Quick blog post today to tackle a pet peeve of mine. The word “conservative” when used in the context of sex and relationships, especially when you see the two words put together.
I remember I was in a restaurant in South Africa earlier this year and I was asking table of four people next to me (two men and two women who I presumed were couples) for recommendations on the menu as I had never eaten there before.
Anyway, after I ordered we got to chatting and they were very curious about my job and my book so I told them a little but not too much as to really explain Sex 3.0 properly it is normally a 45 minute conversation and I was about to eat.
Long story short, they got hold of the wrong end of the stick and ran with it. Due to a lack of a proper explanation they in-correctly assumed that Sex 3.0 had something to do with promoting promiscuity (my thoughts on that you can find here).
Then they started telling me how they are “conservative” people and that they are not open to such ideas (though funnily enough that did not lessen their curiosity about me or Sex 3.0).
Let’s get one thing straight. There is no such thing as “sexually conservative”. What are people who describe themselves like that trying to conserve? Usually when you ask them they say “traditional values”.
Well, Sex 1.0 is how human beings have lived for roughly 97% of human existence. So, if you really want to preserve or promote traditional human values you should be going around telling people that they should be living in nomadic hunter gatherer tribes and having unfenced relationships.
That’s how we have lived for almost all of human history. The Sex 2.0 era is only 3% of human history and the most recent 3% at that.
Lets get to the bottom of what this phrase REALLY means :
Sexually conservative = sexually fearful.
There fixed it. Lets try that out by swapping out some sentences in news stories. First up, a story about a Korean sex scandal :
As they say, first impressions last, and my own first introduction to Korean sexual politics came with a bang when the scandal over the Baek Ji-young (백지영) sex tape erupted in late-2000. The way she was treated by the Korean media was hypocritical and shocking, and confirmed what I’d learned at university: Korea was a deeply patriarchal and sexually-conservative society.
Ok, let’s try that last part again :
Korea was a deeply patriarchal and sexually-fearful society.
Yep, fixed it.
Or how about this BBC story about this woman and short term marriages in Syria :
Short-term marriages between men from the Gulf and Syrian girls reportedly happened before the war began. But Kazal’s mother Manal, who dresses conservatively like her daughter in an abaya and headscarf, says she would have never considered such an arrangement in the past.
Ok, lets run with that last sentence again :
But Kazal’s mother Manal, who dresses fearfully like her daughter in an abaya and headscarf, says she would have never considered such an arrangement in the past.
Yep fixed it.
One more example, this article about baby boomers :
Baby boomers rebelled and set off the sexual revolution. Now they themselves are parents, and they generally have that ’60s spirit of “let’s talk about it.” But their message to their children is conservative, pragmatic: “If you’re going to do it, be committed, be responsible, use contraceptives. Sex can kill.
Ok, you know the routine, here we go :
But their message to their children is fearful, pragmatic: “If you’re going to do it, be committed, be responsible, use contraceptives. Sex can kill.
Fear, Control, Deception
Take a look into the deep dark heart of Sex 2.0 and what you will see is fear. The core design of Sex 2.0 is only has three things at its heart – fear, control and deception.
Let us recognise fear and the desire to control for what it is and stop cloaking it in deceptive language.
Further reading : The Tyranny Of Sex In India