Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let's (Not) Talk About Sex

Yesterday, while checking in on that spectacle-in-motion known here as the Mamaworldforum, I came across a question that left me feeling a bit, well, dirty. Not sexy dirty, but more like Maybe If I Scrub My Brain Long Enough I Won't Be So Disgusted dirty. I'm not even going to provide a link to the post here, because dear reader, I don't want to put that special Ick into your brain which was put into mine.

Let's just boil it down to this: after an introduction, which was an abhorrent attempt at cutesy euphemisms, the "question" was the equivalent of a straw poll of this lovely topic: "Do you do it when you're on your period?"

Need I say more?

Am I missing something here, some new "oh,we are so liberated by Sex and the City" sort of thing, where we all sit around and discuss the intimate details of our personal lives with Total and Complete Strangers? This is something we all have our personal feelings on, as are many aspects of sexuality, but frankly, I don't want to know anyone's answer to this question but my own. It's none of my business, and it was none of the business of the person who posted the question.

Yet, time and time again, women posted personal replies. Some even disagreed with my polite assertion that this was a "bit of an intrusive question" to be asking on this forum. "People ask questions about sex on this site all the time" some defended. Yes, they do. And while I'm not particularly upset by questions regarding "how to get my husband interested in more than football, hey hey" or "How long after baby before we can resume intimacy" or even "What should I expect when I resume sex after birth?", I didn't think this question qualified. Those other sorts of questions are par for the course of a new mom's group; this one in particular, I don't believe, would ever be broached in that sort of setting.

For me, all of this begs the question: Where has our sense of decorum gone? When did we all decide this was okay, to ask questions online one would hardly ask amidst the girlfriends? I'm hardy a prude: I've had women's health issues over the past several years and have had to be pretty candid with my health care providers. After I had my son, some of the usual questions did come up, and even there, I limited asking advice about these issues to one peer mother whom I trust very, very much. I am not ashamed of sex, nor of my body. Nonetheless, I find that when it comes to talking about matters of an intimate nature, the person I should be most interested in talking to is my partner.

Perhaps this is way too old school for this newer world of people who trumpet their most recent hookups on their Facebook page and seem to have no problem oversharing about every little thing. Maybe sex has become just another topic of conversation for a lot of people out there, and so that's why these women have no hesitation when it comes to telling all with their name attached above, for all the world to see, as well as a link to click on their photo and profile. I see this as a folly of a sort, because none of this ever goes away. Marketers use this information we post to collect a profile of us. People who know us read this information and make their own decisions about what we write, and what they think of it.

Even in pleasant conversation with the girls, we might be extolling the physical attributes of our favorite screen gods-- or even recounting a hot scene in a movie-- but somehow we are able to pull on the reins before letting the horses run entirely free. We understand that we don't need to tell each other every little thing. Those moments are a sweet, precious secret between ourselves and our lovers. A funny anecdote now and then is fine-- like when one girlfriend and her husband were almost caught by her mother-in-law-- but overall, we just don't need to know that about each other. I don't think we even want to know that about each other.

Or is it just me?

1 comment:

Amanda Perko said...

Thanks for saying "no"...I think 'pillow talk' should stay right there. Our pillows. :)