On Friday, you are taken to the ballet with Mr. Romantic. On Saturday, it’s your bedroom with Mr. Sexy, and on Sunday it’s the museum with Mr. Intellect. A different man for each occasion, all your needs are being met by entertaining different gentlemen. You tell yourself, since the perfect man doesn’t exist, you will make your own by getting what you need from several. This theory is examined in a CNN article entitled Every Woman Needs a Gaggle of Men. In the article, the writer is discussing information from a new book from Jessica Massa entitled, The Gaggle. Massa suggests that women should date a group of men that serve different roles in their lives. The idea is that, in doing so, this will bring you closer to the one ideal mate for you. It may also bring you closer to sleep deprivation and loss of sanity if not done right if you ask me.

In the article, Terri Trespicio, a dating and relationship coach, says:

“If you’re happily single but enjoy dating, she recommends seeing three different men regularly. “If you see two men, there’s often this unspoken need to choose between them. But three guys tend to balance each other out, like a tripod.”

It is also suggested in the article that dating three or several men does not automatically mean you must be celibate either. As long as you’re being honest with your partners and practicing safe sex, things should be smooth sailing.

Or should they?

All this may sound rather innocent and fun — and most will argue that men have been “gaggling” for centuries, so it’s time more women follow suit — but are there risks beyond getting names and dates confused that are not being considered? If you do decide on compiling a gaggle of men AND choose to be sexually active with each, are you putting yourself at a greater risk for sexual health concerns?

Just recently, Frugivore examined black women and the HPV virus. It is stated in the article that black women are 40% more likely to develop cervical cancer and 200% more likely to die from it than our white counterparts. Cervical cancer stems from a rare strain of HPV. According to WebMD.com, not all 40 sexually transmitted HPV viruses lead to serious health problems. The high-risk strains include HPV 16 and 18, which cause about 70% of cervical cancers. It is also noted on WebMD.com that you are more likely to contract HPV if you have sex at an early age, have many partners, or have a partner who has had multiple partners. It’s also important to be aware that the HPV virus can also be spread through contact with infected genital skin, mucous membranes, or bodily fluids. The virus can infect skin not normally covered by a condom, so using one does not fully protect someone from HPV.

So, knowing the statistics pertaining to black women and HPV and the ways it can be contracted, does having a gaggle of men that you are intimate with still an attractive notion? What if we remove the sexual aspect from the equation and just entertain the idea of dating several different men in order to get the best of all worlds? Perhaps you just decide to be sexually active with one of your suitors and keep the others at an arm’s distance. Is that realistic? Is it a safer bet to find true happiness in dating several men, be intimate with one (for safety’s sake) and forgo any idea or tradition that states otherwise? Is this the formula for happiness? Would this be the perfect “marriage” for you? We want to know your thoughts!

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  1. Chameleon Taylor

    If you are messing around with more than one guy at the same time you need to check yourself. The double, triple or quadruple dipping is just nasty. Any woman who does that has no respect for herself and it is too much stress on your body. That’s why a lot of these young women look older than they should

  2. I’m just going to paste my commentary from when I shared this article on my facebook feed.


    LOL @ the tone of this article and the very first comment. I have been working on “gaggling” for the past few months. Folk think women just don’t want to have fun and that the whole premise of dating is to find a mate. QUOTED FROM ARTICLE: “The idea is that, in doing so, this will bring you closer to the one ideal mate for you. ” —— Uh, no. Not always true. It also goes into how it can be confusing and cause mix ups and blah, blah, blah. Every man I am talking to and who I might potentially be intimate with knows that he isn’t the only one. He also knows we ain’t gettin’ down without showing me paper-proof results of recent std/hiv tests and continuous testing. And if he’s not okay with not being the only one or getting tested regularly, then he gets the axe. Just ask (names with held) lol. I like how they are worried about protecting men’s pweshis widdle fee fees with emphasis on remembering names and dates instead of getting what you want.

