The dark side of sex
DISCLAIMER: This piece is in no way intended to instill any sense of religious, psychological or emotional guilt into the minds of those who have walked a similar path. This is merely a reflection on my own life and an exposition of my own behaviour, and perhaps even a reflection of society, and more particularly youth across the world.
“If I could, I would have had my 1st time at a later stage in my life”.
As someone who has read hundreds of books on human development I often find myself questioning my tendencies and instinctive urges. Having studied psychology, I have always looked at sex from more of a psychological perspective than a biological and sensory one; from Austrian Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Energy, to Freud’s theories on the unconscious mind, the libido and the controversial Oedipus complex. I’m still surprised though that having read all these theories that I have not made the decision to stay completely celibate!
Psycho-analysis and Neuropsychology truly offer a very in depth and dark perspective on sex and human behaviour. One of the most interesting findings to come out of the Neuro-Sciences (brain science) is that the human brain reaches full maturation at the age of 25! Now, why is this important to understand? Firstly, keep in mind that we reach full reproductive maturity (ability to have a baby) at 14, and secondly, what Neuropsychology has uncovered is that the last brain structures to fully mature in the human brain are our executive functions that relate to decision making, inhibition of behaviour, selective attention, problem solving and reasoning! The implications of this are quite frightening and interesting when it relates to sex and early sexual activity among teenagers and this is precisely why I began this piece of writing with the following statement, “If I could, I would have had my 1st time at a later stage in my life”.
Even though I only had my first sexual experience at the age of 17 (I know! Late BLOOMER!), I often look back at my sexual experiences and ask myself ‘why did I do that?’ was it love, lust or curiosity? Or perhaps the lack of inhibitory mechanisms against a whirlwind of emotion and Eros in my pants? Had I waited just 4 more years, would I have made better decisions?
I ask these questions because as I look back I realise that I ‘just went with it’. I realise now that possibly the reason that ‘young love’ feels so powerful and amazing, may just lie in the fact that most of it was purely instinctive, and that no ‘speed traps’, glitches, questions and “what ifs” existed in my mind at the time. On the dark side of my experiences lies the fact that being ‘sexually ready’ biologically, does not necessarily equate with being ready to handle the consequences of sexual activity.
If there’s one thing that constantly crosses my mind during sex, it has to be PREGNANCY, and not because that’s a natural response, but rather the fact that the psychological scars of ‘the morning after pill’, an abortion and the physiological stress and fear of “I missed my period” ring deeply within my psyche! Not to even mention the fact that women go through this process at an even deeper level purely because they also carry the emotional, physical and psychological scars of the actual process, a process that I often initiate and carry the guilt for as the reproductive ‘penetrator’. It is no wonder that religious organisations cash-in big time on the emotional and psychological archetype of a fallen humanity that ate an ‘apple’ and must now forever carry the burden of generations of guilt, sin and a father ‘God’ whose main purpose to serve as a Big Brother and All-seeing Eye. I am in no way attempting to shift blame to an external source but rather pointing out the reality that many young people live with today.
Compound this issue with alcohol, lack of sexual education, poor family support structures, peer pressure and a global marketing industry that attacks and aims to use our instinct drives against us by manipulating our senses and trapping us in a Consumerist Culture of demand and supply that feeds of the RAPING of Gaia our Mother Earth!
So, who am I?; Am I Darwin’s ‘Progressive’ Animal, Religions ‘Adam’, or psychologies ‘human’ in development? Has my brain development been hampered by the countless ‘one-night’ stands, horrors of a possibly pregnant girlfriend, nights out binge drinking and the 100 000 television ads that I have assimilated and used as labels of who I think I am?
I thought when I began writing this that I would stumble across an answer that could help me right what I labelled as wrongs, and unfortunately or should I rather say fortunately, all I am left with is more questions. I could write all day about how different my life could have been had I said ‘No’ to that beautiful, brown 18 year old girl, and how amazing my sex life could be if I had started at 25.
With only 513 days to go ‘til my brain reaches full maturation, all I have now is every choice, decision and the little bit of time I have left on this planet to share my story, and the little bit of wisdom I have accumulated ‘til this point.
By Sabelo Mnukwa – Founder of S.A. Opportunities Watch and Facilitator at Activate! Leadership and Public Innovation