POSTED ON April 11, 2019
The world in 2019 is a much different place even from what it was even five years back in 2014, and one of the most fascinating areas of change is the sex and gender roles of today's culture. Today we explore those changes and dive deep into the rules and laws that control our lives in ways we rarely, if at all, think about. Get ready for a searing social critique ;)
Simply put, sex and gender roles are the expectations and beliefs surrounding how men, women, and others interact with each other in personal/intimate/sexual encounters. We'll discuss them in more detail later, (Neither myself nor Lover's Lane necessarily agree or disagree with the following examples, it is simply a list) but here are some specific examples: guys are supposed to pay for the first date, guys buy the drinks for women, guys are supposed to make the first move, women are supposed to do the cooking and cleaning at home, women are supposed to be submissive during sex, etc.
Now 2019 is different. While it's still not widely accepted, anal play is slowly losing some of its stigma as more and more people, especially men, discover the butt's potential. People experiment with dominance and submission, BDSM, role reversals, and others disregard gender entirely focusing on the functionally and connection of sex and various forms of sexual play. There are so many different kinds of fetishes and sub-fetishes out there that even yesterday I learned about a new one, even after researching them for the Presidents of Mischief: Top 10 Fetishes article a while back. Even after all that, as crazy as it may sound to some people, men don't have to be masculine and women don't have to be feminine during sex. Men can be feminine and women can be masculine, both could be one or the other, and the greatest part about it is, you don't have to abide by any sort of roles at all.
Let's talk about butt stuff. You might not usually wonder why people don't embrace the booty more often, but as a sex and intimacy blogger, I do. The single biggest reason, I believe, that people don't engage in more anal play is they don't want to deal with the short term discomfort to get to the long term pleasure on the other side, and this is true for many other areas of life, but for now we're focused on dat ass. Logically, nothing naturally goes into the butt, stuff only ever comes out plus it's a smaller hole and not the easiest to access so it stands to reason that people don't think "hmm, let's stick something up there and see what happens." Secondary to this is the stigmas and taboos surrounding anal sex. Just because someone enjoys the immense pleasure they can receive from anal play does not make them a slut, whore, floozy, nympho, easy score, or any less of person. People often don't realize that a lot of their perceived self-worth doesn't come from their own beliefs about themselves, or even what other people actually think of them, but what they think other people think of them. For example, thinking people will look down on you for being an anal adventurer would deter you from doing butt stuff.
Now, one of the bigger developments under the anal umbrella is pegging, which is fantastic for an article on sex and gender roles. Pegging is when a woman penetrates a man's anus with a strap-on dildo, and occasionally his genitals are stimulated but it's not necessary for pegging, but can lead to an unbelievable blended orgasm. Pegging is fascinating because it turns the woman, the person who is usually penetrated into the one penetrating, and puts the man in submission to his wife. There's also the phrase, "taking it up the ass/butt" I don't think it's as big today as it used to be, but it's a crass way of saying you lost something, not like misplacing your car keys, but like a game. Like whomever "took it up the ass" got absolutely destroyed in whatever they did. This contributed to perceiving anal penetration as equivalent to losing, and in a devastating way. Some people might view receiving anal sex as being conquered by the one penetrating, and losing a sense of personal dignity/integrity. Others might think that's way too kinky and if they're into that what else are they into. People are afraid of what they don't know. However, with the growing numbers of people pegging, this idea is slowly going away. Less common but also contributing to the downfall of anal shaming is the personal preference of double penetration. The increasing awareness and public attention devoted to the LGBTQ+ community may also be to thank for the ever declining distaste for anal, but we'll devote more time to them later in this article.
The BDSM community is also on the cutting edge of tearing down traditional norms surrounding sex and love making. Yes, they're different; it's like the square and rectangle thing. BDSM rewrites these roles both physically and mentally. People can switch up who is bound up and who is doing the binding, whether that's with handcuffs, hogtie, or some other restraint. The mental aspect of domination and submission side of it works wonders whether it's a wife dominating her husband by sitting on his face with her legs on his arms, a husband dominating his wife in doggystyle while she's bound and/or gagged, or a couple experimenting with spanking and/or tickling each other.
