So earlier tonight, I was watching a documentary on telly called What's love got to do with it, which was about sex and people's attitudes towards it.
Most of the material covered isn't news to me—I didn't spent all the hours studying books about women and sexuality for nothing—but it was refreshing to finally be able to convince my sister that I'm not the only one out there who thinks there's so much more to sex than just intercourse.
There were several issues the documentary touched on that I considered the highlights:
- Shifts in ‘gender roles’
In the programme, a few guys spoke about the power women have these days over men (and their insecurities, in particular). Apparently, many men fear to approach women for fear of rejection, and yet still feel that it's their obligation to ‘make the move’.
Question for the guys: do you really fear a woman's rejection that much? If so, why? And do you feel ‘less of a man’ if you play the passive role in dating? Who defines masculinity?
And for the ladies: do you feel a greater sense of empowerment today than, say, a couple of decades ago? How so? And what further ground has yet to be covered?
It's funny how such a harmless act can cause such controversy and stigma. I mean, this is, as the programme states, the safest form of sex you can have, with the added bonus that you don't have to worry about rejection or venereal diseases (or commitment, for people who have trouble with this idea).
There's a deeper issue here, also. Masturbation helps you learn what you are comfortable with, so that when you do get around to being in bed with someone else, you're in a much better position (no pun intended) to ‘have it your way’, to paraphrase a Burger King slogan.
The programme goes on to state that 80% of women, and 95% of men, masturbate, and that many people try to hide it. Why?
- What's love got to do with it?
The sexual revolution taught many people that sex is free for all, and that no commitment was necessary (or perhaps even desired). A few decades have since passed, and more and more people these days try to seek a greater meaning to sex.
Forget for a moment about the consequences of sex (in particular, AIDS). Would you prefer a hedonistic sex life over a more ‘spiritual’ one? In what ways do you feel that your choice is better? Is love necessary for a fulfilling sex life, or is it merely icing on the cake? Does the idea of commitment fit into this anywhere, and if so, how so?
So there you go. Just some (admittedly rather biased) thoughts that came to my head after watching the programme. Feel free to let me know what you think! It'd be interesting to look back at this in a few years' time, and see how my ‘views and values’ have changed.