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As a pansy, I take exception to her negative use of the word. Pansies have been some of history's greatest generals. Pansies are also great scientists, teachers and lovers. Back off. Whore.

Posted by Vince | June 27, 2008 2:02 PM
Can we please—all of us—resist the urge to define adultery down? To commit adultery, a person has to be married, not just dating or going steady or even engaged. This girl, if you fuck her, may be a lying, cheating sack of shit, and you may be a cad, but she won't be an adulteress, NAAH. She can't be one of those until after she's married.


…a skanky, skanky whore? I said she was—or might be, if this guy decides to do her—in my response.


Posted by Mr. Poe | June 27, 2008 2:07 PM

Big surprise: the hooker doesn't think that the non-partnered person has any responsibility for the affair. Quite a heart of gold.

Posted by daniel | June 27, 2008 2:08 PM

Of course he shouldn’t do anything he does not feel good about doing, but even if he were to have sex with that girl, he would not be cheating. He has no obligation or relationship of trust to her boyfriend. She, on the other hand, does.

Sheesh. That has to be the worst fucking advice ever.

Dan, you're a much better columnist. Chickenshit sex workers with no morality whatsoever have nothing on you.

Posted by demo kid | June 27, 2008 2:09 PM

So is she a dyke sex worker who sleeps with men? What do the other dykes think about that? Does that mean as a straight man, I can sleep with other men for money and not be a gay prostitute?

Posted by Banna | June 27, 2008 2:16 PM

dear whore, i agree with vince. I want to bring to your attention to the term “pansy” to describe a boyfriend who who does not want to engage in “adultery”. Using words like “pansy” in a negative context (where you are implying ridicule) is inaccurate and offensive. Pansies are plants cultivated as garden flowers. Pansies are derived from Viola tricolor also called the Heartsease or 'Johnny Jump Up', stepmothers flower,or ladies delight. As a pansy, I’m big on language reclamation, and that starts with using words in their correct, respectful context. Equating the word “pansy” with a boy that is uncomfortable with infidlity is morally wrong, and also propagates a definition that is one of the ultimate insults to call a flower in today’s culture (ie. wimpy). There is nothing wrong with being a flower I know someone of your political-mindedness would not intentionally want to propagate a word as a slur, so please give it the respect it deserves.
proud pansy in volunteer park

Posted by pansy | June 27, 2008 2:16 PM

Ya know what makes a skanky, skanky whore? Someone who is 100% aware that they would be deeply wounding someone else but does it anyway. Usually for money or self-centeredness.


Posted by Marty | June 27, 2008 2:20 PM

A favorite joke of mine (with credit to Jim Goad):

Q -- What were sex workers called 50 years ago?
A -- Whores.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 27, 2008 2:28 PM

I don't call sex workers, or prostitutes, or any other new PC term for women who sleep with men for money, whores. Whores are women or men who cheat on their committed partners for their own personal gratification.

Posted by Charm | June 27, 2008 2:40 PM

As a Wiccan who has seen way too many other Wiccans get all pissy about people using 'witch' negatively, I'd say this is one the sex worker/whore ought to just let go. Past a certain point, 'reclaiming' terms that have such negative baggage attached to them just ends up being a frustrating exercise in futility. I know queers/fags/etc. managed it, but I predict 'whore' is not gonna make it as a term of respect. Sorry.

Posted by Stacy | June 27, 2008 2:40 PM

@ 6 has it right--I was going to point out the irony in her use of the word 'pansy' as a slang term after her ranting about using words in their proper meaning.

Posted by an imaginary | June 27, 2008 2:47 PM

I'm not a sex worker, (just an office worker) and I can't wait until the words "skank", "whore", and "slut" are phased out of our language. What is a slut exactly? A woman who has too much sex? How much is 'too much'? Guys proposition women inappropriately every damn day and don't get smacked with these powerful labels that cripple them for life.

Also, from what little I know about this letter, I'm not sure why the man having sex with the woman makes HER the whore? And whose rules are these anyway?

These words are used to control women and are incredibly loaded. I can choose not to read them, but I keep wanting to read Savage Love so I'm just registering my opinion here.

Let's call this woman what she is: deceitful.

Posted by me | June 27, 2008 2:47 PM

Are you fucking kidding? No. You can't "reclaim" the word "whore". Stop breathing.

Posted by Nick | June 27, 2008 2:52 PM

She sells her body for money. And she's trying to correct word usage.


