Prologue: I’m not writing this post to be deliberately provocative and attract more views to my flagging blog page however, it would be a lie to say that this topic doesn’t occupy my mind for at the very least 50% of my existence. It is unfortunate that it does because it plagues me and stymies my own personal progress. Despite this, sex gets the heart racing whether it be discussing it, reminscing about your experiences or for the lucky few, actually performing the act.
Sex is one of those rare events that many of us spend more time analysing it, preparing for it and madly hoping for it than when the actuality comes around and you get to sit in the driver’s seat and perform it. The moment can be performed in completely different contexts. It can be a performance that can seal true love, it can be a little ride to pleasure town with a friend or it can be a very nervous and awkward experience for two (or possibly more) participants. Sex as a concept is also not just about the icky penis and vagina/anus exercise. It’s about the marketplace for sex; pornography, striptease, sex toys, internet chat rooms and speed dating. It’s about the sociological studies of who we are attracted to, why we attracted to that and the like. It’s about safety and responsibility; condoms, sexually transmitted infections and rape. It’s about the person; homosexuality, bi-curious, fetishes and groups. It’s about life; reproduction, sexual education and boundaries.
Sex is far more than an act that can be performed in a multitude of locations ranging from the classic bedroom setting with a high school sweetheart to a debaucherous nightclub in East Berlin. So the question begs: Are we as a society doing it right? Do we teach our kids well enough to handle the daunting origins of their sexuality? Are we depraved or are we too innocent? Is it inevitable that there will be delinquents who target our most vulnerable; women and more shockingly, children? Do mainstream religions have the completely wrong idea when it comes to sex or is abstinence until marriage a reasonable option? These sorts of questions in my view should not be avoided. To avoid them is to remain stagnant in the face of something that isn’t such a daunting thing. Sure, we have companies who cross the mark to sell products and there are things that we don’t want our children to know or see but are we overzealous when it comes to their protection? There is a huge divide on this issue, quite rightly too, but sex as a general concept is not taboo. It is the lifeblood of our existence and the baggage that comes with it just illustrates how wonderfully important the essence of the issue really is.
Firstly, I’m not going to go into too much detail about my experience as a sexual being however a brief overview should suffice. I was a typically awkward kid until around 16 when I started to grow and develop the skills to talk to girls. Prior to that I was completely overwhelmed by the situation. What do I say? How am I to portray myself? The thoughts battered my self esteem to the point where I froze in front of girls. So whilst my peers were out macking on with girls from the local high schools, I was at home watching the footy. Then things started to click. I was still nervous but I could make girls laugh, I could enjoy their company without starting to sweat and things started to work. I was making out with a few girls here or there and was even invited down to the most sacred place in history. The vagina. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing but apparently it was kind of cool to smell your fingers after the event. Looking back and my naivety sickens me a little. The poor girl! How could she let such a clueless lad search around down there for buried treasure!
Anyway, I had my first brush with a significant other at 16. A girlfriend I saw about three times and got mad at via text when she couldn’t find time for me one afternoon. Clearly I had a lot to learn about the opposite sex at that stage. Anyway, since then I have not had a serious relationship. I have been with girls for an extended period of time but few in any way, shape or form in a serious manner and probably for good reason. I feel that only recently has my maturity level evened out for me to be somewhat of a reasonable man to date but I still find that I have a lot to learn about myself. Understanding another intimately is not something to be taken lightly. The responsibility you carry in your hands when you become intimate with someone is something that must be considered prior to entering something that is more than a fling. Unfortunately for fans of the ‘fling’, 99% of the time sex and intimacy are so closely intertwined as to make the ‘friends with benefits’ relationship or ‘fuck buddy’ scenario, a firmly entrenched myth.
So, onto a more general and centralised point of discussion. Sex education is an extremely contentious issue. How soon is too soon to begin informing our kids of the dangers of unprotected sex, how to treat the opposite sex and how to react to pressure placed on you in regard to having sex when others start? Puberty is an anomaly because we all go through it at different stages but it is an inevitability. Whether your voice drops at 12 or your breasts grow at 16, we all eventually have to deal with the changes. Recently, at a popular DJ/producer’s concert at Festival Hall, my friends and I were astounded at the amount of young girls who were wearing tiny skirts and crop tops on a chilly Autumn night. Now, I’m not being prudish and judging simply the girls as every young lad under 16 I walked past was wearing one of those stupid flat caps, but I do understand the idea of dressing for the occasion. Peer pressure is so difficult for developing minds to deal with. We want to fit in and not be poor little Billy who sits on his own at the lunch table eating his ridiculously elaborate home-cooked meals when we are school kids. Billy will become a quirky, fun-loving character in his later years in my imagination but let us not dwell on his future and instead get back to the point. A great friend of mine told me about how her mother brought in the lyrics for Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred lines’ as in a lesson in how not to speak to girls.
[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
[Pharell:] Everybody get up
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
[Verse 3: T.I.]
One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable
Then, honey you’re not there when I’m
With my foresight bitch you pay me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me
[Bridge: Robin Thicke]
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?
