Debate Magazine

What Sexual Promiscuity Does to Your Health, Mind, and Soul

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

The capacity to love, to form close and lastingly intimate connections or attachments with others, is one of the fundamental pillars of mental health.

Sexual promiscuity is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as many transient, casual, or indiscriminate sexual relationships. The word “indiscriminate,” in turn, is defined as “done at random or without careful judgment”.

Sexual promiscuity, therefore, is sexual behavior without love, attachment, or lasting intimacy. So it should not surprise us that sexual promiscuity, in addition to the health risks, is damaging to our mental and spiritual wellbeing.

But no one talks about it.

Instead, in our culture today, being a sexual libertine is celebrated and “celebrities” like Miley Cyrus parade their sluttiness as a peculiar form of accomplishment. As C. S. Lewis presciently observed, “Sexual intercourse is rapidly becoming the one thing venerated in a world without veneration.”

So brainwashed are we that when Burt Reynolds, 79, appearing on the Dec. 8 episode of British talk show Loose Women, said that he had no sympathy for Charlie Sheen being diagnosed with HIV, and that Sheen “deserves” the diagnosis because he “misbehaved badly,” the audience reacted with “shock” and disapproval — not at Sheen, but at Reynolds.

The following information on Charlie Sheen’s promiscuity is from the December 7, 2015 print edition of The National Enquirer — the lowly supermarket tabloid that, unlike regular newspapers, had the gumption to investigate the widespread rumors in Hollywood of Sheen having HIV, and so broke the story:

  • Sheen directly or indirectly exposed as many as 1,483 sex partners, men and women, to the HIV virus since being diagnosed 4 years ago.
  • In 2013, two years after he discovered he has HIV, Sheen spent $1.62 million on “escorts,” i.e., prostitutes.
  • Sheen  “had a penchant” for porn stars and prostitutes — of both sexes, and those in-between. The latter are male-to-female transsexuals, that is, biological males with breast implants.
  • Sheen had a long-running “affair” with a “gay Hollywood gadfly” who has a home video of the two “indulging in hardcore sex”.
  • There is another videotape showing Sheen “smoking crack cocaine and performing oral sex” on a male in Las Vegas.
  • Sheen believes he got HIV from a “petite, naturally-endowed [has a penis]” transsexual “porn princess,” whom he’d hired for a $20,000 “romp” at his Los Angeles mansion. The “romp” was without “protection” (no condoms) and recorded on tape. Sheen’s team of fixers bought the “tranny tape” for millions of dollars and presumably destroyed it. The transsexual has not been seen for some time. “Multiple sources” told The Enquirer that “she has died”.

Charlie Sheen is a grotesque example of the destructive effects of promiscuity. As Chris Iliades, M.D., put it in Everyday Health, “Society puts an emphasis on sexuality — but casual sex can impact your physical and emotional health in ways that you may not suspect.”

how promiscuity affects Physical health

From Everyday Health:

Can promiscuity threaten your longevity? The short answer is yes. Having a large number of sexual partners has been linked to poor sexual health and decreased longevity. Why? The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions like prostate cancer, cervical cancer, and oral cancer.

Dr. Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald, assistant professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University, explains: “Promiscuity is one example of a class of high-risk behaviors. It is comparable to, and may coincide with, behaviors such as heavy drinking, gambling, and other thrill-seeking behaviors like driving too fast.”

Don’t believe the myths that you can’t get STDs unless you have sexual intercourse or that you can’t get them from oral or anal sex. Many viruses and bacteria that cause STDs can enter your bloodstream through tiny cuts in your mouth, anus, or the outer parts of your genitals.

Here’s a rundown of physical risks you face from promiscuity:

  • STDs: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 19 million new STD infections occur each year. Among the most common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, but the most common of all is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can infect the mouth or the genitals, and most people do not know they are infected. HPV has been linked to cervical cancer and to oral and throat cancers.
  • HIV and AIDS: Being promiscuous and having STDs both increase your susceptibility to the AIDS virus. Despite better education and treatment, AIDS still killed more than 14,000 Americans in 2007.
  • Other health conditions: If promiscuity is combined with other risky behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking, substance abuse, not getting enough sleep, and poor diet, it can contribute to several chronic diseases including heart disease.
  • Physical abuse: Research shows the couples who are in long-term relationships are much less likely to suffer from domestic violence.

See also “Medical consequences of homosexual sexual behaviors“.

how Promiscuity affects Mental Health

Writing in Psychology Today, psychologist Stephen A. Diamond points out that sexual promiscuity “can be commonly seen in various mental disorders such as psychosis, manic episodes, substance abuse and dependence, dissociative identity disorder, as well as borderline, narcissistic and antisocial personalities”. More than that, promiscuity “can, in fact, often be partially diagnostic of such pathological conditions.” Examples include the diagnostic criterion of impulsive behaviors like reckless sex in Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as the often dangerously-heightened sexual drive and behavior in the manic phase of Bipolar Disorder.

