Sunday, 15 April 2012

'I never kiss and tell'

I’ve found myself walking past a group of ‘lads’, bantering about the girl they pulled last night and how good (or bad!) she was in bed.  On a disturbing number of occasions I’ve heard some vulgar mutterings and extremely embarrassing revelations of the all too common drunken fling.  I’ve heard girls being called some horrid names, and criticised for how much pubic hair they have, or for their choice of underwear, or for the manners in which they try to arouse a man.  I’ve felt a heartbreaking flinch at the echoing laughter at the misfortune of some poor girl oblivious to any of this mockery.  It could even be a girl I know.  It could be you.  Whatever happened to ‘I don’t kiss and tell’? 
Gone are the days where one would exercise modesty, honour, respect.  In the rise of ‘sexual liberation’ and the acceptance of sexual pluralism, we find a string of destruction trailing behind.  The most disturbing notion I have observed is that it seems to go unnoticed.  But does that make it acceptable?  So what if people are laughing behind your back - you can’t hear it so you don’t care.  Sadly that’s not the case.  We all want due respect.

When we look at the effects of gossip on a wider scale, we can see that metanarratives are being created, and standards set for women everywhere.  Women are being objectified as tools for sexual gratification, and as these tools we are expected to meet a certain criteria of how we should look, the clothes we should wear and the way we should act in a sexual setting.  With these ideals and ‘perfections’ comes a disqualification of the different, and if we do not fit these categories of the perfect sexual object we are excluded, laughed at, mocked amongst others.  The irony is found in that no-one meets these expectations.  Men expect a porn-star fantasy, when in reality, women have lumps and bumps and emotions and wants underneath that shiny shaven sexual robot.  Sorry guys, we are just as human as you are!

Now I have successfully created man-haters of you all, I would like to make the point that women too are guilty of this gossip.  Although it seems far more rare, I have heard the occasional comparison of body shape, penis size and duration of erectile function.  Girls, you wouldn’t appreciate guys talking about you in this way.  It’s not clever, and you don’t look good for mocking.  It’s actually rather embarrassing.  However, I have found that this is extremely rare, and although girls are more prone to gossip, it’s usually on the subject of the qualities the encountered man possesses.  “What does he study? Is he nice? Where did he take you? Are you going to see him again?”  Women on the whole seem to have more decency about them when it comes to mocking sexual exploits. (1) 

So, I’m not saying we should stop talking about sex.  I’m simply saying we need to start doing it respectfully, honouring the people that decide to make themselves so vulnerable to you that they allow you to share with them a sexual experience.  Whether you are in a long term relationship or participating in drunken flings (2), I urge you to have some respect for the other partner.  It’s not cool to banter about such a personal experience with ‘the lads’.  It’s not smart to mock someone because they don’t fit your ideals (3) (the truth is that you probably don’t fit theirs either).  But the fact is that you shared that experience together, you both opened up and gave yourselves physically to one another.  Surely this deserves some honour and respect. Bring it back: ‘I never kiss and tell’.

(1) I maintain however that I have no statistical proof for such a theory, I am merely referring to personal research and experience.
(2) I will refrain from going into my views on the proper use of sex on this occasion.
(3) Or arguably societies ideals.