In Hot Pursuit of Sexual Liberation: Should a Woman Be Promiscuous?

Linda LeMoncheck

in Loose Women, Lecherous Men

Published in print December 1997 | ISBN: 9780195105568
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852949 | DOI:
In Hot Pursuit of Sexual Liberation: Should a Woman Be Promiscuous?

Show Summary Details


Promiscuous sex evokes visions of sex with many different partners, and sex with many different partners in an era of AIDS is believed to be incautious at best, morally reprehensible at worst. However, to tell a woman that she cannot or should not be promiscuous seems to run counter to the feminist effort to secure sexual agency and self-definition for all women. Many feminists regard the sexual liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as it contemporary vestiges, as serving primarily the interests of men. This chapter explores the variety of meanings that are given to the terms “promiscuous” and “promiscuity” and shows how a patriarchy that has an investment in women's sexual monogamy also has an investment in convincing women that monogamy is the only safe haven for intimate and satisfying sex. From the “view from somewhere different”, promiscuous sex can bring sexual satisfaction, sexual growth, and sexual empowerment to women who would otherwise feel physically and emotionally trapped by the constraints of monogamy.

Keywords: sex; sexual promiscuity; women; sexual agency; sexual liberation; patriarchy; monogamy; sexual satisfaction; sexual growth; sexual empowerment

Chapter.  22499 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.