Most unfortunately, in order to speak of this next topic, I will have to address something fetid and repulsive. I’m going to talk about an aspect of intercourse that is often lost, forgotten, feared, denied and even despised. It is a form of sex so unnatural and uncomfortable that at times it seems our entire generation casts it as a hideous aberration.
I am speaking, of course, about feelings sex.
Now, readers, I do not want my good name sullied, so allow me to make it very clear right now that I do not, in general, support feelings. Feelings go against my every instinct as a scientist. But as a scientist, I am familiar with the idea that sometimes paradigm shifts are the key to progress. Occasionally, you must go against your instincts and follow the math. So let us begin our analysis.
Isla Vista provides an interesting experimental environment where a large amount of various intoxicants are used to decouple action and rationale. Much of the sex that occurs in Isla Vista occurs in the absence of actual emotional attachment or, indeed, actual knowledge of a person’s name, and I am the first to admit that I am very guilty of indulging such simple solutions to the wayward desire. Intrinsically, there is nothing wrong with this — it is a natural desire to have sex and, if one is cautious, one is perfectly entitled to have as much consensual sex as they wish and forget every other variable. But entitlement never won over a Nobel committee, so let’s look at the other side and glance at the possible reasons behind the model.
Most people raised in American culture are familiar with the cultural ideals put forth to young children. A young, sexy woman is swept off her feet by some amazing stallion of a man, and they live happily ever after. As an organism grows within the culture, the ideal will change somewhat — occasionally even so far as it is the man being swept up by some creative, quirky, perfect woman — but ultimately the end result is the same: you find someone faultless, you are happy, it is forever. And ever. And ever.
My regular readers will immediately spot a flaw in this ideal. The Posit of Gender/Sex Dissociation, among an uncountable number of other psychological factors, impedes this ideal’s overarching plausibility. Somewhat fortunately, our parents’ generation took the brunt of that particular psychological mutilation and is attempting to sew together their pitiable, overly idealized psyches with an astonishingly high divorce rate and one-in-five emotional disorder statistics. But our generation felt the effect, because to counter this idea of eternal love, we formulated what I shall now coin as the Boozing, Rolling, Opiating and Humping then Omitting method, or BRO and HO* method. The process of drugging up, having sex and forgetting the consequences can be drawn as a parallel to the teenage sexual liberation in the 1950s in response to the Stepford-Wives style conservatism that dominated that era. And indulging in the typical BRO and HO* night is objectively quite pleasurable, but why is it becoming the norm?
It is stereotypical, but admittedly statistically verifiable, to consider gays a relatively promiscuous people. This tendency can be easily derived from cultural axioms, and I would happily do so if I didn’t have a word limit. But ultimately when I wake up in the morning, and roll over to find whoever I managed to bring home last night, my thought usually isn’t “Damn, my life is awesome.” It’s “Water … please, God … water!” and then “Could I date this person?” The answer is typically no. If it weren’t for the BRO and HO* method, I would never have survived conversation with this person for longer than five minutes. And when I realize just how fantastically boring I find them, I have to use the same brainpower I spent figuring out how to get home with them to undoing their sudden and bizarre desire to sleep in my bed as long as humanly possible.
My studies indicate I am not alone in this experience. The BRO and HO* culture has permeated every gender, every sex and every sexual orientation I’ve observed. And this is bad. Sex is fun, natural and a great way to blow off steam, but the fact it’s now largely assumed to be a commodity — “Dude, I so hope I get laid tonight” — is irredeemably unsettling to me. There is a fine line between sexual empowerment and forgetting the most exquisite parts of sex — a physical manifestation of the deepest sort of bond. I am not saying stop your BROing and HOing, I’m just asking you why you’re doing it. Is it fear of commitment, with which obsession spawned for our parents an unmatched era of over-committing and divorce? Or are you actually without any desire to have something meaningful? Or do you, and this is the opinion I would hope all possess, merely view this casual sex as transitive and honestly desire emotionally valuable sex in the future?
The phrasing of this last statement is essential. I am not promoting, denouncing or forming any opinion on monogamy. Emotional sex is not created by putting a ring on it (someone’s finger not … you get it), but formed through an actual, non-ethanol based chemistry between two humans. I once hooked up with a guy and, to this day, consider the sex we had to have been in every way fulfilling, due to his energy and passion and, for lack of a better word, sheer attractiveness. Attraction is maximized in emotional sex — whether it happens one Saturday at four in the morning or every Friday night after you go out on a fun double date with the neighbors just to spice things up.
I guess what I’m saying, readers, is I have a new ideal to supersede the pretty princess and her Prince Charming. Emotion and sex are intrinsically tied, and we all deserve to have both satiated. By whatever mechanism, find that for yourself. Identify that person you’ve been after since September of freshman year, break out some drinks and when the light reflects from her eyes in just the right way, or he smirks and shows off his perfect bone structure for the ninth time, then fucking go for it. If you’re rejected, you have BRO and HO to fall back on.
I’ve been dancing around the word love this entire article, but now here’s my challenge to you before I speak again in two weeks: go find some love. For the duration of 15 minutes or until you die, give your heart as much as a role as your genitals in the sex. Just try it out, because I hear it’s some kinky shit.
*The term “BRO and HO” is not meant to be misogynistic, but rather is a satirical use of two terms that most, if not all, UCSB students should be familiar with. If you were offended as a woman I sincerely apologize. If you were offended as a man then I am mildly curious to meet you.