Looking at sexual behavior as rationally as I can, I come to the conclusion that safety and consent are the only things that make sex moral or immoral. Because of this realization I tend to be far more casual about sexual encounters than probably anyone I know. Of course, this leads me to be branded a slut- in a good-natured teasing way among friends (though it still kinda hurts), and in a cruel way by other people. Even among my more sexually liberal friends, promiscuity is, for the most part, seen as something negative, and I find this puzzling; this view contradicts statements they have made regarding the morality of sex.

Input? Is there, in fact, anything wrong with satisfying my desires in any safe, consensual way that I can? Why the divide between what my friends say they think and how they act on this subject? Are there other things you can think of that affect the morality of sex?

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This conversation reminds me of a sexy dream I had about Tom Cruise once. He adored me. He walked around topless in really short shorts and most importantly, he never said anything. I didn't anything with him. I just enjoyed looking at him while he waited on me hand and foot. It was wonderful. I have often found when really, really good looking men open their mouths, you often wish they hadn't and all they care about in the sack is themselves. Extremely good looking men make good cabana boys and not much else - especially Tom Cruise! LOL!
yep, stay away from 'pretty boys', but I've had no joy with strictly brainy people either. To me sex is a physical activity, and the more physical the person is, like jocks, the more satisfying the sex is. Better circulation, better muscle tone, better endurance :) This also means non smokers and non heavy drinkers/druggers, cept X.
Oh gawd, the crazy ones are always better at the sex, at least in the first 1-3 times. After that, it's a different story. It's putting up with the crazy ones outside of sex that makes it a deal breaker.

I fear that I am not as good in the sack because of two factors: I'm sane, I'm slutty. I don't have a whole lot of fantasy time to give me ideas about the way I should be acting in bed to make me act out my deepest fantasies. I seriously think that could be a detriment to my aggressiveness towards things that might be more fun, the little things. Maybe I need to abstain for a while....

To balance this out, we could look at the incredible number of couples who no longer have sex, for years, young couples, too busy with their lives and friends, who get home and simply fall asleep. How many marriages have ended on this tone, so many.
Assuming one is careful about STD's and unwanted pregnancies, a single person ought to be free to have sex whenever and with whomever he desires. However, in a relationship, there might be other considerations. It should never happen, for instance, that a person gets involved with someone other than his primary partner, falls for him, and then follows him to Cleveland, leaving her primary partner for him. One should know himself well enough to be able to be sure that he just won't let that happen. And, of course, "cheating" is only cheating if the terms of one's relationship prohibit sex with other people. If you and your partner agree to permit it, then it's not unethical. As in much else, expectations matter and agreement matters. My ex-wife used to go out with her friends some Friday nights, and sometimes they'd stay out all night. When the bunch of them wound up staying overnight at one of their houses, she would sometimes have sex with one of them. It didn't bother me, since she was going to be away anyway--what difference does it make to me whether she's playing tennis or having sex when she's not home? I always felt that as long as I wasn't being denied anything--as long as her having sex with someone else wasn't hurting me in any way (and she definitely kept me sexually satisfied), it was OK if she also had sex with someone else. (She, being female and being more of a social creature than I, had opportunities, where I did not, so I can't comment on what effect my being sexual with anyone else might have had on her.)

I *will* note that although I dislike bars and clubs, there's a chance I'd go to one just to find a bit of sex that wasn't self-performed if not for the paradox that the women who would be most willing to be sexual would also be the ones I'd have to be the most wary of having sex with, because they'd also be the ones most likely to have been insufficiently careful and to have picked up an STD. You might find that you run into that problem on occasion--someone who otherwise liked you might simply not trust your sexual history.

I do rather wish that I could experience living in an intentional community or form a synthetic family of more than just two people. I am naturally someone who quickly becomes very, very devoted to his partner, but I am also someone who takes partners' leaving very hard, so it would be nice if I had a bit of emotional insurance against someone's leaving, in the form of other beloveds remaining. But I doubt very much that that's ever going to happen.

