A key that can open every lock is a great key,
but a lock that can be opened by every key is a worthless lock."
An omnipresent meta-trope about female sexuality.
Sexually active men have often been admired for their virility and sexual conquests (unless he is a cad, or picking only low hanging fruit).note A promiscuous woman on the other hand is more likely to be seen as a slut. For a man, wooing many women is an achievement, due to the instinct to spread one's genes by having more children. Whereas equally deep instinct makes the reverse true for a woman, as she can only have a few children in her lifetime and must choose a provider and protector carefully. Failing to do so will burden her, and her family, with children with no father around to provide for them; throughout history this has been a severe burden. Also, as the promise of sex is women's strongest card in the quest to gain a provider/protector, a woman who lowers the cost of sex by giving it away easily is strongly disliked by the other women.
This means that the leading lady in this trope is likely be in a monogamous meaningful relationship with the leading man. Anyone knocking the chastity of the hero's girl is even more likely to get punched out than someone calling the hero a virgin. Sometimes The Hero is a womanizer at the same time, but his best girl will still wait for him. This is why Nature Adores a Virgin. Very often the story ends with love making the man seek a monogamous relationship with the woman, seeing the error of his womanizing ways.
Compare No Guy Wants to Be Chased, Best Her to Bed Her, Defiled Forever, Emasculated Cuckold, Madonna-Whore Complex, Nature Adores a Virgin, Slut-Shaming. Contrast The Unfair Sex, My Girl Is a Slut, Good Bad Girl, Free-Love Future. Subtrope of Men Act, Women Are.
- Kaguya Hime: Mayu can't stand the thought of Akira being "dirtied" and having sex.
- Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens had a meta version of this, after finding out Nagi had a boyfriend before, Japanese otaku were NOT AMUSED. The fact that the reveal was rather trollish and a Creator Breakdown (the author got sick, so the manga's on hiatus indefinitely) left an unresolved cliffhanger didn't help.
- A dust-up among fandom occurred with Love Plus when an official manga showed Nene kissing an unidentified boy under an umbrella.
- Invoked in the josei manga Paradise Kiss. It is revealed two boys and a girl, Arashi, Tokumori, and Miwako, were in a Love Triangle in the past. Around the same time, we also find out the guy who got the girl, Arashi, forced her to lose her virginity with him. This is a source of many issues for the couple, because along with the (understandable) massive guilt he feels for the act itself, he thinks by raping her he stole her chances to change her mind and get together with Tokumori instead (it's even hinted he did it as a desperate measure to force her to stay with him in the first place). Then again, this series loves deconstructing shojo clichés.
- Evoked in the (almost) hentai My Balls, where Elyse tries to convince Kohta that his love interest, Minayo, in fact, is a slut. Later that chapter, he is in a hotel room where Minayo is passed out (don't ask) and decides to test the theories on physical traits from the internet. He's then shocked to find out that the traits indicate that she really is. (It's later revealed she's a Hard-Drinking Party Girl who is only a slut when drunk.)
- Enforced in Crying Freeman where Emu is required to keep her body for the Freeman only and in case she was to be raped, to commit suicide rather than have another man sully her body. Of course, You the Freeman are free to gallivant to your penis' content.
- When outed as a virgin seconds after mocking Okabe for the same trait, Steins;Gate's Kurisu attempts to save face by invoking this trope, even citing the lock and key proverb to back it up. Okabe declares her argument dumb, adds "American Virgin" to his list of many nicknames for her, and continues to tease her for it from then on.
- A strange case happened in The Comic Artist and his Assistants. While it does not involve any Love Interest, but being a moe enthusiast, Aito has that kind of sentiment towards the girls he created in his manga. In one skit he actually had a Heroic BSoD just because by drawing the wrong type of Panty Shot, he inadvertently portrayed them as sluts.note
- Perfect Blue turns this into My Idol Singer Celebrity Crush Is Not A Slut, courtesy of Me-mania's obvious Madonna-Whore Complex. One of the major concerns of the film is addressing how the idol business in Japan — particularly the Contractual Purity part of it — can wind up invoking these tropes.
- She-Hulk in her current series sleeps with quite a few other supers (who else is going to survive, really? Woman of Gamma, man of Kleenex) and has some issues with this trope. She's very irritated whenever people ask about her night with Juggernaut, then a member of the X-Men but still a known supervillain (this has since been retconned into her genuinely not sleeping with him). She also asks Tony Stark how he gets away with sleeping around (while in bed with him).
- More recently, she has sworn off Super Hero bedhopping... and then "falls off the wagon". But, she notes, if you had to fall off the wagon, you could do worse than Hercules... who is stunned when she treats it as a one-night stand and not something more.
- Lampshaded in one issue, where She-Hulk is legally required, thanks to an odd lawsuit, to tell the court the names of all her sexual partners. This takes hours.
- Averted in Sin City. When Marv learns that his one and only one-night stand was a prostitute, it surprises him but he doesn't really care. Dwight, likewise, apparently doesn't care that his on-again-off-again flame is a prostitute as well.
- This trope is why Anthony was pissed upon finding out Elizabeth wasn't a virgin in The New Retcons, driving Elizabeth out of the wedding suite and right into Warren Blackwood's arms, leading directly to James Allen's conception.
- This comes up a fair amount for The Prayer Warriors, such as when Jerry watches Annabeth fight in the coliseum (she isn't his girlfriend — or even Percy's — though).
Crowd: You Christian slut! I bet you had sex with your priest!
Jerry's Narration: I knew deep down that Annabeth was not a slut. Although she was a prostitute when she was under the controls of the false gods Zeus and Venus since she had converted to Christianity she had stayed clean.
- Empath practically yells this trope to Ares when he comments about what Smurfette may be doing with her fellow Smurfs while she is separated from Empath via time travel in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfing In Heaven". Bear in mind that all the Smurf characters in the story series (excluding the previously-married Papa Smurf) are virgins right up to the point of Empath and Smurfette's marriage.
- Piercing Gaze's opinion of The Great And Powerful Trixie in A Long Night at the Hippodrome. Fully justified, as Trixie was a virgin when he semi-accidentally seduced her, and as she is either demisexual or has a Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality (it's not obvious which), promiscuity is not one of Trixie's (many) character flaws.
- The Buster Keaton film Go West has a rather unusual example with a cow. Buster, who is working on a cattle ranch, makes friends with a cow called Brown Eyes. When he sees Brown Eyes getting a little too involved with a bull, he takes a pair of antlers that are hanging off the wall and ties them to Brown Eyes' head so she'll look like a bull, too.
- Porky's 2: The Next Day: In the previous film, Pee Wee was so desperate to have his Sex as Rite-of-Passage that he was happy to go with the easiest girl in the school and announce his new-found manhood with a Tarzan yell. Now he finds he likes her, and her reputation bothers him. "Before I wanted it to be true, now I guess I don't," he says. Fear not, Pee Wee, Wendy's reputation was much exaggerated.
- The movie Tom Jones is a particularly good example of this trope taken to its extreme. It's more funny than offensive, though.
- The focus of two separate Kevin Smith films Clerks and Chasing Amy. Chasing Amy was loosely based on Kevin Smith's relationship with star Joey Lauren Adams. Kevin Smith's character goes into a monologue about how sexist, conservative, and double-standard this is, and how it mostly derives from fear.
- Sita Sings the Blues (not to mention the Ramayana, the Indian story the movie is based on) has Rama refusing to take Sita back because she lived under the roof of another man... another man who kidnapped her, and with whom she specifically DID NOT have sex.
- In the original source, though, Rama's refusal of Sita comes to bite him in the ass HARD. He changes his mind, but Sita does NOT forgive him and asks the Earth to literally swallow her in front of Rama so she won't have to see him again. Rama could never get over it and was horribly depressed until his death and reincarnation.
- However, that happened when he doubted her the second time—the first time she's just like "okay, I'll leap into an open flame to prove I'm a virgin". Later, they go back to the kingdom, she gets pregnant, and then a random subject questions Sita's loyalty, causing Rama to send his pregnant wife into exile. Ten years late, he meets his twin boys and asks Sita to jump into the fire again because he can't bear to be apart from their sweet little faces, which is when she says screw you.
- In the original source, though, Rama's refusal of Sita comes to bite him in the ass HARD. He changes his mind, but Sita does NOT forgive him and asks the Earth to literally swallow her in front of Rama so she won't have to see him again. Rama could never get over it and was horribly depressed until his death and reincarnation.
- The examination of this trope and everything that it implies was a main focus of Easy A. Olive, the heroine, is ostracized at her high school when she develops a false reputation for promiscuity, whereas all the men that she pretends to have sex with become more popular. The Double Standard is explicitly discussed.
- In the original Total Recall, Quaid's "wife" is Richter's girlfriend.
Richter: I want that fucker dead!
Helm: I don't blame you, man. I wouldn't want a guy like Quaid porkin' my old lady.
Richter: You saying she likes it?
Helm: No, I'm sure she hated every minute of it.
- This is the attitude of effeminate cowboy Elmer in Undead or Alive, who doesn't seem to realize that his fiancée is the town prostitute. This leads to him attacking Luke when he sees her getting flirty with the newcomer near the beginning of the film.
Elmer: I'm not gonna just sit there and watch you soil my Princess!
Luke: [laughing] I hate to break it to you, but she ain't your princess. She's a whore!
Elmer: Why you potty-mouthed son of a bitch!
- Pretty Persuasion. Kimberly has a boyfriend who persuaded her to have anal sex with him then dumped her because he felt she had degraded herself by allowing him to do that.
- Bollywood movie - Patiala House. The heroine takes care of a boy and everyone assumes that the boy is her son. They have a scene that is introduced for the sole purpose of telling the viewer that the boy is not her son, and yes, the heroine is a virgin.
- Downplayed in Watch It. After Rick and Ellen finally have sex, she reveals she hasn't slept with anyone in a long time before him, nor has she slept with many people before him. This ends up freaking him out because he realizes she only sleeps with people she really cares about, and he wants to keep the relationship casual. It ends up leading to some major jerkass behavior on his part, though he eventually gets better.
- Parodied in the film What We Do in the Shadows, as it relates to our friendly vampiric protagonists' preference for feeding on virginal women. As Vladislav so eloquently puts it:
Vladislav: I think of it like this; if you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if no one had fucked it first.
- Donald feels very strongly about this in Shanghai Express. Five years ago, in the backstory, some stunt his girlfriend Madeline pulled to make him jealous instead caused him to dump her. He is sickened to find out that after he dumped her, she's been working as a High-Class Call Girl for the last five years under the professional name Shanghai Lily. And when he learns that Madeline/Lily just offered herself to the bandit chief that's holding them both hostage, he angrily rejects her. He doesn't know that she did it to keep the bandit chief from putting his eyes out.
