Whether you’re a man or a woman between the ages of 18 and 45 years old, it’s become uncommon to hold values, standards and moral conviction as guiding principles for behavior.
Generally speaking, many men and women within this age range have fallen victim to unhealthy, dysfunctional, and crude dating behaviors among other things.
I believe this to be true even despite the recent data supporting a “sex recession” rising among younger age groups (Julian, 2018). We are experiencing progressive social norms that have gathered steam and seem to be at an apex point in history.
Although there may be groups varying in sexual activity across the spectrum, it remains important to discuss the implications of all types of unhealthy behaviors or at least behaviors that warrant concern due to negative outcomes.
It is a frequent occurrence to see young, attractive, intelligent women flaunt their physical attributes with sexually explicit behaviors while qualifying them as sexually liberating. Their mannerisms could be considered self-exploitative, characterized by hedonistic and promiscuous lifestyles they celebrate and defend vigorously.
The promiscuous justify their lifestyle on the assertion of their equal rights to pleasure and often fuel opinionated debates regarding why satiating their sexual urges is beneficial to their self worth.
The emergence of this behavior starts early on in school with influences from media, Hollywood, social media, dating apps, socio-political progressive agendas, etc…
Cementing this trend further into the individuals’ lives, the decade between college and the first full time job has become a playpen of debauchery; a fate many parents would have harshly punished their children for in previous generations, but are no longer able to.
Number of Sexual Partners
Let’s turn to the twitter poll I conducted on January 15th, 2019. “Ladies, how many sexual (intercourse) partners have you had? Non-hetero welcome to reply. This won’t take age into effect, but just to get an idea…”
The categories were:
I am a virgin [27%]
There was a huge response and it ended up gathering almost 4,000 votes and 39 comments in the thread. The useful data wan’t just contained in the percentages for each range of sexual partners, it was the interaction with the poll that I was paying close attention to. It was a qualitative experiment of sorts.
I wanted to specifically identify a virgin category and an extremely high level of promiscuity at 25+, with only 4 options I was left with little flexibility. I had to choose either specific ranges or broad extremes. I chose the latter.
I also knew that if I put a category for “I’m a man let me see” a significant number of responses would be in that category. I wanted to get as many responses as possible, although I knew there would be some men who would respond.
Without the category giving men permission to check the result, more impulse control issues would surface for those with poor impulse control. Especially with the juicy extremes, the impulse to know would increase. I want to believe that at least less men responded then would have otherwise if there had been a category for them.
I made it a two day collection intentionally to increase discomfort for impulse control as one day would be easier to bypass. I also added this comment underneath the poll: “Men if you answer you’re loading it and won’t know the truth. Also, masculine men have self control and can wait until the poll is over.”
The intention of this was to put a little pressure on their pride and guilty conscience. It was a reminder to them that if they want to blame women for degrading themselves, they are also open to criticism as unable to control their own impulses.
Many of the men in that part of Twitter pride themselves on being masculine and having integrity so the reminder was a nudge toward their better judgement by way of their pride to being considered masculine or alpha men.
These men may also argue that male promiscuity is an evolutionary imperative. Even still it is an impulse that needs to be leveled with a conscious awareness and intention to control urges that would lead them away from a civil existence. The same is true for women.
“We evolved from walking on all fours to walking upright. Other evolutionary characteristics may just be residual habits not mandated behaviors. Entrenching them to justify our impulsive desires is what is actually fighting our biological drive to evolve (Burrowes, 2019).”
Looking at the poll percentages, a standout observation may be the surprising high numbers in the virginity category and in the 25+ category. However, before the audience jumps to conclusions, consider how many of them were male responses.
We can’t know for certain, but the likelihood is many. Bitter, angry, trolling, nosy men… my money is on there being a majority of men included in the outlier categories. Out of the 19% in the 25+ range, I would guess less than 10% were valid responses from women based on the 10% that reported 16-25. I highly doubt that the 25+ category would have more then the 16-25 group. Also unlikely that 27% were virgins, but we cannot know for sure.
The broad ranges selected allow for women to be grouped into more general levels of sexual activity: non-sexually active, low, medium, high. This allows for less shaming of women with moderate numbers and a clear capturing of women who need interventions and support for their extreme promiscuity.
I would also like to see research challenge the idea that there is a significant difference between number of partners at close range. For example, what is the threshold at which you start to see negative effects of promiscuity: five, ten, fifteen, twenty-five?
