In Salon magazine’s posted excerpt from Amy Rose Spiegel’s book Action, a veritable sex manual for Millennials, Spiegel asks the new generation to not feel ashamed by mistakes they make during sex.
Since the industrial revolution, and especially since the widespread availability of contraception, each generation throughout the past century has sought to redefine sexuality. And accordingly, each generation before the next one arrived, thought that things could never be than what they had achieved. Nevertheless, each subsequent generation has sought to evolve sexuality to even greater degrees. Sometimes one wonders what the future generations will do sexually to shock Millenials when they reach middle age.
Spiegel describes the evolution of Millenial sexuality in a way that makes 1972’s The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort, appear as a prudish gospel. Indeed, the evolution of sexuality throughout the past century has matched the rapid changes in technology. And similarly, many Millennials are confused why the older generations can’t keep up, or just get “with it.” Especially when only recent generations believed that they were already incredibly liberated, thank you very much!
The evolution of Millenial sexuality
Salon’s excerpt from Spiegel’s book reads in “millennial speak,” which is only marginally less difficult to understand than Andy Burgess’s “Nadsat” in his 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange. However, it is insightful. Millenials, according to Spiegel, see casual sex more like an enjoyable recreational sport, than any generation before. Little more than scratching an itch located in one’s genitalia. It is as though bonding, connection, and reproduction are now alien concepts to sex, and should be sent beyond the city gates with the proverbial lepers.
Admittedly, many previous generations have long considered what Spiegel talks about as good sexual manners. The core ideas are definitely not anything new or revolutionary. However, what does appear quasi-revolutionary to many older generations, is the sheer quantity of casual sexual encounters that the average thirtysomething individual seems to be indulging in.
Feel no shame
Essentially, older generations may interpret Spiegel’s treatise on learning how not to be ashamed during sex as “sexual etiquette when trying out all the different flavors of potential sexual partners.” The concept of developing depth in a relationship through sex has been cast aside. Instead, modern sexuality is only a quest for personal understanding and self-exploration.
Millenial sex has become a kind of mutual masturbation that looks a lot like intercourse but really is all about the self. Millenial sex like a kid in a candy store. You pay for your bag of sexual sweets with a meticulously politically accurate consent and an air of mutual kindness. In Spiegel’s words: “recreational sweetness and connection. And orgasms.”
So what are Spiegel’s key ideas about removing shame from, what she believes, previous generations viewed as sexual faux pas? The young author lists a number of things that she has noticed many people feel ashamed about experiencing, during a sexual encounter. She also particularly calls on young women to not apologize for enjoying sex. Spiegel also wishes to break down the misconception that sex should be soft-focus and perfect. Indeed, it is gritty, full of fluids, noises, near misses, fumbling and a rollercoaster of feelings. All of this is normal sex, Spiegel stresses.
Educating from her own experiences
Spiegel takes the opportunity to use her own experiences to be examples of things that can occur during sex. Things that she believes don’t need to be accompanied by shame. Speigel places “queefing” as the first item on her “don’t-be-embarrassed-about-this-thing” list. To people in long term relationships, generally, the expelling of air from the vagina during sex becomes a non-event. Or, at most, a quickly forgotten thing to giggle about.
However, in this generation, that is having sexual encounters with friends and casual acquaintances, you never get enough time to work out where said partner stands on such things. This is why Spiegel’s book is so timely for this generation. “Queefing” was a non-issue for previous generations who were more likely to have sex with a long term partner. Nowadays, it occurs in an alien territory for which Spiegel believes her book provides a map.
Millennials as an open-minded generation
Millenials also feel more open-minded than any previous generation felt, about masturbation. Never before has any generation talked about and written about the subject more freely. Indeed, Millennials see masturbation as much of an essential part of their day as brushing their teeth. Speigel then explains to the Millennial reader what to do if someone catches them masturbating or finds them in a compromising sexual situation.
Firstly she reassures the reader that everyone is caught in a sexually compromising situation at least once in their life. Still, she thinks the risks of things like public sex are worth it, and if one isn’t caught, are indeed extremely memorable. However, she does list some feeble excuses that the reader can offer to an unsuspecting person that stumbles across them mid-sexual-gymnastics.
Finally, Spiegel tries to reassure the reader that lube is their friend. Also, they should normalize period blood. She explains that someone shooting semen in your eye is mighty painful. All in all, the randy Millennial should sexually indulge in whatever they please. That is, as long as the reader has ascertained consent. And of course is above all kind to whoever wants to partner them in saucy indulgences. And naturally, she warns readers to not indulge the naked body in hot sauce.