Ask Doctor Stupid2 min read

On Promiscuity

Josh Davis

Sexually obsessed and sexually repressed. Sex is this thing that everyone’s having but no one’s supposed to. You’re judged if you’re having sex and you’re judged for not having sex. If you are having sex you’re being judged for who you’re having sex with, how old they are, what gender they are, and how often you are, especially how often you are if you’re not in a committed relationship.

There used to be especially harsh judgment for women, but it seems perceptions are shifting.

An excerpt from

“Sociologists Rachel Allison and Barbara Risman of the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed over 17,000 college students through the Online College Social Life Survey and found that both men and women lost respect for members of the opposite sex who hooked up with a lot of people, according to a new report from the Council on Contemporary Families. In fact, slightly, but significantly more students [of both genders] say they would lose respect for a man who had hooked up and had sex with a lot than would lose respect for a similarly-engaged woman,” Allison and Risman observed. This wrinkle – that men are also now judging fellow men for promiscuity – is a new twist.

Women and men are being judged equally for having many partners. Both sexes are being judged as harshly, which means we’re past double standards but we’ve replaced one rigidity with a new one. It seems the consensus is that sex outside of a committed relationship is something to be condemned.

I understand that sex with someone you’re in a committed relationship with can be really good, and that having sex with a lot of different people can be an attempt at escaping intimacy.

I think that idealizing sex within a relationship and demonizing sex outside of one is only another aspect in creating a repressive atmosphere. People should have sex with whomever they want, as long as it’s consensual and legal.

Because of these attitudes there’s unnecessary tension. Our sexuality becomes warped and sour, and we feel the need to disown our sexual desire, a major reason why so many people can’t have sex sober.

We need to eliminate those kinds of judgments if we ever want to be sexually liberated. As long as no one is getting hurt – and I’m not saying it’s easy – so much goes unchecked. Your own need for validation, ignoring much of the personal to satisfy the physical, and the fact that all sex is personal makes it hard for someone to not “catch feelings,” and I’ve felt like someone always wants it or needs it more than the other. Even so, there’s no room for prejudice. Judge lest ye be judged! I think it’s possible to make it beautiful without being permanent.

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