Sex Q&A: Should You Have Multiple Partners?

It Isn’t for Everyone

Moe from Raymond, New Hampshire asks:

Why do you promote sexual freedom when you tell someone it’s okay to have sex with different guys? I am no prude, but all I seem to meet are woman in there 40s and 50s who just want to have different partners. What’s wrong with a long-term thing and never mind the things you can pick up from sleeping with a lot of different people? Come on!

You’re wrong to promote this and I will tell you even at my age I love sex but I hold back a lot as I have some morals that you do not. With all the diseases out there, you are who you slept with last. Even you should know that.

Liam’s Response:

Your inquiry is deeply embedded with ignorance and fear, the elder brothers of hatred. What you can’t understand terrifies you and I’m afraid any answer I give will only serve to frighten you all the more. Your observations on sexual health and safety are flawed by the erroneous assumption that promiscuous or adventurous sexual behavior is the primary cause of venereal disease when the facts  prove the contrary is actually true. In cultures known to indulge in open sexual behavior—the U.S. is one of them—the incidences of STD transmission is far lower than in places which are highly traditional with moral focus placed on assumptions of monogamy. In other words, the more promiscuous a culture, the less risk of STDs overall. Now this might seem counter-intuitive until you stop to think that the real cause of rampant STDs is not sex but ignorance. In cultures where STDs are an epidemic, various religious organizations prevent sex education and block the use of condoms.

It is ignorance that puts us all in danger—and intolerance that is the enemy. One can even make the mathematical argument that according to the laws of probability, a person is less likely to acquire an STD in a group made up of many promiscuous women than they are in a group where only a few females are promiscuous overall. Indeed in groups who practice open sexuality, be it in clubs or private playrooms, safe sex is almost always a mandate. The same can unfortunately not be said of those in the mainstream who naively cling to the belief that their serial monogamy is always safe. As for me, I have never advocated people ignore the risks that sex of any kind poses and any encouragement of sexual liberalism I ever make is done with insistence of taking full responsibility for that action, and that includes using birth control and putting on a condom.

But you aren’t really concerned with HIV or potential fluid risks, are you, Moe? What you are is a bitter, angry man, who sees unrestricted female exploration of sex as a risk to your archaic notion of male dominant culture. Female sexuality scares the hell out of you. It always has, and so you struggle to control it. Don’t worry. There are plenty of lawmakers and theological leaders out there who feel the same way you do. You look around at these women making love and making choices and it drives you crazy because you’d rather they tow the line you draw and have to shackle themselves to a man who will pay the bills in exchange for sex, just like in the good old days.

Moe, if you can’t find a woman in her 40s or 50s who wants a relationship then I don’t know what universe you live in. What you need to figure out is why women don’t want a relationship with you. And then consider that just maybe the answer lies in what you really think women are, and what you really want from them. You telegraph ill intentions and a twisted need to control. Go forth, and change. Or don’t. I suspect you will chose the latter.


Do you have a question for Liam? Ask Liam your question now.

21 thoughts on “Sex Q&A: Should You Have Multiple Partners?

  1. rocky

    Well said,, I have always stayed in the monogomy zone and reliazed now in my 40s’ that may have been the mistake, I love sex, but always found that I am a one on one type of girl, sometimes going months and months or a year without sex due to my thinking,, then ofcourse you meet someone and your so hungry you go for it and get into a relationship from the great feeling of a partner but give a hungry man a cracker and it will be the best meal you ever had ,, right? now i am in a place where I am ok with having several sex partners and suitors, let the best man win and i don’t get hooked on one just because i am suppose to be a good girl, i am a good girl who now can make a better choice on a long term relationship because my guilt factor is no longer there and i can enjoy sex and not have to commit to a relationship for it… too bad i did not know this earlier it would have safed me a lot of years of being with the wrong partners,, so yeah,,,

  2. Katarina

    “I love sex but I hold back a lot as I have some morals”
    Wake up, it’s the year 2012 calling!

    This is the first time I’ve visited this page, but having scrolled around for a bit I can already say: I love your advice, Liam!

  3. lily

    my ex-boyfriend was very jealous and he constandly blamed me for his behavior – thats why he is now EX – and I can go on being ME

  4. Lisa

    “tow the line” = “toe the line”.

    Liam, you are a provocateur, but one is not less likely to get an STD in a promiscuous group; I draw the line there. You presume impeccable behavior re. the users of protection, but both can fail.

    The media is having quite a field day promoting the “death of marriage”, but I think that’s a bit hasty, and comes with a political agenda. Pity people can’t just be honest, and fraternize only with those of like inclination. Everyone could get what they want and need, even if that’s the thrill of flirting with disaster.

    There are a flock of people who abide by every kink … the fascinating question is, “Why do we swim against the current?”

