What is Straight Edge?
Straight Edge is a more philosophical offshoot of the punk movement, a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterised punk. The basic tenet of the philosophy centres around the issue of self-control. The goal is to regain as much personal control over your own life as possible. sXe is the only youth counter-culture to actively discourage drug use, alcohol use, and casual sex. Straight edge is a lifestyle centred around personal development and well being, while encouraging fun and togetherness. sXe is not just about being into contemporary punk music acts and being against drugs. It goes deeper than this. The movement wishes to attract people away from dependancy lifestyles centred around drug habits (legal or illegal) and unhealthy and exploitative eating and general living habits common in modern cultures. sXe is not dogmatic, there are no hard rules, these are for you to decide. Nobody should dictate like the police, or preach an ideology like the church or state.
Where Does the Name Straight Edge Come From?
According to legend, the drummer for Minor Threat [Jeff Nelson], one of the first bands to preach the "stay punk, stay clean" ethos, ...was drawing a poster for a show using a wood ruler. He commented to his bandmates that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their lifestyle.
What are the lyrics to the song, "Straight Edge"?
Straight Edge by Minor Threat 1981
I'm a person just like you,
But I've got better things to do,
Than sit around and fuck my head,
Hang out with the living dead.
Snort white shit up my nose,
Pass out at the shows.
I don't even think about speed,
That's something I just don't need
I've got the straight edge
I'm a person just like you
But I've got better things to do
Than sit around and smoke dope
'Cause I know I can cope
Laugh at the thought of eating ludes
Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue
Always gonna keep in touch
Never want to use a crutch
I've got the straight edge
What are the X's for?
A common practice at all-ages punk shows was to mark minors with an "X" on their hands so they couldn't buy alcohol. As the straight-edge philosophy grew popular, punkers who were older than 18 but didn't drink for ideological reasons started to mark themselves with the X in a show of solidarity
What does sXe mean?
sXe is really just an acronym for straight-edge with the X thrown for good measure. It is pronounced, "sexy".
Is Straight Edge a religion?
No. Although sXe embraces some of the moral values held by most major religions, sXe'ers don't necessarily believe in a God. There is no organised church or worship service. However, some sXe'ers are members of organised churches, temples or mosques where they feel that the sXe beliefs fit in. Straight Edgers say their life choices stem from a desire to be true to themselves and not from any religious beliefs.
How do I join the straight edge?
You don't join straight-edge, you take on the straight-edge. You just get involved in the scene and start thinking for yourself. The idea is to closely examine your own life, identify what factors influence your thoughts and behaviours, assess what impact they are having on your life and rid yourself of those factors which you deem to have a negative impact on your life.
Why do you need a label to be poison free?
The label shows you're actually serious about what you're saying and that you're not making any exceptions (although there is lots of hypocrisy, but this is ideally speaking). It's also a commitment thing, something to believe in.
Why give yourself a title?
This is something I (and no doubt many other edgers) get asked quite frequently. No matter how I try to explain it, the majority of people still do not understand why I wish to give myself a title/label. Someone in the forums, however, posted a good explanation. So here, thanks to xfustiarx, is an explanation of why lots of us give ourselves the title of "Straight Edge".
"why are we straight edge? why are you human?
straight edge is a philosophy, but how are you supposed to explain it to others? do you wait until you're forced into a social situation and then say "i don't drink" or wait until someone thinks you're a drug addict to tell them "i don't do drugs" or can you just say "i'm straight edge" and give them an idea of your beliefs as a whole?
you have to realize its a whole lot more convenient to say "straight edge" rather than "not a drinker, not a druggie, doesn't smoke, not a 'slut' (i use the term loosely)"
educated people will know, or inquire, or will look it up. its a way of life. its also a way of bonding together, comradery, so to speak. its not an elitists club but the basis of the philosophy is that the choice you make is for the better.
why 'label' yourself? why are communists communists? there are countless 'labels' you probably apply to yourself based on your beliefs (im speaking in general), why should we be exempt or be thought odd because we do the same?"
Can I be straight-edge and gay?
Straight-edge has nothing to do with your sexuality. Its casual sex that's an issue.
Is straight-edge about politics?
Although sXe is not inherently political, politics are a logical extension of an sXe lifestyle. Once you have regained control over your life, the desire to help others and to make a positive contribution to your culture, society, community by addressing issues of social justice is a very natural thing to do. Many sXe'ers join organisations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and SADD (Students Against Drunk Drivers). They also encourage friends to give up drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
Is taking caffeine straight-edge?
Most straight edgers seem to feel that caffeine is not an issue, whilst some do. So you can't really say that taking it is or isn't straight edge. My personal opinion is that caffeine is the same as the other drugs. It is a mind altering substance and whether you have it in small amounts or not isn't the point. Caffeine is just as bad as the rest of them, the only reason most people think it is okay is because they have been brought up in a society where it is the norm and is an okay substance to use. I mean, people often say to me, "Yeah, I like a coffee, but I'm not addicted, and I don't do anything stupid when i've had some". But I think, couldn't you apply that to alcohol? Ya know, what if you have only a beer once a week or so? Caffeine is the same thing in my eyes.
Don't most stop being straight-edge when they reach drinking age?
Some people do lose the edge once they reach drinking age; but if they do they were never straight edge to begin with.
Do straight-edge kids have sex at all?
In short yes. However, most sxe kids will wait until they are ready to take on the responsibility of a relationship that is serious enough for the commitment of marraige.
I used to drink and do drugs, can I still be sXe?
No problems about the past! It's all about the now. Otherwise noone could ever be SXE. But one thing that you should do before taking the edge is consider that it's for life so don't just play with it. It's not just a phase... Other sxers will accept you if you're true from now on.
Is sXe a crutch for the weak?
You have to question what the weakness is. Do straight edgers not drink caffeine because they've got weak bladders? Don't touch alcohol because they have poor metabolisms? Don't smoke because they have poor lung capacity? What are the advantages to using drugs that one's level of consciousness? More often that not, drugs are used to facilitate social interactions by altering normal behavior and mood. If somebody needs an outside agent to interact, that sounds like more of a crutch