Some of my favorite movies growing up that take me back to adolescence are teenage boy sex movies. And no, I am not talking about gay teen porn on BelAmi, I’m talking about Superbad (2007), Eurotrip (2004), Sex Drive (2008) and every single American Pie (1999-2012) ever made. These movies still crack me up and I enjoy watching them, but they also convey unhealthy ways of thinking about sex that contribute to our sex-negative culture. The moral of the story in these classic American films is that all boys absolutely NEED to get laid, and every guy should do whatever it takes to get it in…because sex is THAT worth it.
Our culture’s obsession with sex blows it out of proportion and exaggerates both the positive and negative extremes of sexual activity, without really acknowledging what sex is like in real life. Media and pop culture sensationalize sex all the time. The fact that any event having to do with sex is always a “scandal” and people talking about it in public is worthy of so much reaction, demonstrates many uneasy attitudes about sex as if there is something innately wrong or surprising about consenting adults doing it. On the other hand, whenever sex isn’t being condemned as an act of Satan it’s depicted as something you should have all the freaking time, in TV shows, music videos and movies that show men having the time of their lives getting with multiple half-naked, beautiful womyn—or having the worst time ever because they’re not getting any at all.
Sex is just one part of life. It is a big deal to have sex on an individual level, as every sexual encounter should be significant to you personally. But it’s not something newsworthy that everyone else needs to talk about, because nearly all human beings on this planet also have sex throughout their lives. Yes it’s arguably one of the best things life has to offer, but nobody’s life goal should be to get laid as much as possible, all the time. Sex should enrich our lives, not define it.
Unfortunately sex does define our personality and value as people in many of our social relations, especially among men. A quote from the main character of one of my favorite American Pie movies, The Naked Mile (2006), sums this up perfectly when he says: “Well, you’re a girl. It’s a lot easier for you to be a virgin because the longer you stay a virgin, the more pure and innocent you seem. The longer I stay a virgin the more I become the laughingstock of the entire school.” Guys not only feel an intense need to have sex because they’re dying from blue balls and sore forearms, but also because they might be seen as unattractive or unmanly if they can’t get some. Having sex doesn’t make you an inherently better person, nor does it make you any less cool if you’re not getting laid. Anyone who doesn’t think you’re cool because you don’t have sex is an asshole. One’s self-esteem, self-worth or societal value shouldn’t be affected by how much sex that person has.
Sexually active individuals are seen as more capable because sex is considered a conquest attained through personal abilities, and not through gaining consent. The glorification of sexual conquest in our culture has roots in sexism, colonization and racism. The fact that individuals—mainly men—who do get laid often are popular and seen as more valuable, stems from the way we think about sex as something you have to convince or get someone to do—not something two people mutually agree to do together.
Assuming that people typically won’t want to have sex with you is not a positive way of thinking and causes bad self-esteem. If someone only wants to have sex with you under specific, time-sensitive circumstances such as when they’re drunk or need something from you, that form of “consent” is questionable and not ideal. Everyone should agree to have sex only when they personally and legitimately want to, and not because someone broke an arm and a leg and sacrificed their first born child just to get laid.
Sex is not worth blowing off your relatives, crossing the ocean or getting into trouble with the law, nor is it worth compromising your self-esteem to get with someone who doesn’t fully want to do it with you. Having sex is great; it’s the best pastime ever (when it’s good that is). But getting laid won’t necessarily transform your life into a fantastic dream, nor will not getting laid turn your life into shit. It’s just sex. It’s something human beings have been doing for billions of years and will continue to do until they go extinct. There will be chances to do it throughout the rest of your life with the 7 billion other people on the planet who also like getting it on. Keep this in mind the next time you’re faced with a sizeable and/or unethical challenge to getting laid, and whatever you do, don’t take sex advice from this guy: