Many relationships have problems with sex. One person has a higher libido. One person wants to be more experimental. There’s lots of problems that can occur, but often they don’t get discussed.
Then, when you’re dating there’s a whole minefield or problems. When do you have sex? Do you ask for what you want? Do you talk about past experiences?
In order to properly answer this question, we have to understand the role sex plays in our culture.
It is said that the two things people hate to talk about are money and sex. We don’t like to talk about them because they make us feel ashamed. Shame is the ultimate conversation killer.
Why Do We feel so much shame around sex and relationships?
We are all products of our environment. Just as a fish can’t comprehend a life out of water, it’s very difficult for us to imagine anything other than we have. When we suspend that belief to watch Star Wars or some other alternate reality, they are still based on our style of society. Because anything other than that would be incomprehensible to us.
We have all grown up within a system of capitalism and patriarchy. Capitalism tells us that our worth and value is tied up in what money we have.
Sex has been seen as a barometer of our moral value. The quickest way to cut down a woman is to call her a slut.
Consequently, our behaviour is weird around sex.
Researchers know that if you ask someone how many people they’ve slept with, they mostly won’t get an honest answer.
Women will say less and men will bump up their figures. Many people have noted how unfair our view of sex is. Where a man gets called a stud for the same behaviour that gets a woman labelled as a slut.
We have an instinctual drive to want sex, yet we have a morality that tells us it’s wrong.
That is what is at the root of our sex problems. So let’s unpack what the real problem is and where it comes from.
The Tyranny of patriarchy
We come from a patriarchal system. So do our parents, friends, the people who create the laws, media and culture that shapes our behaviour and thinking.
Everyone we know from books and our history has come from that system. Even our ancient religious texts come from that framework.
In plain speaking men make the rules. Men set the standards. Men determine the controls and punishments.
I’m going to share my bias and be transparent on my views on religion here because you may hold some views that will contradict mine. The Make Relationships Simple system is based on three actions.
- Challenge everything you know
- Accept what is
- Love to the extent you can
As such, I’m against dogma. I challenge what doesn’t make sense to me and I can’t be hypocritical enough to expect not to be challenged.
This post is going to challenge every authority that has set values for you. That is because I want to free every chain that inhibits your thinking and your quality of life.
When men get to set the rules, isn’t it clear that the world is going to favour men?
The social order, laws and mores are going to be based around easing men’s fears.
David Buss has written a brilliant book on Jealousy, The Dangerous Passion.
Evolutionary Psychologists work from the premise that all behaviour is shaped by natural selection and so both men and women act in interest of furthering their genes. I think that there are probably other conflicting motivations at times.
The basic cause of jealousy from an evolutionary basis is that men do not know if a child is theirs and women fear losing access to resources. This means that women tend to fear an emotional affair more than sex and men fear sex over an emotional affair.
As a result, men have gone to great lengths to ensure that their wives are true to them. Men were castrated in order to guard and serve a powerful man’s wife. Women were placed in Chastity Belts or genitally mutilated to prevent infidelity. A woman found guilty of cheating would probably be stoned or killed to protect the man’s honour.
Power + Jealous = Control
So jealousy is a big deal in human relations. When we see that these men were also the ones making the laws in Government and at the least, influencing the Church, we can see that our culture has been shaped around reassuring jealous men.
When we mention the Church we also have to note religion’s inherent enmity to sex. Religion aspires to the spiritual. Sex is the most profane and physical level. And so the physical pull is naturally going to rival the spiritual.
So what we have is religion wanting to make sex bad. The way it would be acceptable to Kings and Rulers is by appealing to their jealous fears.
As a result male jealousy has shaped our culture and values. A woman can be a real bitch and people will avoid her. But someone labelled as a slut is the one that gets shamed and shunned even if they are kind and caring.
Plenty of parents will let their children play violent games and watch violent films, but will limit their access to x-rated films.
Why are our swear words sexual?
When you eliminate jealousy, what is actually wrong with sex?
Of course, like chocolate or buying stuff you don’t need, sex can lead people astray. Families are broken, people are hurt and wars can even be fought to regain honour.
Yet the determining factor isn’t sex itself, but what the desire can make people do.
Women's Sexuality has been defined by men
So let’s come back to today. Women’s sexuality has been traditionally defined by men. Women don’t like sex. Women have sex to please their husband.
I’m not sure if this was a lie told to a stupid husband or something men told to women. Either way it has caused so much dysfunction in relationships.
It has meant that women have been ashamed of their instinctual desires. It has meant that women can’t be open about what they want and like.
It has meant that many young men are, much as I was as a young man, not knowing or understanding what a girl would see in them. It means men fear rejection more and so relationships don’t get started that could have been deeply fulfilling.
It means people stay in unsatisfying relationships too long because they think it’s the best they can do.
Sex Is Just Another Narrative
Sex is a key part of a relationship. It bonds couples, deepens their intimacy and connection. It can often be a mirror for the relationship. Relationship problems cause disconnection which affects the sexual relationship.
Sex is more than just something that bonds us in relationships. It is an instinctive and powerful drive we have whether we’re in a relationship or not. Many marriages began because couples wanted to have sex or had sex and then needed to cover up the pregnancy.
What all of this set up has been for, is to get to the point that almost everything we think about sex is a narrative. You get to define what sex means to you. How you want it and when you do it.
Sex is just another temptation
If sex makes you stray from the path that you believe is right, then it’s crossing the line from enjoyable to addiction. But if you feel comfortable having casual sex with consenting partners who understand the terms, why shouldn’t you?
Many single people have a sense of morality that you’re a bad person if you sleep with someone before the third date or a committed relationship or whatever. And so filled with lust and frustration they jump into a relationship with a hot guy so they can jump his bones without guilt.
The problem is, that a committed relationship and a sexual relationship usually follow different timescales. Changing one to fit the other causes us to rationalise and justify what we want.
If you want sex and can cope with a no-strings relationship, I don’t see any moral issues there.
When should you sleep with a guy?
I don’t think there should be rules about it. Whenever you feel ready. Having said that, we and most of the men you’ll date come from a culture with a narrative around girls that are too easy. Some men might judge you for it. But if they’re going to judge you for that, they’ll judge you for something else.
Given the story we’ve been told and the meaning we have on sex, it can be too personal for some women to have sex without meaning. So that is a good reason to protect yourself.
Many men are out to conquer and sow their wild oats. There is a sense for men that they are more attractive and valuable if they can sleep with many women. And of course a single man is likely to be horny. Men typically are happy to sleep with someone whether they see a future with them or not.
It doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to a relationship, it’s just they look for sex first and then love. Given the narrative we have all been told about women wanting a relationship and men wanting sex, men will often lie to sleep with a woman. So all of these are factors in your decision.
Ultimately of course, it’s all about you. Are you open to casual sex or does it make you feel used?
For most people, sex comes long before you have any real depth of knowledge about someone. It’s important not to mix up feeling that there is a commitment because you’ve had sex. You have to remain able to decide that, this person isn’t right for you. Otherwise, sex is swaying your thinking and working against you choosing the right long term partner.