We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is sXe?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

sXe is an abbreviation of “straight edge,” a term used to describe a youth movement which eschews the use of drugs, alcohol, and other substances deemed “poisons” by members of the movement. This movement arose among followers of hardcore punk music in the 1980s, primarily in response to the hedonism associated with punk music during this period. Although many straight edgers are followers of punk and metal, it's not necessary to be a punk fan to follow sXe principles.

In straight edge culture, people believe that they should treat their bodies with care and respect, avoiding substances which could cause harm. This includes drugs and alcohol, with some people also avoiding tobacco and caffeine. Some straight edgers are vegan, believing that animal products harm the body and the spirit, and some also eschew casual sexuality. Different people have different interpretations of what it means to be sXe, and numerous communities exist for straight edgers who want to network with people who have similar interests.

Among youth movements, sXe is really rather interesting. Although it is associated with hardcore punk music, its fundamental concepts are closer to those of religious youth movements than hardcore movements, and straight edgers often have a lot in common with devout youth. Members of the movement have also been known to point out that it is one of the few youth movements which makes abstinence from drugs, casual sexuality, and other potentially harmful behaviors not only socially acceptable, but sometimes socially desirable.

The origins of the abbreviation “sXe” for straight edge appear to lie in the custom at nightclubs and other venues of marking minors with X's so that they will not be served alcohol. The “X” is also used as a symbol of straight edge lifestyle, as is an “xXx” symbol. Some straight edgers identify themselves with sXe tattoos to show their commitment to the lifestyle, and many also wear patches, pins, and other symbols which link them with the straight edge life.

sXe culture is especially popular among people under the drinking age, and some people turn away from their sXe beliefs when they get older. Others choose to adopt a straight edge philosophy for life, sometimes becoming substance abuse counselors or advocates for youth so that they help people who may be struggling. Many resources for people interested in becoming sXe stress the idea that the lifestyle is not something you join, but something you actively live.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By BambooForest — On Apr 05, 2011

@widget2010, I too knew a lot of straight edge kids who changed greatly to the other directions. Meanwhile, I have never been interested in drinking or drugs. I don't make a big deal of it most of the time, it's just a part of my life. I think that when you turn things into a big movement, it makes them seem like such huge, all-or-nothing statements that there is no room for real thinking or consideration, and there's no protection when you suddenly face negative influences.

By widget2010 — On Apr 03, 2011

I knew many people who claimed to be straight edge in middle school and high school. The problem I saw with this was that many of these kids swore off drugs and alcohol because of a movement, not because of any real knowledge of their effects on the mind and body, or the legal issues involved.

The problem with this was the same problem that comes when children given abstinence-only sex education become sexually active- they had no concept of control, of limits, or of moderation, and never thought about preventative measures like designated drivers, limiting intake, or anything else.

As a result, many of these former "straight edge" kids ended up pregnant, in jail, or at the very least as high school dropouts. I find it unfortunate, because at the time it seemed to me like a cool idea for a movement.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.