Casual Sex – How Far is ‘Too Far’?

Mitch Cole

The love child of all seven dwarves, Bristol will always be home to me. With an unusual degree in Early Years Education, I'm keen to get my teeth into something new. Excited to write about anything and everything, I might even stimulate you with my emphatic opinions and disappointing vocabulary.

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Coming from a traditional family where sex is private, personal and borderline taboo, as a child I never really discussed the ins and outs (…sorry) of coitus. I had ‘those’ friends which were always ahead of the game, indulging in some new act which mortified and amazed me. Eventually, when I understood what it was about and took the plunge, I realised it really wasn’t all that bad, scary, horrific or wonderful.

Regardless, there’s been a gradual and undeniable change in the attitude towards sex, especially in the gay community. It’s a selling point for just about anything – clothes, aftershave, music, even food (I’m looking at you, M&S) – and so it’s no surprise that people are ever more open about their sexual encounters and promiscuity. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure I’m one of those people too. Perhaps not to the extent of others – you won’t catch me broadcasting my “number” to a horde of strangers – but around the right people, I’m quite comfortable discussing if it the topic arises. After all, it is natural and, more often than not, you can get some laughs out of silly stories once you and your friends have had one too many babychams.

However, what I still struggle to understand is this fascination with ‘lad points’. And I’m not just talking about the stereotypical straight “lads on tour” – I live in a house where, unfortunately, Geordie Shore and the “Cock Capturers” are appreciated. Horrifying scenes of genuine intercourse leave you feeling a bit like a seedy voyeur but there’s something in you, an animal instinct, that can’t help but watch: car crash TV at its finest. Programmes like this are meant to reflect real life and with everybody heading to town to get “mortal” and end up with some new stranger in their bed, it seems as though they’ve finally (and tragically) hit the nail on the head in 2013.

Working in a club myself, I see how these things start, and more often than not, how they unravel too. People exchange glances, drinks, numbers and kisses then leave – but what happens in that bedroom/alley stays there. Talking about it is one thing, but taking pride in it? That’s another level. A close friend approached me this evening to tell me that he’d slept with a married woman: it’s okay though because she “wants a divorce” and her husband is “a massive bellend”. Not only was he aware of her marital status but knew she has two young children too, facts which evidently did not deter him from cleaning his pipes and swiftly moving on. “It looked like she’d made her mind up anyway so if she wanted to make the mistake, better me than anybody else, right?”

Why are these morals dwindling? Call me old fashioned, call me what you want, but sex is a big deal and, more importantly, it should be special. Sex with someone you love is far superior to one night stands and flings with your “fuck buddy” – two things I have regrettably experienced but undeniably learnt from. Filled with shame and self-loathing, I was never in a rush to rent a megaphone and tell the Southwest about my escapades. A lot of my friends still presume all gay people are promiscuous fashionistas: ready to glam it up, hit the town and offer a bit of fun in the club toilets (something they’ve most likely picked up through the continual unflinchingly inaccurate media portrayal). I am filled with absolute joy when I meet people in committed relationships, happy in their monogamous ways but never boasting about their lifestyle.

This all sounds as if I am utterly judgemental of men and women who indulge in casual sex, but that’s really not the case. Perhaps you’re enjoying sex with a friend or gradually building up to a proper relationship. Maybe it’s purely physical and there is no emotional attachment involved? Drawing a conclusion from personal sexperience, tales of woe and, regretfully, the tragic films Friends with Benefits & No Strings Attached, I’m often swift to quash these home “truths”. If you are the exception though, having your filthy cake and eating it 6 times a week, I tip my hat to you. But come on now, there’s a fine line between pride and shame so try and keep it to yourself. Some things are meant to be private and the direction that you’re throwing your genitals in this week is definitely one of them.

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