Because peer pressure belongs in high school.
I’m single. It’s great, it really is. My career is in focus, my social life is booming, and most importantly I am beholden to no one. There are many benefits of being single in your 20s; an ideal time for self-discovery, experimentation, and many would argue, copious amounts of sex.
But here’s the thing; when you’re a single gal, that doesn’t always happen.
I’m not precious about sleeping with guys I’m not in a relationship with. I am absolutely a fan of the one night stand, and when the urge to merge takes hold, I’m happy to run with it. However, there are times when I am really, truly, genuinely not interested in sex.
It could be because I’m going through an exhausting, stressful time, I’m too busy for the horizontal tango, or I’m just generally not in the mood. Either way, there have been periods in my single life where I have gone months, sometimes over a year, without having sex.
And I am perfectly okay with that.
Don’t get me wrong; I love sex. But to me, having sex every day when you’re not loved-up is about as appealing as a wet sock jumbled in with your dry laundry. We all know sex is much more enjoyable (and much less awkward) when you’re with someone you care about. Casual sex is better utilised as a sort of icing on the cake, rather than a weapon of mass destruction.
As such, periods of abject celibacy, while they do become trying after a while, are easily handled with that uncomfortable truth in mind. Not to mention easily remedied with the odd fortuitous 50 shades-esque tumble in the heady delirium of a party atmosphere.
So, why, WHY, do people put so much pressure on single women to be sexual deviants?
In the modern world of feminism, the 21st century woman is supposed to embrace her sexuality. Rather than the 1970s feminist image of burning bras and vilifying men for ever considering us sexual beings, we are encouraged to embrace both sexual control and sexual liberation. Have a killer career, don’t succumb to the pressure of being in a relationship…but go out and have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want.
Nowadays, that appears to be the ill-considered image of ‘girl power’. The classy career woman who is secretly a nymphomaniac with a string of sexual liaisons she maintains under cover of darkness while annihilating men in the board room by day. Pressure, anyone?
This constant coaxing for copious coitus is something I cop an awful lot when I’m single and celibate. It always comes from other single women, apparently living the life of the sexed-up career killer. Their unsanctioned advice always involves niggling comments like, “Let’s take you out and find you a random guy!”, “If you’re not careful your hymen will grow back!”, and my least favourite, “You’re so damn pretty, you should be having sex all the time!”
Okay. Firstly, shagging guys at random is always a mistake. One night stands need to be chosen with care over a period of a few hours, unless you’re happy to spend the evening with a complete creeper. Secondly, we all know hymens don’t grow back. That joke has been redundant for about 50 years. Find another one. And thirdly, prettiness does not automatically imply a propensity or entitlement to have more sex (although thanks for calling me pretty).
I’m certain there are other members of the onesie brigade who are done with the barrage of non-slut-shaming from one faction of our contingent. However, from my experience of being bullied by other women into having sex, and being made to feel like there is something wrong with me when I don’t, the bullies in question are usually, well, charlatans.
They’re the ones who are sex-starved, and insecure because nobody is bumping them between the sheets. They are very unfortunately buying into the hugely prolific societal stigma, relative to both men and women, that self-worth is inherently bound up in our apparent sexual desirability.
If you’re a single woman and you dig having casual sex every night, amazing. I wish I had your stamina. But if you’re single and really happy to take a break from the fornication frenzy for a while, please don’t feel pressured to fall for copulation control. Our sex lives are much more pleasant if we play by our own rules and live to our own standards. The only time you need to let the cat out of the bag is when that pussy starts to purr.