Subject Matters – The Value of Others

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Life in a cosmopolitan city can be a glamorous one. Whether it’s going to dinner, having drinks with friends, working in a studio, shopping, going on nights out, or anything in between, it’s a lifestyle fuelled by meeting interesting people, chasing success, creating an image and building relationships. It can be a gamble however. Wealth? Social triumph? Exhaustion? Failure?

One issue of living urban is that the lines can become blurred when it comes to the value of what is around us. The concept of what is humanly important to us can shift and cause cracks in our stability and relationships. This is something all us city-slickers have to keep in mind.

In a city like Manchester, with both a vast student and LGBT nightlife, one thing that can truly get lost in translation is the value of sex. It’s prominently suggested, and often embraced, that gay men are more relaxed when it comes to sexual encounters in a number of different ways. When you think about the social buzz the LGBT scene has to offer mixed with a couple of Absolut cocktails, it’s not difficult to see why this is a collective thought. There is this constantly looming question around this subject when it comes to promiscuity. Sex is fun and natural and everything you can want it to be. The reality is that it all boils down to an individual value of sex. If you find value in a sexual experience between two or more people, whether that be a one night stand with a total stranger or monogamy between a couple, or any consensual variation along the sexual spectrum, then no harm no foul.

The issue of this whole hazy concept occurs when the value of sex contrasts. Nobody wants to feel used. To be the one to find more worth in a sexual encounter than your partner is not only a horrible experience, but is also detrimental to confidence and self-image. It can have lasting negative effects on a person’s self-esteem and relationships with others. Sex is about communication, connection and consideration. Tell someone how it is. Set ground rules. Show affection. Have fun. If you think you have a different view on a sexual situation, state it or leave it. It can be complicated but nobody is psychic, so take time to get this right and avoid that empty feeling on either side the morning after.

The moral of the story: if someone is having their cake and eating it too, make sure you’ve got enough cake for yourself.