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Article - Is casual sex immoral? - on sex positivity and its effect on women

(122 Posts)
Goosefoot Fri 20-Nov-20 13:47:13

I thought people might find this an interesting article - I'll come back and give my thoughts later but there are plenty of interesting ideas in there.

unherd.com/2020/11/is-casual-sex-immoral/

OP’s posts: |
Louiselhrau Fri 20-Nov-20 16:35:11

All sex is bad outside of a committed relationship period. It's irresponsible,leads to pregnancy, disease, and affects people's wellbeing, women especially.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 20-Nov-20 17:27:06

All sex is bad outside of a committed relationship period. It's irresponsible,leads to pregnancy, disease, and affects people's wellbeing, women especially.

According to whom?

Northernsoullover Fri 20-Nov-20 17:36:52

@Aquamarine1029 I beg to differ. Oh to be in my 20s again wink

PlanDeRaccordement Fri 20-Nov-20 17:41:26

Casual sex itself is not immoral, but in my opinion it is a risky recreational activity for women. There is no such thing as safe sex because there is always a risk of disease (causing discomfort, to infertility or even death), pregnancy and/or emotional damage.
Men have some risk too, but to a lesser degree than women. This is why the men who wish to engage in casual sex will always exceed the number of women who wish engage in casual sex. Which in turn causes prostitution and sex trafficking and these are truly immoral.
I do agree with the article that consent is a low bar to determine whether sex is a good choice for the two parties or not. But it confuses ulterior motives and manipulation or coercion into sex with casual sex itself.

Malahaha Fri 20-Nov-20 18:00:01

Aquamarine1029

*All sex is bad outside of a committed relationship period. It's irresponsible,leads to pregnancy, disease, and affects people's wellbeing, women especially.*

According to whom?

Obviously according to the poster! It's an opinion. I happen to agree with it.
Not on morality grounds, though. On mental health grounds. Women are usually the losers.

Divebar Fri 20-Nov-20 18:01:46

I can’t read that because they keep saying liberal feminism “ encourages” certain sexual behaviours. Liberal feminists don’t encourage anything they’re just not judgemental about sexual practices (including those that might fall outside the mainstream.Eg feet fetish). My personal rules would dictate I’m guided by practices that are legal. Other than that I don’t go around telling other people what they should be doing or not be doing in the bedroom and I don’t appreciate other people trying to govern me.

Whatwouldscullydo Fri 20-Nov-20 18:08:02

Tbh I've felt more shit through sex in some of my relationships than through casual sex ...

I guess I always went into a one night stand or casual arrangement, not expecting to get much from it, and you don't have to go back. But in a relationship you are kind of stuck with it. I think it becomes more if a let down because by the time you sleep together you are more invested.

I'm probably weird in my thoughts though. I mean I kinda viewed it as a chance to work out what I liked and didn't like before I got into a relationship, and even work out what the men liked so I had a few tricks up my sleeve...

Mind you my self confidence and self worth was shot way before I was even old enough to have sex.

QuentinWinters Fri 20-Nov-20 18:09:44

I don't understand why she's focussed on the dead chicken example as an example of Liberal feminism and I don't like the assertion that women have evolved to be more picky as sex is more risky for them - itsmore complicated than that.
Ultimately I'm not sure what point she's making, other than "Liberal feminism is bad". I agree somewhat the sex positivism is damaging but I think her arguments are weak

DidoLamenting Fri 20-Nov-20 18:11:03

Casual sex is not immoral. The article is presumably by a radical feminists given how disparaging it is of liberal feminism. It's infantilising of women.

I'm vehemently opposed to treating prostitution and porn as acceptable and articles like that are not helpful as it is ammunition that anyone who opposes commercial sex is just a prude.

Stripesnomore Fri 20-Nov-20 18:19:43

The dead chicken example was really useful because it demonstrates how small the number of moral principles are for people who don’t rely on traditional moral structures.

Thingybob Fri 20-Nov-20 18:21:19

It's good to see someone challenging the sex positivity message. (Most) women are not like (most) men and they do not experience sexual activities in the same way. We are harming young people, particularly girls, by pretending otherwise.

As an aside, why do the loudest advocates for sex positivy always have zero sex appeal and leave me feeling Eugh?