Posted by Non | June 27, 2008 2:54 PM

I have decided that "ice cream" means "Raping someone in the eye socket". Saying "I enjoy ice cream" is morally wrong(unlike sleeping with someone girlfriend).The rest of the world must now tip-toe around the use of "ice cream" until I change my mind. I've also got my eye on "pencil" meaning "child abuse" so you've been warned.

Posted by Ben Weldon | June 27, 2008 2:56 PM

100s of miles away from where you live is the proper place to cheat on your partner.

and promiscuity is a natural primate behavior.


Posted by max solomon | June 27, 2008 2:59 PM

I'm not sure I've actually ever used the word "whore" seriously, but just because you don't like the label doesn't mean you can argue semantics.

American Heritage tells it like it is:
1. A prostitute.
2. A person considered sexually promiscuous.
3. A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.

Posted by Dougsf | June 27, 2008 3:09 PM

On behalf of all right-thinking womyn, we'd like to remind you that the word Bitch belongs to us, and we reject your male-dominated attempts to take it away from us.

Also, we intend to claim Skank soon, once Obama pays off the massive campaign debt we racked up pushing the GOP viral vids on undereducated white workers.

Yours in Anger,

All Real Women Who Hate Not Getting What We Were Entitled To

Posted by Hils Supporters for McSame | June 27, 2008 3:24 PM

It's been mentioned a lot, but I just want to reiterate how incredibly mindbogglingly stupid it was for someone who is fighting for the reclamation of the word "whore" (nothing I am necessarily against) to end her response by attempting to emasculate someone with the term "pansy." I mean...really.

Posted by michelle | June 27, 2008 3:47 PM

As a dyke and a sex worker

Scary sounding combination.

I won't even begin to point out the internal contradictions in that whore's--er, sex worker's--reply.

Posted by Les McWeenis | June 27, 2008 3:50 PM

A simple rule of thumb: The more respectful term for something nearly always has more syllables than the disrespectful term, and in fact often consists of two or more words in the place of one. Also, the more the preferred term sounds like some kind of mid-level bureaucratic position, the better.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 27, 2008 4:19 PM

@17: "just because you don't like the label doesn't mean you can argue semantics."

Sure, let's look at "promiscuous" then: "Characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, esp. having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis."

I guess most of us are whores then. (Unless Dr. Laura chimes in, then we're definitely all whores, or at least the women are.) Who decides? Dr. Laura? The prostitute? Dan ?

Again, this whole nomanclature is designed to control women with shame and guilt about sex. It's bull.

Posted by me | June 27, 2008 4:30 PM

this whole nomanclature is designed to control women with shame and guilt about sex.

Ha ha ha hahahahahahaha (snort)!

And learn to spell 'nomenclature.'

If women were so shamed by sex, why do they continue to have it?

You make me smile. Thanks.

Posted by Les McWeenis | June 27, 2008 5:08 PM

The problem I have with this whole "reclamation" thing is that my every day communication would quickly become VERY boring if I was to stop using all of my slang. First whore then...whats next?

I say we take a different approach to this and do a fair exchange by putting something up on the table from BOTH sides here. You want Whore back then what do I get in exchange for this (pansy is not a fair exchange so rejected if thats what you were thinking. I mean seriously...pansy for whore?)? I think the "lingo market" is really going to start correcting itself here.

Posted by Fleshy Man Toy | June 27, 2008 5:16 PM

Is there a masculine term for whore? As in, guy who sleeps with too many women such that it reflect negatively on his reputation?
Best I can come up with is "player", and that doesn't have quite the same vitrol as "whore"...
If Slog can't come up with one, then *me* has a good point.

And Les, if you told me not to jump off a bridge because I might die, I'd probably do it anyway just because I have a knee-jerk response to disagree with you. Wonder why that is? I mean, boo on me, because clearly one shouldn't jump off of bridges...and yet, I'd be happy on the way down for not agreeing with you.

Posted by j4zz3rgrl | June 27, 2008 5:23 PM

I have to disagree with Proud Whore in New York. She said using “whore” to describe the woman in the story was “inaccurate and offensive.” While I agree it was offensive—wasn't it suppose to be? I mean, it was preceded by “skank, skanky”—I disagree that it was inaccurate.

“Whore,” primarily is a noun for a prostitute, but it also carries a secondary sense, that of a promiscuous woman. The Oxford American dictionary says they are, both, derogatory. So with all due respect to Proud Whore's reclamation project, I think she's wrong. It was accurate for Dan to refer to the woman in the letter as a whore, at least, in one sense.