As much as I'd love to go on talking about how BDSM smashes traditional view of sex and its many benefits, there's so much more to talk about, like gender roles and dating. Why does the guy have to pay for the first date? Is it considered polite? Is it to prove at least on a low level that he can provide for his date? On a similar note is it an ancient relic of the time when women didn't really have careers, outside of teaching, so they didn't have much money? I know a lot of women that prefer to split the bill and some that actually refuse to let the guy pay at all. Another popular question is who's supposed to make the first move? Should the guys initiate conversations with women or vice-versa? Should women ask guys out on the first date? Should they be buying drinks for guys? After you get their number, how long should you wait to text them? Or should you call them? Why shouldn't it be the next day? And the biggest one of all: is it ok to have sex on the first date? Here are all of your answers from the first question to the last:
The guy doesn't have to pay for the first date, but that's probably what he feels most comfortable with, because it's what other guys have told him to do.
Anyone can make the first move; women are just as capable of starting a conversation as men are, if not more.
See above answer.
Anyone can buy drinks for anyone. It's 2019, not Prohibition, women can purchase alcohol if they want to send a cute guy a drink.
If the two of you are consenting adults down to fuck, go at it! Why not? It's your life. Live it your way. You probably want to know if they have an STI (STD) beforehand, otherwise make sure you have a condom, or a couple, and some lube then have fun!
The last three questions (minus first date sex, see directly above) segway perfectly into our next topic. Stop playing games. Don't get me wrong, I love games of all kinds: card games, board games, word games, puzzles, sports, etc. However, relationship games are a different beast, and quite honestly they're manipulative. When communicating with someone new, the most important thing is to be normal. If you had a first date with somebody you could text them within a day or two and say you had a nice time if you did, if they don't respond, it's their loss. Way too many people play these manipulative games in the hopes of getting a significant other. There are so many antics of the bar/club scene. Instead of being honest human beings, people try to fake their way into each other's pants in the most asinine ways like turning on your read receipts simply to show the other person you left them unread.
Ok, prepare for the nerdy English major to come out. Way back in 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley author of Frankenstein, wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. One of her biggest points was that women of the time were being trained from an early age solely on how to get a husband because her value, at this point in history, was solely tied to her ability to produce children for the man she convinced to marry her. Women got husbands for the sake of getting husbands and often deceived/manipulated them to do so. Now that sounds a lot worse than it actually was. Women who did this weren't necessarily bad people; they were just doing what they had been brought up to do. They really didn't know how to do anything else, because they never learned to. The problem arises when she gets married and she has no other skills to show for, which made for tons of terribly bad marriages.
A similar thing (not the same, there's a few key differences) is happening in 2019. Now, today's women, as a collective group, are probably the most skilled they have ever been with more of them in the workforce and more career-oriented women than previous years/decades. Not to mention that they're increasingly academically and emotionally intelligent as a group. Academic and emotional smarts can only go so far though, and when dealing with romantic partners in the Digital Age of immediate gratification and constant self-indulgence it doesn't prepare one well for a healthy relationship. The problem arises when people jump into relationships for the sake of being in relationships. There's a whole host of bad reasons to be in a relationship: because the sex is really good, because they're rich, because they're hot, because we look good together, because they make me happy, because they can make me a better person. The list goes on and on. Yes, your significant other can make you happy and that's not a bad thing, and they can help you be a better person, but if their sole purpose is to mold you into a better person or ensure your constant happiness, then it's not going to be a fulfilling relationship in the long term. The fault is not on today's women by any means, but on humanity as a whole. People wonder why the divorce rate is about 50% but they don't take the time to look at how teenagers and young adults are socialized and taught about relationships. As a whole society, it is vital beyond measure that we examine why we do the things we do and re-write the rules to better suit future generations.
Sorry, I went for a rant there. Anyways, getting back to the main topic, but still building off the rant, one thing that 2018/2019 has done well is promoting sex and body positivity. For literally millennia, people have had countless stigmas, taboos, and negative attitudes towards sex, sexuality, and sexual love. So the recent turn around, or at least the beginning of one is a much needed step in the right direction toward cultivating a healthier view of ourselves and sex.
