Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

What do you think of promiscuous activity and is it dangerous?

Asked by chelle21689 (5086 points ) August 22nd, 2012

What do you think of people who have a high number of partners in a short period of time (especially with strangers)? I don’t care what goes on with people’s lives and whatever floats their boat BUT I can’t help but think it’s dirty. If it were me I’d be paranoid at the amount of diseases and viruses I’d be exposing myself to with guys I do not trust…it’s not easy to trust someone because everyone believes they are disease-free and will tell you so lol.

Plus, a lot of people are ignorant and think that you can’t contract or spread diseases through oral sex!

Even if you use protection, you still expose yourself to a higher risk of contracting STD, Herpes, or other viruses. Condoms do not protect everything and you can get genital warts from skin to skin contact…even if there is no sign.

Part of the reason why I wouldn’t date a guy who had a high number of sexual partners in the past. Unless he is a great catch I would definitely have to exchange some proof of being free of disease although it may seem unromantic lol.

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36 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

For me, it is always the person that is important. History varies. The reasons for a person’s history varies. Until I understand a person and feel very comfortable with them, I am not likely to want to be intimate with them. That could happen quickly, and it might take months.

If a potential lover had had a lot of partners, I would certainly be interested in their sexual health practices, and I would want to understand why they had so many. I would hope she would be interested in my history, too. It’s important. But having a lot of partners, per se, is and never would be a reason to dismiss them.

Risky behavior can be dangerous, but it isn’t necessarily dangerous. Even so, I can use safe sex practices to stay healthy. Mostly, I would be concerned for my potential lover. And I would not have a problem with both of us getting tested and sharing the results with each other. That would certainly be something I would want to consider if we were going to engage in unprotected sex. Of course, if they had only been with one partner in the last twenty years, I might think differently. But I always want to protect myself and I want her to protect herself, too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a good friend who contracted Hepatitis C back in his “youthful” days. He is still a carrier with a count above 1 million! But you’d never know it. He is single, employed, good looking, intelligent, and in great physical shape. Quite a catch—-except. He is responsible but not everyone is. (Since I’m such a yenta I’d love to fix him up. Sadly, there are no takers.)

Wasn’t there a recent case where a man spread AIDS to over 20 women and was charges with some kind of Assault? I will look for it. Note: Found it. He infected more than 100 women and might have had sex with more than 1000! (He is a slime bag, sure. But why on earth would women have sex with this guy?)
You can play Russian roulette with an 8 shot revolver and get away with it 87% of the time. But, It’s that one time that gets you and the negative consequences are too great to ignore.

woodcutter's avatar

You could also ask the families of all the dearly departed young gay men back in the AIDS outbreak. Was that back in the 80’s or was it the 90’s?
All factors considered, it is thought that well over one million gay and bisexual men have suffered an AIDS related death – with more than 300,000 of those deaths occurring in the United States. From Wikianswers,com
Not wanting to start a flame war here even though I am fireproof and these stats might not mean every single death was due to unprotected and promiscuous sex but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say…..

Most of it was.

chelle21689's avatar

LuckyGuy, wow…I’ll read that when I have the time.

LuckyGuy's avatar

1000 women fell for his lines!!! Really?!?! Look at the guy! Are women that desperate? Did he tell every one that they were his first? I’ll bet he said he was perfectly clean and hadn’t been with a woman in years.
Maybe he should be writing the ehow book “How to pick up women.”
Russian Roulette indeed.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I could never bring myself to be promiscuous. I constantly worry about STDs and I’m married to the only person I’ve ever had sex with! I’m a freak like that, but if I was sleeping with strangers, I’d probably have a panic attack whenever I had a weird symptom. Sex is dangerous, and unfortunately many people don’t know that condoms don’t protect you from everything.

I say, live and let live, but I personally wouldn’t have sex with a guy who was promiscuous.

woodcutter's avatar

How do you know if someone is a rounder?

bkcunningham's avatar

@LuckyGuy, the article said, “We want to make sure that anyone who may have injected drugs with [him], who may have had sex with him…”

That explains a lot to me.

chyna's avatar

@LuckyGuy So what does your friend look like? Just kidding!
Your article said he infected men also. Wow, he must have a really, really good line.

augustlan's avatar

I never judge anyone for their promiscuity. Having been quite promiscuous myself in my youth, I know there are many reasons why people might go this route. That said, my days of sleeping around were just before the advent of AIDS. In those days, it was just as possible to pick up an STD, but none of them were likely to kill you. The risks weren’t quite as high.

Keep in mind that just because someone has only slept with a few partners that doesn’t mean they are disease free. If any one of the people they’ve slept with were not virgins at the time, the risk is always there. Some people also lie about their history, so as not to be judged for it or for some other reason. Safe sex practices are a must, no matter the sexual history of your partner.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Doesn’t really make any difference to me, disease-wise, if you’ve slept with one person or one thousand people. Either way, show me your test results.

gailcalled's avatar

@chelle21689: I followed and agreed with your argument until I read this:

“Unless he is a great catch I would definitely have to exchange some proof of being free of disease although it may seem unromantic lol.”

