. Three, we can be sluts together — and by sluts, I mean to say that I found all women in that woman: the coquette, the committed homemaker, the badass businesswoman, the girl next door, the artist, and the slut—and she found all men in me. Four, our sex drives are equally matched, and I can tell that they’ll be equally matched for years to come. We both find stress relief in the bedroom, and are both committed to pleasuring the other with a fervor that I’ve never before experienced. And five, we have similar wants and needs, similar values, and a similar passion for independence within a committed relationship. We fight from time to time, but there is no power struggle. There is no need to hide our thoughts or fears. We keep no secrets. And we tell each other daily how lucky we feel to have found a love like this.

L’Agent Goodies…