The phrase ‘sleeping around’ is banded about like it’s dirty all of the time by so many people – young, old, male and female. It implies that enjoying sex with more than one individual, or with an individual one is not in a committed relationship with, is wrong and has some kind of determiner on a person’s worth. It leaves many to wonder if that is indeed the case. So, without further ado, is it okay to be ‘sleeping around’?

In short, the answer is, of course, ‘yes’. Sleeping with more than one person in your life is fine, and sleeping with someone you’re not in a relationship with is also fine, no matter what people try and condition you into thinking. Particularly for women, there is a stigma surrounding sleeping with anyone other than your boyfriend. People make women feel dirty and unworthy for doing it, whereas, in most cases, men are praised.

For any gender or sexual orientation, sleeping around is okay – as long as you comply with all of the T&Cs, of course.

Don’t worry – these terms and conditions aren’t going to make sleeping around sound bad. They’re practical ones that ensure sleeping around is hazard free – both emotionally and physically.

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Sleeping around is okay so long as both (/all) parties agree to the sex each time it occurs. Sleeping around is also okay as long as it’s protected, too. It is okay so long as everyone involved is single (or in an arrangement with someone where sleeping with another individual is accepted). Sleeping around is okay so long as nobody gets hurt in the process; this means respecting each other’s boundaries and wishes before, during and after sex. For example, just because you have sex with someone doesn’t mean they want to spend the rest of the night with you cuddling afterwards. It’s their choice and consent for one does not mean consent for the other.

Sleeping around is also okay so long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. This means that if you’re sleeping around to avoid loneliness, or to spite someone else, or to get over someone else, you shouldn’t be. It’s not a good thing to do. You should sleep around to enjoy the sex and someone else’s company, not because you’re trying to escape things. If you don’t walk away totally fulfilled afterwards, that suggests you were looking for something else, which suggests a problem.

So, sleeping around is, in principle, totally acceptable. The shame placed upon those who choose to be liberal with their bodies should not be there at all. It’s your body, do what you wish with it.