Hilda Monica C. Naval
Are Pinoy teenagers emotionally ready for sex?
"I consider sex similar to eating. You eat when you want to, and you don't make so much fuss about it... Sex should be treated the same way..."
This is one of the most intriguing comparisons about sex I've heard so far. Although it is a simple statement, analyzing it would enable us to know many things about a person's point of view concerning sex. For example, sex, like food, could be seen as a necessity. Therefore, you are depriving yourself of one of your body's greatest needs if you are sexually abstinent. For another, making love and eating both are about fulfilling physical desires. Whenever you are hungry, it is advisable that you eat until you are completely satisfied. Using the same principle, engaging in sex is justifiable so long as there is a craving for it; you don't stop until you think you've had enough.
As you go on listening to the advocates of this theory, you'll notice that one thing seems to be missing. Everything is primarily about feeding oneself; nothing was mentioned about the responsibilities a person should consider—neither of eating nor having sex. The said defenders, young as they are, have concluded that entering sexual relationships could be possible even without “that special something” which many of us might have considered an essential part of it—commitment.
If you were to ask Filipino teenagers whether sex and marriage are related, you'd realize that many would say they aren't. It is a popular argument among the youth that sex could be done outside marriage, and marrying after entering sexual relationships is merely optional. In addition to that, commitment and marriage aren't synonymous for there are many other forms of the former which may not require the old-fashioned matrimonies. Marriage then has been seen as an unnecessary requirement set by generations before them only to make things complicated. Living in a post-modern world, they've developed an idea that it is about time to correct things in our society, that is remove all rules which are no longer essential and move on with a new and more logical set of standards.
This is where peer pressure plays its role. Supporters of the ancient marriage-sex-parenthood principle not only feel left out, but are also being labeled as conformists, or worse illogical. Since it is so hard for someone's ego to accept such accusations, many youngsters tend to embrace “the new ideas" even without doing any investigation. Ironically, this practice has been regarded as “non-conforming” (not recognizing the fact that it produced a bunch of the so-called stereotypes of the anti-stereotype) and perfectly logical (even if counter arguments to this claim could exist and hold).
“I consider sex similar to eating...” Striking as it may be, yet it isn't an entirely different point of view on this matter. Most of the youth today might state it using another set of words, but they will imply almost the same thing. The central thought is there's only one pre-requisite in engaging in an affair—PERSONAL WILL. “It is all about me. I shall listen to what my heart tells me and no one can say that I am wrong if I fulfill my need for this moment.” Hence, anyone who has made the choice to have sex could be confident to declare that he is emotionally ready for it.
On a different perspective, it is easy to evade this issue by using the argument of choice. In reality, emotional maturity could mean forgoing one's pleasure for quite a long time until a person is ready for all the consequences of his decisions. Unfortunately, forgoing wants is something people don't want to do. The task becomes harder as our culture exaggerates the pleasures one can derive from sex while barely mentioning other related topics like STDs, painful childbirth, and hardships of parenthood. This point of view actually encourages people to “savor the moment... focus on the pleasure you have at hand, and set aside all other worries.” Come what may! The future after all isn't in our hands.
“I consider having sex similar to eating...”
Although parallelisms between these two may exist, it has to be stressed that they are simlar—not perfectly equal. It should then follow that whenever people consider resemblances, differences should be pointed out. To be particular, emotional preparations aren't much required in food consumption since many consequences of improper diets could be remedied for several days. On the other hand, compensating for the loss of irresponsibly engaging in sex, like unwanted pregnancy, might cost a lifetime of agony. Food poisoning could take away your precious life, yet as you die, that contaminated substance dies with you. It is incomparable to some traumas of your wrong decisions for its memory could haunt generations after us. So long as the world remains, it existence could be felt.