[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me, Dakota to Decatur, uh huh
No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey
Cause now you winning
Hey, hey, hey
Here’s our beginning
Catchy song… but she has an extremely valid point. Pop culture is so influential that it convinces kids of what type of man/woman they desire to become and what they need to become alike that person. The way they wear their hair, present themselves in public, say to others and most relevantly, the person they want to attract. People in the limelight sometimes say ‘I don’t want to be a role model so stop looking at me in that light’. Unfortunately for them, their exposure does make them someone kids look up to so whilst many claim they do not have a personal responsibility to enrich these kids’ lives and do not embrace the idea, they carry with their identity an influence, desired or not. So the argument is there that we can hold off on the gory details of intercourse and the diseases that come with it but we cannot hold off on teaching them the fundamental basis of the relationships that stem directly from sex. If adults put their heads under the sand for too long in regard to these essentials teachings we could see a generation of kids learning about sex in some extremely reckless ways. The internet is a damn smutty place; one minute you are playing on Habbo Hotel, the next you are watching some seriously explicit shit… aka…
So although as adults we can use discretion to avoid or laugh at the material of some of these ridiculously explicit videos, kids lack the experience and knowledge of how the whole thing works. Sure, some precocious youngsters know about the basics and some particularly depraved kids (we all knew some) know every minute detail about sex and the comings and goings of every edition of Penthouse their brother has passed onto them but the majority only know what they are taught. My early experiences of spin the bottle were nothing compared to watching lesbian porn against my will when I was 13 years old. Sure, I was curious and my friend had a database of porn that would have competed with a 40 year old virgin’s collection however I was completely overwhelmed by the entire experience. Why are they kissing each other’s thighs so intimately, why are they entering the toilet cubicle together and why are they not finishing their dinner were just a few of the questions that came to mind. Minus the gags, preparing pre-pubescent children for the ravenous and eye-opening world of sex is a very serious point of discussion.
There is no debating that the world of sex remains extremely eye-opening for men and women in our post-pubescent lives. Sexual politics enters into our lives. Knowing when to pursue someone, if it is morally correct to chase someone of a certain age or someone who has exited a relationship with a friend are the basics. Then it deepens into a more provocative business. Striptease, magazines, videos and of course, prostitution. Most of these activities are undertaken by men and performed by women and there are distinct differences in each of them. The striptease is a form of art when performed correctly with next to no touching but enough eroticism to release the endorphins that seem to emerge during sexual intercourse. Below is a good example of a great documentary on the art.
Now, many will disagree with me and only view the strip tease with disdain due to that natural resentment of the exploitation of beautiful women (and men but usually in a different manner) however the history of the performance is pretty intriguing. For instance, why are men generally aroused by the art whilst women are more entertained when with a group whilst watching a male stripper rather than receiving sexual gratification? And how can you retain any sort of class within a performance which main objective is to remove one’s clothing in front of other people? Anyway, the darker side of the sex industry is prostitution. Darker in the sense that it immediately brings to mind the negative images that are often portrayed within the media. Depraved men, broken women within a soiled environment.
But what would society be without the oldest profession on record? I mean, first off, Game of Thrones wouldn’t be half the show it is without the presence of ladies of the night. It would just be marriage and fighting and probably couples sitting on the couch drinking bottles of cheap red wine, how dissatisfying. Sure, parents of young children and concerned citizens will not exactly be embracing the whole concept of this industry but it is a chance for the sexually frustrated men and women within society to blow off some steam. Within that aroma and steam and smut, we need to educate and encourage better treatment of these ladies (and men) of the night as well as women in general. Thus, I conclude that there needs to be a concerted effort to not view the industry in the light that many conservatives would view it; smutty, disgusting and completely tasteless and instead look to it from the view that our world is made up of so many layers that to ignore the underground is to ignore the (perhaps unfortunate) foundation of society. Sex. Maybe it is ethically wrong and we should be seeking to look for one partner to have and not hold for the rest of our lives but this is simply not reality. It’s a fairytale! There are many great partnerships that exist, some that last for 60+ years but surely they are built upon the essential pillars of honesty and commitment that does require transparency and acceptance of the world’s flaws and faults!?!
Sex is the cornerstone of everything. It is birth, life, death and everything in between and to ignore that is to blatantly avoid the essential truth. Sex breeds as much positivity as does negativity but to exploit it and use it as a marketing tool whilst censoring the underworld of prostitution, pornography and so on is to give it a one dimensional appearance. We know how important sex is and what connotations come with it so why attempt to push it away and miss addressing it through fear of offending those around us? It is not simply a type of education that teaches us about sex on a basic level but education that explores the very basis of our existence, the very lifeblood of society! Shying away from the gory details will only push us back to an age where sex was seen as taboo when really it is a subject that has so many delicate, intriguing layers.
Further: I understand that this is quite a shallow investigation into a topic that, as I explained earlier, has many, many layers. But as an introduction I hope it raises a few questions that you can use your perceptive minds to think about. Don’t censor your thoughts people!!