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Sex Positivity and the ‘Hookup’ Era

Every day, the clarity on whether or not people support sex positivity or not becomes even blurrier.

Although I’m still sceptical and pretty reluctant to accept the current romantic (or otherwise) climate as the hookup era, I can see why it has gained such a reputation. Dating has never been easier—but somehow, still fucking hard—than it has been in recent times. People, nowadays, move on from one person to another with the speed of light, not forming any solid attachments and essentially priding themselves on being able to flit between several beds without losing their hearts to even one. Being a romantic is now almost like a flaw and you might be considered persona non-grata if you admit that not being treated well while casually dating hurts.

While there might be truth on both sides, these days, winning an argument really depends on who can be the loudest. Every day, the clarity on whether people support sex positivity or not becomes even blurrier. Like a yo-yo, Twitter and the rest of social media swings back and forth between slut-shaming and actually allowing women to enjoy and explore our bodies as we see fit. The push-back on sex positivity in modern, young adult spaces show that there is a severe disconnect that occurrs between what the propagators of ‘freedom of choice’ sought to encourage and promote and what people see or rather, believe is happening in the current climatic. There is nowhere in the rule book of sex positivity that encourages people, mostly men, to treat their partners as objects. In fact, having great sex when you choose and with whom you choose requires a good amount of attention, care and willingness to listen. Ironically, these are some of the things which young people may regard as only required for long-term relationships.

On the other hand, long term relationships are simply not a requirement for sex positivity. This is because they are not the only valid type of attachments. A short-term relationship that respects boundaries, encourages open communication and maintains the bound of respectful engagement is just as valid as a long-term relationship that does the same and even more valid than one that does not. Another thing that is key to note is that people are having less casual sex than they ever have had. Yes, spoiler alert, people had tons of casual sex even in the Victorian Era. However, casual sex may seem more popularized as a result of social media and the existence of dating apps and social houses. The fact that people are having less casual sex may be as a result of the major pandemic, but it is note-worthy to know that young adults are nowhere near the sex-crazed generation that we are trumped up to be.

While the freedom to choose whom we want to have sex with and when we want to have said sex may seem inconsequential to others, it is definitely not to me. A sex partner that does not care if you live or die and shows it proudly is not one that should be having sex with you, whether or not the sex is great. Now, if only I could take this advice myself! We really all need fervent prayers.

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