Sometimes life throws you a bone. In my case it was a little more about timing. The Guardian was nice enough to release a new article based upon the Observer sex survey 2014. The ‘main’ article (at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/28/british-sex-survey-2014-nation-lost-sexual-swagger) gives us all the nice percentages, yet what was the base. Nice that in some cases it states ‘all man’, yet is this 50,500 or 5000, and in a population of 68 million, how reliable is all this? Considering that we find 1052 UK adults at the end is also cause for alarm, because even with top quality weighting, a UK based approach with a raw file containing less than 5000 cases should not even be considered (in my humble opinion). Let’s be clear, this is not an attack, just me phrasing a few questions. I had the most fun with the infidelity chart, where they state that 83% has never been unfaithful, now consider the source (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/jan/28/divorce-rates-marriage-ons#data), if you take a look at the data set, there is a [tab] called ‘Cause of divorce’, by the way, consider that the UK has a massive divorce group and in some years the reason for infidelity is well over 43%, so how about them numbers now?
I knew a guy (don’t we all), who told me, a man has either been unfaithful, or at some point he will be. So far his prediction has always held up.
So, has the UK lost its sexual ‘swagger’, or are we not looking in the right way?
That is off course part of the issue. Is it an honesty issue?
I am not stating to know that part. I am very willing to assume that the data has issues (in regards to this topic there always tends to be issues). But this is not about the statistics; this is about the article by Tim Adams (at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/28/-sp-not-tonight-darling-why-britain-having-less-sex). The headline ‘Not tonight, darling: why is Britain having less sex?’ flashed in front of my eyes and I got curious, especially when the subtitle states: “should we blame the rise of internet porn or the spread of gender equality?” A lamer reason could not be found? You see, I have the following issues:
Quote: “The greater the husband’s share of masculine chores, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction“. So is this the case of the milkman always coming twice or should we revisit an article that the Guardian published on June 8th (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup)? These numbers quite literally scared me to death. They state “The most detailed research into the links between the football World Cup and domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won“, so now consider whether the masculine chores are reasons for and ‘her’ way to not get hurt.
I will state here that my premise is on a very very slippery slope. One should never combine two statistics from different sources. It is like comparing apples with pears, yet an increase of 38% sounds massive, especially when we consider the information from http://www.womensaid.org.uk/, where in one presentation, we see the link to ‘Walby and Allen (2004)‘ who found that 54% of UK rapes are committed by a woman’s current or former partner. Again, I am comparing different statistics, which is EXTREMELY unreliable, yet overall, it brings questions to the two articles overall. Yet Tim Adams makes several interesting observations, and I put this one at the very top “In our work-obsessed, time-poor culture, it would seem that regular sex is one of the ‘luxuries’ that we are prepared to dispense with“, which makes perfect sense, as we relive the statistic where people in UK (in London particularly) end up working 6 days a week, whilst only getting paid for 5, we see a trend of exhaustion. To get by, to pay the bills, we all (gender equally) we tend to have ZERO energy left at the end of the ride, so whilst the bosses are taking us for a ride, most of us tend to not get any intimate kind of a ride any day soon, possible with exception of those in charge, getting by through living in a less premium place.
Then we get the following statement: “in an attempt to be gender-neutral, we may have become gender-neutered”. Not sure if I can agree. I always saw my partners as equals and that never stopped either of us, yet the days where I worked from before sun up until way past sun down, my only desire was to imitate a sawmill and commence deforestation through snoring from Friday evening until Sunday morning. Yet the article also had a few jewels to snigger at in regards to manage my lousy sense of humour. When seeing “Is the digital commodification of sex ruining the real thing on a wider scale?“, my initial thought was, that if it fits into a USB port, then we can safely say that the need for chemical augmentation has truly arrived, yet, all humour aside (even my bad one), I always learned (read: experienced) that great sex came from communication. So, is communication not better achieved through gender equality and by both learning, does it not get better for both? Hence, how can the internet help? Let’s remember that many ‘educational’ online places are nothing less than a figment of many imaginations. It’s almost like the one place where you pay to have digital sex, only to receive a message from the ‘lady’ after payment: “not now dear, I have a headache!” There goes your $x, when a simple drink with a real person would have given you a decent drink and possibly some actual information, likely at a fraction of whatever $x was.
