As said previously, this is an idea mainly thought to be coined by Minor Threat (thus being an offshoot of punk/hardcore).
Their song Straight Edge outlines their lifestyle that they choose to live... I've been told it was their drummer who was using a ruler to draw a poster and noted that the ruler's straight edge was a metaphor for their lifestyles...
The basic outline of straight edge is, as said before, not wanting to or taking part in:
Drinking (or any mind effecting drugs)
Smoking
Casual sex (without a loving relationship)

This is just a simple guideline of what the LIFESTYLE of an edge person is. It can be built upon with vegan/vegetarianism, no caffeine and other choices that keep your body poison free.
An X can be worn on the hands of people who are edge, along with stating poison free, straight edge can be abbreviated to sXe. The X on the hand is because at punk/hardcore gigs, an X was drawn on the hands of minors so that they would not get served at the bar. With this movement people started putting Xs on their hands to show that they did not want to drink.
The idea of straight edge is not to poison the mind and body with anything that is bad for it, this, to me includes being a general bastard to people… For me its being the best person you can be.

We are not boring people, I choose not to drink, it doesn't mean I can’t have fun, or go to parties, I just have fun while knowing what I’m doing and remembering.
Straight edge should unite people and not turn into a gang who discriminate against people who do poison their bodies... It's their choice, let them live with it, I don’t look down on people who aren’t edge.
Two good examples are:
Davey Havok (AFI)
Justin Sane (Anti-flag)
... These guys are modern day saints in my opinion

non sXe: do you want a drink/joint/smoke/one night stand… etc.?
sXe: No thanks, I don’t want to do that
(Straight edge is not a reason not to drink, smoke etc. A straight edge person will have their own reasons; straight edge is just a way of showing their lifestyle.)
by Stef P May 25, 2005
A person who promises never to do drugs, drink, smoke, or have promiscuous sex. They may also abstain from other "taboo" things. However, the name of straightedge is being tarnished by people who act "high and mighty" and think they are better than other people just because they say it.
Ruins the name:
'Hey, I'm a straightedge, I'll NEVER do drugs or drink or smoke like any of you.'
'whoop dee fucking doo, we totally give a shit, and we totally think you're way better than us </sarcasm>'

A good straightedge:
'Hey, wanna go out for a drink and stuff tonight?'
'sure'
*at the bar*
'I'll have a nice, cold beer'
'I'll just have a coke'
'wha?'
'oh, I forgot to mention, I'm what you would call 'straightedge'
'OH, I totally respect that, at least you aren't shoving your beliefs up my ass!</sans-sarcasm>'
you dont have to be hardcore emo to be straightedge. you just dont drink/dont smoke/dont fuck
fuck you i dont want a smoke. im straightedge
by andie March 01, 2005
Straight Edge is basically a way of life that includes no drinking, no drugs, and so casual sex. Abbreviated SxE. It is not a religion or a gang. It is a choice that someone makes. However, not everyone who doesnt drink/do drugs/have casual sex is straight edge, and not all that say they are straight edge, are straight edge. People who are SxE might put black x's on their hands. yes, you can be friends with people who do these things. There are a few types of straight edge kids.
ex.

The true SxE kid - does not drink, does not have casual sex, and does not do drugs. Also, does not go around telling everyone he meets right away that he is SxE, when the time comes to bring it up, he does tell. Does not think himself better than others becasue he does not drink or do drungs or not have sex. Does not beat people up for smoking or drinking.

Asshole SxE kid - Abides by the 3 rules of SxE, but goes around thinking he is better than everyone, puts people down for it, and basically bugs the fuck out of people.

Scene/Fashioncore SxE Kid - Wears x's on his hands all the time, and wears a bandana around his mouth and nose all the time, usually has died black hair. Most of these kids are not actually SxE, hell, most of them dont even know the true meaning or SxE but say they are to get friends/be cool/fit in. They are the SxE trend kids, and give True SxE'rs a bad name. Becasue of these kids, most kids just think being SxE is wearing black x's and bandanas around your face.

Hardliner - Super SxE kids that usually are vegan, wont take drugs even for severe pain, drink caffeine, or do anything like that. There most defining trait ,however, is the fact that they beat the living shit out of people for smoking, drinking or doing drugs. They might see someone doing one of these things, not bothing them at all, get a bunch of their friends, and beat the shit out of one person with somewhere between 2-? people. These people sometimes kill the people they attack. They are the biggest threat to true SxE people. A lot of cops and other uninformed people, becasue of hardliners, believe SxE people to be a gang, and believe ever SxE kid will beat the shit out of someone smoking or drinking or something like that. They are hated by most SxE kids.
True Straight edge kid (when asked about drinking/drugs/sex) - "yeah, i dont do drugs, drink, or have casual sex. You do? ok, your choice man."

Asshole stright edge kid - Yeah im SxE and im fuckin better than you becasue of it, i dont poison myself and you do, your fuckin stupid as hell, i hate you all, go fucking burn yourself"

Scene/Fashioncore kid - (Wearing black x's on his hands and a black bandana over his face and his long died black hair) Yeah, Grr im SxE, im cool, wanna be my friend, im SxE, cmon im SxE you gotta like me, im cool." might also say that while drinking or smoking.

Hardliner (sees someone drinking or smoking, not bothering anyone, no one is in their range of 2nd hand smoke)
*goes and gets somewhere from usually 1 to 10 more hardliners then beats the hell out of the person drinking or smoking, some with brass knuckles or baseball bats* The beat up kid usually has to go to the hospital, and sometimes even dies
by xjustinxthomasxbx May 30, 2006
of a group of people who commit to a lifestyle free of drugs and alcohol, because those things are stupid
abbreviated as "sXe" or "xxx"
theres like four straightedge kids in our school, the other thousand or so get crunk at least twice a week
by mountain harold May 29, 2006
a state of mind that implies this philosophy:no drugs no drinking no sex unless you are married....no meat is optional.
jonny is straight edge and he wont do any mind altering drugs
by cameron April 12, 2005
Straight Edge is NOT something to do just because everyone else is doing it... Straight Edge is a lifestyle. You live the sraight edge way:
XNo smoking
XNo Drugs
XNo alochol
XNo casual sex
you do not have to be a certian "label" to be straight edge!
No drinking, no casual sex, no smoking, no drugs... just have fun being Straight Edge!
by xXxPrincess September 01, 2005

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