exploding the myth
In February, ten popular magazines in the UK had to cover stories about sex. The titles ranged (or should we say, didn't range) from Sex and passion, to Sex appeal - how hot are you? Four months later, on the other side of the world, Australia's equivalents range from Your secret sex games, to I've slept with over 300 men - a supermodel tells. On one level this is very bad marketing, and on a deeper, more important level it is sad. Sad, because young people are being seduced into believing that sex is the ultimate experience in life. This invariably leads to confusion and despair because:
- they feel abnormal if they are not in a sexual relationship
- they may not have a boyfriend/girlfriend (and may never have had one)
- they hate the way they look (and do not believe themselves to be loveable)
- they feel disillusioned about love and intimacy
- they are frightened of being themselves
- they just want to be 'normal'
Here are six statements from various sources which we disagree with and why:
- Flirting is as natural as breathing and sleeping... and much more fun! Flirting can be selfish and very hurtful.
- Dare to bare. Nothing is left to the imagination. Some photographs in young women's magazines verge on being pornographic.
- There is nothing wrong with infidelity. Unfaithfulness in relationships and marriage is one of the major contributors to the heartache, unhappiness and problems of the world.
- If it feels good, how could it be wrong? The 'feel good' syndrome has numbed people to the point where they have no concept of right and wrong.
- The more relationships you have, the better. The more relationships you have, the greater the emotional and psychological baggage you bring into a lifelong partnership or marriage.
- Sex is the most important part of a relationship. Sex is not the be-all and end-all. It is part of the great-all.
We seem to be living in an era where nothing is sacred, nothing is pure. It requires each of us to reverse this trend. Consider the following:
- An honest, clean, and loving relationships with yourself is the blueprint for success in all relationships.
- Beauty has little to do with looking like supermodels, and everything to do with the values you have, the words you speak, and the way in which you care for people.
- People are at their most attractive when they are being themselves.
- It is our minds that make our bodies acceptable or not.
- Honesty has clout, integrity is attractive, trust is essential.
- There is nothing more boring than someone who is trying to be who they are not.
- Dare to commit. That is where long-term satisfaction lies.
- Just because someone is famous does not mean they are right (or that their lifestyle is right). Are your idols really worth idolising?
- Never do anything because you think others expect it of you. Outlive them, outlaugh them, outlove them!
In the words of Australia's well-loved cartoonist Michael Leunig, 'We shall rescue the entombed heart. We shall bring it to the surface, to the light and the air. We shall nurse it and listen respectfully to its story. The heart's story of pain and suffocation, of darkness and yearning. We shall help our feelings to live in the sun. Together again we shall find relief and joy.'
Laura Trevelyan, UK
(with Maria Lancaster, Australia)