I was browsing Instagram a couple of weeks ago and came across a video. It asked women to describe what having sex with a man is like. Cut to a video of someone trying (and failing desperately) to put a plug into a socket.
It did elicit a good giggle out of me before I realized it made me sort of sad. Is that really what most women think of sex? A fumbling, awkward attempt at intimacy and pleasure? Well, it may actually be the case. Considering that only 1 in 5 people ages 18-29 is married, most twenty-somethings probably aren’t having mind-blowing sex with their soulmates. If the lack of etiquette around dating is anything to go by, we’ve been stumbling in the dark (sexually) for a while now.
There’s a lot of rhetoric thrown around about the low rates of marriage, casual sex, and the general state of relationships today. But there’s one thing that’s for certain: women deserve better than whatever is going on right now. If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sex is someone fumbling with a plug and a socket, you might be having stupid sex.
WTH Is Stupid Sex?
Think of it as the opposite of smart sex. Smart sex is when you’re safe from STDs because you’re with a long-term partner, you’re okay with getting pregnant with this person (since that is a major side effect of being sexually active, after all), and your partner is trustworthy and respectful.
So stupid sex is:
1. Having unprotected or questionably “safe” sex.
Do you know this person well enough to a) ask them if they have an STD and b) actually believe their answer? Guys will say pretty much anything if they think it will get them laid, so please do not take your hookup’s rushed “Yeah, I’m fine!” at face value. What guy, even if he does have an STD, is going to ruin the mood to tell you about it?
Do you know this guy well enough to ask him if he has an STD and actually believe his answer?
While some STDs may be easily remedied with antibiotics, others are lifelong afflictions. HPV, which is the most common STD in the United States, is responsible for 91% of cervical cancer cases. Yikes.
2. It’s not someone you want to have a baby with.
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but procreation – a.k.a. babymaking – is the primary purpose of sex. And while we may enjoy the illusion that sex and babies are now separate due to the plethora of contraceptives at our fingertips, accidental pregnancies are still a far-too-common occurrence.
If you’re having sex with someone whom you have no intention of raising a child with, that is the definition of stupid sex. What exactly is the plan if you do get pregnant? Single motherhood? Giving your baby up for adoption? Most of us don’t like to let these dreary thoughts ruin our fun, but it’s only going to be fun as long as no one ends up pregnant accidentally.
3. Being with someone you don’t know well enough to know if they’re safe.
Sex is an incredibly intimate and vulnerable experience to share with someone else. Do you really know the person you’re about to share it with? Are they respectful of your body and your limits? Do they consider your pleasure along with their own? Are they going to hurt you or disregard your boundaries in the pursuit of their own gratification?
There are a lot of creepy guys out there who are only too happy to shame a woman into participating in painful or degrading sex. They’re not interested in whether their partner enjoys themselves, it’s all about self-gratification.
4. Bonding with someone who will probably leave you.
Again, I hate to be the bearer of brutal news. But unless this man is your husband (or future husband), it’s most likely not going to work out. Why does that make having sex a big problem? Because unlike the male brain, female brains react in a unique and powerful way when we have sex, and especially when we orgasm.
Our brains are built to bond with the man we’re having sex with.
Our brains are built to bond with the man we’re having sex with. During sex, oxytocin, the bonding hormone, floods our brain. Simply put, women are physically incapable of having casual sex. While men may be able to “hit it and quit it” so to speak, with relatively few psychological consequences, women do not enjoy the same luxury.
By having sex with someone you know deep down will leave eventually, you’re setting yourself up for some serious psychological distress. Repeatedly bonding with and then being abandoned by a series of men can wreak real havoc on our mental health, our self-worth, and our bodies.
Having Stupid Sex Is Setting Us Up for Misery
This ruthless cycle of exposing ourselves to possibly dangerous men and bonding with them, knowing only too well that it’s never going to last, is making women miserable. We wonder why our self-esteem is at rock bottom, but it’s no wonder if you’re paying attention. We continually offer up the most intimate parts of ourselves for cheap entertainment and are given at best nothing, and at worst degradation, instead.
Perhaps in the age of social media, we truly do believe that the most private parts of ourselves should be available for public consumption. But you have to ask yourself, how well is that working out for everyone? Do women seem happy, healthy, fulfilled, and sexually satisfied?
Or do they seem miserable, disillusioned, lonely, and aimless? We can’t be enough for everyone all at the same time. We must be very discerning about who has access to our time, energy, and bodies. We need to be having emotionally safe sex.
We must be very discerning about who has access to our time, energy, and bodies.
We hear a lot about how to protect our bodies from disease or unwanted pregnancy, but we barely hear anything about how to protect our hearts and minds when dealing with sex. It’s much easier to blame rape culture or the patriarchy if your hookup is a failure, rather than admitting the truth: casual sex is diametrically opposed to women’s nature.
Plus, do you ever hear the truth about the role commitment plays in having good sex? Married couples are more likely to have sex more often and rate it as more satisfying. It’s no wonder. Marriage removes all the uncertainties that are holding you back from true intimacy with your casual partner. There’s no fear of him leaving you. Unwanted pregnancy isn’t a concern. And as they say, practice does indeed make perfect. But when is the last time you heard anyone answer “commitment” in response to the question, “How do I have better sex?”
No matter what rhetoric is pushed around, the fact remains that sex hasn’t really changed at all in the last 100 years. We may have changed the social rules around it, but the motivations and mechanisms remain the same. Except now, the lack of rules has left several generations wading through the muck, wondering where exactly their happy endings ended up.
You and your body deserve better than casual, bad sex. Don’t take the social media approach to love: not everyone needs access to your darkest secrets. Some things are better left for the right person, not anyone who asks.
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