- Mixed with Hypocrite in The Divorcee. Ted cheats on his wife Jerry. He begs forgiveness. She takes revenge by cheating on him as well, but feels bad about it, and tells him. He flips out and declares their marriage over, which leaves Jerry enraged.
Jerry: Loose women—great, but not in the home, eh, Ted?
- In Red Zone Cuba, Villain Protagonist Griffin nearly strangles one of his companions to death after the man reads aloud a newspaper article talking about a woman forced to prostitute herself after her husband was sent to jail. Naturally, Griffin is that husband, but the guy reading the newspaper had no way of knowing that; it's just another violent outburst that only serves to undermine the film's attempts to sell Griffin as a victim of circumstance.
- Anna from Way Down East ends up impregnated by a womanizing man who promised to marry her just to get her into bed. After learning of her pregnancy he runs off. Being an unwed single mother, Anna receives a lot of scorn even as her baby lies sick and dying.
- In The Mansion, to Stéphane's horror, and growing rage, his ex-girlfriend, Sam, is established through the film to have slept with practically every male member in the cast at some point.
- Mastizaade: Despite his own promiscuity, Sunny is disappointed to learn Laila is a sex addict much like him, as he truly fell in love with her and wished she acted more "proper" instead and rejects her advances as long as she only wants casual sex. He finally accepts her when she starts to dress and act more conservatively for his sake so they can marry and be together.
- Freshman Year: When Marcella's date/attempted rapist claims she quickly had sex with him, CJ is enraged, nearly picking a fight, because he knows she's not like that. Zigzagged though as she later does have sex with him with no apparent hesitation, and so it's more about his perception of her. It also avoids the double standard as him having sex with her is not portrayed as any better (given this is a conservative Christian film).
- Young & Wild: Daniela's mother is mortified by the extramarital sex she has, continually inflicting and threatening greater punishments over it. By the end it's implied she's disowned Daniela at last.
- A Brother's Price: Much like in the Tess example below, chastity is among the virtues that are mentioned to make Jerin look like a good potential husband. Women's sleeping around is also frowned upon in this setting, due to an inversion of STD Immunity, but it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem, at least if their sleeping around is with other women.
- Pretty much the whole plot of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Angel even defends Tess as a possible wife to his parents by basically emphasizing how chaste and pure she is (he's got a lot of convincing to do, as Tess has neither money, land, nor family connections to recommend her).
- This later backfires, when Angel finds out on their wedding night that Tess was raped, and despite having just admitted that he once slept with a prostitute, claims he cannot have an (even accidentally) impure woman as his wife and runs off to South America (and asks another woman to come with him).
- The main subplot of Dennis Wheatley's The Satanist. Barney comes around and marries the girl in the end, though.
- Older Than Feudalism: Odysseus of Homer's The Odyssey slept with both Circe and later Calypso (although it wasn't voluntary, as he is described as trying to fight her desire, she "compelled him") without any criticism from other characters, the gods, or the narrators. Back at home, Odysseus's wife Penelope remained faithful for 20 years, which was sort of the minimum acceptable behavior for a woman — the unfaithful women in the story, Helen and Clytemnaestra, are viewed as responsible for some pretty major tragedies. After Odysseus returns, he goes as far as killing all of the maids who slept with the suitors even though they just worked for him. Plus, you have three virgin goddesses (Hestia, Athena, Artemis) but definitely no virgin gods. Calypso even complains about this double standard — male gods take human lovers all the time, but they object when a goddess does the same.
- Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad takes Penelope's point of view and starts each chapter with poems from the maids, lamenting their unjust deaths. Though in the case of the maids, it's less about sleeping with the guests (which was a part of their work and not frowned upon) and more about them spilling them vital information that could've gotten the kingdom as a whole in trouble, which equalled to high treason. One of the girls told one of the suitors about Penelope's Batman Gambit to buy time through the veil she sewed and then destroyed each night to keep the guys away from her.
- The story of Penelope's cousins Helen and Clytemnaestra is a little more complex. Helen may be considered partly responsible for the Trojan War, but is not punished, but reinstated as Menelaos' queen, with the prospect that both of them will not die but travel directly to the Elysian fields. Of course, it helps that Helen is Zeus' daughter. Clytemnaestra is not just guilty of cheating on her husband with Aigisthos — the murderer of her husband's father — but also Aigisthos' accomplice in the murder of Agamemnon and herself the murderer of Cassandra and her children. And the way things were presented in the Odyssey (there are various non-Homeric alternate stories), Odysseus as a mortal could not prevent goddesses Circe and Calypso having their way with him but did refuse the offer of mortal Nausicaa's hand in marriage.
- In one version Clytemnestra's first husband was Tantalus, King of Pisa, who was killed by Agamemnon. Agamemnon then took her as his wife forcibly and also murdered her infant son. Then comes the part that every version agrees of: he sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis after telling Clytemnestra he was going to marry her off to the hero Achilleus. Doesn't make what she did alright, but double standards are working here, too. No old myth would have questioned a man's right to turn axe-happy after being crossed repeatedly and so cruelly.
- This issue is danced around in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Though Ginny's older brothers take issue with her "going through boyfriends awfully quickly" and Ron gets upset with her kissing Dean in public, Ginny herself will have none of it and stands up for herself, quickly accusing Ron of just being jealous 'cause he's never kissed anyone himself.
- Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn contains a somewhat complex version. Simon, raised a kitchen scullion, harbors an Unrequited Love for Princess Miriamele. Believing her to be out of his reach, he tries (unsuccessfully) to "make time" with other girls. On a mission as her knight protector late in the story, as Simon finally works up the nerve to kiss her, Miriamele rebuffs him brutally with the knowledge that she slept with a Nabbanai nobleman while she was held captive on his ship. Simon is made furious by this perceived betrayal and rejection and behaves so recklessly as a result that he nearly gets them both killed. For her part, Miriamele does this intentionally, believing herself to have been Defiled Forever even though Aspitis effectively raped her. It takes several more chapters before they reconcile these issues.
- This trope is at the centre of Samuel Richardson's 1740 novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It's the story of a woman who's sexually harassed by her boss, and when she rejects him he kidnaps her, then falsely accuses her of having sex with the clergyman who tried to help her. No matter how he torments her and pursues her, she always rejects him to protect her "modesty." Finally, he's so impressed with her, that she gets a reward — she gets to marry him!
- Henry Fielding hated Pamela so much that he wrote two parodies of it — an aversion called Shamela and an inversion called Joseph Andrews. Joseph Andrews is about a man who's sexually harassed by his woman boss. Characters make constant declarations on the value of male chastity throughout, and the novel draws most of its humour from this role-reversal.
- In most of Agatha Christie's novels, nearly every woman who has sex outside of marriage is unworthy to be a wife (and is also more likely to be the killer than anyone else), while the men can sex it up with all the women they want before marriage and still be wonderful husbands. Justified, given the time period her novels are published in, and the general attitude towards pre-marital sex in those days.
- Yet, Eileen Rich, a respectable schoolteacher from Cat Among the Pigeons (1959), has an illegitimate child and is among the most sympathetic characters in the novel. Honoria Bulstrode, her headmistress, does not hold this against her, provided it does not become public knowledge. The novel ends with the implication Bulstrode has chosen Rich as her eventual successor.
- Then again, in And Then There Were None, Miss Brent is charged with the murder of a girl in her charge — the girl had gotten pregnant and committed suicide when her family and Miss Brent had both cast her out.
- Poor Margaery Tyrrell of A Song of Ice and Fire. Claiming that she's a virgin despite her two failed marriages did NOT work well for her...
- Used in the Night Huntress books by Jeaniene Frost. Cat is a virgin when the saga begins. Bones is a "former-gigolo-turned-promiscuous-vampire". His former lover puts his score in the tens of thousands, in the two hundred and twenty years he's been alive. However, once they start dating, neither one cheats. Which is fortunate for their would-be lovers, since vampires are territorial and either one of them would cheerfully murder the other's paramour.
- Comes up in the Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews. Kate doesn't date. When Raphael flirts with her, she mentions that it's been two years since she last got laid. Curran has had a "parade" of girlfriends.
- The Psy Changeling novels by Nalini Singh can't decide if they are this or not. On one hand, the narration tells us that sex is healthy for both sexes, and changeling women are very sexually liberated. On the other hand, every single hero has been wildly sexually experienced, while every heroine has been virginal or had a cold, unfulfilling love life. The one woman (Tally) who has had other lovers before the hero is berated by him for "selling herself so cheaply" — despite his own sexual experience. The trope becomes so pervasive that it leads to a literal virgin mother. Her marriage was a sham concocted to explain her test-tube baby.
- The Undead books by MaryJanice Davidson. Betsy's friend keeps a calendar of her sexual activity to try and encourage her to get more action; Sinclair has daily orgies with his three girlfriends on black silk sheets.
- Averted in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow — in Working for the Devil Danny casually mentions that she doesn't know the escort houses in an unfamiliar town well enough to use them.
- Dissected by the Marquis de Sade; his book Justine reveals a cavalcade of disasters that befall the "virtuous" Justine; her sister Juliette, meanwhile, is a bigger and more vicious libertine than her male counterparts, and has a grand old time... even going so far as to rescue Justine from the perils of her own attempted virtue.
- Inverted with glee in Atlas Shrugged: Hank Rearden is successfully blackmailed over his extramarital affair with Dagny Taggart by Dr. Ferris, who says that the shame of their affair being made public would be hers, not his. However, when the same information is used to blackmail Dagny, she proudly confesses to having slept with Rearden. It was played straight earlier, when Hank flew into a homicidal rage over Dagny's relationship with Francisco; later, he finds out she's leaving him for John Galt and is perfectly sanguine about it. Rand applauds Dagny and Hank's extramarital affair but still considers "whore" to be a terrible insult.note
- In Gabriel García Márquez's short novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a woman is chastised by her husband and beaten by her mother for not being a virgin on her wedding night, and her two brothers feel compelled to murder the man who allegedly took her virginity away. Said brothers, meanwhile, spend most of their time hanging out in a brothel with no repercussions (there's even a Hooker with a Heart of Gold who's a major character)!
- This trope is played straight with the protagonist of the novel Youth in Sexual Ecstasy and also discussed in the opening chapter:
"Everyone learns to drive on a used car, but for the life's car that's gonna be nice and reliable, only a madman would buy a used car."
"I don't know... there are some good-looking used cars too..."
- In the original novel Devdas the titular character is initially disgusted with Chandramukhi for her profession as a courtesan. He eventually marries her, but only after she gives up her profession to be with him, and he's always dogged by his feelings for Proper Lady Paro.
- Johnny in The Truth of Rock And Roll actually loves Jenny for her experience and Good Bad Girl free-spiritedness, but he still feels the need to defend her reputation. Unfortunately, he's grossly ill-suited for the task.
- The Mirrorworld Series: Jacob and Clara's mutual attraction is left nicely ambiguous, but they're both ashamed of Kissing Under the Influence. Becomes vitally important seeing as Clara needs to be Will's True Love for their quest to succeed...
