The Consequences of Female Promiscuity

I was so honored to be asked to be a panelist for Future of Sex’s recent Summer Series Event. Unraveling Female Promiscuity. If you weren’t able to be there in person, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how female promiscuity and sex hacking go hand-in-hand to make an exciting, sexy vision of our future. (And the podcast of the panel will be out soon, so keep an eye out!)

We’ve all heard it a million times: Men are “only after one thing”. They can’t control themselves. “Boys will be boys.” We have this presumption that men want to have sex with as many people as possible, and we cast women in the role of sexual gatekeepers, who are using sex to procreate or to form monogamous relationships. This myth is so outdated, we probably don’t even realize how pervasive it is. Society tells us that women don’t have sex for lust or their own fulfillment, that women are instead playing a game to develop relationships. Evolutionary psychiatry is full of research that backs this same idea. I think that makes it pretty clear that we don’t have enough research or information on female pleasure.

From the Kama Sutra to the Victorian “hysteria” days that led to the invention of the vibrator, sex hacking is hardly a new phenomenon. Yet, as my business partner, Dr. Zhana, has said many times: It’s a modern-day luxury to be a promiscuous woman. When I talk about being promiscuous, I don’t mean being indiscriminate in your serxaul encounters. Dr. Zhana and I promote the idea that people can lead healthy lives while having as much sexual adventure as they desire. We recommend that people pursuing a promiscuous lifestyle approach their sex lives with intention, make decisions that are authentic to them and well-informed, and practice enthusiastic consent.

Beyond the consequences of unintended pregnancies and STIs (which are life-threatening consequences on their own), we’ve created a society where women have always faced huge consequences for pursuing sexual pleasure. The message we send to women is that if you pursue sexual pleasure, you ruin your life. You can’t get married, you are shunned, you get anger from other women, you lose financial security, or you’re literally burned at the stake.

Straight men do not have those consequences, and I fully acknowledge my own male privilege when it comes to my sexual pursuits. Women have to risk literally everything to pursue sexual fulfillment. If you have a society where women need a monogamous relationship with a man for their own safety and financial security, you leave women choosing to pursue either a stable life or their sexual fulfillment. That leaves a lot of women abstaining from casual sex for their own personal safety, and a lot of men wondering why they can’t get laid.

I’ve talked before about the orgasm gap, and I think that’s relevant here, as well. Consequences for women being sexually promiscuous in western societies have decreased recently, but the orgasm gap still exists.  Now, women who pursue sexual pleasure might still not be getting any sexual satisfaction. For men to truly treat women as their sexual equals, it’s not enough to simply remove the consequences for sexual promiscuity. You must also value your partner’s orgasm the way you value your own.

As Alexandra Warrick said in this review of the Future of Sex panel for Slutever,

Furthermore, acknowledging that pleasure­‐seeking is inextricable from privilege and societal consequence, Play posed the following question: “if we removed the consequences, how would women behave?” To exist as a woman in a society where you’ll unfailingly get the brunt of sex­‐negativity for any choice you make only serves to feed the myth that women just aren’t, you know, interested in sex like men are. And so the age­‐old, toxic trope lumbers on.

We have never created a society where women can act on their own desires and are rewarded rather than punished. The fact that we don’t value women’s sexuality spills over into other aspects of life; we value their sexual satisfaction less than men’s, and we value women less than men.

I’m very fortunate to live in a community that has insulated a sex-positive bubble in a sex-negative world. The results have been amazing; we all love and care for each other in addition to having more sexually fulfilling lives. It’s almost like a larger-scale PlayLab. I want more people to join this bubble, and find out if it improves their quality of life (personally, I give it a big “HELL YES” in that regard). For that to happen, I invite you all to join me in promoting sex-positivity in your own communities, so that we can create a more sexual fulfilling world for everyone.

Take the first step towards a more sex positive world by joining my email list (and get instant access to my squirting hack)!