What is your sexual philosophy?

I found myself in a rather heated argument the other day with a friend on the subject of sexuality. It has always been my position that sex is not a commodity to be rationed, but a fun, free, and (if properly executed) completely harmless social pastime. I find selective, safe promiscuity to be liberated. My friend, however, considers promiscuous, experimental, or polygamous sexual behavior to indicate depraved self-indulgence and a fundamental lack of self esteem. Though not at all religious or politically conservative, she employs the word "slut" regularly, often towards women for whom I have a deep respect, and who seem to me to be perfectly confident, functional individuals.

For those who consider open relationships, one night stands, experimentation, and purely erotic relationships to be repellent or Wrong I then pose the following questions: What, in your opinion, is acceptable sexual morality? Are the rules different depending on gender? What is sex for (procreation, pleasure, emotional bonding)? I don't care about religious justifications; that's your business and holds no sway over me at all. I do, however, want to better understand this type of mentality, because at the moment it seems so very contemptible.

For men who avoid experienced women because their "value" has decreased due to the ease of "conquest," do you really feel that the main challenge in building a relationship lies in bedding a girl? Can't a woman be sexually accessible whilst retaining the emotional and intellectual complexity that I THOUGHT is what makes people worthwhile? Is a girl's value really directly proportional to her unwillingness to have sex with you?

For men and women who have many partners in short periods of time, do you generally feel as though you are judged or scorned? How do you view your sexual encounters? Are you also open to long-term monogamy? Do you think the word "slut" applies to anyone?What role does sex play for you?

This is funny. I asked this question expecting hoard of pitchfork-waving puritans to launch into furious moral sermons. Instead, I seem to have found all the other Sartres and Beauvoirs. Thanks to everyone who has answered thus far; it's nice to know that there are similarly open-minded people out there. I do wish, though, that a few conservatives would answer just so that I don't feel so intellectually dishonest and polarized.


Most Helpful Girl

  • I agree with you completely, but I import one condition. I think that men and women alike should have a reason for sex. I think a lot of people (women in particular) have sex to please their partner, and not please themselves. I think sex should be fun (and safe). Don't get me wrong, I think it is a special and beautiful thing, but I don't think that this taboo is necessary. I despise the words "slut" and "whore" because they are mistakeningly used so often. Double standards are ridiculous, men and women should be able to enjoy sex without prejudice as to who should be having more.

    Personally, I don't really have casual sex. I've tried it and it wasn't that great (could just be luck of the draw, though). But I think it's odd how people (once again, especially women) don't explore their sexuality. Or they think that its a choice/exclusive kind of thing. Like you are either kinky or "loving" or whatever. I personally like variety. Sometimes I want it hard, rough and dominating (whether it be me or my partner in control, doesn't matter) and sometimes I want it slow and sensual. I can happily say I've experimented with a lot and it means I know what I like and am able to fully satisfy myself.

    Sex is a way of expression for me. Whether I be frustrated, emotional, angry, playful or excited, etc - it's a great way to organise and release your emotions.


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What Guys Said 6

  • I believe, quite simply, that your sexuality is yours to do with as you please.

    If you want to be moderately promiscuous, your affair.

    If you want to be wildly promiscuous, your affair.

    If you want to be a celibate, your affair.

    If you want to barter it for a little coin or a little attention, your affair.

    If you want to put it in a shrine and make people bow down to it, your affair.

    Only: I do my thing, my way. You do your thing, your way. I don't meddle, and meddlers get my abundant and vocal hostility. They have it coming; at a minimum, it's a taste of their own medicine.

    You give your friend too much credit. If she's not a political or religious conservative, then she's a sex-hostile reactionary not because of some (bogus) intellectual grounding, but because she finds it fun or it somehow suits her personality. Spooky.

    I don't believe in "sexual morality". I think there's morality--duties to help and not to harm, and the reasons for those--and then nonsense and hokum. Unfortunately, nonsense and hokum generally carry the day. Fortunately, thinking people will generally accept their duty (hey, morality!) to defy hokum if you stuff enough truth in their heads. The forces of nonsense are numerous and strong, however, and must be fought with energy.

    As someone moderately promiscuous, formerly wildly promiscuous:

    Never gave a damn about judgement or scorn; I learned early that integrity and good sense beats the high praise of fools any day of the week.

    How do I view my encounters? As friends and partners and people; I treat them with the care and respect I feel I'm due. It nearly always works out.

    Not open to long-term monogamy, that's just not me. I'm open to long-term commitment, but to promise monogamy would be to lie. I think very many relationships would be more durable if people just said this, accepted it, and worked around it.

    I treat the word "slut", and the people who use it, the way I treat the word "n*****", and the people who use it.

    What role does sex play for me? Depends on who I'm with and why I'm with them. It could be fun, serious, barter, sport, or sacred rite.

