Over the years sex hasn't changed. Every generation likes to think they invented sex, but centuries of evidence tells us otherwise. There has however been a significant shift in the western worlds attitude to sex. Only a matter of decades ago sex - the doing and talking about - was a taboo topic. The 'Birds and the Bees' conversation was born of awkward parents not quite knowing how or indeed when to talk to their offspring about sex. This conversation being dreaded by parent and child in equal measure. In schools biology lessons attempted to cover all bases but it was the birth of 'Sex Education' classes that had everybody blushing. Some parents even debated if there was a need to talk about sex in school and, if so at what age? Mean while the children were still growing up and by the time the cucumber came out half the class was already at 'it' albeit discreetly. Then came the 'Baby Boom' with a flurry of teenage pregnancies - some as young as thirteen - and teen abortions at an all time high, sex was back on the register. Only now we are in the'Naughties' and the kids aren't shy any more. They've got questions and if they aren't answered they aren't afraid to go out and find the answers for themselves.
Government bodies and parents battle it out to try and tame today's sexual beast. The problem is they don't have the control any more. Sex sells , we've always known this and we've always abused this. But we are no longer talking about peep shows, top shelf magazines and skirts above the knee. This billion dollar industry is everywhere from social media to on-line websites and channels dedicated to porn. It's now an industry spread so far and wide that even the governing bodies cant keep up with it.
As always 'Pop Culture' is the first to embrace any trends. Music videos have become more sexual, the lyrics more explicit. Books such as Fifty Shades Of Grey were out selling the most popular crime novelists. After the watershed programmes have become more graphic. While all this has been going on censoring has been at a stand still and public perception is now one of 'well that's just how it is these days.'
One area that has exploited this sexual evolution is the 'drinking culture.' Be it home or away there seems to be an attitude of 'it doesn't count if I was drunk.' This is made very clear when you see the Greek and Spanish Islands descended upon by groups of men and women on 18-30's holidays. Recently a girl performed 24 sex acts in a club in one night. Although this particular girl was highlighted, she is far from alone in her behaviour. These kind of acts along with binge drinking is promoted by the clubs and their 'reps'. Games, parties and prizes are promised in exchange for full participation. On any given night you can walk down the strip and see everything from nudity to sex acts, actual inter course and sex with multiple people. Closer to home in Belfast last week two couples were caught on film having sex in a pub car park. As with the girl who performed the 24 sex acts , the evenings events were posted on to social media - and became world wide news.
So who is to blame? Where did it all go wrong? Has it gone wrong? Is it not better to be open sex and sexuality? Do boundaries need to be put back in place and if so by whom? We aren't ever going back to tipping the velvet so should we just tip the stripper instead and enjoy it?
We are at a time when some of those teen mums will have to start teaching the'Birds and the Bee' to their own children. This will no doubt be a telling point. I cant help but think that with all this exposure to sex and/or sexual content you have to expect today's youth to want to explore. To try all the sweets in the candy store. But surely parents and society can have enough influence over the young to get them to acknowledge and respect inevitable and necessary boundaries I don't believe role models live on our screens. I like to think they live in our societies. I hope they are our parents, siblings the people we have grown to respect. Hopefully within these extended family units a more appropriate moral compass can be set. #Youngsters