Why Are We Talking About People's Sex (Or Lack thereof) Lives?: A Side-Eye

In-The-Closet-2.gif

 

In the generation of oversharing, it's hard to find any subject completely off the table in regards to discussion. Sometimes, I think this is a great thing---causing us all to unmask things about our life experiences that otherwise may have laid dormant for years. Sometimes, sharing our truths provides others with the freedom to do the same. Other times, I'm lost wondering: why is everything a thing? Today, I am feeling that way about the sex lives of the rich and famous---or, you know, human beings. From the anger-inducing bedroom business of the LGBTQ community to the "I'm this old and have never even been touched"---it all seems a bit....well, performative, and I don't really know why we're all talking about it. Sex has been around since the beginning of time. No matter what spiritual indoctrination you subscribe to---it's clear that humans have long engaged in or abstained from sexual activity. And sure, entertainment, media, etc...has made sex a bigger business than any of the folk in biblical times could have ever imagined but, really? With all the things we can write books about, speak on Ted Talk stages about and ask prominent people about---all we can muster up is "hey, do you have sex---why or why not?".  From slut walks to purity Facebook groups---there's no wonder why today's youth are more knowledgeable than ever about what to do and how to do it than ever before (and yet we still offer them no real wisdom about how to protect themselves from life-altering diseases and decisions---but that's a conversation for your youth pastor....)----but, most of all, why are we all acting like we just heard about the birds and the bees at a sleepover again?

This first became a thorn in my side when a popular actress and her pastor husband wrote a book about their celibacy. Though I understood why they thought it was a groundbreaking occurrence for two very attractive people to bypass sex for 9 months,  I didn't quite buy that it was anyone's business. You see I don't get why whatever I choose to do or not do with the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with matters to anyone except he and I. "But they shared their story to inspire others"---------------------------------------------------ok. This became a selling point of their love story, "proof" that they actually deserved the blessings that followed their sacrifice----and I just can't help to think of how many people don't have that testimony to accompany their celibacy. How many women and men have saved themselves for marriages that don't end up on the cover of ESSENCE? How many men, who slut their way through their youth, preach on their desire for virginal brides? How many women save themselves for spouses who never come? And if celibacy comes with expectancy...doesn't that defeat the purpose? And...of the utmost importance, WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE DO WHEN THE DOORS ARE CLOSED?! What does that do for any of us? And why are people paying to read about it?

The newest instance of this is Insecure's Yvonne Orji (who I absolutely adore and love with all of my heart---she is literally Black Girl Magic personified). As fabulous, beautiful and talented as she is---why are interviewers determined to spin every article about this woman into her story of being a virgin at 33? Like....what gives? She opened the door, discussed her beliefs and personal decision---can we all move on now? Are we really so dense that a woman's sex life is an earth-shattering revelation? And would we be all heart eye and praise hand emojis if a woman were being interviewed about her endless slew of sexual partners at 33? No? Well what's the difference? Whether the number is 0 or 254,367,900---why are we deducing people to stories about their sex lives? And, OF COURSE, we use every story as a measuring stick for all women/couples because we can never just let people be autonomous. We must find a way to say "hey, look over here at this person doing something that you're not doing!" and to give people a reason to feel offended or delighted because of their distance or proximity to what is being praised. And at the end of the day, we're talking about sex. Just good, ole, been around since the dawn of times, s-e-x. It ain't a story. It's life. 

Can't we just all monitor our own genitals and be happy? 

With a few months left in this year and a tyrant running our country---I have to believe that we can discuss/debate far more important things than whether or not your mate will "wait" for you or whether you're worth "the wait" at all. I have to believe that, since most of us are in our parents wedding pictures, that we know our worth is not in what we do or don't do before we sign papers that say we can collect a little more on our tax returns for eternity. I want to believe that we'll teach our children to be good and decent humans who can make their own decisions on what to do with their bodies and who respect the decisions of others. I hope that we can care more about the legacy a person like Yvonne is creating than whether or not she's getting it in on her down time. My dying wish will undoubtedly be for us all to drink more water and mind our respective businesses as a staff, a record label and as a mother&*%^ing crew. Word to Tupac.  

*editors note: i typed in sex gif for a heading photo for this post and...lord, don't let your kids do that, ok? trust me. also, don't do this at work. could be hella embarrassing*

Buy Iman's book here

 

Iman MilnerComment