    P.S.: It is wholly acceptable to hold the contemptible in contempt. It's why we invented the word.

  • "My friend, however, considers promiscuous, experimental, or polygamous sexual behavior to indicate depraved self-indulgence and a fundamental lack of self esteem."

    If she was going to describe it in those terms, surely she provided a decent explanation? Then again, it depends what we're describing as promiscuity. How do we define the cut off point where before it, you've kept your virtue, and after it, you're a 'slut'. This is something I've always been intrigued about. But I agree with your assessment, in that, through my own naiveté and childish idealism I used to look down on women who've had a fair few sexual partners. Obviously I don't want a woman who has had a ton of partners, because that's potentially unsafe and may indicate commitment issues, but as you say, it's those other factors in a person's character, their soul if you will, that truly makes them worthwhile or not. So I try to be a little more open minded these days. These sorts of debates end up a bit infuriating, because people don't explain their standpoint adequately. I think we have to concede that there can be no black and white, no cut off point, just general viewpoints that are hopefully underpinned by sound reasoning.

  • I don't disagree with you, but the part that I'll pull out of that is the "whilst retaining the emotional and intellectual complexity" part. I think that's one thing that some people have trouble with. Besides all the insecurities a guy might have- not getting sex, thinking he won't measure up to her past partners, afraid he isn't fun/good enough for her, etc-- it might be hard for some guys to associate a girl that "sleeps around" with something serious. It might come off as you only really caring about sex, so "How could I take her seriously otherwise? Will she even take me seriously, or just use me for sex?"

    One of the issues that drives this is that women have always been the fairer sex. They're just more beautiful, clean, smarter in general, more responsible, you name it. And this isn't a man-made concept, it's nature. Since the caveman days, men have been the horny ones that look at every woman as a potential mate. He had the instinct to spread his seed and keep his line going. The women were responsible for choosing wisely among mates. If women had been just as sexually uncontrollable as the men, then our species would not have advanced like it has. Rather than choosing the best mates, which ultimately puts value on being your best self (for men), the women chose the ones that seemed to be the strongest and with better chance of surviving. It's just like currency- it has to mean something for anyone to actually want it.

    Now back to the modern days, we're only recently shedding this old notion of gender roles and behavior, and we're obviously having a lot of trouble with it as a society. To put it simple, women being promiscuous comes off as man behavior, rather than female behavior. So if she's not acting "normal", what do we do? (Again, this is instinct, not man-made).

    So again, I don't disagree with you, I'm just pointing out why there is a double standard. When sex is thrown around so easily, when it comes time to find a serious partner, a guy will look at a promiscuous girl and not see her as a serious partner.

    As for everything else you asked in your question, I see it like this: Do what you want. I'm all for gender equality BUT also be prepared to accept the consequences for how you act. I may not mind a girl enjoying sex, but I can't speak for other guys who do mind and wouldn't give you a chance. So it's a mix of idealism and realism. Ideally, we could all act the same. Realistically, you are going to receive consequences for either side that you choose. You can't escape those.

    • Interesting, it's worth bearing in mind too, that women's role in sex IS different. In that women can be selective, get to choose, and can have sex with pretty much any man they want. Whereas men have to 'work' to get anywhere. In this context it's hard to imagine true equality, and the notion of putting women down if they sleep with a lot of men is somewhat understandable.

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    • You make excellent points, but one doesn't have to indiscriminate in order to be promiscuous. While I agree that women almost inherently have higher standards (that I will proudly avow), high-quality sexual partners, at least in the short term, aren't rare if you look in the right places.

      And call me cynical, but I don't think that people always want sex for the "meaning." It is an intrinsically fun activity. Like finger-painting, or nerf gun fights.

    • Finger-painting or nerf gun fights. Awesome. <3

  • I agree, I wish more girls wanted to just f*** all the time cause I know I do, and wish more girls were willing to pursue sex instead of us guys having to play games just to get f***ed and jizzed.

  • I'm similar to your own philosophy, personally.

    As a guy, the only judgement I've ever had to deal with, was when I talked about visiting prostitutes in a positive light. And it was girls that had a problem with it. Guys I know, think it's more of a ballsy thing. Like, they'd never do it themselves, but wish they could.

    I've had many partners, young and old, fat and thin, good looking and not. I always prefer a woman to have some experience and know what she's doing. I don't call any liberated woman a slut.

    I do think prudes have issues. I think the sexual revolution was 50 years ago, and the prudes need to get over the fact that they lost.

    I've never swung, and never been to an orgy, but I'd happy trying either.

  • this question is crazy haha, but I like how intellectual it is.


    This is my moral philosophy for sex:

    There are two conditions, Ideal and for fun.

    Ideal: You make love ( Choice of words matters), with some one you are truly in love with. That is the best kind of sexual experience possible.