But I can't help wishing you lived *here*! (Laugh)
Over on an other message board I moderate for skeptics, several polls went up in regards to a similar question. One was in regards to how many sex partners you had been with. Granted, several of the people answering the questions were young men 15-20 that were virgins, but most people had only been with 3-8 persons.

The other asked something along the lines of "how many sex partners is too many?" as in you would start thinking bad of someone if they had more than that many partners. Most people said something like "Oh, I wouldn't bother asking because it's none of my business, but generally more than 20. Cause after that, you probably have something wrong with your head." I was flabberghasted by this. 20? I hit that number before I hit that age. I certainly don't feel there's nothing wrong in my head. I've never gotten pregnant or had an std. I just happen to have had sex with a lot of my friends and very few one night stands. I would have expected something else from a group of skeptics, but I suppose these were mostly people who hadn't gotten that much themselves and thought of 20 as a high number.
I think there has been much generational effect with regards to this topic. Before Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll, a majority of society had sexual experience of a similar quantity.

The contraceptive pill and Sex,Drugs n Rocknroll changed all that, and for a few decades, promiscuity exploded.

The advent of AIDS changed all that again, and made fun dangerous, and I think the social trend ever since has been a slowing down of the increase in promiscuity. Overall as a society we are certainly more promiscuous then the last 2 millenia or so, but the big cultural change is past us and people have settled back in old patterns to a point, just like feminism has in many ways settled down because fewer women feel the urge to 'fight'.

I'm of the Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll generation, and loved every minute of it. And was never capable or sufficiently inclined or motivated to change that pattern, even in this decade. In some regards I'm a hedonist, I don't believe sacrifice and moral moderation improve our lot in life.

I also had gotten past 20 by that age, cute way of putting it!
There's still plenty of promiscuity out there! I kind of look at the social trend like a person breaking free of something. That is usually followed by the person going wild, and after that they don't go back to their previously repressed days, but usually do chill out a little.
I agree with you, I think the two main reasons for the way cultures and religions look at sex is from a needs driven perspective and a control perspective but not morality.

If you live in a hard environment where the mortality rate is high or if you want to grow your economy/military you might want to encourage conception oriented sexual practices. (or vice versa if you're China)

Also from a control perspective if you can control someones sexuality you can control that person, something societies, religions, friends...are highly interested in.

So be free, get laid, be safe and ignore your friends, don't talk to them about it if they make you uncomfortable about it or just undersell it because frankly its none of their damn business to judge you.

Apologies for bringing this thread back from the dead but I'm new to the Nexus.  I saw this thread and felt like I should share a great resource.

There's a really good book out there (The Ethical Slut) that I like to recommend to people when this issue comes up.  The phrase is mentioned earlier in this thread, but it's an actual book, too.  Its focus is primarily for the non-monogamous but as a whole I think it has a lot to offer the "plainly promiscuous," for lack of a better term.  The authors reclaim the term slut as "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasureis good for you" (an idea that I've found myself in agreement with for most of my adolescent-adult life, FWIW).

I've read the first edition and appreciated a lot of what it had to say.  There's apparently a second edition now, but I've yet to read it.

We atheists have our own individual morals and for me, what it boils down to is this: if you enjoy being promiscuous and you are having good experiences with it, then there's absolutely no reason you should feel bad about it.  Personally, the only time I can see it being a bad thing is when it is being done to deliberately hurt people or relationships.

I grew up in a very sexually repressed environment, so my own struggle was not with my opinion about the matter, but with hiding it (and finding others that shared my opinion).  This book helped me in a lot of ways, and I hope it will help you as well.

I noticed this discussion some time ago and have been thinking of how to contribute. I found a story online of some research into "friends with benefits". It could be posted to one of several discussion threads here but I will post it here:

When 'Friends with Benefits' Turns Costly


To me, it seems that the promiscuity choice (and polyamory choices) comes with the inherent risk of emotional asymmetry. It probably is  a risk in the same sense of the risk human males have of prostrate cancer: it isn't a matter of "if" it will happen to you it is a matter of "when". Eventually, one party will feel the urge to change the casual nature of the relationship by terminating or expect commitment. Nothing unnatural about that, I suppose. But who can say to what lengths someone will go when they feel compelled to change the relationship?



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