- In-universe in Vampire Academy, Mason Ashford protects Rose's reputation by forcing Jezze Zeklos and Ralf Sarcozy to admit they never slept with her.
- Averted in The Goblin Emperor: Maia is a virgin himself, and at one point in the narrative thinks that perhaps he should have asked his advisors to arrange his marriage to a widow so that at least one of them would know what they're doing. It also didn't help Maia's mother any to have come to her marriage bed a virgin - all that did was to ascertain that the emperor was indeed Maia's father and having to acknowledge the half-goblin as potential heir was not something the elven emperor was happy about.
- In Corpies, Bubble Bubble's corporate-sponsored public image is that of a demure, wholesome girl. She always wears sensible, conservative clothing. Then a paparazzi reveals that she slept with a movie director 2 years ago. Said director had failed to mention that he was already in a relationship with a well-known actress. When the paparazzi released the photos, the director, facing flak from both the public and his girlfriend, decided to shift the blame entirely to Bubble Bubble, claiming that, as a Super, she might have used some kind of mind-control power on him. Despite Bubble Bubble's abilities being well documented, the non-Super public is clearly leaning towards the director's story and begins to slut-shame Bubble Bubble. Titan asks his agent Lenny to take Bubble Bubble on as a client. Instead of trying to rescue her "quiet girl" image, which he could do, he suggests that, instead, she owns having consensual sex with a man she thought was single. The fact that he cheated on his girlfriend says absolutely nothing about her since she didn't know. When she goes on a talk show, the host, predictably, attacks her, only for her to turn the table on him and aggressively attack this outdated trope, pointing out that the's absolutely nothing wrong with a woman having consensual sex with someone she likes. The host doesn't know what to say, having clearly not been prepared for this.
- Part of Roger's Berserk Button in Who Censored Roger Rabbit? is insinuating this about Jessica. However, she's only married to him because of a genie and only for a year at that—but this version of Jessica Rabbit is a porn star.
- Bernard Marx and John the Savage in Brave New World are both bothered by the promiscuity of Lenina (who Bernard was with for a time, and who John pines for). However, this being a society where everyone is conditioned to accept that My Girl Is a Slut, their attitudes are seen as abnormal (to compound the Values Dissonance Lenina is seen as rather conservative in her promiscuity, and is considered a little weird for sleeping with Henry too often).
- The Han Solo Trilogy: Han is very upset when he finds Bria is the (apparent) concubine of a Moff, saying he never imagined she'd be so "cheap". Later he learns the truth (Bria was just spying on behalf of the Corellian Resistance). In fact, she hasn't even been with any men after Han, but he's had about four different girlfriends since her.
- A whole episode of Everybody Loves Raymond revolves around this. Marie Barone drops hints that the newest of her daughters-in-law is the more preferable of the two because Amy had no sexual partners before meeting Robert Barone. Again without saying it out loud and by using insinuations, this is contrasted unfavourably with Debra Barone having had other boyfriends prior to meeting Raymond. What finally deflates Marie is her husband Frank reminiscing about the other boyfriends she, Marie, had prior to marrying Frank.
- Desperate Housewives. As soon as Edie Britt is introduced, her promiscuity is presented as a negative thing to make the viewers dislike her
''Susan had met the enemy and she was a slut."
- Mike Hammer can do whatever he likes; Velda will still be there for him.
- Patricia Holm was always ready to wait for The Saint in his early adventures, too.
- Played with in Goodness Gracious Me, the skit show from the people who later made The Kumars at Number 42. A Pakistani woman is telling another that she heard the other's son was sleeping around. The other begins to defend him, but soon changes tactics - "My son is a stud!" - and goes on to describe his manly sexual exploits.
- Inverted Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. The sidekick Action Girl Aneka will literally do everything that moves.
- The Fixer. Government killer John Mercer is clearly attracted to Rose Chamberlain, but her role as the unit's Honey Trap tends to deter him. "Says the man whose trigger finger is still warm," as she puts it.
- Utterly demolished - almost! - by Sex and the City. Even the "prudish" Charlotte beds more men than some women meet in their lives. Sexual hook-ups are seen as normal (if often problematic) behavior, not shameful crimes or dysfunction. This trope does crop up in the constant reflection/ wangsting of the main characters, and may be reaffirmed at the story's end by placing all four women in monogamous relationships. Still, the women are not punished in the "traditional" sense for their sexual desires - said desires and freedoms being the whole point of the series to begin with!
- Except that there was an episode called Are We Sluts? were the characters questions whether they are too promiscuous and Charlotte worries because "nobody wants to marry a whore" and in another episode, she's reluctant to try anal sex because "men don't marry up-the-butt girl."
- In this article on Doctor Who we are quick to be reminded that Our Girl Is Very Sexy But Isn't "Slutty" At All Because That Would Be Bad.
- Doctor Who has an interesting history of how sexuality has been addressed in the series, as detailed in the Other Wiki.
- Good Times plays with this trope. When Florida finds a term paper called "Sexual Behaviors in the Ghetto", she assumes that it's dirty and thus belongs to JJ. JJ denies it. When Florida tells James, he gives JJ an attaboy and pats him on the back and is proud of him. However, when it's revealed that it belongs to Thelma, James goes berserk and basically puts her on lockdown without allowing her to explain that it belongs to her boyfriend who wrote the paper for his master's degree program. Florida sets James straight, but he is still angry until the boyfriend reveals that Thelma is still a virgin because she has a good support system at home and a strong father.
