“Promiscuity doesn’t need to be a dirty word” – Whatever!

Most of the time, I love being a student. I love the vibe of being one. I love the fact that we’re all exploring life together. I love going to uni, and I love making friends. But there are certain times where I just want to vomit all over Student Culture. And one particular article published today in our student newspaper at Cardiff University ‘Gair Rhydd’ evoked the latter feeling within me today.

Promiscuity doesn’t need to be a dirty word. Oh, really now? That’s what Sally Taylor says, writer for the opinion section of the Gair Rhydd newspaper. Have a read of this snippet from the article:

Allow me to consider something I overheard a few weeks ago: “I’ve got with ten guys since I got here,” a fresher told her friend. “That doesn’t make me a slut though, does it?” Many probably would consider this ‘slutty’, and the girl was clearly distressed at the prospect. I remember thinking that even for Freshers’ Week that was pretty impressive. Considering it was only week two, that’s nearly one a night. But, I also think: so what? It’s her life. If she wants to do it, let her do it. Live and let live.

Just because something doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you can judge others for doing it. You might not like some’s fashion sense, music taste, or tendency to eat cereal instead of cooking dinner (OK that one’s me). Promiscuity, or lack thereof, is simply another lifestyle choice, something up to you as an individual.

Oh right. So this girl was imagining the ten guys she ‘got’ with? Because it is an individual lifestyle choice, of course. And it’s only like choosing whether to have cereal or dinner, isn’t it? And sleeping with multiple partners is only like preferring indie music over pop music, isn’t it? And it’s just like wearing jeans over joggers isn’t it?

What a load of rubbish. In fact, it’s comments like these which show just how much of a state our society is in. Furthermore, it shows the sheer height of individualism, the ‘I’m going to do whatever I want and no one is going to stop me’ attitude that is eroding any sort of decency in our world that was previously there.

Don’t people understand that sex isn’t something that’s a ‘personal lifestyle choice’. Sex isn’t personal! It’s relational, and actually going about sex just as if it’s a choice between your Frosties or toast is a complete disaster for individuals, and for society as a whole.

You only have to look on government statistic websites to see that abortion rate has been increasing (though with a slight drop this year), that the UK still has the highest abortion rate in Europe, that STIs are increasing in number, that marriages are breaking down due to promiscuity and that people are receiving more counselling for sexually related depression. And yet, promiscuity doesn’t need to be a dirty word?

I could think of millions of scenarios that end up in the same predicament: disappointment, lack of self worth and value, and a vicious circle of sexual promiscuity that doesn’t do anyone any good at all.
When a man or woman experiences sex without commitment, he/she soon learns that sex means little to nothing. Why? Because nothing happens as a result: no meaningful relationship ensues. He/She has inaccurately learned that sex and commitment are two completely separate issues, which they are not.
I might not be the most popular person for writing this post, but people need to take on responsibility for themselves. And they need to grow up. I’ve had an endless amount of talks with both boys and girls who have been damaged by sleeping around, a series of disappointments where potential relationships turned out to be one night stands. Confusions over whether those few minutes of fun turned out to be rape or not; women who feel abused and neglected by the boy they decided to be a ‘sexual partner’ with.
How can you say ‘live and let live’ when people are so miserable?
And, another thing: these people tend to not seek help or advice or counselling because they think that everyone is promoting promiscuity and preaching that it’s fine and OK! If it really is OK, then why did the aforementioned girl in the article ask her friend whether what she had done was bad or not? And if it’s all fine, why do people still call girls sluts? Why are people so appalled at lads who are players?
Let’s not get all postmodern over this issue. If someone wants to sleep around and brag about it, then fine. But make sure you tell everyone about your herpes, genital warts or whatever else you have too. I know this is obvious, but your actions always lead to consequences, and you have to face up to them!
Sex isn’t an individual lifestyle choice, it’s an important part of a loving relationship, which I as a Christian know to be very precious. It shouldn’t be thrown around and cheapened like it is, especially in university culture.
Unfortunately, some people will not learn until they are left feeling totally violated and alone. And it’s up to us who value sex to make sure that those people are cared for and shown a better way. Sexual promiscuity will only end you up in a bad situation. People need to be shown what true love is, and I can’t believe that individuals who are in the same situations as I’ve described have been sold one of the most damaging lies that society tells people; that sleeping around is OK and that no one should judge or teach otherwise.
So to Sally Taylor and any who think that sleeping around is fine, think again. Why don’t you do a bit of research into the physiological, emotional and mental conditions sleeping around leaves people in, whether consciously or subconsciously there. I don’t really have much hope for society on this issue. People will continue to abuse their own bodies for a few minutes of fun, but the result will inevitably be the same in all cases unless those people learn that sex is something which should be preciously dealt with between two committed adults who love each other.

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • Sex isn’t personal! It’s relational…

    Thank you for encapsulating in five words what would have taken me an entire essay to say. I think that’s one of the main problems with individualism – it can make you forget there are other people (who really are actual people and not characters in the story that is your life). When it comes to matters of sex, it’s as though people think talking about freedom acquits them of considering moral implications. You don’t have to agree with our morality, but to suggest that the doctrine of personal freedom nullifies any consideration of ethics (and their importance) is just irrational.

    My other problem with individualism is that it really seems to be a creed suitable for the strong and not for the weak. It’s fine if you are attached to no one and have no one dependent on or affected by you, but a load of self-indulgent nonsense otherwise.

    • Good points raised, Biscuitnapper! Very logical argument posed there. And great to see you on here!! 😀

  • Izzy

    Hi Dean,

    Well said.


    • Thanks Izzy 🙂 Nice of you to comment on here! I always value people reading my blog – have a wonderful weekend!

  • Amelia

    Hey Dean 🙂 I was just wondering, when you say that sex ‘should be preciously dealt with between two committed adults who love each other’, do you mean within marriage? Do you, for example, think its OK if you’re in a committed relationship as a young adult/adult but aren’t necessarily thinking ahead to whether or not you’re going to marry that person? I know it doesn’t have an awful lot to do with the article (which, by the way, I mostly agree with) but I’m just curious about your perspective on this 🙂

    • Hey Amelia – yes I think that sex should be dealt with within marriage – but marriage in the way that God intended and not the half hearted human version that we so often get today. 🙂

      • Lucy

        Hi Dean. I agree that promiscuity should not be advocated in this magazine, or indeed at all, in either men or women. However, I do think that Christianity suppresses sex, as you say sex should only be within marriage – I don’t think this is the case.

        I agree that sex is something special and should be between adults who love each other, however sex with other people doesn’t undermine or depreciate the value of what sex is, as research shows sex is 400% better with someone you love in terms of hormones released – I shall have a look for the article and post a link to it when I find it.

        Sex is normal, healthy and actually very important in a normal relationship, whether it is within marriage or not. You can be in a stable relationship without being married, in which case, why on earth suppress natural, sexual functions? This is part of the reason why I believe that Biblical teachings have no place in our 21st century society, Christians feel guilty about healthy sexual urges, which are normal. Sex helps you feel close to someone, it is important in a relationship, and in fact, several studies suggest that sex evolved as an interaction rather than for reproductive purposes. This is because asexual organisms evolved first, and sexual reproduction costs the species that child bearing cost of males. Sex can be special without marriage, and is important. Sex has many health benefits, it releases hormones which make you feel close to your partner, and reduces sexual tension and frustration. Couples that regularly have sex are often much happier than those who don’t, and often trust each other much more.

        I think it is an extremely unhealthy teaching of Christianity to make young people ashamed of their sexual urges and are encouraged to try and suppress them because that is not natural. Sex is part of life and should be enjoyed as part of a good relationship.

        • Hey Lucy – I think you’re referring to a very narrow stream of Christianity that teaches that sex is merely for reproduction and that any sexual urges are actually deep rooted sin within an individual.

          What Christianity teaches is that sex is designed for between a married man and woman who love each other. The expectation here is that if a man and woman love each other, then they will demonstrate that love by getting married and intend it to be a lifelong commitment, something that won’t  end in divorce and has been carefully thought about over a period of time.

          Ufortunately, the sex you’re talking about is what I feel to be a watered down, less serious view on sex, that actually sex can be had outside of marriage, with an easy escape route if things go pear shaped. And that is what I believe to be another aspect of consumerist society that we live in. And it is, indeed that. You can’t say that sex without marriage is fine and then say promiscuity is wrong. Because marriage is there to strengthen a relationship. If two people love each other, then why not get married? I know marriages don’t always work, but again, is it the consumerism view of marriage that’s put a tarnish on this ceremony of commitment and love? I think it is.

  • Amelia

    Thanks for replying 🙂 do you think there could be something to be said for trying out compatibility before marriage though? Considering it’s such an important part of being in a relationship, waiting until you’ve already made that commitment I would find a bit daunting. Considering that a lot of couples now live together  and stuff before marriage, it could be seen as making sure you’ve made the right choice… I’m not advocating promiscuity, by the way. I’m just saying that there could be other ways of looking at it (nor am I saying that what I’ve just said would, in my view, count as promiscuous) 🙂

  • Compatibility in terms of what, exactly? I’ve got no problem with people dating and having a boyfriend/girlfriend.

    If you mean sexual compatibility, then I’m afraid that I’d have to say I don’t think there’s any room for that at all. Yes, sex is a very important part of a relationship, but it isn’t what makes the relationship. If a man and woman are compatible because they love each other, then there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be sexually compatible. If they feel that they’re compatible as a boyfriend/girlfriend, then my feeling is that they should carefully weigh up whether they love each other – if they do, then marriage should be the option to go for, before sex. Sex is there, obviously to procreate, but also for enjoyment of that commitment in marriage, and it actually strengthens the relationship; the two are becoming one – as it mentions in the Bible 🙂

  • Amelia

    A sound argument 🙂 the only other thing I would add would be what about couples who love each other but don’t wish to marry? For example, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents, who aren’t married but have been together for over 30 years. But I guess that’s more of a marriage issue than a sex one, and I won’t go into that now lol 🙂

    • Amelia,

      You’re right – related but at the same time completely different topic! Thanks for sharing your views though – I love it when people engage!

  • Hey Dean. Just stumbled on your blog while scrolling along the Christian Blog network on Facebook. I couldn’t agree more with this post! Each time a girl or guy is promiscuous outside of marriage they devalue themselves. A wound, internally, is formed and healing can be quite the process. I dealt with this issue myself, and it is only by the grace of God that I have been able to heal. I would love for you to read my personal testimony sometime. It is under the “about me” tab at http://www.awakenedanew.com.


    • Thanks for commenting on the blog, Jess! Really glad you’ve come across the site. Will make sure that I have a look at your blog and read your testimony. I think it would be great for readers of this post to have a look too 🙂