Culturally, society's attitude toward women and sex is pretty messed up.
Society tells us that it's dirty, filthy, and wrong, and women who have it are sinners who have to pretend that they don't know what a male organ looks like.
Then, on that magical day at some point in their adulthood, those formerly dirty women get married (if any guy will still have them and their tattered hymens) and the sex act, a thing they've been doing in a dirty way for years, suddenly transforms into an amazing and blessed experience.
Sex, you see, is a very bad, dirty thing that you should only do with someone you love very, very much.
At The Guardian, Jill Filipovic explains, in one of the most comprehensive and straightforward ways why our society's attitude about sex before marriage is hindering happiness, and how embracing sex as something that can and should be shame-free.
- People who have sex are happier: Fact! Having sex once a week is the happiness equivalent of an extra N8million in the bank. Especially if you're having sex with a rich dude. (Just kidding.)
- Sex is healthy and natural: Human beings reproduce sexually, which means that each of us is almost certainly the result of a sexual union. It is natural and normal for most mature human animals to want and to pursue sex, and our bodies reward us when we do — we get some exercise, endorphins and orgasms.
- Premarital sex leads to more stable marriages: Sex, as in having it before you get married, is associated with longer, more stable marriages. Why? Because of feminism. A society that encourages women to prioritize participation outside of the home leads to more women choosing to go to the university, to build a stable career before they focus on partnering up and settling down. Because sexuality is a human need, it stands to reason that during that time they're focused on being things other than wives and mothers, they'd be enjoying good sex. Which is fine! Because after they get married, women who got their groove on earlier in life tend to stay married, raise more successful children, and be happier.
- Sex feels great and is fun: One of the most compelling pieces of Filipovic's argument is her emphasis on ethical sexuality — sex that "(takes) precautions to protect the physical and mental health of yourself and your partner [...] that is fully consensual and focused on mutual pleasure." So, you know, using sex as a positive way to interact with someone who is totally into it rather than a self-destructive way to get back at your ex who cheated on you. This means doing it with a willing partner, this means making sure your partner has a good time, this means protecting yourself using condoms or whatever is sufficient for the two of you to have the best time possible in the safest way possible.
- A wedding isn't a magic spell that transforms sex from something that is "bad" to something that can't ever be bad: Especially if you've lived your life up to your wedding believing that you had a sin-hole between your legs. Antiquated views that lead people to believe that there is such a thing as sexual "purity" can also lead to a messed up postmarital relationship with sex.
- People are "pleasure starved": Focusing too much on the guilt we're supposed to feel about being dirty for wanting things that we naturally want is giving all of us a complex. It is making our lives worse.
- Not everyone is sexually compatible, so figure that out before you walk down the aisle: Sexual compatibility matters in relationships, and bad sex, for many people, is a dealbreaker. Take the car out for a test drive, and if the stick shift feels awkward to you or the airbags frighten you, move along. Someone else will be happy to drive that car.
- Discouraging people from having premarital sex has never, at any point in human history, succeeded in getting people to actually stop having sex: Even in previous generations, the vast majority of adults got busy before they tied the knot. So pretending that abstinence is a viable option for any meaningful segment of the population is at best obtuse and at worst really, dumb. The government has spent money on programs designed to discourage people from having sex before they're married, which unfortunately doesn't work. Those resources would be better spent on things like proper use of birth control, self-respect, and respect for others. The Puritans are dead. It's about time we stopped letting them dictate our attitudes toward sex.
Do you agree with this analysis? Share your views with us in the comments section.