And since he is a progressive and a sex columnist, I don't think given the context that Dan was using the term to control promiscuous women—just to accurately portray the actions of this one. She is in a monogamous relationship and secretly seeking other lovers. “Skanky, skanky, whore,”—in the sense that her promiscuity, here, is distasteful and reprehensible—applies.

It's a slur, but it is an apt slur.

Posted by joeyp | June 27, 2008 5:59 PM

@21 -- The offensive, slang term usually contains hard consonants: Fuck, Dick, Cock.

The polite, proper version is usually multi-syllable with Latin vowel combos: Coitus, Penis, Phallus.

During the formation of Modern English, the educated class knew Latin and the poor class spoke German and French dialects (Saxon, Celtic, Norman).

Whore is a good old-fashioned word for a woman who behaves improperly. It most definitely comes from a desire to suppress female sexuality and independence (see witch, bitch, prissy, hussy, skank).

Posted by six shooter | June 27, 2008 6:37 PM

#27: So "whore" is Saxon and "sex worker" is Latin? Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 27, 2008 8:51 PM


You were slightly incorrect in calling this chick a "skanky, skanky whore." She would be a whore if the dude paid little green rectangles to plough her snatch. But since money wasn't discussed, you should have called her a "skanky, skanky slut."

One thing we all should call her is a lying bitch. She sucks, and I doubt she sucks good.

Finally, like the lesbian prostitute who is into "language reclamation" (you've read too many books, woman!), the dude is to be applauded for doing the right thing. He is hardly a "pansy."

Having said all that, five'll getcha ten that the skanky slut could fuck the dude into oblivion!

Posted by Frank Sinclair | June 27, 2008 10:10 PM

By the by, any sluts, whores, or skanky skanky sluts/whores living in the greater Los Angeles area who would like to earn more slutty stripes are encouraged to drop me a line at

Let's get it on, baby!

Posted by Frank Sinclair | June 27, 2008 10:29 PM

God bless uppity whores. I don't agree with what they say but I will defend to the death their right to say it. It's just too precious.

Posted by Mike | June 27, 2008 10:32 PM

In my experience, I've heard hetero women describing other hetero women as sluts and whores a lot more often than men describing women that way. I don't believe that those women deserved those labels. As if enjoying sex is a terrible thing.

Seriously, do any men or women want to marry a virgin who has no idea how to have sex?

Posted by robot2501 | June 28, 2008 9:22 AM

Say "YES" to War on Iraq by Dan Savage Oct. 2002

"War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times."

"The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves."

Washington Post June 27, 2008

"Bomb Kills Marines, Iraqi Tribal Leaders
At Least 40 Die in Two Separate Attacks"

Posted by danfansarewarmongersupporters | June 28, 2008 9:47 AM


i have often heard the term "man-whore" used for guys that sleep around, but only said by girls and with much less zing than calling a girl a whore.

Posted by Kelly | June 28, 2008 12:24 PM


i have often heard the term "man-whore" used for guys that sleep around, but only said by girls and with much less zing than calling a girl a whore.

Posted by Kelly | June 28, 2008 12:24 PM

Today's NYTimes: Women called "whores" for calling for, or being married to men who are calling for, a men's-only bar in the most prestigious country club in Phoenix to be opened to both genders. This is the kind of place where careers are made and deals are sealed*; Alice Cooper (who I kinda liked, but fuck him) and McCain's son Andrew are members; McCain has spoken there.

Anyone who uses this term to slam a woman--even a woman who may merit being accurately called out for other bad behavior--is unconsciously supporting the same status quo that keeps gay people closeted and unequal. If you're an intelligent person and you don't want to support that system, don't be sloppy with this word.

[*This is also the kind of warm, fuzzy place where, upon being called out for this stuff, has just now "amended its bylaws to state that any member who makes 'derogatory or otherwise injurious comments in the media' is subject to suspension and legal fees, and ditto for those who sue."]

Posted by lori | June 29, 2008 7:50 AM

A dyke and a sex worker. One presumes that means you have sex with guys, even though you have no desire to, and not only are you turned off by the particular guy you are being paid to fuck n' suck, but by the entire sex.

God...I find that fucking hot for some reason. I learned something disturbing about myself today.

Posted by DirtySouth | June 30, 2008 7:24 AM

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