- No Angels. Callum tells Anji he doesn't want a girlfriend who is a "slag" despite him cheating on his girlfriend.
- Married... with Children. Bud frequently mocks Kelly for being easy despite the huge number of girls he's hit on
- Farscape has John Crichton having sexual relations with women other than Aeryn Sun, but Aeryn gets an entire episode all about how it's only ever been John since they met ("Prayer.")
- Not "other women," exactly: Crichton only got past the flirting stage with one woman other than Aeryn Sun during the course of the series, a single night of "tomorrow we may die" sex with Peacekeeper spy. Also, Aeryn was notably a bit screwed up about men at the time, since although she'd had plenty of sex partners before they met, she'd had only one "lover." It ended badly.
- It also averts it with the Beta Couple — Chiana has a sexual history that easily trumps D'Aargo's. No one has a real problem with it except when she's unfaithful.
- Averted in M*A*S*H. While never explicitly shown, it's clear many of the nurses willingly sleep around. The nurses are never portrayed as sluts, and the only characters who sometimes object, Frank and Margaret, have more problems with the unequal ranks of the couples than that they see the females as sluts. Only Margaret and Hawkeye ever get slightly shamed for it in eleven seasons, and even then it's mostly affectionate on other characters' part.
- Angela Montenegro of Bones averts this one: she has more sex than anyone else on the show but doesn't get punished for it. Neither does Brennan, who isn't chaste herself. The only time Brennan's promiscuity is portrayed in a negative light is when she is dating two men simultaneously without telling them. There's also the mother of Booth's first child, who refused to marry him but has no problem with an occasional hookup with Booth despite dating someone at the time. This finally stops, when Bones intervenes and tells her that it isn't fair to the Catholic Booth.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Terms like 'slut' and 'ho' are used to describe female characters while promiscuous or woman-chasing men get no criticism for their behavior. In fact when Buffy and Xander spy a couple of teenagers dancing provocatively Buffy calls the girl - who turns out to be Dawn - a slut but says nothing about the boy. Similarly, Cordelia called Faith "slut-o-rama" for dancing flirtatiously with a man but said nothing about him except about his fashion sense.
- The whole Parker storyline certainly looks like a pretty hefty critique of promiscuous men. Parker makes a habit of bedding as many women as possible, and ends up being insulted immeasurable times, punched once, nearly burned to death, and knocked out with a branch twice before being promptly Put on a Bus. Meanwhile, Buffy, who was one of Parker's brief flings, is told firmly by Xander that she is not a slut and is supported through the painful experience by all of her friends. All things considered, it's more Parker's treatment of women that's criticised, not necessarily his promiscuity.
- Pacey in Dawson's Creek almost ruins his relationship with Audrey because he can't handle her past promiscuity though it turns out she wasn't that promiscuous after all.
- Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Oz tells Neville that he can't get involved with a woman because she is a prostitute despite him and several of the other characters happily attending brothels.
- The women of Friends use the word slut as an insult to other women and - occasionally - each other but never give Joey any flack for his promiscuity and sex obsession unless he appears to be mistreating a woman.
- On the other hand, Phoebe gets around almost as much as Joey and never gets any flack for it. The only time it's mentioned is when she decides to settle down long-term and not have short term relationships. (She's about 34 by this stage). The guy she ends up with is unfazed by her sexual history and she sleeps with him on their first date.
- In fact the two characters on the show with the least sexual partners are Ross and Chandler, both guys.
- A season 2 episode has Monica worrying when Phoebe makes a comment about her being with loads of men in the past. She starts to fret about her sexual history when she hears Richard has only been with two women ever. Ross and Rachel have a similar conversation but in this case, the number of Rachel's partners isn't the issue. It's rather Ross worrying that he can't measure up to her previous boyfriend Paolo (whom he hated already).
- Rose McGowan invoked this trope when it came to her character Paige specifically in season 5. Paige was often seen with a different guy every episode, including one that only appeared in a brief raunchy scene on the couch with her. She claims to have gone to the writers and said "Paige isn't a ho". All of Paige's love interests from then on are fairly long term. Of course, this was also because she was annoyed at having to film numerous such scenes with actors she'd only just met.
- Similarly Phoebe gets the word "slut" hurled at her by many fans due to a combination of the many guys she had in the show's run and the skimpy outfits she always wore. While the outfits were understandable, all of the guys she had were steady boyfriends that lasted several episodes at least. While it's true she had a lot more love interests than any of her sisters it's always more out of a desire for love than anything else. Phoebe also has to deal with this in-universe, as a Berserk Button for her is the Embarrassing Nickname 'Freebie' she got after she was caught making out with a boy under the bleachers.
- Phil Hunter in The Bill criticizes his daughters mother saying she'd have sex with anyone despite the fact he is constantly chasing women not caring if they are married or in a relationship (or if he is).
- On the Buses. Jack commented that he won't take a girl out twice if she's a nice, i.e. chaste, girl
- Everybody Hates Chris. In the episode Everybody Hates A Liar Chris gets respect in the neighborhood when everybody thinks he hooked up with a new girl called Tasha while she worries that her reputation is ruined. He eventually tells everyone nothing happened and Tasha wouldn't do anything like that because she's a "nice girl."
- The Secret Life of Us. Kelly feels like a slut for having sex with a man she is dating too quickly naturally she doesn't worry that he's a slut for having sex with her too quickly.