How do you justify that statement? “Unless he is a great catch?” Then he can be as diseased and promiscuous as he wants?

SuperMouse's avatar

I came of age on the west coast in the early 80’s. I read my first article about AIDS in Rolling Stone in around 1982. By the time I was 30 I personally knew four people who had died of AIDS (I always wondered if that was a disproportionately high number for a girl from suburban Los Angeles). Early in the AIDS epidemic all anyone knew was that it seemed to be spread by sexual intercourse and sharing needles and that condoms were a good way of trying to prevent the spread. As a result of that experience, I do think I tend to look at people having multiple sexual partners in a short period of time as “dirty”.

Now I tend to think of that as an antiquated view and I remind myself that as long as someone is practicing safe sex it is their life and is in reality none of my business. I do think that (if I was single and dating of course), I would have a hard time dating someone or getting into a serious relationship with someone if I knew they were used to sleeping around.

woodcutter's avatar

Having multiple partners increases the chances you might get one who is mean and physically abusive and you find out the hard way. You could end up in the emergency room because the guy was a real psycho who was a smooth talker. That is another way it can be dangerous. Have you seen the movie “Looking for Mr.Goodbar”? The ending shocked even me the first time I saw it.

digitalimpression's avatar

I think it’s dangerous for a couple of reasons. Disease, yes. It is also dangerous on a deeper level. It makes sex less about a real connection with a person and makes it more of a play thing. Sex should always be more than that.. at least in my opinion.

Personally, I would never be interested in someone with a lot of sexual partners. It tells me that they are a little too impulsive and lack the sort of self-control that I find attractive.

Haleth's avatar

You can catch an STD from just one person. Having more partners increases your chances, but safer sex decreases your chances. That boils down to knowing how to protect yourself and being assertive enough to do it. It can be hard to tell someone that you want to get tested together, or even that you want them to use a condom. There are a lot of people who will use smooth talking, pressure, coercion, etc. to try and have unprotected sex (or any sex acts). For girls and women especially, there can be many kinds of pressure. (Link contains some heavy but interesting reading about “grey area” rape.)

@chelle21689 It seems like you’re against a high number of partners, and against getting tested together? I disagree with both.

Having sex with anyone is a crapshoot. It’s easy to throw around words like trust, but unless you know the STD status of your partner, you’re trusting them with your health and your life. They might not mean to hurt you, but plenty of people don’t know their own status and think that they’re clean. There are also people who manipulate others into trusting them to get what they want.

Instinct and trust alone won’t keep you safe.

OTOH, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with having many partners. It can be great, even, because that person is often confident and self-assured in bed, and they’ll actually know what they’re doing. (I’ve gotten some pretty half-assed foreplay from inexperienced partners when I was younger. It takes practice to learn how to satisfy another person, and maturity to actually care about someone else’s pleasure.)

I’m still pretty young, but my advice to anyone would be to get tested together, practice safe sex, and have as many experiences as you want. If someone is against safe sex/ tries to pressure you, they don’t have your best interests at heart. Someone who has had many partners isn’t intrinsically “dirty” or diseased. If you get tested together, the truth will be out in the open, and that’s a real gesture of goodwill and trust. That’s actually kind of romantic.

Shippy's avatar

I don’t think it’s dirty, I just think it is risky IF you take part in certain practices, without protection. I think promiscuity is very misunderstood. A lot of it is emotional, for example people abused as children can often be more promiscuous. Not always of course. There are sex addicts too. Then there are people who just enjoy it. Which I wont judge unless they are stupid and don’t take sensible precautions and use abortion as a birth control method.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It really comes down to simple math and playing the odds. Like the Drake equation you can make your own estimates and string the factors together to figure out your chances.
Odds of partner within your circle of acquaintances with STD.
Number of partners
Odds of partner having an STD and lying about it.
Odds of partner having an STD and not knowing
Odds of contracting disease from infected partner per episode
Number of episodes with infected partner
Cost (emotional, physical) of contracting the STD

You can try to reduce odds by being “careful” but the fact remains that having many partners can only increase your odds.

Sure some people have enjoyed trysts with many partners and have had no problems. But many are not so lucky. My friend is an example. The negative consequences can be huge. Ask someone with something as minor as a simple herpes infection on the lips how much they would pay to get rid of it.

I guess if both people are tested 2 months after their last encounter and the report comes back negative you can be reasonably confident. But how many people do that?

wundayatta's avatar

@digitalimpression I don’t think that sex should be about a deeper connection. I think it IS about a deeper connection, whether or not people are consciously aware of it. Sex is a physical activity and it speaks to parts of consciousness that speak without words. So often, since we are mostly only aware of our word thoughts, we are not conscious of the thoughts and experiences we have without words.

