Recently I was on the radio. Amber Davies, the winner of Love Island, was guest presenting 5Live. She was asking the question “has sex become too casual?” and I was there to weigh in my opinion. Amber’s makeup artist was also there sharing her experience of saving herself until marriage in her current relationship.
I didn’t really understand Amber’s moral panic about casual sex. It didn’t feel like it was coming from a place of concern for young people’s sexual wellbeing but more of judgement. Unfortunately, the segment ended with Amber reading out her new rules for casual sex which meant I didn’t have time to challenge her on any of them.
Are young people having too much casual sex?
Here are @Amber_Davies7's new rules on sex.
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) April 4, 2018
What I did do, however, was sit outside the BBC building in the Cafe Nero writing my own twist of her 5 rules. So here’s my version.
My Five Rules for Casual Sex
- Have sex on the first date if you’re both into it.
- If there’s alcohol involved make sure you 100% have the other person’s consent. If they are completely plastered, they can’t consent.
- You shouldn’t need to impress someone to win their affection. Just be yourself.
- Emotions and sex can be separate for lots of people and there are many different types of relationships. Make sure you communicate and everyone is on board!
- Don’t follow the crowd. Also, don’t follow the rules (except for the law, follow that).
The rules that Amber laid out I found were extremely judgemental, sexist and just plain backwards (or maybe I’m too optimistic of where society is at right now). “Don’t have sex on the first date, respect yourself”?! So people who do have sex on the first date don’t respect themselves? And we all know this age-old advice is targeted a women. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone tell a man he doesn’t respect himself if he “puts out” on the first date.
We need to move away from these rules that society keeps giving us: no sex on the first date, don’t text back straight away, you can only show legs or boobs (not both), etc. etc. All they bring to the table are insecurities, anxiety, feeling judged and confused.
I really wish it could be as simple as do what makes you happy whilst communicating and considering the feelings of others. And don’t judge others for doing the same. There is no one size fits all when it comes to sex and we should really be teaching that to young people too. That way they can explore these things on their own terms without feeling like they’re being judged or pressured.
Because of her Love Island win and new social media celebrity status Amber has a huge amount of influence on the young people who follow her. It makes me kind of sad that these old rules we’ve been trying to shake are still being peddled by hugely influential people.
If you missed the show you can listen here. What do you think? Has sex become too casual? Should we care? What are your “rules” if you have any?