Why does it matter how many people someone has had sex with?
In the world of journalism, that, my friends, is called a question lede. I’m supposed to spend the rest of this article trying to answer that question, but honestly I can’t make any promises. You see, that question has been in my mind for a while now, and I can’t seem to figure it out. Why do people care about someone’s “magic number,” and why is a person’s morality level judged by how many sexual partners they’ve had?
Historically speaking, it’s understandable why chastity and virginity were important. Without any kind of protection, getting pregnant or catching a disease was very much a reality. Virginity was maintained until marriage because no one wanted to catch a disease from their future spouse. Which is fair enough, really.
But those reasons are mainly invalid in modern times; we have condoms to save us from diseased genitals and unwanted fetuses. So long as sex is protected, it really shouldn’t matter how many people have been involved. Sex with multiple partners (not necessarily at the same time…) is often frowned upon as being immoral and looked at as being a “sin of the flesh” – but what is so immoral about it? No one is getting hurt and no one is being damaged. So long as the people involved are consenting and protected, there really is nothing immoral about it.
From a religious perspective, we’re told chastity is important because “every time you have sex with someone, you’re giving a little piece of yourself away. If you continue to have sex, once you get married, there won’t be any of you left.” Well, what Christians seem to overlook is that love causes one to lose way more of themselves than sex does. Every time you get your heart broken – every time you give your heart to someone – that person gets part of you, whether sex is involved or not. And yet, the faithful don’t warn against falling in love. It’s not a sin to fall in love, only to have sex. But love is much more powerful and potentially harmful than sex. How does that make sense? Oh wait, it doesn’t! And besides, if someone didn’t want to marry you because they thought you slept with “too many” people, is that really the type of close-minded person you would want to spend the rest of your life with anyways?
Choosing not to have sex with multiple partners is a personal choice — and one that is as fair as choosing to sleep around. I’m only offering a different point a view. I’m not saying one should wrack up notches on a bedpost, but I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t. We should have a handle on our own moral compasses, not get them from old-school teachings that tell us that sex is immoral, sinful, dirty, and wrong. If you have so many notches that your bed is barely existent — you are no less moral than someone who has waited until marriage. Believe it or not, who we have sex with doesn’t make us who we are.
Everyone has a choice as to how many people they have sex with. But that choice shouldn’t be looked down upon because it’s immoral or wrong, because it is neither. Keep sex safe, keep it consensual, but don’t keep it up on the nonsensical pedestal where it’s been for centuries. Look at it this way — I guarantee that no one has been on his or her deathbed at 90 years old thinking, “Jeeze, I wish I had sex with fewer people.”