Yeah, I know, I’m the (mostly) genfic writer who’s always talking about how sex scenes make me blush. But, listen.
I just read yet another book in which characters who have just met fall into bed together and then into a relationship. It happens with two sets of characters and each relationship is almost 100% gratuitous to the story. I honestly don’t know why the writer put them in.
And that made me think…
Here on Tumblr I’ve been watching what, to me, is a fascinating trend of young people identifying with very specific sexualities. As always, more power to you all, you have the right to identify however you want and to own your identity in whatever way is meaningful to you.
But I’ve been struck, in particular, with how people who identify as demi or asexual have described what they consider mainstream. In setting themselves apart from this mainstream way of being, they speak of not being attracted to every member of the opposite sex. Of wanting to be physically intimate with only very specific people, or with no one. As though we “regular” folks do just fall into bed with… whoever.
I consider myself a sexual being. Always have. I have also always been very, very particular about who I’m physically intimate with. And I think, having talked deeply about sex and relationships with many people, although I may be at one extreme of this, being particular is not uncommon.
And I have wondered, where are young people getting the idea that sex with random people is what’s “normal,” and if you don’t do that, you must be something “other?”
So lately I’ve been watching for it, and I’m seeing: All these books with relationships that start five minutes after two people meet, usually for no apparent reason than that the protagonist is a man and the woman is stereotypically “hot.” All those forced relationships in action movies that end with a “romantic” kiss between the male and female leads.
I’ve also become more sensitive to the ubiquity of parents and friends who say, “Why don’t you give him a chance? Maybe you just need to give it time.” As though those of us who say “no thank you” to people we’re not physically (or emotionally) attracted to have somehow got it wrong.
Is this what we have taught our children is normal? Is this what all of these new labels are reacting against?
Because if so, I guess I want to say to all of those folks who are just figuring out this sexuality thing and struggling with it and getting shit for whatever category you’ve decided is the one you fit into… I’ve made it 40+ years on this earth being whatever-the-hell-my-sexuality-is, and it’s fine. I have known people along the whole spectrum from “dates anyone who shows an interest” to “hasn’t had a date in years and so what.”
All those books and movies that pretend that sexual relationships are automatic and inevitable? They’re crazy.
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