Dr. Deirdre Fitzgerald notes that sexual promiscuity impacts one’s emotional health in that “making dangerous choices . . . lead to more and more risk. This cycle can lead to problems with self-concept, ineffective relationships, and even depression.” With depression, promiscuity may actually be a symptom as well as an effect of depression. Promiscuity is also a way for the mentally troubled to avoid dealing with their issues.

How Promiscuity affects marital stability

In a study on adolescent sex and marital stability, which was published in 2011 in Adolescent Sexuality and The Risk of Marital Dissolution, Anthony Paik found a paucity of nationally representative studies — only four — examining whether premarital sexual experiences are linked to divorce. (The paper is available from here.) But the core finding is emphatic, which is that premarital sex is associated with increased risks of divorce or marital instability.

Here are Paik’s findings from an examination of the sexual histories of approximately 3,800 women taken from the 2002 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth:

  • Women who had premarital sex only with their future husbands did not have higher risks of marital dissolution, which suggests that the premarital-sex effect on divorce is related primarily to having sex with multiple partners.
  •  Women who had unwanted first sex were at increased risk of divorce.
  • Women who had sex prior to 16 years of age were at increased risk of divorce, regardless of whether the sex was wanted or not.
  • Women who had sex after 16 were not at greater risk of divorce if they had only ever slept with one man. Once they had slept with more than one they were at increased risk of divorce. In other words, women who are prone to divorce are not born but are made that way.
  • The increased rate of divorce amongst co-habitors is due to their multiple partner count.
  • Virgin brides have the most stable marriages.

Mark Gungor is a much sought-after speaker on marriage and family. In March 2009 on his radio show, The Mark Gungor Show, he said:

Science shows us that when a woman has sex with a man, a chemical called oxytocin is released into her system. Oxytocin is a neuro-peptide most commonly associated with pregnancy and breast-feeding. It seems to act as a human superglue and helps a woman bond with her infant. This chemical also helps a woman bond with her lover during sex. New scientific studies, however, suggest that if a woman has multiple sexual partners, this will lower her levels of oxytocin which in turn can inhibit her ability to bond to her husband. According to an article by Drs. John Diggs and Eric Keroack, “People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual.”

. . . I believe that men can have the most to lose. Why? Because a sexually promiscuous woman, despite lowered levels of oxytocin and a less than positive attitude toward sex in general, still is internally wired to WANT to connect with her husband. Indeed, that desire is so strong, it causes her to fight through many of the negative side affects of her previous sexual experiences. A man, however, has no such natural “wiring”. If he fails to properly “imprint” and bond to the wife of his youth, he may spend the rest of his life in a disconnected state from her – indeed, from any woman . . . and foolishly turn to porn, affairs, lust, etc… All which can have severe negative consequences to his marriage.

How promiscuity leads to increasingly abnormal sexual behaviors

Quoting the late Rollo May’s observation that in a purely sexual (i.e., merely physically intimate) relationship, “it is only a matter of time before the partners experience feelings of emptiness,” psychologist Stephen Diamond explains this is exactly what sexual addiction is all about. The initial “high” from sex rapidly fades away. And then the sex addict searches for that next “fix.” Over and over and over.

Before long, the next “fix” becomes more extreme, so as to deliver the same “high”. Charlie Sheen exemplifies this trajectory. He also demonstrates that homosexual behaviors are not inborn or genetic, but can be acquired.

How promiscuity affects one’s soul and society

Blogger The Social Pathologist writes:

No one, of course, has yet been able to explain the rock solid association between premarital virginity and decreased risk of divorce. These women, either through partner choice or personal quality have “something” which protects them against life’s vicissitudes. No “scientific” explanation is yet forthcoming. Yet for the non-virginal, the bulk of data available seems to indicate a positive correlation between partner count and divorce. I can’t but help but . . . wonder if promiscuity is a mechanism of desoulment . It’s a good an explanation as any.

Tashica Jacobsen of The United Families International Blog writes, Aug. 27, 2014:

Sexual intimacy is a uniting act. It unites people in the ultimate way; no other act can do this. “It is the union of their whole selves—heart, mind, flesh, spirit.” But what we are teaching our children is to disconnect this act from others, and focus solely on personal gratification. If we cannot connect the most uniting form of human expression with another person, how is it that we are able to interact and connect with others on a day to day basis? We won’t be able to. We will start to view every interaction in terms of our wants and desires, regardless of others . . . .

Given the confusion and destruction of relationships that comes as we devalue sex, it is easy to see why sexual active teens are more likely to suffer from depression and attempt suicide. This new standard of morality is destroying relationships leading to isolation that then spills over into other aspects of our lives making us even more selfish, isolated, and alone.

To conclude, schools and media are not telling you the truth about sex. The scientific data we have all point to how wrong our “hook-up” pop culture is, as if the human person is merely genitalia and we are defined solely and completely by our sex and gender.

The simple truth is this: Our health (physical and emotional) as individuals and as a society is found in chastity and long-term monogamous relationships.


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