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(sex)uality: they grow up so fast

Some time ago, I was privy to more private information about a girl whose name I don’t know than many of my close friends, simply because I was sitting near her on a train.

I was certain that the conversation she was having with her friends would yield many a (sex)uality column due to the sheer amount of content that they covered over the course of a 40 minute train ride.

Problem is, I’ve had a birthday since then and my memory has further deteriorated.

But one thing that my rapidly fading grey matter has managed to cling onto is that the conversation taking place between this girl and her two male friends was interspersed with recounts of various 18th birthday parties they’d recently attended, alluding to the ages of the trio.

I’m really not sure whether teenagers and tweens are being increasingly sexualised by the evil powers that be; for someone with a lot of opinions, I don’t really have a position on this (probably because I’m too busy being intimidated by the canon of feminist literature to properly function). But nonetheless, the conversation did raise a question for me, of whether “fuzzy”, casual BJs, and bondage should even constitute private life for someone in their teens.

I know many people make the mistake of forgetting that teenagers are people, not infants, and I think young adults have probably always been interested in, if not altogether obsessed with sex. But still, in the grand scheme of things, surely these are still some of their first sexual experiences. Don’t you need to experiment with the stock standard before you reject it? You don’t start doing triple somersaults off the high beam in kinder gym…you do one on the ground first, under supervision, and on a heavily padded mat, and then you practise until you figure out how to even do it in a straight line.

How much sex could an 18(ish) year old have had to start thinking that vanilla is boring? Everyone I know was just kind of thrilled to be doing it at all when they first got on the wagon (with the exception of a few first-time letdowns), and none of them were immediately saying ‘what’s next?’.

I’ve no doubt that some people move past this initial ‘fuck yeah, I’m having SEX’ stage more quickly, but it took me years to figure out what I wanted sexually, let alone to have the confidence to ask for it. As a result, I struggle to think that such extensive experimenting isn’t kind of premature and it makes me question why someone would do it (assuming that all my hypothesising thus far is correct and it’s not bred from a genuine fascination with exploring kink…though I realise this is entirely a possibility).

I don’t doubt that there are many sexually precocious teenagers, who learnt well before I did what dogging is (“a British English euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a public or semi-public place or watching others doing so”… I found this out three weeks ago) but I fear this is symptomatic of wanting to tick boxes rather than of genuine sexual desire.

Unsurprisingly, I consider myself quite sex-positive, but I feel that there is, generally speaking, a clear distinction to be made between someone in their 20s thinking, “it might be cool to have a threesome”, and a 15 year old engaging in BDSM.

I’m not denying that teenagers have sex, and I don’t want to make a judgment as to whether they should or not. But I do firmly believe that no sexual activity should be engaged in for any reason other than simply wanting to. There might be other reasons that you shouldn’t do it, but really, there’s just the one why you should.

(Image credit: 1.)

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