BolloxtoGender Fri 20-Nov-20 18:23:23

Women tend to be more vulnerable and at risk from casual sex - physically, emotionally, ultimately financially if unplanned baby is involved. That's reality, but to pretend that men and women are the same and not recognise the asymmetry of risk could be mentally and emotionally damaging for women, and they may not even understand why if they believe it is only about Consent. Is casual sex immoral? Is it immoral to risk putting yourself in harms' way? Is it immoral for men to hurt women? Regardless, it's not illegal and it will carry on anyway.

DidoLamenting Fri 20-Nov-20 18:25:59

Stripesnomore

The dead chicken example was really useful because it demonstrates how small the number of moral principles are for people who don’t rely on traditional moral structures.

Was it? I'm unsure what point you are making.

The concern for me about any person who did this would be would they do it to a live animal? Is this an indicator of possible, future harmful behaviour?

nancybotwinbloom Fri 20-Nov-20 18:27:36

If both parties are consenting then it's fine.

If it makes you feel like shit afterwards don't do it again. Casual sex isn't for everyone.

BolloxtoGender Fri 20-Nov-20 18:28:23

Stripesnomore

The dead chicken example was really useful because it demonstrates how small the number of moral principles are for people who don’t rely on traditional moral structures.

But we assume that morals are rational, we should be able to philosophise, reason our way through to morals. Doesn't seem to have room for instinctive disgust...it's as if we assume conscious reason SHOULD override disgust....( I'm now wondering whether there is some evolutionary explanation for disgust).

Thelnebriati Fri 20-Nov-20 18:31:36

Disgust starts when we are toddlers and start to wander away from our mothers, as the rejection of foodstuffs or non food items that could make us ill, and as we grow older we expand the range of things we find disgusting.

DidoLamenting Fri 20-Nov-20 18:33:41

I have in the past found the thought of eating meat disgusting for a number of reasons- the thought of eating a living creature, the smell, taste, the texture of chewing something which I know was a living creature. I'm not so sensitive now but there are still occasions when I think meat eating is disgusting.

McRibpain Fri 20-Nov-20 18:34:58

If you're doing it for the right reasons I.e. to have great sex, then fine. Any other reason and it's potentially harmful.

NonnyMouse1337 Fri 20-Nov-20 18:41:13

I'm now wondering whether there is some evolutionary explanation for disgust

There is. smile

Types of disgust and levels of intensity do vary among individuals, but there are certain instinctive disgusts - rotting food, certain diseases, smells, visual cues etc. And even sexual practices can invoke such feelings - most well adjusted people will feel disgust at the thought of sex with a parent or sibling. It's how we stop ourselves from inbreeding as a species.

BolloxtoGender Fri 20-Nov-20 18:48:32

@NonnyMouse1337 thanks, yes that would make sense.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 20-Nov-20 18:52:39

I'd say that casual sex - with the caveat that it's genuinely freely consenting adults involved, with due diligence to contraception and health considerations - is amoral. It's not bad, but neither is it 'virtuous'.
I think that's the false narrative attributed to 'libfems' but mainly of use to men - that 'sex positivity' means you should be having a lot of sex.

TwoLeftSocksWithHoles Fri 20-Nov-20 19:02:26

I haven't read the article (or the thread) but always thought casual sex was when one of those involved (or even both) was perhaps leaning on one elbow leafing through a Littlewoods catalogue, flicking through TV channels, eating a crusty cheese roll, puzzling over a crossword or maybe on the phone to their mother. confused

Well that's what it's like in our house.

kesstrel Fri 20-Nov-20 19:04:01

I don't think the point of the article is a out whether casual sex is immoral.

It's about whether it's immoral to encourage girls and young women to unquestioningly believe a narrative about casual sex that may be damaging to them, while clearly benefiting males.

NonnyMouse1337 Fri 20-Nov-20 19:06:59

For me, women having the freedom to choose means exactly that - to choose how they live their lives based on their preferences and what they feel suits them best.

Expecting all women to be virtuous virgins until marriage and shaming those who don't want to follow such constraints by labelling them sluts isn't good.
Neither is it good to expect all women to embrace and enjoy casual sex and shame those who don't want to follow such unconstrained practices by labelling them prudes.

What seems to happen is women following the crowd one way or the other, and finding it difficult to avoid peer pressure, and then finding themselves unhappy about things they might have done or not done.

It's important for women to know their own minds and to be able to be honest with themselves about what they really want.
Most people are somewhere in the middle - enjoying casual sex at certain points in their lives, usually in youth, and then preferring the stability of sex in a long-term relationship as they get older and find someone they love.

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