A: Let's make that "Slut Like Me." My 20s were my slut years. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until I hit my 30s ... after I'd wasted 10 long years pretending that I wanted a relationship when all I really wanted was to get laid. These days, I'd rather have my fingernails pried out with a blunt object than drag some stranger home from a bar, but I still proclaim myself a slut whenever possible (always a Dad-pleaser, lemme tell you). A couple of Advice Goddess on "Politically Incorrect" appearances ago, my father called me with his usual morning-after review: "You looked beautiful; you spoke well; did you have to call yourself a slut on national television?" "But, Dad," I protested, "You know ... the double standard ... reclaiming the word." Naturally, I don't anticipate him getting his head around this concept anytime soon; at least, not as it relates to me. But for anyone who isn't my parent and/or eligible for the senior citizen discount at McDonald's — it's high time you got slut-positive. I hereby encourage all other women to reclaim the word slut; loudly, publicly, as often as possible. But first, a few words on the history of the slut. The slut is no spring chicken. She was born centuries ago, out of man's need to make sure that the kid who inherited his hog pen was actually his kid, not that of the serf next door with the missing front teeth. Although the slut was created to keep money and power in male hands, she was gift-wrapped for the masses in the "if it feels good, don't do it" morality that persists today. Only very recently was the slut redefined by a few pioneer girls as "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you." This redefinition comes courtesy of The Ethical Sluts, who are not, as they might sound, a lesbian garage band, but authors Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. In their book, The Ethical Slut, they emphasize the need for ethical guidelines — honesty, respect, and consent — to aid the growing number of women (and men) who aren't living their lives out while short-leashed to the double standard. Your girlfriend seems to have acted fairly. The moment your relationship ended, she was free to have sex with whomever she pleased — herself, everyone living in Switzerland at any given moment; even you. The problem here is yours: You still want to be on the team; you just don't want to bat cleanup. Accept that she can't give you what you want. Stop seeing her altogether to minimize your agony and keep from prolonging your attachment. And finally, ask yourself this: If she were a guy, would you be moaning about her lack of respect for herself or slapping her across the back?
Q: I've been dating a guy for two years. We seem to be growing closer mentally and emotionally, but not physically. Also, we hardly spend any time together — maybe once every week or two. He calls infrequently; maybe once or twice a week. I love this man, but I feel as if our relationship is going nowhere. When I bring this up, he swears that he loves me and can see me as his wife. I believe him — not only because I want to — but because he really sounds sincere. Still, I've talked with him about this, broken up with him, and given him many opportunities to come around, but nothing ever changes. Is patience the answer here, or is he just stringing me along? —Suspended Animation
A: Some wives do have similar visiting privileges — those whose husbands are in prison. The parole board hears a lot of pleas from these husbands that sound sincere — a lot of them coming from cons who are sincerely motivated to get back to a life of crime. Don't be swayed by this guy's puppy-eyed pleas of love. Real sincerity plays out in action. And as you pointed out, you haven't been getting any of that (or much of anything else) for a long, long, time. Unless you're up for an extended sentence in solitary, you'd best make a run for it. c 2000, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com