Casual sex is a loaded topic among young people today. A controversy was provoked when Love Island winner Amber Davies decided to create her five rules ‘before saying yes to getting intimate’: a few are important to remember, a few are important to forget. Her rules are as follows:
1. (Don’t pick up the phone…) “Don’t have sex on the first date…it’s all about self-respect.” Is it though? For me, this is the most problematic rule. Who you choose to sleep with and when you choose to sleep with them holds no correlation to the amount of self-respect you have. This ‘rule’ borderlines on slut-shaming, you should never be made to feel bad about your sexual shenanigans.
2. “If there is alcohol involved ask yourself if you are going to regret it in the morning.” This rule holds some weight. Alcohol impairs your judgement and ability to give consent, so it is always important that you are in the frame of mind where you have the ability to make an informed decision.
3. “Don’t think sex is to impress.” This is true, only have sex if you want to have sex. However, she follows this by saying that the person you are dating will be ‘much more impressed if you don’t put out on the first date’. *Ugh*. It is not your job to try and impress someone with your ability to refrain from casual sex. If you want to have sex, have sex. If you don’t, don’t.
4. “We are absolutely binning the saying ‘no strings attached’…us females know we all get emotionally attached after sex.” OH DO WE AMBER? I have plenty of female friends who successfully and happily engage in casual sex, thanks. It is so harmful to paint women with the same ‘overly emotional’ brush (the same brush incidentally that prevented women from getting the vote for hundreds of years, but that’s by the by). Amber seems to be suggesting that all women always get emotionally attached at the drop of the hat, or more aptly, the drop of the knickers.
5. “Don’t follow the crowd.” This last rule is actually important to remember. Peer pressure should never be a factor in determining your decision over whether or not to have sex.
Although well-meaning, Amber’s rules are harmful for young women engaging in sexual activity. As long as you remain safe, and the activity is consensual, there is no harm in filling your casual sex boots. So, thanks Amber Davies, but I think we’ll stick to Dua Lipa’s rules.