Surely you've heard the old line "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"
I've been thinking about it quite a bit lately, and have been mulling over this post for a while. I do not typically discuss teh secks, feeling it something better left as a topic of conversation between the two people who are having it with one another. But there are a few things I want to say.
I am not really a prude. I am on the second lover of my life, though, with no plans to expand the list, well, ever. I enjoy sex...but I am not willing to have it with just anyone. The emotional commitment, to me, has to come first.
I have relaxed somewhat in my generalized views on what's acceptable. I no longer hold sex within marriage alone to be the ideal, as in all honesty I can find no specific prohibition of it in Jesus's teachings. I will not teach my daughters to never, ever consider having sex before they're married, but I will teach them to be damn sure they don't have sex with someone whom they're not willing to have a child with. I have been choosy with my lovers, and (I'm not saying anything here he hasn't himself, publicly) so has my partner.
All this said, I am fairly libertarian in my views on what everyone else should do. I'm at least theoretically OK with things like polyamory and promiscuity. I think they're dumb, but so long as all parties involved are capable of giving informed consent...meh. I'm having sex with someone who has essentially the same outlook on the topic that I do, so as far as he and I go, that's what matters.
And yet...there's the free milk issue.
I have an acquaintance who is dealing with the consequences of this situation right now. As she's only an online acqaintance (and doesn't even live in this country), I don't really feel comfortable with telling her off, but this is the thing:
If you allow men to play with you, they will see you as a plaything. Now, if that's what you want, then more power to you. Play. Have fun. Screw around until you have slept with every single man in your social circle and fucking married men suddenly seems reasonable to you. (It's not reasonable, by the way.)
But realize this: Your actions will dictate how other people--male and female--think of you. And when you decide that you want a Beloved rather than a string of lovers...your past actions will make this difficult. Moreover, your current actions will make it even more so.
If you meet a man and set a date with him and you get drunk and fuck him on that date...Guess what? He's not going to think well of you. (And, honestly, it works both ways--most women I know wouldn't think very much of a guy who got drunk and wanted to fuck them the very first opportunity.) If you make yourself into a sex object, that's what you will be treated as--and the emphasis is going to be on object.
Am I saying you should never have sex? No. What I am saying is this: It is an inalieable truth that people will treat you only as well as you treat yourself--and them. It's about exclusivity. Humans place a higher value on rare or exclusive things. If you are willing to give yourself to just anyone, guess what? You're no longer exclusive, and no one has any reason to place a high value on you.
Neither men nor women, generally speaking, will want to form a relationship with--let alone marry--a person whom they do not see as holding value. Is it sexist? Perhaps, though to be honest I don't know many women with any interest in boyfriends/husbands who screw everything that comes down the turnpike either--at the very least, we want the bad boy gone good. There are some folks out there who will form relationships with folks they don't value...but those aren't the relationships you want to be in.
It's all about value.
Conduct yourself always as a woman who is worthy of love and devotion, and men will see you as a woman who is worthy of love and devotion. It is absolutely that simple.