- Family Matters: "Rumor Has It ..." that Laura Winslow slept around with her boyfriend, Ted, and now Laura is eager to have sex with the rest of the school (except Urkel, of course). Of course, that rumor was completely incorrect, but Ted's buddies — thanks to his inability to set them straight — are led to believe he and Laura went all the way. Laura thinks Urkel is lying when he heard the three discuss what happened on the date, but then her friend Maxine reports hearing the same rumors. Laura tearfully cries on Harriet's shoulder, prompting her to want to call Ted's parents to force the truth. Instead, Laura recruits Urkel and big brother Eddie to get the truth out in the open, that coming in the school hallway between classes. As thus, Eddie's action becomes "My Sister is Not a Slut."
- Step by Step: In the season six episode "It Didn't Happen One Night," the trope becomes My Sister Is Not a Slut when Karen grudgingly decides to defend her sister Al after she had gotten a reputation at school as being "easy." Earlier in the show, Al and the school hunk, Kyle, had gone on a date, but when they began to share a kiss, Kyle used a trick seat to jump on top of Al; she fought him off, but the next day at school, Kyle brags that the two had sex, leading to Al gaining an unwanted reputation as a slut and her emotional breakdown at school. Karen's way of getting to the truth — when all of Kyle's friends and (ex) girlfriends are around — is similar to the "Rumor Has It ..." episode of Family Matters, and in the process averts Al's threatened nervous breakdown.
- The Sopranos. Almost all the gangsters cheat on their wives and have sex with prostitutes while expecting 100% faithfulness from their wives — a rumor of infidelity leads to one woman being brutally beaten while already injured from a car crash — and viewing prostitutes as worthless.
- Merlin plays out the Lancelot/Guinevere/Arthur Love Triangle by having Morgana resurrect Lancelot from the spirit world as her mindless slave. He's sent to seduce Guinevere on the eve of her wedding to Arthur, and when she doesn't reciprocate, Morgana and Lancelot Mind Rape her with the use of an enchanted bracelet. Arthur catches her making out with Lancelot and all hell breaks loose. Eventually, Lancelot (on orders from Morgana) commits suicide and is given an honorable funeral while Guinevere is banished from Camelot on pain of death.
- 7th Heaven has an episode where Robbie takes Mary out for a romantic Valentines Day. He offers to have sex with her and she punches him in the face.
- Gender Flipped in the mini-series Dis/Connected in which the character Ben is referred to as "a little slut" and a "panty-sniffer" and "a dirty boy" by female characters that he tries (and fails) to bed.
- Almost inverted in How I Met Your Mother. Robin is occasionally teased, but never outright shamed; Marshall has only had one sexual partner, and everybody except Barney sees this as an accomplishment; Marshall is proud of Lily's kinkiness; and everyone is disgusted (though sometimes a little awed) by Barney's behavior. Ted generally gets away with most stuff, even dating two girls at one point, but is rarely shamed; as he is the narrator, this is somewhat justified.
- However, on the episode "The Naked Man," Robin sleeps with a guy on the first date and Marshall shames her for being a slut, saying the only reason anyone should have sex is for love. Robin goes on another date with the guy, despite having nothing in common, to prove she's not a slut (and the man Mitch even says he's used to being taken on the "I'm not a slut date"). By the end of the episode, Marshall takes back what he said because Lily made a list of 50 reasons to have sex other than love.
- Stargate SG-1: This trope seems to be at play during the Jaffa wedding ceremony in "Sacrifices" with a heaping dose of Double Standard. Part of the ceremony involves placing a totem of bravery around the groom's neck...and a circle of fidelity on the bride's head.
- On Everybody Loves Raymond, this trope is invoked in "Good Girls". Marie treats Robert's girlfriend Amy better than Debra because she's a virgin. When Ray tells Marie that Debra was a virgin before marriage, she suddenly starts to treat Debra better as well.
- In the 7 Yüz episode "Eşitlik", Kaan ardently defends his fiancée Dilek against gossip, reassures her she did nothing wrong, and even sucker-punches Alihan, whom he suspects of watching (and laughing at) her sex tape.
- An episode of CSI: Miami involves a beach volleyball team being electrocuted. It's eventually revealed that a man, whose wife was sleeping with one of the (young) players, got jealous and killed the guy, unintentionally killing the entire team as well. When she asks him what's the difference between him sleeping around and her, he loudly enunciates "Because I’m a man!" in a "do I really have to spell it out for you?" tone. He claims it's embarrassing for him to have his wife sleep with a younger man, but he has no problem sleeping with a younger woman.
- Yellowjackets: While they're tentatively moving toward sex, Travis wants to know how many guys Natalie's slept with. She gets offended, decrying the double standard on male vs. female promiscuity this implies. He soon apologizes, and she admits it's only been two (Travis is a virgin, for his part).
- Openly criticised by Christina Aguilera's song "Can't Hold Us Down"
The guy gets all the glory the more he can scoreand the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore!
- Any time female rapper sings about sex. Khia's sexually explicit song "My Neck My Back" is put on Youtube, the comments are full of people calling Khia a whore for releasing a song about a woman's desire and demand for sexual 'fulfillment'. A few people will always point out that Khia's lyrics are hardly any more shocking or explicit than any number of songs released by male rappers.
- A rap "Spit Your Game" by a teenage girl called OG Niki got a similar response.
- The Weezer song "No One Else" is pretty much about this — completely unrealistic expectations by the man in the relationship. For what it's worth, the next track (which Rivers Cuomo has said is essentially from the viewpoint of the same male character) is about how the chick dumped the guy.
- The J. Geils Band track "Centerfold" has the singer freaking out after seeing his teenage crush from years ago naked in Playboy and angsting about how it's ruined his fantasy memory.