    For fun: A hot f*** buddy would be great, I think some sort of emotional bond is definitely important.

    Without that emotional bond, sex becomes nothing more than a pleasure. No longer linked to the emotions it was once combined with. It can fall from something rare and magnificent, to something that is tossed around to share for all. The reason why sex is so important is not just because of the pleasure, its because of that special bond.

    I'm awful at describing this online, but if only I could've discussed this with you in person, just like a couple of my friends who had the same question.

    Good luck to you and your debate, I love the thought that was put into it.

    • Thank you. So far yours is the only answer that doesn't align more or less precisely with my own. If you don't mind a bit more interrogation, can I conclude, then, that you don't consider pleasure alone to be reason enough? If nothing else, you're discovering something about yourself and broadening your horizons. For me, at least, sometimes I really just wanna have fun.

What Girls Said 2

  • I AGREE WITH YOU! THANK GOD! I honestly thought I was the only one! I had a very similar argument with a friend at work about this (ok not a subject necessarily to be discussed down the aisles of morrisons, but hey)

    I asked her to describe her IDEA of a 'slut' and she very quickly picked out a young girl who was dressed in a black short 'casual' dress. I then went on to ask her if she thought a woman having a one night stand, were sluts. She replied yes, because she thought it was just an excuse. My friend was of the opinion that because when she was single she didn't feel the need to go and have 'no strings fun' that meant the girls who did were sluts.

    Usually this friend and I agree on everything, but I couldn't agree with her on this. Admittedly I would never have a one night stand and act out one of my fantasies, because I feel that that is a bit to intimate. BUT I have had one night stands, I have had friends with benefits, and all the time I KNEW what I was doing. I didn't think it was wrong, the guy got his kicks and so did I.

    And what's more, AND I don't know if you would agree, but I find that I am a lot more confident in my own sexuality, and also a lot more confident in what I like in sex, and what I don't like. Because I have experiemented.

    • Is there a cut off point for you, beyond which you'd head towards 'slut'. How would you define it?

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    • sounds like a fun one ;)

    • I condemn cheating as well, but it has nothing to do with sexual philosophy. The two things that inevitably lead to a toxic relationship are dishonesty and inequality, and cheating involves both.

      Similarly, I respect people who have standards and stick to them. If someone is sleeping with anything that moves, I question his/her judgment in the same way that I question the judgment of people who watch "Dumb and Dumber" or "The Hangover" instead of "Amadeus."

  • I don't think women should ever be labeled as a 'slut' because it's a terrible, deeply hurtful word that has no compassion or understanding in it. I do however think it is wrong to sleep around (for both men and women equally) and this is why:

    I don't think you can ever truly know how much your sexual partner is or could in the future (perhaps as a result of the added intimacy of sex) committing to you emotionally. I think that due to the close physical and emotional (you bare a lot of things during sex, not just your naked body which normally would be socially embarrassing, but also many raw emotions like desire and pleasure) contact/bond that is created during sex it is very easy for one person to become attached. For some people, (I know I would be) the breaking of that attachment (ie your sexual partner not really caring for you but just looking for pleasure) would tear my heart apart EVEN IF they had consented to the whole idea of 'friends with benefits' beforehand.

    Additionally, I believe that whether you are taking it slow or going at it rough, hard or like rabbits it is important for your sexual partner to care about your well being. I understand that friends not only people who are actually in love with you are able to care about your well being but I don't think that true friends would risk possibly emotionally hurting/ damaging you for the sake of pleasure (even if you have consented to it and state that you won't get hurt, there is still a high chance you will).

    I also think that someone who is truly in love with you will be more concerned than a supposed 'friend' with benefits, about how much pleasure and satisfaction you get out of the sex. I think there would be few people who would say that sex with someone they truly and unconditionally felt loved by and loved was not as emotionally and physically rewarding as that time they went at it with some bloke called Stan.

    Perhaps you know people who feel they are able to 'love' (and I mean 'love' as a verb here, as in to care for and nourish emotionally) without necessarily being 'in love with them' and so 'why shouldn't they go ahead and have non-committal sex?' Well, I think that true love (again in the verb sense- as in to treasure and care for someone) necessitates commitment. It may be a commitment which doesn't last forever due to unfortunate circumstances/ drifting apart etc. but it has to be a commitment that the person believes in and believes will last in all HONESTY at the time. Otherwise, it is very very easy for one person in the couple to get hurt and having a lack of commitment disregards that possible pain of your partner.

    I think people underestimate how much hurt and pain that can occur when love is one sided/ doesn't work out. That is why I think it is uncaring of humans to have casual sex. Likewise it is uncaring to call people sluts as rarely do we know all the circumstances of another persons life and never are we totally perfect/ blameless ourselves.

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