“I would never date a man whore,” said advertising senior Brittany Hickman.

She’s not alone. Around MSU when women talk about promiscuous men they, more often than not, refer to them as man whores.

A promiscuous woman is labeled a slut.  Is a man whore the male equivalent? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary does not even recognize “man whore” as a word. It is a term in pop culture that women have made up.  That does not make it any less significant, though.

“A man whore is a guy that gets with a lot of girls but doesn’t have any standards. He’ll get with any girl, any time, any place,” said political science senior David Das. For guys, the man whore is usually the source of entertainment among his friends. “It’s a double standard, [for man whores and sluts] when your friend is a man whore, it’s always funny, like free entertainment,” Das said.

Among men the consensus is when a woman is called a slut it’s more offensive than a man being called a man whore.

“The word slut is demeaning to a woman, but when we use man whore we’re not looking down on anybody, or any guy,” Das said.

“Slut is a more degrading term. You hear guys being called sluts, too. I hear that all of the time. Being called a male slut is worse than being called a man whore, though,” said economics senior and self-proclaimed “retired man whore” Alex Mortenson. Now focused on graduation, Mortenson said that he used to get around a lot.

“Girls think it’s one of the worst things you could say about someone.”

Traditionally a man who sleeps with a lot of women is called a player or a ladies’ man, but now the term has changed.

“A ladies’ man hooks up with a decent amount of girls, but he puts in the work. He’s not with a different girl every night, and he doesn’t go up to every girl and ask for it,” Das said.

“The difference is rejection,” said electrical engineering senior Billy Mattingly. “A man whore doesn’t mind being rejected; it’s like he’s on a mission. If he’s rejected 30 times in a night, he’ll take home girl number 31 if she’s willing.”

Mortenson admits to being called a man whore more than once in his life.

“I guess if people hear that you’ve slept with more than one person in a short amount of time they’re going to call you a man whore. Even if you met three gorgeous girls, and you like them all, you’re still called one. It is not necessarily true.”

“With a lot of guys it’s a pride thing too. If a girl says it, it’s not a complement. If another guy calls you a man whore, though, it’s definitely a complement,” Mortenson said.

Men may think that having a man whore around is fun, but women tend to think differently.

“A man whore is someone who knows how to talk to women, and they charm them. They do this to get what they want from a girl, and usually sleep with multiple women and aren’t ashamed of it,” Hickman said.

Some people think that it’s just human nature for men to behave this way and boys will be boys, but it is hard to ignore that American pop culture is driven by the media. Movies our generation watched as preteens, like Austin Powers and American Pie, glorified male promiscuity. Now current television shows like Entourage reinforce the same ideals.

“I think that the media influences you, but not to the extent where you act on it. Maybe there is a desire to be like Vince from Entourage; what guy wouldn’t want to get any girl he could? But it also has to do with age. People our age know that it’s the movies; maybe for younger people the media has more influence,” Das said.

“American Pie and Old School were the two that began all of it,” Mortenson said. “They had a lot of influence on that genre. I was influenced by those movies when I was younger.”

Others disagree and believe that men are not simple creatures who repeat after any movie or TV show they watch.

“Movies are just movies. They are telling the story of how men behave, over the top, of course. But I don’t think it’s really glorified. Like ‘American Pie,’ for example, Stifler is the man whore of his friends, but they’re not glorifying it in any way, unless you want to be like Stifler. A lot of people don’t,” Mattingly said.

If the media doesn’t contribute to man whore behaviors, men must be acting naturally with television and movies mirroring life. This isn’t a new occurrence; MSU has always been full of promiscuous men looking for action with no strings attached.

“Yes, this was back in 1972. Of course it was the age of free love and sex, but as far as the media went it was kind of in its infancy. On broadcast television there wasn’t a whole lot. There was some suggestive humor, but not as blatant or open as it is today,” said MSU alumni Mark Iansiti.

Mortenson suggests that the average age of college students may explain the population of man whore’s around MSU.

“I feel as people get older they slowly realize that life is not all about sex. It is the age of people that around campus, they are all 18 to 22,” he said.

As a father, Iansiti is able to see the influence that the media has on his son’s behaviors and actions.

“I think there is some innate behavioral hard wiring in young people to explore, act out and rebel. But I think that the movies and the media industries capitalize on that and recognize the interest young people have in that behavior,” he said.

“Because sex sells [television and movie studios] take real world situations and glorify them to make them into Hollywood dramas. At least a mature audience knows that it’s been glorified and not realistic,” Das said. “It’s a fantasy thing.”

Children and teens will always have idols that have questionable behaviors, and it’s easy to compare the free love preached by rock stars of the seventies with media’s promotion of man whore’s today.

“It depends on where they get their influences,” Iansiti said. “Some people were motivated by music and some by TV.”

Men may not like to admit that they act like the characters in pop culture, but there are always women to call them out.

“Guys totally act the way they do because of popular movies and TV shows,” Hickman said. “I’ve noticed my guy friends acting different. It’s like they’ve got more testosterone after watching movies like that.”

The reasoning behind the man whore population around campus may boil down to the age old question of nature verses nurture, but every person has their own opinion. In the future maybe we will answer this question with experiments and research studies, but for now womankind is forced to live with it. Or as Mortenson suggests, wait it out until the current man whore is grown up like himself.

Do us a favor, man whores of MSU, before you use a pick up line from a movie, just remember that we’ve probably seen it, too.

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