I have spent much of my free time watching movies that are designated to the “college” audience. And as the common interest of our demographic is sex, that tends to be the theme. But what continues to perplex me is all the spontaneous casual sex that was going on. Where were these schools? How could I transfer there? Films such as “The Rules of Attraction” are not very reflective to me of the relationships I see around me. Out of twenty couples that I know, seventeen of them have been together for longer than a year, ten have been together longer than two and eight have been together longer than three. One couple I know has been dating since halfway through grade nine. That’s right; Five years. So what is it in my cluster of friends that seems to inspire long term loving relationships instead of a few hours (or minutes) of hot (or unsatisfactory) sex?
I think a major historical theory can help us explain this phenomenon: the Pendulum Theory. It is believed that, as time goes on, values of society swing back and forth. We are undergoing a pendulum around sex and relationships right now. Our parents were the free love generation, hitting our age right on the crux of the sexual revolution, and there casual attitude towards sex has reverberated throughout the decades to follow. So for us, it is an unconscious rebellions of sorts, to reject the lifestyle that our parents endorsed. But why are we rejecting this ideal? Several of the parents of the fore mentioned couples have parents who are divorced, some several times. We see this “free love” attitude as a factor in creating unstable relationships that usually end in heartbreak.
Stability is a huge issue to our generation. With pressure from school, work, and “preparing for our future,” and the instability created by divorces and demands at home, we often try and find some sort of focal point. We lack examples of loving, long-lasting relationships so we try to create them ourselves. And for many people, a steady relationship can serve as a strong fulcrum when everything else turns into a steaming pile of fecal matter. The thought of loving and being loved, though somewhat sappy, is a great positive re-enforcer, and sometimes the possibility of losing that stability and support frightens us. That is why breaking up “For Good” is so hard to do. I’ve seen people break up all the time, only to have them hanging off each other like marsupials a week later. This is because they prefer the warmth and stability of a relationship over the scary world of being “single” where love and tenderness are hard to find from sympathetic bartenders and one-night stands.
Now that we’ve addressed the touchy-feely stuff, let’s get to what you all really want to talk about: HARD-CORE SEX! Why is it that casual sex has quickly become taboo? What is holding us back? When I ponder this question, I recall a Grade Seven classroom, where my teacher was handing out workbooks for sex ed. At that point I had only a vague concept of what sex actually was, and yet three days later I knew you could get some phenomenally disgusting diseases from whatever it was. From the “Good Touch, Bad Touch” talks of the third grade to memorizing the symptoms of Gonorrhea and Syphillis in high school, we have been constantly brow beaten with the idea that sex is bad and dirty. This is a mentality we still carry, and why we only have sex with someone we are comfortable with and, more importantly, know absolutely everything about, that way there will be no rude surprises while going to the bathroom the next morning.
Now this article may come off sounding a little harsh, almost like I am disappointed in belonging to a generation that prizes love over sex. And I have to tell you: Your goddamn right I am. I do believe that we’ve lost a sort of freedom that our parents were trying to create for us during their acid filled orgies. But outside that, I think too much monogamy can be just as bad as too much casual sex. I know several couples who have broken up and gotten back together again because they are caged, in desperate need of the other person’s support and reassurance, that they can’t live without it. I’ve seen guys, drunk, brood over girls that dumped them months ago, because they cannot escape that feeling of need. Too much monogamy can be a prison, keeping people together simply out of habit.
Or it could be I’m jealous of fictional university students sex lives…..But that would be just way too pathetic.