Sunday, 4 March 2018

Taboos, Trivialisation and Turn Ons

We often see articles online with the title "How Many People You Should Sleep With Before You Settle Down", or "The Ideal Number of People to Have Sex With". Sex is in the media 24/7; we are engulfed in explicit images posted by our most loved celebrities. It has become the norm to see a sex scene in any film you watch (minus the children's films of course). So is there still a taboo? 

It is evident that sex has been in the past, a subject that is not widely spoken about in public. It is something that has been seen as a taboo. My sex education at school consisted of gory images of STI's; merely showing us what sex was in the first place, and by that point most of the girls in my school were on their second pregnancy. 

We can fool ourselves all we want, by saying that the topic of sex is no longer a taboo. So many people are talking and writing about it, breaking the stigma that comes with such a natural act of love. But, this does not mean that there is no longer any stigma. (Included in this post, are quotes from a man *He chose to be anonymous*; as I wanted to give you all a point of view from both sides). 

I have been going on a few dates for the past couple of months. I have met new people, shared new experiences and just generally had fun! It has been nice to 'get back out there' and do what I want, while I am still young! So why, when the topic of sex comes up (excuse the pun), do we shy away with the fear of being judged? If it is something that is so openly spoken about, why are we worried about the reaction of our date, when we say that we've only slept with a handful of people, or hundreds of people for that matter? 

Someone I have been speaking to said, that they had only slept with one person and for me to not 'run away' when I hear them say that. He then went on to say, that many girls had dismissed him and turned him down after finding that out. Which confused me. Why would I run away, because a guy has only had one sexual experience? Which then made me think, why do guys feel under so much pressure to 'get laid'? Is it because people do not see them as 'experienced', therefore they do not want to waste their time pursuing something with them? 

"Unfortunately, as a guy, I can confirm that the whole “lad” culture surrounding sex is still very much a thing, even if more men aren’t so fixated on the idea of “conquests” determining manhood anymore."

In my opinion, no one is ever truly experienced or advanced at sex. Especially, when you bring numbers into the situation. I've slept with someone who has had a lot of sex, with many different people; and I've slept with someone who has been in a long term relationship and only slept with a couple of people. My first 'sexual experience' was not exactly the best, but it will always mean something to me. Each person I have been with, has had a different number of 'sexual experiences'; and do you know what?! They have all been completely different. No single person, has been the same as another person, or better than the other person. 

Men usually give it the 'big I am' when they talk about their sex life. Explaining in graphic detail, how they have had sex with multiple people in one night; or saying that they had sex in, said unique place. I've been told by a guy that his group of friends share who the last person was to have sex, and they then give them a nickname of some sort. I don't know about you, but that kind of thing does not impress me. I will not judge someone purely on the amount of people they have been with, because that feeds into the taboo even more. 

"There is a pressure, often more subconscious and unspoken than explicitly outlined, amongst single men to go out and sleep with as many people as you can, playing the field."

Someone could sleep with hundreds of people and class themselves as a 'sexpert', when in reality, no girl or guy is the same; we all get turned on and off by different things. To me, I see sex as something that should have no pressure. Something that is fun and a connection between two people. Having said that, it is so important that you are on the same page. Sex is about learning and experimenting; finding out what works for you. So, why should guys or girls feel embarrassed when they share their 'magic number'?

"The idea pervades that the more people you sleep with the more successful or desirable you are, if you aren’t doing so (even if you aren’t that fussed) you are viewed in a slightly different light to everyone else."

"Nights out for a group of single men, for example, can be wholly focused on “conquests” - the pressure being that there should be nothing stopping you from adding to your “total”, even if you don’t want to. The culture still inherently suggests that this is the done thing to do."

I started this discussion on Twitter and I had mixed reactions. Most people did not care about how many people their date had slept with (and rightly so, in my opinion). However, others (mostly men) said that they feel embarrassed that they've only slept with one or two people, due to being in long term relationships. Which raises another question... why should people feel embarrassed for being in long term relationships? 
I've been cheated on by someone who had admitted to having a very sexual past. I was not fazed by that and did not judge them. However, since this has happened, I have found myself wanting a guy who can show they are loyal. So, when a guy says they have slept around and disrespected girls, this does not impress me. The 'alpha male' vibes they are *trying* to give off, do not do anything for me. But at the same time, there is nothing wrong with someone who sleeps around and does not want anything serious. The main thing is that they are honest from the start. If you want a hookup, just say it; it is normal and fine! 

However, when I brought up the conversation about women sleeping around; men didn't seem too keen. Society has made us believe, that women need to be 'pure' and are deemed 'sluts' if they have had a lot of sex. So why do men feel the need to either lie about how many people they have slept with, or express that they have slept with hundreds of girls, in order to impress their date and make them think they are more experienced? 

The point I am trying to make with this post is, no one is classed as 'experienced'. Having sex with hundreds of people, does not make you experienced, as everyone is different. Sleeping around does not make you a slut, slag, whore... whatever you want to name someone who is carrying out a 'natural act'. Sex should not be the be all and end all of a relationship. Men or women should not be embarrassed to tell a girl or guy that they have only slept with one person. Men or women should not be embarrassed to tell a girl or guy that they have slept with hundreds of people. Sex is sex. Make of it, what you will. 

Sex is still very much a taboo, especially if men feel the need to lie and say they have slept with hundreds of girls, in order to look impressive and experienced. Sex is still very much a taboo, especially if women feel the need to lie and say that they have only slept with a handful of people, due to the fear of being called a slut. 

We need to start being more open minded when it comes to sex. Do not feel the need to hide who you truly are, or lie about your experiences, in order to fit in with society. Those who judge others based on their sex life, are not worth your time. So let's stop fooling ourselves when we say that, sex is no longer a taboo. Yes, we may have come a long way (clean minds please haha), but it can still be very much a taboo. 

What are your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @petalsofperfect!