Changing Dynamics 3/13/23

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Several articles have recently crossed my path regarding changing marital and sexual behavior of the young adults in our society.  I’ll be referencing them, but I’m working from the memories in my old, rotting brain, so I’ll apologize up front in case I say something wrong.

It doesn’t surprise me that younger people are marrying later in life, or not at all.  When I was younger, it seems as if the major goal of many women my age was to have that fantasy marriage and have children.  But lately, that has changed to desiring a career and income.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe that a large reason for this shift is corporate greed.  The desire of mega-wealthy to squeeze every penny of savings from people while paying employees less and less puts a new level of significance on the importance of surviving in our society.  How can a young couple expect to be able to afford a family when they cannot afford new houses, or even to rent apartments?  As inflation continues to pack a punch, minimum wage is more or less stagnant, with only some states stepping in and recognizing that raising minimum wage is actually healthier for the economy. 

Fewer people are going to college, and the bout of Covid has taught people to find alternative means of producing income.  Many corporate owners used the cash incentive to keep people paid during Covid instead used it as an opportunity to give themselves more money.  Because of this, they are complaining that the people are not returning to work now that they’ve learned that they don’t have to, but this means that focus will shift from marriage and families to careers.

A rather surprising study indicates that younger people are less interested in sex.  I must admit, I don’t understand this one.  But even more surprising is the finding that, apparently, young women are more sexually active than men.  I’m not quite sure what this means.  Does it imply that younger women are now more likely to have multiple sex partners, or that they are sleeping with older men.  I hope the latter.  GOD I hope it means they are sleeping with old farts like me.

It does seem as though many of my younger female friends are quite sexually active, sometimes frightening me as a matter of fact.  One of my friends, married to a man my age, still has desires to be with other women.  She’s happily married, so I know she’s not homosexual, but she is bisexual and sometimes just misses female partners.  Unfortunately for her, her husband is rather old-fashioned and won’t consider allowing her to take on a new lover, and I’m judging neither of them.  However, it makes me wonder if this, too, could be a reason that women are more sexually active than men (for the first time in American history according to the article). 

A friend of mine is very sexually active, and in the amateur adult entertainment industry.  She is lovely, very sweet, and I fear for her.  I followed her on her social media page, but eventually had to stop as she was frequently posting about being hurt by a man who was clearly very close to her.  Now that the relationship has ended, she is frequently with other men.

While I applaud women taking control of their sexuality and sexual activities, there is a downside as well.  Yes, there are still infections that are rampant, but even beyond this I fear for her harming herself psychologically with her sexual activities.  As she travels from encounter to encounter, I worry that what she is doing is punishing herself, somehow acting out her anger and disappointment with her sexual activity.  It’s not my place (nor do I want it to be) to judge her, and I support anything she does and the lifestyle she chooses, but at the same time, I do care about her.  I hope that my concern is misplaced.

Not long ago, a friend of mine suggested to me that if I find a woman attractive, regardless of age difference (I’m assuming so long as it’s legal), I should just ask her to sleep with me.  His argument was that modern promiscuity is such that there’s a reasonable chance that she’ll acquiesce to my request.  As women take more control of their sexuality and less interest in relationships, I suppose it’s true.  They don’t hurt anybody with these views, but of course, it doesn’t mean that I have to agree.  A sexual tryst is not fulfilling in my personal opinion, but I believe the new openness and acceptance is a good thing.  It’s a strange new world.

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