“Marriage is a failure in human design.”
According to sexologist, Jessica O’Reilly, in her TED Talk, “Monogamish,” we are at a time of crisis. Divorce rates in North America are over 40%, and infidelity rates are between 25% and 45%. Furthermore, according to research, satisfaction rates in marriage plummet after the honeymoon period…never to recover. And when you also take into account the fact marriage can be restrictive to personal growth, and repressive in its demand of absolute monogamy, we must ask ourselves: why are we still getting married? Especially when research also suggests that married people are no more happy than their single counterparts. CRAZY, RIGHT?! When considering the damning possibilities, why do we pursue such an endeavor? Why is marriage an achievement of an ambition? Why is it an ambition at all? Maybe because that whole “Happily Ever After” narrative has been shoved down our throats since birth.
If I told you you had a 40% chance of not surviving the cruise you just booked, would you still go on it?
So, let’s focus on another narrative: no narrative. Instead of fighting for marriage, or against, why don’t we instead…
If you’ve been following this blog since it’s inception, I think I’ve sufficiently argued my personal (non-fictitious) parable: there’s no point in establishing an agenda, because life rarely goes as planned. In other words, ride that white horse, but don’t saddle it, honey. Unless he’s Ryan Gosling’s physical, emotional, and spiritual doppelgänger. He’s the whole damn package. I don’t have any personal experience with females writing “not here for a hook-up” in their Tinder profiles, but apparently, it’s a thing. And the only reason I know this is because so many men have lamented the stupidity of such a phrase…in their Tinder profiles. Let’s be honest, you and they both know you’re low-key down to suck some D. JUST STFU AND BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. But, if you are by chance actually looking for a long-term relationship, why do you think an interface designed to be like a virtual slot machine is the place to build rapport and find lasting romance? You’re deluding yourself. Luckily, I’m here to set you straight. If you only happen to suck said D once, and not for a lifetime, THAT’S OKAY. Don’t allow society’s grossly exaggerated social constructs to tell you you should be feeling guilty for last night, or last weekend, or Dan from a few months ago. Casual sex is not bad for you. And, you know what? Lots of people are doing it! Don’t believe me? Go here.
Once upon a time, I never thought of myself as being able to pull off a one-night stand. I was all, “Ewwwwww, sex can’t be good with a stranger.” I’m not sure when all of that changed, but I’m glad it did. Especially at this point in my life. I’m thirty. I’m single. I work a full-time job (usually with anywhere from 10-15 hours of OT every week, as well). I’m a part-time student. But I have two majors: Political Science and Professional Writing. I don’t have time for a boyfriend, nor do I “want” one. And I’m glad I don’t because I have yet to find a non-douchey male worth sacrificing time and space for. I want deep human connection, not run-of-the-mill romance. But I also want to not wake up to an alarm every day. We all have our dreams. But, no matter what, a girl has her needs. I still crave flirtation. And romance. And touch. And sex. I’d never be able to make all the gains I have without sexual liberation. In an article, “Boys on the Side,” for The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin writes:
To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their own ends in mind. For college girls these days, an overly serious suitor fills the same role an accidental pregnancy did in the 19th century: a danger to be avoided at all costs, lest it get in the way of a promising future.
And according to Dr. Zhana Vrangalova in her TED Talk, “Is Casual Sex Bad For You?,” there’s all sorts of potential benefits from fortuitously feeding the kitty. What are those benefits you ask? Let Dr. Zhana explain (there’s also an article about her concept in The New Yorker):
- Sexual pleasure. O-R-G-A-S-M-S!!!
- Learning new skills.
- Making new friends.
- An increased sense of self-confidence, accomplishment, desirability, empowerment, and freedom.
- Fun stories and memories to share with Gertrude, the sweet, little lady in the bed next to you in the nursing home.
- The deep emotional, spiritual connection with another human being, whether or not romantic feelings are involved.
- Or how about the human’s fundamental need for adventure? Novelty? Mystery? Risk? Danger? The Unknown? The unexpected? It’s there. IT’S IN OUR D-N-A. And this need is not met by “normal” long-term relationships.
While there are cons and risks to casual sex (unsatisfying sex, broken hearts, awkwardness, regret, unwanted pregnancy, disrespectful partners, social stigma), they don’t outweigh the pros. I’m not here to tell you your long-term, monogamous relationship is wrong or doomed, I’m just telling you to be true to yourself and embrace whatever desires you may have (legally, of course). Just be authentic. And don’t forget: it’s absolutely paramount to be honest to yourself, and your partner. Be safe. And have fun.