Chus Martinez On Promiscuity!


Sociosexual orientation (or sociosexuality) refers to an individual difference in the willingness to have sex outside of a committed relationship. Individuals with a more restricted sociosexual orientation are less willing to engage in casual sex; they prefer greater love, commitment and emotional closeness before having sex with romantic partners. Individuals who have a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation are more willing to have casual sex and are more comfortable engaging in sex without love, commitment or closeness.[

Men tend to have higher SOI scores and be more unrestricted than women across a variety of cultures.However, there is more variability in scores within each gender than between men and women, indicating that although the average man is less restricted than the average woman, individuals may vary in sociosexual orientation regardless of gender.

Bisexual women are significantly less restricted in their sociosexual attitudes than both lesbian and heterosexual women. Bisexual women are also the most unrestricted in sociosexual behavior, followed by lesbians and then, heterosexual women. Gay and bisexual men are similar to heterosexual men in sociosexual attitudes, in that they express relatively unrestricted attitudes relative to women. However, gay men are the most unrestricted in sociosexual behavior, followed by bisexual men and then, heterosexual men. This may be because gay men have more potential mating partners who prefer short-term, casual sexual encounters.


Individuals who are sociosexually unrestricted tend to score higher on openness to experience, and be more extraverted, less agreeable,, lower on honesty-humility, more erotophilic, more impulsive, more likely to take risks and more likely to have an avoidant attachment style. Conversely, restricted individuals tend to score lower on openness to experience, and be more introverted, more agreeable, more honest and humble, more erotophobic, less impulsive, less likely to take risks and more securely attached. Individuals who score high on the Dark Triad traits (i.e. narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy) tend to have an unrestricted sociosexual orientation. Higher masculinity in women is related to unrestricted sociosexuality. High self-monitoring is also associated with unrestricted sociosexuality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Unrestricted sociosexuality is associated with early life experiences with sex, more frequent sexual activity and a greater number of lifetime sex partners. Unrestricted men tend to have greater rape myth acceptance, past sexual aggression and more conservative attitudes about women than restricted men. Unrestricted women tend to have more sexual fantasies involving dominance and lower levels of sexual conservatism than restricted women.


Individuals with an intrinsic religious orientation (i.e., religion as an end) tend to be sociosexually restricted, while those with an extrinsic religious orientation (i.e., religion as a means to achieve non-religious goals) tend to be unrestricted.

Unrestricted women are more motivated to engage in casual sex than restricted women as they perceive more benefits associated with short-term mating. These include sexual benefits (e.g., experiencing the novelty of a new partner), resource benefits (e.g., receiving expensive gifts) and the improvement of their seduction skills. Sociosexuality is not associated with short-term benefits for men.


When viewing attractive female models, unrestricted men are more interested in the models’ physical attractiveness, while restricted men show more interest in the social traits presumably possessed by attractive females. Unrestricted women report more interest in attractive male models’ popularity and are less interested in their willingness to commit, compared to restricted women.

Men and women with an unrestricted sociosexual orientation view short-term mates with greater sexual experience as more desirable, whereas restricted women perceive partners’ sexual inexperience as desirable. Unrestricted individuals place more importance on partners’ physical attractiveness and sex appeal, while restricted individuals place more weight on characteristics indicative of good personal and parenting qualities (e.g., kind, responsible, faithful).


Individuals are able to accurately assess the sociosexual orientation of computer-generated and real faces, with unrestricted sociosexuality being associated with greater attractiveness in female faces and greater masculinity in male faces. Women tend to prefer male faces associated with restricted sociosexuality, while men prefer unrestricted female faces, both for short-term and long-term partners.


Unrestricted women report engaging in more social interactions with men on a daily basis than restricted women. However, unrestricted individuals rate their interactions with their best friends (non-romantic) as lower in quality (i.e., as less pleasant and satisfying) than restricted individuals. Unrestricted individuals are also more likely to view cheating or infidelity as acceptable under certain conditions (e.g., when involved in a bad relationship), and report engaging in more cheating than restricted individuals. The relationship between sociosexual orientation and infidelity is mediated by commitment, meaning unrestricted individuals may cheat because they are less committed to their partner than restricted individuals.


Individuals who are partnered typically have lower testosterone levels than individuals who are single. However, this was found to apply solely to individuals possessing a restricted sociosexual orientation. Partnered, unrestricted men and women’s testosterone levels are more similar to the levels of single men and women.

In regions that suffer from a high prevalence of infectious diseases, both men and women report lower levels of sociosexuality, as the costs of an incautious lifestyle (i.e., being unrestricted) may outweigh the benefits.


Possessing an unrestricted sociosexual orientation seems to increase the likelihood of having a son by 12-19% in American samples. This may be explained by the generalized Trivers-Willard hypothesis, which states that parents who possess any heritable trait that increases males’ reproductive success above females’ will have more sons, and will have more daughters if they possess traits that increase females’ reproductive success above males’. Since unrestricted sociosexuality increases the reproductive fitness of sons more than daughters (as males have the potential to have more offspring through casual sex), unrestricted parents have a higher-than-expected offspring sex ratio (more sons).


2 Comments on “Chus Martinez On Promiscuity!”

  1. Michael Roth says:

    Again, the most difficult part of promiscuity is maintaining the pyramid!

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