The idea that you're beautiful regardless of how you physically look is the first step in having lasting happiness. So what if you're a little bigger than anyone else? So what if you're a complete twig? The real question is, are you happy with you? Now, being healthy is important so if you're on either extreme of the body size spectrum then that probably isn't a good thing, because something might be medically wrong, but hey I'm not a doctor, just your friendly neighborhood Intimacy Advisor. Also, sex is great, like really great, and if you haven't had great to OH MY FREAKING GOSH YES!! sex, you might want to bump that up to #1 on the bucket list. At the same time you don't want to rush it. I know that might sound counter-intuitive, but there's tons of studies that show couples who repeatedly have sex with each other have better sex on average than singles who have a string of one night stands. Plus, there are so many health benefits to sex like relieving pain and stress, helping you sleep better, stronger immune system, increased intimacy and trust with your partner which often leads to a happier self and a healthier relationship. There are others, but this article is already the longest we've had in a while, and if you're still with us, then I commend you dear reader.
What's up with virginity these days? I don't know how widely used these phrases are or aren't but the idea that girls take "the walk of shame" and guys have "the walk of fame" after sex is ridiculous. It's ok for females to have sex. Not only is it ok, besides the fact that it's necessary for the survival of the human race, but it's natural, normal, and can be empowering. Despite popular belief, women still have sexual fantasies and desires, and this idea that women are pure and innocent dainty little flowers is completely erroneous. The clitoris deserves more attention than it gets most times. Also, guys don't have to be horndogs, players, or "out to smash" yet another phrase that makes me cringe. I know a whole host of guys that are still virgins into their twenties. It's not that they're saving themselves for marriage, even though there's nothing wrong with that, but they just haven't met the right one. Now, there's no one person that's "the one" in the stereotypical sense, and no one's first time is going to be breathtaking especially if it's with another virgin, but it's not about how good that first time is. The first time someone has sex should be about opening up to someone else, but that's just my opinion. You might want to have the hottest wildest most unforgettable sex of your life the first time around. Now later down the road in relationships the purpose of having sex is likely to change, where it might be more about how sexually satisfying the sex is or how the two of you can keep the adventure alive after so much time together. The "right one" as I mentioned earlier is someone they have a strong emotional connection with, this may be a significant other, or it could be a best friend that you really trust. Not that you've always wanted to get in their pants, but some people just don't want to be a virgin any longer and a close preferably more experienced best friend would make a great sexual partner.
I don't know how other people feel about this but I have a strong dislike for the phrase "man-whore" as it denotes that all whores are women. However, men can be whores too. While the word "whore" has always been used in reference to women, I do not believe it has to be a female only word. Some men are whores, and some women are whores. Are all men and women whores? No. Some are, and some aren't. It's as simple as that.
I'm going to talk to the couples for a bit, so sorry singles, but your section is coming up next. Sex isn't the single most important part in a relationship, but it is still important, and honestly both people should experience sex satisfaction as often as possible, and at the highest levels, but also at their own pace. This is going to vary from couple to couple especially those with children, which are one of the most important aspects of adult life since they're entirely your responsibility. However, children grow up and move out whether you want them to or not, and when that happens you're going to want a good relationship with your spouse.
Ok singles, it's your turn. Here's the biggest advice I can give you: A lot of people look for the wrong things in others, but that's also part of the problem. People often look into other people for what they personally want in a relationship/partner instead of building themselves up and constantly/consistently working to improve themselves before entering into a relationship with someone else. Don't afraid to be you, that might sound cliché, but if you don't show your real self and enter a relationship with them with the possibility of getting married are you going to be someone you're not for the rest of your life? Be who you are, because that's honestly the best person you can be.
Next up is the LGBTQ+ community. There's a lot of different kind of people on this rock floating through space around a giant ball of fire. Some people are young and others old. There's a wide variety of skin colors, not that that actually matters because we're all a part of one race, the human race. People speak different languages, eat different food, and live in a variety of places in lots of different ways. Some people like sports and others don't. None of these things make anyone any less of a person. People simply have difference preferences and there's nothing wrong with that. People also like a whole bunch of other people. There's more to relationships than a man liking a woman and a woman liking him back. The heteronormative cult of finding someone of the opposite gender (again denoting that there's only two genders) as soon as you can, so you can buy a house and get a mortgage which literally comes from the words "mortis gage" literally meaning "death grip" and start multiplying is toxic, corrosive, and an abysmal way to live. Plus, why does anybody care who someone else likes? Do people not have enough to worry about these days? Is life so empty that the absolute best thing to do is assert your beliefs in an arena where they have no business being? It's time to let people be themselves. People are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. There are your sex and gender roles for 2019. Treat people as people. Give them the respect and love they deserve, but don't judge them, take of the black robes, and embrace them as a fellow human being.