It’s a Friday night. You’re out with your girlfriends, having some drinks, sharing conversation, and letting loose from the week. Maybe you’re complaining about a coworker. Maybe a girlfriend laughs and tells a story about getting hit on by the teenage boy behind the counter at the movie theatre. And then the conversation subtly turns towards sex. It always does. One of your girlfriends expresses, “Ohh Sarah, I’m so sorry for not answering your text last night. Mike and I were, uh, well, busy.” Wink wink, nudge nudge. Another girlfriend chortles, “Oh really? Well, I must say, Pete and I have gotten a little busy lately. It’s nothing serious. I know I don’t want a relationship, but the sex is just too good.” Yet another pipes up, “Well after 2 years, Evan and I have finally decided to spice things up in the bedroom.”
In this scenario, all of sudden – you are envisioning that all of your friends are having sex at least 3 times a day, every day, all the time. And thanks to the media and an adverse side effect of the sexual revolution, we see studies non stop on Huffington Post and Jezebel that tout sexual activity as “lowering risks for cancer” and “preventing heart disease” and that people who enjoy orgasms at least 5 times a week live longer and are overall less anxious and happier with their lives. According to these studies, you’d think sex is more a prescription than an intimate activity between two lovers. Of course the media is telling you that, it’s selling something.
I admit that sexual activity may decrease stress and marginally prevent certain diseases in some small way I’m unaware of – but articles like these make us feel like if we aren’t “up to par” with the rest of society (which is really a big fabrication anyways, which I’ll get to) that we are bound to 1) get heart disease and 2) not be enjoying the stress free lives of our other sexually empowered fellow citizens. I’m going to let you in on a secret here – even if these girls are having as much amazing sex as they are proclaiming to, they still stress. They still feel down sometimes. Sex is not a cure all. And not having enough or any sex isn’t going to make you drop dead – or get heart disease. We place far too much weight on not even quality but quantity of sex!
We have a tendency to heighten everyone else’s lives around us while diminishing our own. Just a reminder, ladies – people lie. There’s a stealthy way to boast about sex in the female comaraderie – we’re subtle. But it’s there. And I guarantee you in the scenario described above, every single woman in that group is insecure to some degree about her sex life.
Contrary to what the media wants you to believe, whether you’re single, married, sleeping around, a virgin, or anything in between, your sex life does not define you. Let me repeat that – how often you have sex is not a barometer of how empowered you are. I think that’s a really important message for young women to hear. Let’s say your friend isn’t lying and that she really did hook up with that guy from the bar 3 times in one night, it shouldn’t have any effect on your value as a woman. (But she probably is exaggerating a little bit.)
I have a different view on things from the other side of my wedding. I had a friend tell me that someone she knew had sex at least twice a day for the first year of her marriage. I actually thought that if I wasn’t achieving something close to that, that I was a failed newlywed. (Although, I’m an NFP’r currently TTA. So every day isn’t even an option for me.) This might seem like I’m disclosing far too private details, but it’s for a message I strongly believe in.
Twice a day, every day, for week after week, for 12 months? That’s not even humanly, physically possible! No healthy relationship can keep that up. Life gets in the way. I don’t care how newlywed you are, there are some nights that it’s just off the plate. I admit NFP changes this, but we have got to stop this pressuring women into thinking the only way to be empowered is to have sex. And often.
You are not your sex life. And your friends? They’re most likely exaggerating. So tone down your perceptions of them. And instead, focus on the good things you have going for you, even outside of your sex life. Because I bet it’s a lot.