It's okay, I understand, this ain't no Never-NeverlandOh no, I can't deny itOh well, I guess I gotta buy it
- Eventually, however, he accepts it... and even embraces it.
- Eminem rap "Superman":
I'd never love you enough to trust you, we just met and I just fucked you...
- "I'm That Kind Of Girl" by Patty Loveless is all about this Trope:
But if somewhere in the middle's what you're lookin' forI'm that kind of girl, yes I'm that kind of girl
- Downplayed in David Byrne's song "She Only Sleeps". The narrator knows his girlfriend is monogamous, and that's good enough for him. Everyone around him thinks she's sleeping around, but he doesn't give a damn about their opinions.
- In the rap song "Slow Down" by Brand Nubian, the speaker is upset that his ex-girlfriend had been stealing from him to pay for her crack habit (and evidently continued to do so after the breakup, because she sold his sneakers to "Woolly Willie," presumably her dealer), and the fact that crackheads and dealers come to his apartment, and the fact that her addiction has radically changed her looks and personality. The thing he is most upset about and disgusted by, however, is the fact that she has been selling her body to pay for her habit. He gives her a What the Hell, Hero? for it and takes it upon himself to warn other men about her.
- Jim Jefferies says that this double standard isn't as unfair as it sounds, since All Men Are Perverts and A Man Is Always Eager so sleeping with a lot of them isn't much of an achievement, whereas sleeping with a lot of women is since they tend to be a lot pickier in who they sleep with.
Jim: Every single time a man sleeps with a lot of women, he's called a stud, but if a woman sleeps with a lot of men, she's called a slut, and people think this is unfair. Nah. It's completely fair, and I'll tell you why, all right? 'Cause it’s fuckin’ easy to be a slut. It’s fuckin’ hard to be a stud. To be a stud you have to be witty, charming, be well-dressed, have nice shoes, and a fake job. To be a slut you just have to be there. There are fat, ugly sluts out there. There are no fat, ugly studs.
- Chris Rock has a bit that brushes against this trope. He advises guys to never ask their girlfriends how many men she's slept with because whatever the number is, it'll be too high for the man.
She could reply with two and you'd be like, "Two?! Two?! Two?... I guess that's how you was raised."
- Averted in Avenue Q with (who else?) Lucy The Slut.
- William Shakespeare has a number of cases of assumed infidelity although none show a double-standard in that the males aren't implied to be sleeping around either:
- In A Midsummer Night's Dream, while Demetrius is thoroughly repulsed by Helena, he still argues with her to go back to safety because the danger of rape is too great.
- In Troilus and Cressida, Cressida is traded to the Greeks in a hostage exchange and when Troilus comes to rescue her, he suspects her of having cuckolded him with Diomedes (with no real evidence for or against in the play) and leaves her there.
- In Cymbeline, Posthumous Leonatus is informed (falsely) that his wife, Imogen, has cheated on him and immediately sets forth events to have her killed.
- And, of course, everyone knows what happened to Othello and Desdemona...
- The Moon is Blue:
Don: Look, Slater, you're overplaying it. You know that's a nice kid. There's a cleaned, scrubbed quality about her that even you could see.
David: The greatest courtesans of history were all cleaned and scrubbed in appearance as far as I know. Mandatory to the profession, you might almost say.
Don: You know what I mean.
David: Okay, but keep the soap commercials out of it.
- In Yakuza 6, Nagumo gets extremely upset at the initial implication that Kiyomi had been in a relationship with Someya, going on a rant about how her name means pure and obviously it's not true. When it's finally confirmed that she was, indeed, married to Someya at one point, Nagumo seems despondent.
- Daughter for Dessert:
- Amanda has no sexual experience before she starts fooling around with the protagonist.
- Subverted with Heidi. After sharing sexual experiences with the protagonist and Kathy (sometimes both at once if the player so chooses), Heidi stops in the middle of a love fest, and tells the protagonist that since she doesn’t like casual sex, he has to choose right then and there between her and Kathy (or someone else).
- A few examples in Double Homework:
- Johanna and (presumably) Tamara both have their first sexual experiences with the protagonist.
- Amy also loses her virginity to the protagonist (if the player makes the right choices).
- The protagonist is afraid that Rachel has been with lots of guys since he broke up with her, but she actually hasn’t been with anyone since the two of them were a couple.
- Katawa Shoujo: Emi , who was quite confidently sexual with Hisao in her route, experiments with anal a few days after starting a relationship with him, implies she's done some sexual stuff before ("Most of this is new to me."), and is revealed to have had a boyfriend before. Most of the fandom didn't care, but even then it wasn't uncommon to see comments about her supposed "easiness."
- Melody is a virgin when she meets the protagonist, despite having been in a previous relationship with a party boy.
- Becca is not a virgin, but she is nevertheless very shy, especially about getting into sexual relationships.
- Averted in Roommates. Isabella is a shameless flirt and it's implied that she Really Gets Around, but it's never portrayed as being a bad thing.
- College Roomies from Hell!!!:
- Deconstructed in El Goonish Shive: Diane discovers she has a reputation because guys have been lying about her since they don't want to be shamed for not having sex. When she reveals the truth (that she is a virgin), several of the guys who lied (and some who didn't) admit they're also virgins ... and one girl admits she isn't.
Girl who isn't a virgin's friend: I wouldn't have ... okay, I've called a lot of girls sluts, but ... Dammit. I'm sorry. It's okay. I'm the jerk. You're awesome.