From the beginning of time, we have been taught to “give” ourselves to men, to have our bodies service them, mentally, sexually and physically. It is 2018, and women, in general, have made huge strides in self-ownership but how authentic is this? Do we not fall into the same habits of submission these days, especially within a nightlife setting? Sexual liberation, in particular, was supposed to give the woman back ownership of her body, but our rituals surrounding the nightlife scene and dating would suggest this is not always a reality.
Though not always the case, I can’t help but acknowledge how many times I have acted out on this expectation. So here I am wondering if my fellow women have done the same. Am I the only woman that gets her Brazilian wax up to par, or puts that last coat of mascara saying “there could be a chance, so let’s prepare?” The truth is I am not the only one, seeing as 33 percent of women have sex after the first date. Whether you’d like to admit it or not this dating hysteria we live in is quite the superficial ride. We gather round over an edible or drinkable something or other, while subconsciously signing the dotted line of assumptions. How many times have you thought “I hope he’s not expecting these legs to spread” or “after dinner comes his bedroom?”
So yes, theoretically women are in a better place in society now than we have been in the past, but the same ideology persists. We have the means to be autonomous, but some are still choosing to live to service men sexually in particular. I will fully accept and acknowledge that I too have come under this sexual spell. So much so that at times I even objectify men and use these same mental stimulants as expectations for my night ahead. Putting into the universe my ideal vision, just as I am about to be putting out. Quite the vicious cycle isn’t it? I would like for us to not mistake this as a weakness but as an influential lesson. My body is mine and I MUST say yes for you to have a piece of the pie. I have to make the decisions I want, and not allow myself to be duped into doing what I assume men want. For in my eyes, this is just another variant of patriarchal capitulation.
Just recently I embarked on a second “date” with a man I know quite well. In order to understand the full breadth, I must give you a brief summary of the first dating interaction we ever had. Initially, our nerves were on fire and banter was erratic. We drank a bit more than needed and by nightfall, I ended up in his bed. The want was there, but the timing and the purity of it were not. Waking up the next morning was the truest test of morality as we wiped regret and embarrassment from our eyes. Neither of us had fully remembered the night or why we chose to advance so quickly. Yet with the passing of time and a bit of open dialogue, we decided to give it another go.
During this time, we chatted, drank, and had some spectacular moments. Feeling more lively and in control, I decided to poke and prod at the elephant in the room. Why was this interaction already so disparate? Oddly enough both of us answered in unison. We had put the hormonal sexual conquest on the back burner in order to uncover better. This one action left us at a point of complete comfortability. No assumptions, no goals, just pure enjoyment of the present moment. Truthfully, talking so openly about this reality to a man was a defining moment for me and a first altogether. I was pleasantly surprised to understand that this man was very much aware of how his avowal regarding dating life, and even more surprised to learn that I was no different.
So with truth lingering in the air and a waft of innocence, I began to wonder even further. Is it us that controls each step of this process, or are we the ones being controlled? In my eyes, outer circumstance has always had a permeating effect. For example, a not so recent Ted Talk described how nightclubs create an honest situation out of dishonest acts; think of creating chaos in order to encourage ease of inhibitions and substance abuse. Alcohol, drugs, music, and darker environments yield themselves to this perfect concoction of sex and aggression. Mind you, a Friday night date at your favorite pizza spot is more subdued on all levels but does that really matter? Are dating environments not an even split between creating anxiety while providing salvation via libations and scenery? Though not a true topic of discussion for the moment, I encourage you to assess your environment next time a Tinder date happens and let me know your assessment on how modern businesses create “modern dating”, or lack thereof.
It’s safe to say that at best, we are just humans experiencing one another and whatever form we see fit. Urging myself to understand this I have always told myself to do what feels fluid, safe, and best for my highest being. No judgments to the men and women who enjoy others sexuality in minutes as opposed to days or vice versa. If YOU feel empowered and respected in your decisions, then they are vitally authentic and appropriate. Nonetheless, there is too much legitimacy around “sexual certainty” in the dating culture. If any of you have ever felt pressured or held to expectation, please know you are not alone and it is not necessary. You define what is justified, no one else.
Written by Brittni Alahmar