The reactions from many women who took the survey as well as many male “observers” claimed that there’s a significant difference between 6 partners and 15 partners. Perhaps in attitudes, but what does the research show? My guess is that it will be hard to draw sensitive lines between them to determine any negative outcomes. Broader ranges will be more helpful to distinguish group differences.
Although I can’t estimate the number of votes by men in this poll, I did get several apologetic confessions by men saying they did respond.
Just guessing based on the confessions received, the likelihood is that men who responded most likely selected one of the extremes. The number of sex partners reported for women included 54% (2,113) split between 44% having 1-15 partners and 10% having 16-25 partners. Of those, 22% of women selected 16-25 partners and 77% of women respondents selected 1-15 partners.
This shows that the majority of respondents indicated 1-15 partners, which was to be expected.
Interestingly, there were many women who got offended they were forced to chose 1-15 partners. They wanted to identify their particularly low number. It was as if the women were concerned about being grouped as promiscuous. Remember, this is a completely confidential and anonymous poll. No one would know what their selected category was.
These results come on the heels of the controversial tweet that went viral last week where I was mobbed by feminists and radical liberals who defended the suitability of casual sex and promiscuity.
This issue is at the center axis between two polarized ends of the spectrum. You have the conservatives who want a chaste society grounded in family values and are in denial about the frequency of extreme levels of promiscuity; and then you have the radical liberals who want to justify casual sex and sexual liberation for women and reject the idea of upholding a moral objectivity or the idea of tolerance over approval.
In the middle you have the men who on one end are promiscuous themselves and want to have promiscuous women to bed, but also want to find a more modest woman to bear children with. You also have the men who are uncomfortable with promiscuity and seek out other non-promiscuous women.
To each their own, perhaps?
Causes & Effects
Promiscuity can be a symptom of sexual trauma, but not necessarily. More appropriately termed sexual reactivity when symptomatic of sexual trauma, it is the process of behavioral acquisition of the pain itself in an attempt to desensitize the person to their original injury.
Promiscuity is also shown to be correlated with substance abuse and mental illness. The relationship between the latter and promiscuity is not clear, however. It could be either the cause or the effect, but either way they tend to increase together.
It has been argued that those with high sexual numbers are not able to pair-bond effectively do the sequential and superficial nature of their ongoing sexual mating practices.
With a high incidence of infidelity and lack of sufficient intimacy leading to divorce and family breakup, it seems promiscuous behavior may be a correlate to the failures we are seeing in marriage.
Women get the harshest impact from a lifestyle of casual sex because of the increased negative impact it has on their sexual market value. However we cannot look at the issues of promiscuity in men and promiscuity in women in isolation. They are undeniably linked although within genders you find much variation as well, as previously mentioned.
Perhaps a contributing factor for promiscuity in women is men’s enabling and encouraging it to satisfy their sexual strategy: without control of their biological impulses women may be seduced into promiscuity.
But they don’t have to be. Outside of criminal sexual offences, there is no reason why a woman shouldn’t be able to decide for herself what she wants to do and when. As long as she maintains her sexual boundaries, she is in full control of the number of sexual partners she has.
All of these effects are reversible with some re-education, but require an overhaul of values and new behavioral practices and impulse control measures.
Monogamy is a choice. As well as other sexual relationship practices. A person should never feel like they are coerced to accept something they are not comfortable with, but ultimately that is each person’s responsibility. Honesty and integrity is an ethical issue, not a criminal one.
Promiscuity’s place in human sexuality may be developmental, meaning that during young adulthood men and women who are sexually active have multiple partners before they find the person they mate with for life. If that’s what they want. Gender differences in the biological and social implications of promiscuity have also brought up much controversy, but may need further scientific inquiry to comprehend.
This may take some time, in the meantime the overarching importance should be on the individual’ ability to establish independent and congruent values around their sexual and relationship lifestyle preferences. Direct and honest communication around these practices is recommended as the ambiguity surrounding the impact of these behaviors does not bode well for on-going gender relations.
Let’s prevent further tensions mounting between the genders and start to build some trust again. We all have our rationalizations for doing what we want to do, but let’s make sure we are choosing to do them with others who have the same reasons for doing it too.
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“Novelty is not a need, it’s a want. Deciding how you chose to live your life in privacy is a personal preference Make your choices based on your values not on trying to win a person’s time, attention or affection (Burrowes, 2019).”