WARNING!!! If you like having multiple casual sex partners, are happy with that, and like that society accepts that, then this post is NOT for you. If you are a feminist this post is not for you. PLEASE skip it.
If you don’t want to have causal sex with multiple partners, feel pressure to do so, may have even done so and regretted it later, and you think it’s harder now to get into monogamous relationships, then this post may help you feel more confident in saying “NO”.
This CNN video may shed some light on the context of this post…but then again maybe not.
Social Norms and Sexual Norms
What women do with their privates is no one else’s business and it doesn’t harm anyone as long as the sex is consensual and safe right? I disagree. I think some people are oblivious to the fact that there are sexual norms (it’s intro social psychology and sociology). Sometimes these people even propose that basically anything sexual is normal as long as it’s consensual. They don’t realize that they are establishing the new sexual norm of ‘anything goes and everything is okay’ and that there is something ‘abnormal’ about you if you think otherwise.
“Social Norms are the expectations about how people should act. Usually social norms are created by having the same sort of certain behaviors among social group members. Also, there are usually negative consequences when someone violates a social norm…Norms do serve a purpose, as they allow people to expect the events that will occur in a particular setting. This allows people to prepare themselves for being in that situation. Uncertainty is a big source of psychological stress. Norms allow us to reduce the uncertainty that we might otherwise feel in a situation, or leading up to a situation if we knew nothing about how that situation would unfold.”(source; also see Wikipedia definition)
In other words, once a norm for promiscuity is set, both men and women will come to expect it and many will conform to it. In the past it was only men and promiscuous women saying sex was fun, it’s no big deal etc. and it was easier to say no because they advocated out of self-interest. You see, saying it’s okay to be promiscuous, women should not be judged or shamed, and that some women enjoy the activity with no ill effects is one thing. But when an ideological group, Third Wave feminists, state sleeping around is empowered, that it helps women figure out what they like in bed, or it shows they are not repressed by the patriarchy, then that’s a different story. It’s associating promiscuity with positive things that many women want because they want to be empowered, satisfied with sex, and not slaves to men. When Third Wave feminists (who some women identify with, respect, and trust are looking out for their best interests) imply that being promiscuous has these benefits, women may start questioning themselves and start sleeping around against their better judgement. Some women assume that feminists are not advocating sexual practices for ideological self-interest while disregarding the affect these practices have on individual women–they just want what’s best for you right? “”Feminism is not the freedom to act like a dickhead,”…”These women are individualists, not feminists” (source). They don’t care that hold outs may experience prude-shaming by women implying that they are repressed, frigid, too uptight, too old fashioned, insecure, not giving their bodies what they want, missing out, not free thinkers, something is wrong with them, or they won’t be able to keep a man (similar to the things men say to coerce women into having sex..hmmm).
For example, if most women sleep with men on the first date then that becomes the norm, and men will pressure other women to “be normal” and have sex on the the first date. This in turn will confirm and perpetuate the norm. Feminists supporting promiscuity makes it that much harder to hold out. Personally, I’m more concerned about protecting abstainers from pressure than about hurting the feelings (i.e., shaming or judging) of people who knew the risks, ignored the warnings, and went full steam ahead anyway. “Norms can be self-perpetuating, as once they are established they will often continue, even when those who established them have long since left the situation” (source). So if promiscuous women get married (maybe even by lying to their husbands about their sex number), get old, or stop dating, then other single women are left with the norm! Future generations will suffer because of other women’s actions and many young girls are already caving to the pressure.