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Someone asked us:

Is promiscuity a bad thing?

Unfortunately some “promiscuous” women are judged in a negative way by society. But “promiscuous” men are more accepted in society, which is totally unfair.

Why do I keep putting “promiscuous” in quotes? Because there’s no standard definition of what it means. Some people might think that a person is promiscuous if he or she is involved with multiple sexual partners at the same time. Other people think a person is promiscuous if they have a certain number of partners over the course of a few years or longer. And for some people, promiscuity doesn’t necessarily mean having sex – to them, a person who goes on a lot of dates or makes out with a lot of people might be “promiscuous,” too.

So “promiscuity” is a word that can refer to a whole variety of different sexual behaviors. But in general, it’s a word that’s used to judge or shame people. And, again, it’s a term that’s most often directed at women.

Since the number of sexual partners you’ve had doesn’t say anything about your character, your morals, or your personality – or about anything at all really– there’s nothing bad or unhealthy about having a big number of sexual partners.

Some things that can be unhealthy include having sex before you’re ready, having sex to try to seem impressive or cool, having sex when you don’t want to, having sex with people you don’t like/trust/care about, and having sex without using protection – like condoms and birth control.

If none of those behaviors sound like you, and if you feel satisfied with and confident about your sexual decisions, you have nothing to worry about – even if someone calls you or your behavior “promiscuous.” And that’s also a good reason to hold off on judging or gossiping about other people’s sexual history, too.

- Alex at Planned Parenthood