Another crap sex ‘advice’ article seems to be doing the rounds; one on what seems to be a perennially popular theme. What Will Happen To You If You Don’t Do The Sex. I’m not linking to any specific one, given that I forgot the exact title of the one which annoyed me; Googled it and found there are dozens of the poxy things.
“Sex is nice and pleasure is good for you” is the phrase that opens The Ethical Slut, so why be narked over articles suggesting pretty much the same thing? As an erotica writer I, unsurprisingly, like sex and think that people should have as much of it as they like, as long as it’s all consensual. But the tone of pretty much all these articles actually makes it sound as appealing as an exhortation to eat up your spinach.
The other big problem with this stuff is how immensely heteronormative it is. ‘Sex’ means PIV – there is even a reference, from time to time, to a study done which appeared to show that PIV sex has better stress-relieving properties than any other kind of erotic activity. Some such research has been done, but on a total of 24 couples, with sod all in the way of controls, by the look of it, so it’s about as plausible as the bloke down the pub claiming his mate’s mum’s neighbour’s line manager got abducted by an alien who stuck a long probe up the manager’s bum and then never called or texted or emailed again.
Sure, an orgasm is relaxing and relieves stress, but you can take care of yourself in a few minutes, should there be no one willing and available to help you out – and orgasms from toys or oral can be every bit as intense as those from intercourse. People don’t sicken and die from lack of sex and plenty of people are celibate due to ethical/philosophical beliefs and do well enough on it. Having said that, it’s also true that being in a supposedly monogamous relationship with somoene who either has a much lower libido than you or frequently rejects you sexually by way of punishment or control can be pretty damaging to your self-esteem and general wellbeing. Overall, though, the benefits of enjoyable sex are nearly all psychological, and the one thing these articles all seem to ignore is the psychological distress that’s likely to occur when someone is pressured into any kind of sexual activity that they have no wish to engage in, and this sort of clickbaity crap could be used by people determined to coerce a reluctant partner into putting out. And that won’t do anyone any good.