There are a lot of people who think sex can be just about having a good time. I believe they are missing an awareness that sex is also about that deeper connection that most people desire. It is there. Even when people don’t know each other, their bodies speak to each other. Or try to. Sometimes they do connect, and they have mindblowing sex. Other times, not so much.

Of course, if you have both the mental connection and the physical/spiritual connection, then they enhance each other a lot more than if you just have physical/spiritual. There’s a mental component to spiritual, also. Without that, you miss out on a lot. But it’s still good enough for a lot of people.

But while you can make a quick connection with someone and the mental side of things is not required in order to open the door to that physical/spiritual thing, having the mental side adds so much more. I don’t think it makes sense to rule out someone with a lot of partners. They may have had the kinds of connections you want, or they may be the right person for you now. Who knows until you try?

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

The bottom line is protection matters. Yes, the risk gets higher if you go out with more and more people. Yes, it’s a good idea to get tested. No, I don’t think it’s unromantic. It’s a good idea. If somebody gives you crap or complains about getting tested, then maybe you shouldn’t have sex with them. If it’s important to you, they should understand. On a moral level, I don’t believe being promiscuous makes you any more a good or bad person. You are merely satisfying needs.

digitalimpression's avatar

@wundayatta
Promiscuity is a huge turnoff for me. Regardless of the logic of your statements.. I doubt my preference will ever change. In that regard, they will not be the right person for me.

It’s a moot point anyway as I’ve been married for quite a while now and I’ve got everything a man could want waitin for me at home .

wundayatta's avatar

@digitalimpression Moot point, indeed. It’s all theoretical in your case. And mine, too, for that matter.

Paradox25's avatar

People tend to be judgemental, and on this issue it is no different. I’m sure that many sexually experienced people will look down upon those who havn’t had as much sex as them, and there are sexually conservative people who will look down on those who are more promiscuous than themselves.

Personally I don’t find myself attracted to sexually promiscuous women. I prefer to grow with a person, both with experience and love. If I’m going to be that judgemental about how well someone is in bed on such short notice, than I shouldn’t be with anyone to begin with. We live in a world where many of us want instant satisfaction, and where we believe that we’re even entitled to it, all without wanting to do the work to make a relationship thrive.

I have various reasons why I’m not sexually promisuous, and why I would prefer a woman who is not sexually promisuous herself. My reasons for avoiding promiscuity are for secular reasons, and not religious ones. It would be nice if more people respected the personal decisions of others relating to these matters instead of trying to ram their way of life down our throats.

nikipedia's avatar

I don’t give one one-millionth of a shit how many people anyone has slept with.

If you are that concerned about getting an STD, don’t ever have sex with anyone. Most people are carriers of herpes, most people are carriers of HPV.

Nullo's avatar

It’s an abuse of the system. And as our fellow jellos have pointed out, it’s quite dangerous.

chelle21689's avatar

@Haleth, what the heck makes you think I’m against getting tested together? Didn’t I mention in my post that if my partner had a high number of partners we’d have to exchange test results? It may seem like I’m against having a high number of sex partners, but all I am saying is that whoring yourself out to a high number of people definitely increases chances of diseases. I know some people that have slept with 40+ people in a short period of time…Just saying.

chelle21689's avatar

@Gailcalled, no it doesn’t justify it. You have to read more carefully. I’m not going to judge him and say “NO, I WILL NOT DATE YOU” just because he had a high number of partners. He’d have to be TESTED…

Aethelflaed's avatar

@chelle21689 It honestly worries me that you don’t feel the need to exchange test results unless you know your partner has slept with what you determine to be a high amount of people. Not exchanging that kind of information is not only much riskier than any number of partners, but does not really set you up for a particularly healthy relationship.

Nullo's avatar

@Aethelflaed If neither party has ever slept with anyone else, it becomes a non-issue.

gailcalled's avatar

@chelle21689: You’re right. I am a sloppy reader.

wundayatta's avatar

@Nullo that’s true. But how can you ascertain the truth of such a statement? Someone says they are a virgin, but that doesn’t make it so.

chelle21689's avatar

@gailcalled lol I do the same sometimes when I’m in a rush, heated, or excited about something.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Nullo Someone tells me they’re a virgin, I’m still gonna need to see some test results, since you can get many an STD other ways, and some people lie.

snapdragon24's avatar

Hmmm your right about having your doubts on promiscuous sex. However, I don’t think it has much to with how many partners one person has had. It’s a lot more complicated then that. Question is, is the person clean? You can’t always find out…especially if its a one night stand or a sex buddy. Either way, a person who has had a lot of sex partners can be more responsible than one who hasn’t.

Oh and I agree with @nikipedia and @Shippy.

gailcalled's avatar

(^^^ You’re)

One practical problem with multiple short-llived partners is the time and trouble it takes to get tested.

You and possible partner get tested. You become lovers. A long time passes before you break up, find someone new and need to be retested.

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