  3. Digital Black Girl

    Can they lead to both. Responsibility is the key to everything as an adult. Most of the time, but not all the time, juggling leads to an eventual convulsion in one’s social life. At some point someone’s feelings will get hurt, and even worse, not everyone is as honest as we would want. Ideally, I would like to have a whirlwind, five-second sexual romp with men I’m attracted to but that’s a fantasy, not something to practice in the real world.

  4. Apple Of HIS Eye

    God’s law explicitly states that men and women are not the same and should live their lives accordingly. Men are biologically able to spread their seed in multiple women as long as they are capable go taking care of said children. Where we find ourselves messing up is when we try to ascribe male traits to women, as if that will help them be happy. There is no question that we all have desires that we commonly refer to as our fleshy urges but there is a reason beyond the sociological explanations that women turn down multiple advances without having the same guilt as men: we are built to lock for a secure, stable mate; and nowadays, that can be a man or woman. Women have to stop fooling themselves and own up to their life decisions and if they really want to change they must understand that it will take a monumental effort but it’s not impossible. And in the same token, we have to hold men accountable and not allow them to be grown children.

    • @Apple Of HIS Eye:

      Please! What anyone needs to do is stop giving out free passes for men to be whores because they’re “biologically” predisposed to whoring. Outside of carrying a child for 9 months, a woman’s anatomy is no more predisposed to one penis than a man’s is predisposed to one vagina. The next man will not get electrocuted by trying to stick his D in a gently used P. A woman is still capable of having sex after the first man leaves, even during pregnancy. Just because a woman can only have a baby for one man at a time, doesn’t mean she can only receive semen from one man on her journey to pregnancy (ask Maury’s guests about that). The same way having sex with multiple women increases a man’s chances of “multiplying his kingdom” exponentially, having sex with multiple men increases a woman’s chances of getting pregnant sooner. An argument can be made on both sides of the aisle for increasing your number of sexual partners in favor of establishing your next generation. The point is people aren’t predisposed to whoring. It’s just a convenient argument someone concocted a long time ago to excuse less accepted behavior.
      That said, I think it’s a disservice to society at large to perpetuate behavior that encourages the denigration of social interaction. If everyone’s in the choir singing about monogamous long term relationships, yet we okay these casual polygamous relationships on our way to finding monogamy, all we’re doing is training each other to expect less from the next person we encounter. Giving advice along the lines of men have been gaggling for years, so it’s time for women to reciprocate ignores the learning process. Everyone learns from every experience. When you go through a relationship that didn’t work out, you inevitably decide what you’ll do different the next time. Rather than encouraging women to follow the lead of a few promiscuous men/women, we should be encouraging women to be more steadfast in requiring men to step correct. In the process, the men that are capable of growth (and worth a woman’s time) will adjust as they learn certain tactics won’t work for the kinds of women they want to settle down with, and those that don’t will be limited in the choice of women they can settle with.

      • @Me: This response is for Me who ever you are, I, Woman, APPLAUD YOU>

      • @Me: I totally agree. Thank you! We aren’t predisposed to be promiscuous, society had a backwards thinking in this. If it were the case, women and men wouldn’t be going through the emotional suffering in finding love that they are now.

  5. just cause ur dating more than 1 man doesn’t mean you have to sleep w/them all and if u do and ur not in a monogamous relationship, proceed w/caution (condoms, bc)..

    but men need to stop running up in everything that opens their legs w/out condoms..

    • I agree! I dated around when I was younger when I wasn’t in a serious relationship. (Read: I didn’t sleep with every guy either) I reject this idea of gaggling only because it seems to me to be implying that you MUST date if you don’t have Mr. Right. There is nothing wrong with spending some quality time for yourself and figuring out what you want in life!

  6. I’m surprised this article, in dealing with HPV, failed to mention the Gardasil vaccine which prevents against the two high-risk strains of the virus that were mentioned. The vaccine also prevents cervical cancer and genital warts, the results of having HPV. While it is recommended to be taken before age 26 or before you become sexually active, I’m sure there are some readers out here that could benefit by getting vaccinated and are still able to get it based on the recommendations. Either way, readers should talk to their healthcare providers and see if it would still be worth it to get vaccinated at their age or given their sexual history.

    Furthermore, it is up to the woman as to how many sexual partners she wants to have. While a greater number of sexual partners puts you at higher risk, if she practices safe sex, at least she is preventing herself in the best way possible without being abstient or having fewer partners to decrease the risk. It’s no one’s place to judge a woman for the number of sexual partners she has; that says nothing of her character. Women need to be empowered to be healthy, sexual beings who practice safe sex and feel comfortable engaging in their sexuality. Let a woman choose how she engages with people sexually, and respect her for her choices. Just make sure she is the safest she can be!

    • @Gardasil?: it IS a judge of character. it shows that they have no self control and that they’re soooo horny that they don’t care that they could possibly get pregnant or catch something (yes adults that should know this already, you CAN still catch stds even with condoms.) sex is a damn gamble. these same chicks bustin it open in a sad attempt at being “sexually liberated” are the same chicks that cry about child support and baby daddies.

    • I’m curious as to whether you’d think that HPV-vaccinated women should feel freer to gaggle?

  7. You can date multiple men without having sex with them. There is nothing wrong with that.

    Now regarding HPV, I refuse to take the vaccine. I get annual check ups, I practice safe sex and I see no reason to inject any other chemicals in my body. Nobody knows what long term effects it could have on our bodies. When I tell my doctors (I move around a lot) my reasoning, they agree. Don’t be scared into taking drugs just because the Dr. wants you to take it.

  8. Very interesting responses! I think that it’s healthy to date multiple men until you find someone who you want to be in a serious relationship with IF you feel that you can handle it. All women are not the same, wherefore, our needs will vary on a case by case basis. In the same way that some people need absolute silence to focus on work, while others need to multitask to be most efficient, some women prefer to invest all of their energy to one guy at a time while other prefer options.

    I compare the latter option to car shopping. When I consider purchasing a car, I do a bit of research (conversations) to decide which car models could be a good fit, then I go for test drives (dates) to spend a bit of time with each. By going for test drives I can figure out which options I like best and which I can do without prior to making a commitment to make a down payment (which I equate to sex, and I agree that dating multiple men does not mean you have to have sex with multiple men). Then you have the option to purchase or decide that none of the options are a great fit, and you can keep test driving until you find a car that outshines the rest :-).

    While MOST women are content with one car, some have garages that can accommodate 2 or more automobiles (haha). If you can afford the cost, be the boss. Having multiple cars/sex partners does not mean you’re a bad person or lack self-control. It’s your body and you have every right to decide who you want to give it to BUT having multiple partners definitely come with more risks. Every adult should be free to do whatever they want with the understanding that they bear the consequences for their choices. Is having sex with 2 different guys that meet your needs at that point in your life worse than and continuing to have sex with one guy after you realize that he isn’t right for you or he doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated? It really isn’t anyone else’s business to decide. In fact, many studies show that it’s more likely that a woman will contract an STD from a partner in a monogamous relationship because when a woman dates one person and she BELIEVES that he is only sexually active with her, she is less likely to be as careful than if she were dealing with multiple partners. This consequently leads to contracting a disease that her partner was already carrying that wouldn’t show up in STD tests like HPV or catching something that he picked up during his boy’s bachelor party in Vegas. Eck.

    All sex is risky. Act accordingly.

  9. GaggleWithCare

    I gaggled for several years before marriage. It was a great experience that helped get to know and understand myself better. I also narrowed down what I wanted from the one I would settle down with. I used condoms most of the time and didn’t. have sex with each guy all of the time (I had my fave). I received check ups often and took the Gardasil vaccine (mixed emotions about that one). Whether or not a person male or female gaggles is up to them. If you choose to do it, proceed with caution with your safety in mind. Forgot the rules and social norms. What matters is how you feel. P .S. Gaggling sounds a little gross. We should call it something else.

  10. Great article. I just want to add that HPV is extremely common (and largely asymptomatic, though it is the virus that causes warts) in all sexually active women. Since black women have a higher likelihood for whatever reasons to develop cervical cancer and die from cervical cancer, regular pap smears are very, very important. As another commenter mentioned GARDISIL is available to protect against HPV! Still, condoms are important for STD prevention. Be safe ladies.

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