  5. somima

    What an important message! Thank you Liam !… fighting against intolerance and toxic moral beliefes is not easy to do. I wished i could do it as marvelous as Liam does – but I guess, I dont have enough tolerance to accept intolerant people.
    Maybe not everyone is ready for a step in widening their view.

  6. David

    I strongly agee with you, Liam. It’s all about being informed and protecting yourself. Maybe these women just got out of a bad relationship and don’t want to settle down so quickly or maybe they want to find out if a man can satisfy them intimately. There is a lot involved in having a “long-term relationship” and sex is one part of it. I consider myself an Old-Fashioned Romantic (just turned 48) but times change and we have to go with the flow, enjoy the ride. Eventually Moe will find a woman who wants a long-term relationship, until then “Don’t complain about it”.

  7. arise

    To gauge who’s really angry, defensive and judgmental in this exchange, look at who has resorted to name-calling.

    Why was the questioner subjected to such a mean-spirited rant? Because the word ‘morals’ was used? If one preaches a particular point of view, as Liam does, one should expect to hear disagreement.

    Condoms are subject to a 70% failure rate, so who’s being naive?

    It’s not enough to vaguely imply that research backs up one’s argument, there should be some attempt at attribution.

    Other people’s sexual practices are not my concern, unless I’m directly involved. However, I hope Liam will eventually benefit from a more mature perspective. There is more to life than sexual adventures. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy.

  8. Carolyn Clemente

    Wow! Great comeback Liam to the attack on yourself – and on women’s freedom to choose their lifestyle. Your clarity and devotion to the inalienable rights of all human beings makes you such an incredible person and healer.

    Carolyn, Bronx, New York

  9. Eunice

    I rarely comment here but just had to this time.
    Liam, Hurray for you! *Standing ovation* *outrageous applause*
    You said it like it is so clearly that anyone who is logical should see this truth! Thank you so much for stating your position ( and mine) so eloquently. I wish your response could be printed elsewhere. Education is key, that is, if the people would listen.
    In the Light, Eunice

  10. Teresa

    OUCH!! That told him!!

    But you are right, we are not here to be controlled, we are on this earth to make choices and hopefully the right choices.

    That includes what birth control and protection we use, not only the kind of man we want to be with.

  11. Phyllis

    Liam, what do you think about same sex relationships? the politicians are kicking this around with Republicans wanting to abolish same sex marriage and birth control. pr.

  12. gsdmom

    Thank you Liam for that response! Being in the age group of women that Moe claims do not want a relationship, all I can say is bullcrap. There are many of us. We usually want a partner, not someone who thinks it’s his “right” to control us. No wonder no woman wants to date you Moe.

    As for the ladies who date different men, Bravo! It is their choice, and never forget guys, it is ladies’ choice in the dating and mating world. It always has been despite the efforts of “men” like Moe. Real men don’t fear a woman’s sexuality. They see it for the gift it is. They show a lady their best so she will be inclined to choose him for a night, a season, a lifetime, whatever is right for them. Everyone is different. That is a good thing.

    I’ve read Liam’s columns for sometime now. It seems to me that he encourages people to explore themselves and their true wishes regardless of what they might be. To say he promotes promiscuity is just plain ignorant. Maybe you’ve never read the columns when he’s told persons it’s OK to not be in a sexual relationship if they choose?

    Thank you again Liam for defending a lady’s right to choose her own sexuality.

  13. Theresa

    Liam, I thank you for answering all those questions that pepople ask that may seem “odd”. I have learned by reading your articles that most of us seem to have some seemingly strange sexual desires. You have helped me understand that what seems strange is not really, it is something many of us think about. I haven’t met anyone who just thinks about “vanilla” sex, and thanks to you, I don’t feel guity about my thoughts that aren’t “vanilla” anymore. I feel Moe probaly isn’t thinking pain vanilla either, and he is probably having some guilt associated with it. I hope he keeps reading your advice and loosens up a bit.

  14. lorlor

    i live in the country that has the highest hiv infection rate in the world. why do we have such a high infection rate? because as liam so rightly put it – ignorance. we are a male dominated society that believes women have no rights and should be subservient. we have many widows who when they get lonely are criticised or ostracised for seeking love or male companionship. some of them quite young still. what happened to till death us do part?! when these women are not able to get love or affevtion from a man then what must they do because our government has outlawed shops that sell sex aids as evil and wrong. our leaders snd our govrtnment control the female population hiding under the guise of tradition and religion. sex education is not taught in our schools and as a result teen pregnancies are rife with lots of young girls mot getting an edication and the mem leabing them to struggle to raise those children on their own. maybe if we all just changed our attitudes towards sex and stop portraying it as dirty and evil and takeaway all the stigmas, we could bring down and eradicate this horrible disease.


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