Perhaps I am oversimplifying matters again! Silly me!
There is one more part that I want to respond to “The sexual revolutionaries of the 1960’s and 70’s, you imagine, would be profoundly shocked by the responses to the question of whether it is possible to be in a happy relationship without sex featuring at all. Just about two-thirds of British adults apparently believe that such a relationship is perfectly feasible“. I have absolutely no idea how that part is even possible, until you consider the next part. “In 2003, the UK edition of Elle magazine featured an article warning women about the potential hazards of spending too much time with their gay male friends. Entitled “Help! I’m a Gay Man Trapped in a Woman’s Body”, the title parodies a discourse of transgender by juxtaposing a woman’s body against a supposedly gay male interior. The article problematizes the amount of time some women spend with gay male friends, suggesting this causes them to become more like gay men and to consequently become unattractive to heterosexual men, thus diverting them from the normative path of heterosexuality“. This comes from: ‘Shepperd, D., Coyle, A., & Hegarty, P. (2010). Discourses of friendship between heterosexual women and gay men: Mythical norms and an absence of desire.’
I have heard this before on more than one occasion. The ‘younger’ lady wants to be cool, be with suave men and as she sets herself up to be that desirable woman looking her best, being with the gay man looking fabulous, she is now in a stage where she is either considered Lesbian, unavailable or a tease. So, these single women are now at times complaining how they are approaching 32 with no serious man in sight. You see, that was the trade off! So these women are possibly fighting their biological alarm clock system (just coining a phrase), whilst they lose out on ‘life’ as they hoped it. At times going to bars with a few same minded girls, looking for that Brad Pitt, or Bad Boy look alike, with the suave look of their gay male friends, or looking like the model from ‘Gieves and Hawkes’. Good Luck! Which now gives us the ‘what is important in a relationship’, when 1% is about money, whilst seeing how women seem to classify ‘prospective’ options (there will always be exceptions), it gives me pause to question the reliability of that percentage.
The article is however still a good read. It is funny, witty and well written, I just have an issue with some of the thoughts, but then don’t we all?
If there is one side that needs to be illuminated, then it would be (or should be) the issue on how our work lives are ruining our life of passion. Not just because it is wrong (it really really is!), but mainly as there has been several views into the reasoning of mental health, suicide and decreased sexual activity. There is no telling whether the sexual decrease is linked to depression or the other way around, the fact remains that there is a direct correlation between sexual activity and depression as well as between depression and suicide. The question now becomes, is this ‘a view of just two items’, or are we witnessing the beginning of a chain. If we consider mental health as a generic, whether this is enough to turn prostitution into a healthcare job is definitely not on the table, but there is enough data available to take a serious look at these three factors (perhaps that has already been done). There is an additional reason for this. We have been looking and judging the events of domestic abuse and abusive relationships. I wonder whether these instances have been properly investigated for factors of depression. If we know that abusiveness leads to depression, can we ignore the possible danger that depression would lead to an abusive relationship? Consider these dangers as business in general on a global scale is setting us all up to become workaholics. Some scientists have expressed concern that the nature of the couple’s relationship in 50 shades of grey is not BDSM at all, but rather is characteristic of an abusive relationship, my question (as I have not read the book) is: are we not looking through the wrong coloured spectrum?
So is the book a success because some women identify with the abuse and try to identify the issues they face? This is not for me to say (being a guy and all), but it seems that this topic leaves me (and it should leave many) with loads of questions, whilst there is serious doubt on the answers offered through mere percentages. In the end if we compare what we read to what our lives have been like, how much is close to the given largest percentage or to the given mean. Has our lives turned grey or are we facing shades of it? Although, when I hear 50 shades of grey I think ‘Dulux’ or ‘British Paints’, but that might just be me.