By Anonymous Writers

Photo-graphic by Evan Ng

I think sex can be whatever you want it to be.

Sex. I don’t mean sexual activity, I don’t mean coitus, I don’t even mean the devil’s tango. Sex is far from the piercing screams of the Hub and are (usually) not limited to awkward positioning that feel like an unfortunate game of Twister.

Sex is whatever you want it to be. 

My partner described it to me as such: “Genuinely, I think of it as another way to show affection. It’s just another piece of the puzzle that I enjoy.”

Because to us, that is what sex is: a means of showing affection. Obviously, it feels great, which is why we as humans do it; but at the same time, for those in strong relationships, having sex can be about intimacy with someone you care about, mutual understanding of one another and just getting to be really close to them. You literally cannot get physically closer than that.

I do not think many argue with that perspective, so I am here to advocate for the opposition. While intimacy and connection are important for some, sex ought not to be put on a pedestal of sanctity for those who are uninterested. Meaningless sex exists, and it is just as important as the kind with meaning.

I want to revisit my first sub-idea: sex feels great. The only two things that, truly, matter to living organisms is energy consumption and reproduction. In a similar way that we need food, water and oxygen to survive, our brains are neurologically hardwired to incessantly seek means of reproduction. 

This comes in the form of sexual arousal, aka, being horny. I don’t feel like getting into the specificities pertaining to the neuroanatomy of sexual behavior, but just know this: you are supposed to be horny. A lot.

And an important part of understanding arousal and sex is learning what you like. Although the male orgasm is scientifically not difficult to achieve, the female orgasm is significantly different, in that it is difficult to achieve. 

Of course, specific exploration can be confined between your own company and an ambiguous moving object, but that is a very specific niche of sexual exploration that people, especially women, should not be confined to.

But there is a hole in the way we perceive sex. Realistically, when a guy gets a lot of play, society daps him up, cheers him on and he achieves “dog” status. On the other hand, when a girl has similar goals, society is shocked. 

Society labels her as more open than a book, and projects an insecurity onto her that is fueled by an emasculated ego, defined by the incessant male need to feel sacred in the eyes of women.

Yes. Sex can hold a lot of meaning. But in the interest of those who are simply looking to explore the definitions of their own orgasm, why should sex be limited? Why are there different standards for what sex can be defined as? We don’t like to publicly talk about it anyways, so why are there public standards to define it?

It’s really not that deep.

I think we need to talk about sex.

There’s a problem with how we talk about sex .

There have only been a few times that I’ve heard of kids in school explicitly discussing  sexual intercourse, but sex seems to be at the forefront of many minds.

The main problem is that people feel like it is taboo to talk about. In my experience, discussions around sex are mostly joking or crass, rather than thoughtful or productive. 

At home, my parents only brought it up once: “Just don’t do it. We don’t need grandchildren this early. Abstinence is key.” 

And while I see their perspective, I believe that sexual education and its de-stigmatization is of the utmost of importance. Personally, I have been almost too embarrassed to buy condoms, and I’m sure many of my peers feel the same way. 

Sex is a natural act that shouldn’t be so difficult to talk about. It is a real thing that is part of our lives, so we should act like it.

I think safe sex is paramount.

Sex is too often regarded as a task to achieve or accomplish, rather than a supplement to strengthen real connection. We have so many different labels surrounding relationships, and we shame those who are inexperienced sexually. 

It’s when you aren’t searching for love that it hits you the hardest. I fell in love by complete accident, creating the happiest relationship I have ever been in. We ought to be prioritizing romance-driven relationships, rather than purely physical ones.

Those who don’t want to have sex should not give in to social pressure to seek it out. Trying to force an idealized experience to happen only leads to toxicity and unfulfillment, because first times never go as imagined.

Sex is a fantastic experience, but it is not an accomplishment.

I think sex expresses love.

I’m a hopeless romantic. For the first 16 years of my life, my emphasis has been on hopeless, but the romantic is steadily there, a quickened pulse — or a throbbing headache.

Love fascinates me, but I’ve only loved theoretically. My lifelong bucket list has always had one item at the top: fall in love. 

And I’ve been preparing for the day I do like I prepare for a test. Romance novels are my textbooks, rom-com movies are tutorial videos and the sappy poems I scribble in the margins of my notebooks are supplemental reference material. 

While amassing this theoretical database, I’ve come across a theory about Eros, one of the seven manifestations of love as understood by the Ancient Greek. Eros is the intersection of romantic and physical adoration, and this theory hypothesizes that Eros is achieved through a series of slightly heightening reciprocal actions that climaxes to the subject of this piece: sex.

I firmly believe that sex is just a physical expression of love — or at least it should be. In that vein, I’ve conflated the two; in my quest for love, I’ve embarked on a search for its physical expression. 

I’m compelled to note two things here: first, I don’t believe that love is only valuable if it lasts forever. Second, physical expressions of love aren’t always sexual in nature. And they certainly aren’t always pleasurable.

I don’t remember the first time a family member hit me. But when I close my eyes, I can picture exactly how it feels: a sharp sting at the point of impact and a flood of shame crashing into me right after. Throat closed, eyes stinging, an uncomfortable flush rushing across me as every blood cell in my heart threatened to explode, I’d stare up at them. 

Hours or days later, when the smarting faded, they’d pull me into their arms and tell me they’re sorry. “It’s my job to teach you lessons,” they’d say mournfully. “I love you.”

And I’d feel loved. They cared enough about me to teach me. They cared enough to hurt me. They cared enough to tell me the things they were told, to use the lesson plans their parents laid out for them. I love them enough to understand, but when their voice gets a little bit louder or their gesticulations get a little more wild, I still cower and flinch.

The forms of love I’ve experienced have taught me that love physically manifests itself as pain. But I don’t believe that. I can’t. 

Maybe that’s why I clutch on to the idea that sex can be a physical expression of love that sparks joy like a drowning person clutches the last piece of driftwood after a shipwreck. 

I want to fall in love. I want Eros, I want a relationship, I want sex. 

I want proof that I can love and be loved without subjecting my body to pain. I want proof that love can feel good.

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