Straight-edge refers to a philosophy that's most basic tenets promote a drug free lifestyle.
It developed as an offshoot of the punk rock/hardcore scenes of the early 1980's when the term itself is believed to have been coined by Ian MacKaye, in the self titled song, while he was the singer of the seminal hardcore band, Minor Threat.
Mackaye eschewed the nihilistic tendencies of Punkrock, promoting instead the simple (almost simplistic) philosophy of "don't drink/ don't smoke/ don't fuck."
A person that claims to be straight edge does not consume recreational drugs (including Alcohol and Tobacco) and in most cases refrains from promiscuity.
The term "straight edge" comes from one of Minor Threats songs ("Bottled Violence" i think), where the lyrics go like this:
I'm a person just like you But I've got better things to do Than sit around and smoke dope Cause I know that I cope Laugh at those eating ludes Laugh at the thought of sniffing glue Always gonna keep in touch Never gonna use a crutch.. I'VE GOT THE STRAIGHT EDGE!
What's with the Xs?
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.
- Straight edge... A cute way of saying Insecure.
Do straight-edge kids have sex at all?
GRRRLS with X's on their hands