Are people having more sex earlier on in dating relationships? Well, it depends on who you ask. I think the sexual landscape has certainly changed. People are more sexually open and proud of it … and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where the problem lies is that there seems to be an expectation where sex is concerned. It’s like people are expected to be sexually active and get the cold shoulder when they aren’t, or, even worse feel pressured to have sex before they’re ready. This is problematic particularly for the younger generations. Both women and men are having sex earlier. It led me to wonder and reflect on how sex in youth translates into adulthood.
The “Hookup Culture” – Starting Young
Teens are more exposed to sex and the hookup culture than I know I used to be when I was their age. While I am pro educating them and giving them the tools they need to make responsible choices, I think that society is being a little too lackadaisical about sex and it’s consequences. Social Media and today’s technology makes it easier for them to meet other teens that they wouldn’t have otherwise met, and, it’s also giving them the tools to apply a little more pressure. Sexting has become a prominent part of teen dating rituals and it’s hurting a lot of people. Many a teen have been horrifyingly humiliated because of a bad choice they made, some even have tragically ended their life because of the repercussions. This is something true of this generation and not necessarily as much in previous ones. Essentially, there’s a new forum for sexual pressure that allows for extreme behavior.
A recent Time Magazine article called 9 Reasons ‘Hookup Culture’ Hurts Boys Too discussed this issue in depth (you’ll need to pick up the issue to read the full article). The author writes that we tend to “assume that boys are the perpetrators and beneficiaries of hookup culture — and thus we tend to ignore its effects on them. But those effects, it turns out, can be rather rough.” Boys, apparently, feel the pressure more than girls do because sexual prowess is expected of them. Something that was shocking was that, although girls get the abstinence and protection talk from their parents, boys do not. In fact, 70% of boys reported getting little to no sex education outside of the classroom. Boys also talked about girls often being the sexual aggressors and not knowing how to react sometimes because they don’t want to be caught in a bad situation where they’re either seen as uncool or even worse having the tables turned on them.
Peer pressure certainly isn’t something new and many teens feel pressured to have sex or to sext before they’re ready in order to “fit in” with the crowd. According to research, “63 percent of teens believe that waiting to have sex is a good idea, but few people actually do.” The study findings also show a need for more sex education. According to Canadian sexual health statistics, the average age that teens have sex is 17. The Center for Disease Control in the USA reports that almost half of teens in the USA alone have had sexual intercourse and 40% of those unprotected. They do maintain that “to reduce sexual risk behaviors and related health problems among youth, schools and other youth-serving organizations can help young people adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support their health and well-being.” So the answer is in educating young people not only about the sexual act, but also safety. This also means being good examples.
Safe sex needs to be something learned and practiced from before the first sexual encounter because then and only then will the habit be translated into adulthood. But what about abstinence? Well, I think that should be the primary message for teens in general because no one should be having sex until they are old enough to understand and be responsible for the consequences. Abstinence for teens first, but also teach safe sex. I grew up in a very conservative household and rebelled against my parents so I definitely agree with the need to talk to your kids about all things sex because that will give them a healthy attitude about sex that they will stay with them their whole life.
Sex in Modern Dating Relationships
So what does this all mean for adults? Well, the habits and attitudes you learn as a teenager will be something you take with you into adulthood. Many adults do not have a healthy attitude about sexuality. Often times their culture, their religion, their upbringing or even their community colors their views about sex. Current modern relationships that adults have are not the same relationships that their parents or grandparents had. The same basic values are there, but, commitment is lacking. This doesn’t only mean sexually, but people take off at the first sign of trouble. We’re in a society of instant gratification and this has translated into the dating and sexual world. People WANT the relationship but they do everything possible to sabotage it. Why is that? It has to do with the illusion that there’s always something better out there. Online dating sites and social media are ripe with “choices” but are they REALLY choices? There’s a lot of quantity but very little quality.
I think that sex is also the problem. I don’t think sex IS a problem in general, not at all a problem. It’s a very important part of any relationship, but as I said before sex is what’s wrong with dating. What do I mean by that? I mean that sex has gotten on its soap box and won’t let anyone else talk! It’s become front and center. Dating has become about sex first and getting to know each other later. That’s a problem because not everyone can balance that or have unemotional sex. Sex can cloud people’s judgment if they’re not careful. I’m not saying don’t have sex but have sex when it’s the right time for you and your partner. Don’t let it be about the lust, but about another way to get to know each other better. Just be smart about it and be safe. Whether you wait until you are exclusive or not is your business but make sure to always practice safe sex and be clear if you or they are sleeping with others as well. Never ever do it if you feel pressured, someone who respects you and wants to be with you will wait.
Is There a No Sex Option in Modern Dating Relationships?
So back to our question, is there a “no sex option” in modern relationships? I think that it’s really up to the individual. You need to do what’s best for you. If you want to be a virgin until you’re married then be a virgin and be proud of it, don’t be pressured into having sex to “fit in”. If you want to sleep around then sleep around, but you need to also be safe and be aware of all the consequences. I think most people fit into the middle of the road, they want to be sexually active with the right person at the right time. Unfortunately, they end up falling into the trap of trying to be cool or impress someone and go out of their comfort zone. There is a no sex option in modern relationships … it’s “no sex until you’re ready and clear minded about the person you’re dating” and not before. Plain. Simple.
Do you agree or disagree? Is there a no sex option in modern relationships? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva