The problem with sex is that it is never equal–emotionally, socially, or (most problematically) politically.
Now, with such an alluring title, I hope you weren’t expecting some Cosmo style article on positions and strategies. That is not what this piece is going to be. Sorry to disappoint, but I promise this will still be worth your read.
Sex and gender cause problems–just watch a season of Sex and the City and you’ll see plenty of examples. Emotionally everyone is just on different levels with sex. 9 times out of 10 one person cares more than the other. And the lines get blurred. Sex complicates… it makes everything a jumbled mess. I’ve seen relationships–and people–fail, get confused, and crumble all because of sex. Why does sex hold so much power over our lives?
Simple. Sex is a power play.
We’ve all seen the movies and sitcoms. People withholding sex or somehow using it to manipulate, get what they want, or hurt others. We’ve been bombarded with it in media ever since sex became more mainstream and less taboo. We’re letting mainstream media blind us, though. By turning the power play of sex into a comical scene in a movie, they’ve made us forget that sex is being used for more aggressive power plays throughout the world. We laugh so we forget or fail to notice things that should be intolerable.
Socially sex is ridiculously skewed. First, and most obviously, there is the age old plight of the player versus the slut. This one isn’t new to us. A man has a ton of sex and he is awesome. A woman has a lot of sex and she is shamed. How did that rhetoric ever come to be and why for Christ’s sake is it still around? And that whole idea that women have a lower sex drive than men? I call bullshit. I have been in a few relationships where the men had a significantly lower sex drive and the fact that I wanted it made me pushy and needy. But, when a man wants sex all the time, it is the norm. Although I can think of a million more examples, I’ll leave you with one more: Plan B. No, I’m not talking about my alternate plan in life. (Even though I definitely need to think about that too.) Female contraceptives are so much more expensive, extensive, and more difficult to get. Have you ever noticed how male contraceptives can be purchased almost anywhere with a relatively reasonable cost. The female counterparts need to go through some more exhaustive measures. For us to get some form of female contraceptive, we need a doctor’s appointment, prescription, or to pay a ridiculous amount. The “simplest” of all our options is the morning after pill. This pill is usually around $50 a pop and we can’t even use it frequently because it can cause a lot of issues. Then there is the shame involved in buying them. I walk into Walgreens. I go for the pill. It is one of the only items in this giant plastic security box. This ensures that I have to have an employee check me out and fumble with the clunky box, rather than being able to conveniently go to self check out and be on my merry way. I’m told to own my sexuality, but then shamed when I do. It is modern day, corporate slut shaming. And it’s absurd.
Owning our sexuality has never been equal. We claim to be a progressive nation. Yeah, I’m definitely thankful we don’t have FGM (female genital mutilation), but we really aren’t as progressive as we claim to be. Socially, it is still only fully acceptable for men to own their sexuality, whereas women get shamed and cast away. I literally had someone leave a date with me (before it ended) after asking me how many people I’ve had sex with. Now, I don’t want you to think I have this outrageous number and that’s what caused him to storm off. For a modern woman, my number is pretty low, actually. And to add insult to injury, he had shared his number with me moments before. His number was triple mine. Fucking TRIPLE. But, I was the one having too much sex. What is wrong with our society? How am I being shamed and left at the dinner table for having one-third the sexual partners that my date had? How is that still happening in 2017?
I’ll tell you how. We faked ourselves into thinking that sex was a norm and that we were all on level playing fields. TV shows like Sex and the City, True Blood, and Game of Thrones with their plethora of sex scenes and full frontal nudity gave people this false sense that sex was becoming more acceptable–for both genders. The reality of it is that sex is really only more acceptable for men. Sorry ladies, we’ve been played.
Socially, women are still being shamed, many of us just aren’t seeing the signs. Even worse, though, (and what honestly scares me more) is that politically, we still aren’t being represented. It is 2017 and out of 100 senate seats, only 20 are held by women. Out of 435 seats in the house of representatives, only 84 are held by women. So, you’re telling me that in America, where 50.8% of the population is made up of women, it is okay for women to only hold 20% of the senate and 19% of the house of representatives? We make up just over half of the population, but we still only represent less than one third of our nation’s government. Wait, wasn’t our government created and meant to be a representation of the people? I think we fucked up somewhere. Or is it just me?
So all of these laws that affect the lives of 50.8% of the population are being created, decided, and upheld by the other 49.2% of the population. How does that make sense? How can they tell me about birthing, when all they did was the easy part? How can they tell me about sex contraceptives, when they can get theirs on sale and self checkout–avoiding breaking the bank and their dignity. How did this happen? I’ll tell you, because it isn’t a difficult answer, it’s just difficult to swallow…
we let it.
Like a semi-decent relationship we let the relative comfort outweigh the fact that there were major flaws in what was happening. We chose being content over being equal, because hey, it could be worse. Well guess what, it is getting worse. The semi-decent relationship just took a left turn past What-the-fuck Avenue and is cruising down Shitshow Boulevard. This is the point when the semi-decent relationship is turning to shit and we need to make the choice: Do we stick it out and blow up with it, or de we force a change? I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t enjoy blowing up. I prefer change. I choose change. This is the point in the relationship where we need to snap back to reality and make the other player get it together.
I get it, don’t hate the player… hate the game. I do hate the game, but the players have created this systemic issue that makes the game never ending. There is no final level until the players open their eyes. Until then, we’ll be stuck at level 7 for the rest of our lives. I’ve opened my eyes, so yeah, I think I’ve reserved the right to hate the player AND the game.
In a world where everyone is looking for balance in their lives, how can we ever truly find balance until we find equality?