Nickie Shobeiry argues that we’ve been under the impression that women can’t have casual sex without there being something inherently wrong with them.
Ah, the 21st century. A time of liberation, tolerance, decency – until we see yet another article hanging onto the coat-tails of science, with claims to one more ‘Eureka!’-inducing find.
What’s this fresh nugget of wisdom, you ask? According to the Daily Mail, a study in New York found that women who sleep around at university are more likely to become depressed. Let’s have a look at some of the alleged reasons:
- ‘Unfavourable attitudes towards sex outside of committed relationships.’
Plenty of times have I seen the heavy hand of judgement slap a fellow friend across the face for her night-time knicker-free adventures; however, that same hand is quite often attached to a drivelling imbecile, so what’s the problem? (The problem is decades of ignorance ingrained into our skulls, but I’ll get to that in a moment.)
- ‘Failure for the hook-up to transition to a romantic relationship.’
Humans are complex. Whilst we cannot assume that every thump of the headboard is the equivalent to wedding bells, we also cannot assume that every hook-up is the free flowing, carnal expression it was meant to be. Feelings can arise like ingrown pubic hairs, but does that mean a woman should buckle on the chastity belt until the circumference of her ring-finger is measured? No.
- ‘Sexually unsatisfying hook-ups.’
Perhaps this is a speculation so wild it’ll give the research team a run for their money, but isn’t being in a sexually humdrum relationship more likely to be depressing, as opposed to a single fling that leaves you with the down-town lady blues? No? Anyone?
For centuries, we’ve been under the impression that women can’t have casual sex without there being something inherently wrong with them. Low self esteem, ‘daddy issues’, amoral heathens – God forbid a woman just wants a little bit of action.
Indeed, we should ask ourselves whether casual sex is sometimes a possible symptom of depression, rather than the root of it. Herding all women who ‘sleep around’ into a ‘possibly depressed’ category is akin to admitting it’s impossible to be a happy individual who enjoys an active sex life (which is, conversely, what we expect of men today, no questions asked – lest they, too, have something inherently wrong with them).
At the end of the day, we’re all adults and (hopefully) capable of not hurting ourselves and those around us with our choices – so why can’t we be trusted to exercise that ability, with or without our underwear around our ankles?