Let’s talk about sex. More specifically, let’s talk about sexuality. I’ve noticed that despite all of the interest in the current hook-up culture, we don't seem to have an open conversation about the effects it may have on sexuality as a whole.
Naturally, I find this to be an interesting contradiction. While we focus so much on the act of sex, casual sexual relationships and dating or sexual freedom in general, we completely neglect the backbone to it all.
We are a generation defined by sex, but do we even really understand it?
The way I was raised and the interest I've taken in sexuality have led me to believe that if you are having sex, you should be comfortable enough to not only speak openly about it, but to also ask questions and explore your own sexuality.
Although it's perhaps not the most important, sex is an essential part of who we are and the relationships we develop.
It is also something that requires a great deal of vulnerability, trust and patience. For that reason, I wholeheartedly believe that sex should never develop from a place of insecurity or motive.
I think that in order to understand our own sexuality, we should all grasp a basic understanding of what it means to be with someone, what it means for someone to be with us, the individual desires we possess and the things we require to feel comfortable and confident while having sex.
Why? Sex and your sexuality are two different concepts, but one should not exist without the other.
However, we have become so consumed by the struggle of navigating current dating standards that many of us have entirely disregarded the topic of sexuality.
We are often too afraid to embrace our own sexuality, don't know how or think that acting promiscuously or giving in to someone else's sexual desires is embracing it.
We have, essentially, created a generation defined by sloppy one-night stands and casual hookups that can, in turn, create insecurity and negative change within our own sexual lives.
Our sexuality should be something to be explored and embraced without that kind of insecurity or uncertainty so that we can continue to grow and learn about what we like and dislike.
More importantly, we need to feel comfortable in our own skin — in and out of the bedroom.
The problem is that we're all strangers. Somewhere along the way, traditional courtship ceased to matter.
Half of the time, we fall into bed with someone either under the influence, in a power play to inspire feelings in someone else, in an act of jealousy or in some cases, for revenge.
It may seem like a good idea at the time, but where does this leave us in the long run? I can assure you that a walk of shame doesn't usually lead to positive self-reflection.
What happens when last night's conquest never texts you back? These kinds of interactions take direct negative hits on our own confidence and sexuality.
We begin to question and second-guess ourselves in ways we should never have to because it likely has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with the half-assed sexual culture in which we live.
Of course, I'm not saying that one-night stands are specifically the issue. They will probably always occur to some extent, regardless of any societal change.
Many people will experience a one-night stand, and frankly, they can be (in some respects) healthy. However, a generation that thrives almost solely on this form of a 12- to 24-hour relationship is potentially detrimental to our sexual lives.
The interactions we are having with potential sexual partners should be able to go farther than calculated compliments, asking for suggestive pictures, power struggles or drunken, casual advances.
That type of surface-level connection usually leads to some pretty mediocre or sometimes, downright bad experiences.
If you don’t know the person you are seeing and don’t care to learn, I bet you won’t know or understand his or her needs or desires, either.
Sex is a mutual act and while many people insist on their ability to please their partners, pleasure often comes first when it comes to these purely casual relationships.
It is the "get in, get out" mentality that I have seen at play far too many times. Not only has our generation nearly forgotten how to actually date someone, but many of us have also forgotten how to have sex (the right way), too.
If you treat sex simply as a means to an end, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to truly experience it.
One-night stands may satisfy our generation's desire for immediate gratification, but they don’t allow for any sexual growth or maturity, which in turn can help to create a generation of unexceptional, selfish lovers.
At times, sex can be downright terrifying. Casual or not, you are giving yourself over to your partner in a very vulnerable fashion. Even taking off your clothes in front of someone can be a pretty nerve-racking concept.
For a sexual experience to be enjoyable, there is a required degree comfort and understanding with your partner; comfort and understanding allow you to be confident in what you do in the bedroom.
You can't be afraid to say no to something you don't like and you shouldn't be afraid to voice something you would like to try, either. This requires both honesty and respect.
The problem is that we worry so much about attaining a certain level of approval within the relationships in which we engage and we end up forgetting about the importance of our own approval.
Too many times, I have listened to friends describe an experience he or she didn't actually enjoy, but allowed to happen because they were worried about how their temporary partner would perceive them if they didn't go along with it.
We often talk about how dating has become a power struggle; well, sex is no different.
You don't need to be in a relationship to have sex; whether you are interested in purely casual relationships or not is not the problem — the problem is being able to hold on to your own sexuality and respect your partners' sexuality throughout each experience, fleeting or not.
We need to stop treating sex as a single feat to be conquered and recognize it for the full experience that it is. When you do this, you will allow yourself a sense of confidence, which can totally reinvent your sexuality and the way you enjoy sex altogether.
If you ask me, our generation owes it to ourselves to get past this sexual immaturity and step up our game. Sexuality is a power that we all have; don't let anyone take that power away from you.
Casual or not, hold true to your standards and don't neglect your sexuality and desires to appease someone who doesn't plan to even give you a second glance once your clothes are back on.
You deserve better.