promiscuousness


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pro·mis·cu·ous

 (prə-mĭs′kyo͞o-əs)
adj.
1. Having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners; indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners.
2.
a. Lacking standards of selection; acting without careful judgment; indiscriminate: criticized him for being promiscuous in his friendships.
b. Showing little forethought or critical judgment; casual: the promiscuous use of the word "populism."
3. Consisting of diverse, unrelated parts or individuals; confused: "Throngs promiscuous strew the level green" (Alexander Pope).
4. Biology Having a variety of functions, targets, or hosts; nonselective: promiscuous enzymes; promiscuous drugs; a promiscuous parasite.

[From Latin prōmiscuus, possessed equally : prō-, intensive pref.; see pro-1 + miscēre, to mix; see meik- in Indo-European roots.]

pro·mis′cu·ous·ly adv.
pro·mis′cu·ous·ness n.

Promiscuousness

 

(See also LUST.)

Athanasian wench A loose woman, one of easy virtue, ready to grant sexual favors to any man who desires them. This somewhat irreverent slang phrase has its origin in the opening words of the Athanasian creed—quicumque vult ‘whoever desires.’ The creed, a Christian profession of faith dating from the 5th century, emphasized the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation to combat the Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.

bank-walker Exhibitionist; flasher. This American dialect expression (Appalachian region) for a male who enjoys displaying his physical endowments comes from the supposed practice of such a youth to strut about the river-bank unclothed, while his companions quickly hid their nakedness by plunging into the old swimming hole with all deliberate speed.

blue gown A harlot, prostitute. This British expression came from the blue garb formerly worn by women in houses of correction. In the United States, however, it has no such meaning. Though nonexistent as a discrete term, the phrase would be associated by most people with the all-time popular song “Alice Blue Gown,” from the 1919 hit musical Irene. As such it would carry connotations of gentility and demure-ness rather than of brazenness and promiscuousness.

group grope An assemblage of people engaging in sex play; an orgy, baccha-nalia, or love-in. This American expression is also applied to the mental or physical probing that transpires during encounter sessions, with the implication that all are floundering about, the blind leading the blind.

high-kilted Obscene, risqué, or indecent in one’s manner of dress; literally wearing one’s kilt or petticoat too short or tucked up. This British and Scottish expression dates from the early 17th century.

To dazzle the world with her precious limb,
—Nay, to go a little high-kilted. (Thomas Hood, Kilmansegg, 1840)

laced mutton A prostitute, strumpet, trollop; a loose or promiscuous woman. The derivation of this expression is uncertain, but there is general agreement that mutton ‘prostitute’ refers to the sheep, an occasional victim of bestiality by shepherds. Laced may refer to the elaborately tied bodices worn by ladies of the evening from the 17th through the 19th centuries. One source suggests that the reference may be to lacing ‘flogging,’ a common punishment for harlots at that time. The most plausible explanation is that laced is a corruption of lost, and that the original expression was a variation or perhaps even a deliberate pun on lost sheep. This concept received the punning treatment of William Shakespeare:

Ay, sir: I a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labor. (Two Gentlemen From Verona, I, i)

make time with To date a girl or woman for the sole purpose of having sexual relations; to indulge in such endeavors with another’s sweetheart or wife. Literally, make time means to move swiftly so as to recover lost time. Figuratively, one trying to “make time” with another is attempting a quick seduction with little or no intention of forming a lasting relationship.

At another table, two young men were trying to make time with some Mexican girls. (William Burroughs, Junkie, 1953)

masher A playboy or womanizer; a man who attempts to seduce any woman he meets. This expression, derived from mash ‘flirtation,’ originally referred to certain 19th-century Englishmen who feigned wealth and sophistication while pursuing female companionship at the fashionable society establishments.

The once brilliant masher of the music hall. (Walter Besant, Bells of St. Paul’s, 1889)

In modern usage, however, this term is used to describe any male flirt or libertine.

one-night stand A single sexual encounter; a casual, one-time sex partner. This American slang term comes from the expression’s theatrical use to denote either the town in which a touring company gives only one performance, or the single performance itself.

painted cat A prostitute, harlot, strumpet, daughter of joy. This expression combines painted and cat, terms both associated with prostitutes: painted woman, cathouse. Its usage was limited to American cowboys in the Old West.

quench one’s thirst at any dirty puddle

To be promiscuous; to indiscriminately obtain partners for sexual activity. This self-explanatory expression is infrequently heard today.

I had before quenched my thirst at any dirty puddle [of women]. (Davis, Travels, 1803)

roué A libertine or playboy; one who leads a life of frivolity and self-indulgence; one who follows the primrose path. This expression was first used figuratively in the early 18th century for the decadent cronies of the Duke of Orleans. Roué ‘wheel’ refers to the punishment for wrongdoers of that time; thus, the term implies that the Duke and his cohorts deserved such a penalty.

I knew him for a young roué of a vicomte—a brainless and vicious youth. (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847)

shack up To cohabit or live together (usually in reference to an unmarried couple); to have a relatively permanent sexual relationship; to have sexual intercourse. During World War II, this expression was a popular means of describing the living arrangements of a soldier who, with a local woman, rented and intermittently lived in an apartment or inexpensive house (shack) located near the base where he was stationed. Since the 1950s, the expression’s major application has shifted somewhat from the idea of actually setting up housekeeping to its more contemporary implications of promiscuous, and oftentimes indiscriminate sexual behavior.

If you drink and shack up with strangers you get old at thirty. (Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending, 1957)

sow wild oats To be sexually promiscuous, especially before marriage; to live in an immoral and dissolute manner, particularly in one’s youth. This expression, common since the 16th century, refers to the senselessness of planting wild oats (i.e., weeds) when it would be much more prudent to expend that effort with high quality grain.

The wild oats, fully sown, are a veritable road to ruin. (Pall Mall, November 12, 1892)

starkers Nude; in the altogether; also, starko. This British colloquialism, a variation of stark naked (itself a corruption of start naked), has been in use since about 1910.

The salesgirl had taken away all her clothes and hidden them. It was only the threat of running starkers into the street that brought them back. (Brigid Keenan, in the Sunday Times [London], September, 1964)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.promiscuousness - indulging in promiscuous (casual and indiscriminate) sexual relations
sex, sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice - activities associated with sexual intercourse; "they had sex in the back seat"
one-night stand - a brief sexual encounter lasting only for a single night; "he ran through a series of loveless one-night stands"
References in periodicals archive ?
The Kama Sutra promiscuousness degenerated to obscenity and sexual orgies which were clandestinely allowed into the country with under-the-shelf sale of blue stuff in video shops mushrooming during that period.
The women are primarily accused of bringing such a fate upon themselves by their choice of dress and mannerisms with some even inviting the tag of promiscuousness for all the woes befalling them.
He has been giving up fewer walks this past month but his stats are still saddled with his promiscuousness earlier in the season.