People worry about ‘promiscuity in women’ because they think it is a problem if women have lots of sex with multiple partners. But we need to think, is there really? What are we troubled by when women have a lot of sex? There is not often the same criticism placed on men. In fact, we often think men are impressive or cool when they have lots of sex, especially if it is with multiple women. This is troublesome for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we need to consider whether or not there are any risks involved in promiscuity. If unsafe sex is being had, without protection such as condoms, and without regular STI testing, then this may be an issue. But here is a problem with sex in general, had by people of all genders. If you have only had sex once, then marry someone else, you can still pass on an STI from that one other partner, and you would not be considered a promiscuous person. So, we can say confidently that as long as safe sex practices are being followed, there is no problem with promiscuous sexual practices from this perspective.
Why do people consider it worse for women to be promiscuous than for men to behave the same way? It could be because, in the past, there was legal ownership over women by men. So, if a woman was involved with another man outside the one who “owned” her, it could have been seen as a violation of his property. But men were not owned by anyone, so they could be involved with who they chose. This sounds awfully outdated now, so why might the misconception continue? It could be that the risks of sex for women can be higher: they could get pregnant. Getting pregnant without wanting to, is not a great situation to be in, and as we often treat women as the only ones responsible for their pregnancy (even though it takes two!), we can think it is irresponsible to take the risk of having lots of sex. Maybe people are troubled by the idea that women, who are not taught to enjoy sex, can, in fact, find it fun. Anything that happens which is not what society expects can make people uneasy.
Some people have ideas that women are psychologically distressed or traumatized if they choose to have a lot of sex. There are urban myths about women who had tricky relationships with their fathers being “sluts” later in life. But this is a strange way to look at it, in my opinion. Undoubtedly, reckless sexual behavior can be a form of self-harm or endangerment. And it could be that a person engaging in those behaviors is troubled by their past. But participating in sex with lots of different people is just another way people express themselves and have fun.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be with someone who has different sexual practices to you. A couple with different sexual histories or preferences may have trouble with compatibility. For more advice, visit the article ‘What makes a relationship last long?’ But the most important thing is to not think your preferences are what other people should be living up to. There aren’t “causes” of promiscuity, but there is a lot of judgment out there. We’d all be a lot better off if we could just avoid judging other people.