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Apr 24 2009

Sex, Spontaneity, and the “Swept Away” Myth

Swept awayI have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. It’s about the myth that sex has to be spontaneous, that you have to be swept away by impulsive passion, in order for it to be any good — and why, apart from the obvious reasons, the myth does damage to sex lives. It’s called Sex, Spontaneity, and the “Swept Away” Myth, and here’s the teaser:

I’ve written before about the myth of sexual spontaneity: the myth that, for sex to be good and meaningful, the desire has to strike both partners out of the blue and be acted on immediately. I’ve written about how unrealistic the myth is, how poorly it fits into the reality of many people’s sex lives; I’ve written about the narrow and limiting definition of sexual desire it creates.

But I’ve been thinking lately about another — and in many ways more serious — problem with the myth of sexual spontaneity.

And that’s that it contributes to the idea that sex is dirty and bad… and thus makes people feel like sex is only okay if they don’t take responsibility for it.

To find out how the “swept away” myth is linked to the idea that sex is bad — and what we can do about it — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

P.S. If you’re inspired to comment on this piece on this blog, please consider cross- posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog as well. They like comments there, too.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Parsnip

    A wonderfully written piece. This issue is brewing with my boyfriend and I for a little while now. I’m in a new relationship and we’re taking our sex life relatively slowly (a snail’s pace for gay men by my estimation). He stays over a lot, and we’ve been developing a lot of early morning friskyness, not to divulge too much. Recently the tension in the air is palpable, and the possibility of throwing caution to the wind and just having straight up sex has come up with great frequency (this morning actually). Neither of us has been tested, and though both our previous history SUGGESTS that we have nothing to worry about, allowing ourselfs to get carried away would be wrong and dumb, dumb, dumb. Our best course of action really is a planned, thoroughly discussed, boundaries-set, protected one. Young love is doing all it can to frustrate this possibility.

  2. 2
    Lorena

    Wow! Great article.
    I couldn’t find the piece of news online, but a few years ago, a survey in Spain revealed that couples who have sex on a schedule are more satisfied than spontaneous ones.
    That is, couples who “do it” regularly, say, every Wednesday and Saturday, express fairly high levels of satisfaction with their sex lives.

  3. 3
    aznemesis

    I don’t know how much it has to do with today (or with men), but I know that the “swept away” bullshit used to be the only refuge a single woman had. If she admitted that she planned to have sex, she was a whore. If it “just happened,” she was just led astray. She might be able to come back from that.

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