I’m a quadruplet; I like peas but hate mushy ones; I’m obsessed with rice pudding; I love a good pair of funky trousers and I don’t understand how tall people comfortably fit in beds. I’ve got all these things about me and whirring around in my little head and all you want from me is my vagina – all you want is a quick f***. A moment of pleasure. Just another girl to add to your list. Just another girl vilified on a group chat. What will you remember about me? How small my breasts were or how bad I was at blowjobs?
Remember me for the epic yellow juicy couture trousers I wore; for my crazed dancing with my friends when Beyoncé came on; the fact I ordered milk in McDonalds; how surprised you were when I ate all 20 chicken nuggets; how chatty I was to the Uber driver or the killer cuppa I made. Not just being someone you’ve entered.
I might look like every other person in the club. My frizzy hair flat ironed, a dust of pink eyeshadow on my eye-lids to match my pig camouflage trousers, but I’m alone. In a room full of dancing, sweating and drunk teenagers, I feel alone. Even in the lecture theatre with my university hoody, my glasses and laptop I feel different. A loneliness and difference that was created by the sex culture at full force within university.
Sex. It’s everywhere. It’s how we were all created. Your mum has done it, your granddad has done it and so has the guy serving you in Tesco. And so, it seems, has everyone at university. If you haven’t done it before university, you will be expected to in Freshers.
“A culture that still victimises women for having sexual encounters”
Whilst I expected a prevalent sex culture, I didn’t expect how encompassing and far reaching this would extend. A culture that still victimises women for having sexual encounters and glorifies males (albeit to a lesser extent than previous years). A culture which sees anonymous and casual sex as the norm, such that those who don’t wish to engage are ostracized. A culture which objectifies women on group chats using demeaning point systems. A culture which defines girls as “side tings” and “main tings”. A culture which sees nightlife as futile if you haven’t exchanged snapchats with a prospective side ting and which judges’ girls by the size, not their brains.
“For the first time in my life, looks mattered”
That’s what struck a chord with me. For the first time in my life, looks mattered. Ironic considering that I was at university on the bases of my intellect. The size of my bum, my genetics, would define my worth. How many people I’d slept with, how frequently I went clubbing and what concoction of drugs I had experimented with would all define my worth.
My reluctance to pursue casual sexual relations with others would be used to embarrass me as opposed to those who acted in opposite ways. Although I am so grateful that women embracing their sexuality and exploring their sexuality has increased (although it goes without saying, much more could be done to increase equality surrounding sexual activity), I don’t think this should be at the detriment of others who also embrace their sexuality, but just translate this through different actions.
I’m worried I’m the only one – worried I’m not normal because these sorts of sexual encounters aren’t on my agenda. Is it just me who goes clubbing to dance with my friends, forget about the essay deadlines, the pile of washing in my room and the chicken I need to defrost for fajita night tomorrow? I’m worried I’m the only person at university wanting to have sex with someone I’m in a relationship with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in support of casual sex between consensual adults using protection. But I hate that if you don’t want to do that, you are excluded and seen as weird. Is it just me?
I also disagree with the labelling of girls as sluts and the shaming that goes with women having multiple sexual partners and engaging in regular sex outside of a relationship. I likewise disagree with sneering at those who want to have sex within relationships and don’t see sex as a purely physical interaction.
“I was stunned by the peer pressuring attitudes that were made towards those who were virgins”
At university I found that words like ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ weren’t really passed around. An occurrence I was most pleased at. However, I was stunned by the peer pressuring attitudes that were made towards those who were virgins and had no interest in pursuing casual sexual relations. I think I’m just disappointed. Disappointed at how normalised this idea is and how far it has penetrated (excuse the pun). People just go out to get a number and who have Instagram to slide into DMs. And those who go out to have fun and have Instagram to get fashion inspiration are the odd ones.
Sad isn’t it. Because soon enough us university students will be thrown into the working world where they don’t ask what body count you have on your CV and at what age you lost your virginity and to whom. Soon enough, the bubble of university is popped, and reality kicks in.