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YOUNG ADULT PROBLEMS: SEXUAL PROMISCUITY

There is no SCIENTIFIC right or wrong concerning sexual promiscuity but from a holistic and medical point of view, the subject needs to be broached. The definition of promiscuity is dependent both upon peer and social boundaries. One country may differ markedly from another, governed predominantly by the strength of its religion. Within any geographical distribution peer groups exert an enormous amount of pressure on an individual. The availability of suitable partners, sex and personal attractiveness or, at least, personal self-confidence are all factors in deciding the number of partners that an individual may have.

Medically speaking, promiscuity is defined arbitrarily, but in the West it usually encompasses four or more partners within 12 months.

Physical considerations

The higher the number of partners, the higher the risk of contact with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Viral infections cover both ends of the medical spectrum. Human papillomavirus (genital warts) and herpes are rarely life-threatening, although the former may trigger cervical cancer in women. On the other hand, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is clearly associated with AIDS. Bacterial infection such as gonorrhoea is rarely a problem provided that adequate treatment is available, whereas syphilis is becoming more resistant to antibiotics and, once again, is on the increase. Other infections such as Candida, Chlamydia and Trichomonas, the latter two being responsible for the majority of non-specific urethritis (NSU), are also more prominent in the promiscuous.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Promiscuity is a risk and reducing the number of partners is medically advisable.

Safe sex needs to be practised, principally by using non-penetrative sex or correct use of condoms.

Prompt attention to any genital irregularity is to be recommended.

A social conscience that inhibits promiscuity by those that have infections must also be encouraged.

Psychological considerations

Sex, designed to be an act of procreation, is used by the human species to reflect many underlying emotions. Anger, aggression and frustration through rape, love and adoration through making love and, arguably, low self-esteem and loneliness may be reflected by promiscuity, which temporarily placates the latter and, through peer adoration, raises the former. Sex is used as a recreation and our sexuality is pinpointed by many forms of advertising as a way to sell products. Our subconscious is constantly alerted by sexuality. Sex is pleasurable and the psyche is geared towards seeking pleasure. Sex is not always exactly what the individual requires but may be the inevitable end-point of the cuddle that was.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Focus on the reason that sex is being sought and performed.

Reflect, especially if alcohol or drugs are required to enjoy the act. Altered senses usually give altered signals of requirement.

Remember that sex is not the inevitable outcome of any relationship where attraction is manifest. Most longstanding and supportive relationships succeed on other foundations.

Never be ashamed to sit with a professional to discuss any problems of sexuality.

Spiritual considerations

Spirituality and sexuality in combination create a fascinating subject. Religion, proclaiming in different guises to be the height of spirituality, generally chastises the sexually promiscuous. Spirituality, without religion, generally accepts sexuality as a part of a ‘being’ and in the case of Tantric yoga actively encourages male promiscuity within certain spiritual confines. If we accept the concept of unity with all living creatures that is expounded by the native Indian peoples of North and South America, we must tie our sexual/spiritual sense to our animal instincts. Many of these cultures believe that we all have a connection to an animal spirit, and universally across the animal kingdom sexual promiscuity is a method of promoting natural selection and the strongest genes for the species.

The most satisfying aspect for the soul is the experience of oneness, wholeness or union. It looks like you unite with another, but it is in fact the removal of the ‘sense of oneness’ that makes us feel separate, that makes us seek to re-unite. If sexual activity leads only to a heightened awareness of sep-arateness or loneliness, it is not being used properly.

Our spirituality governs or is our being. Suppression of any aspect will lead to a suppression of our physical and psychological selves, so clarity of thought and an understanding of our deeper spiritual/sexual selves is essential for good health.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Spend time in meditation or discussion on the underlying beliefs and energies that motivate a choice of partner or partners.

Consider the concept of a ‘soul mate’ and ask the question ‘do many partners increase or decrease my chances of finding one?’

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