Generation Z, Sex and Intimacy.
Born in 1996, I belong to 'Generation Z', and like most generations, there are many misconceptions of the people in it, most of them about sex and intimacy.
'Generation Z- The sexless generation' was a result when I googled the term. Sexless generation? There is more sex within this generation than there is friendship, romance, and relationships. I believe that this generation, not unlike Millenials, is more open about sex, we talk about it more. I think one of the reasons that people believe that we are having less sex than any other generation is because most of our relationships and lives are online. If anything, I think that sex is less serious than before, we seem to have more sexual partners than we do actual, meaningful relationships. Think about this, even those in the generation that do not have much one-on-one, in-person sex, still have sexual experiences with others online; and scary as it is for a lot of us to think about, this generation sends more nude photos than anything else, which in my eyes is a form of sex.
Online dating has been accused of killing romance, and in some cases maybe it has, but in others it has helped some find it. One of the main characteristics of Generation Z is that they seem to work for money, not always doing what they love, working more hours to earn more money, which in turn sometimes means that they don't have lots of free time to go out and meet people the old fashioned way, and so, in comes online dating. We share so much with someone online, we haven't met them yet but somehow we end up sharing our most intimate feelings and secrets, some fall in love with the person on the other end of the phone. There are so many different forms of intimacy and I think that sometimes people don't understand that.
A rise in reports of Mental Health issues connects to this generation, could that be because Social Media has completely taken over? There is proof that there is an obvious correlation between Social Media and suicides, but I do not believe that the internet and Social Media are the only reasons that reports are mainly within this generation, the fact that we are more intimate online helps us to talk about issues like this. Mental Health is a silent killer and for some reason, we seem to get some sort of therapy by sharing this with others, it is a hell of a lot easier to tell a complete stranger you have almost given up than to tell someone close to you.
Back to the topic of sex, this generation is actually incredibly open about sex, and their desires. Social Media, internet, and blogs have made it so much easier for us to talk about things that we really would not necessarily want to. The anonymity of the internet makes it that way, and while researching for this piece, I seem to have found that this generation is a little bit more open-minded when it comes to sex than previous ones. The kinks are stronger, the sex a lot more complicated and pretty damn strenuous. BDSM seems to be a popular sexual preference within this generation, and I think that this is because they seem to want to push their boundaries more, and BDSM gives them the chance to try it, and it all comes from this open dialogue that they seem to have.
I belong to Generation Z and I know we have more sex than other generations seem to think, it is just a whole different type of sex and intimacy.
Personal intimacy in an impersonal way.
We share our most intimate thoughts and emotions with strangers on the internet and we don't apologise for it. We don't think about it, question it, or change it. Our whole lives are put online and that comes with so many different things, it comes with honesty and vulnerability, with pride and necessity, and unfortunately also with a little bit of danger.
We may be disconnected at times but we also find ways to stay connected to the rest of the world. Magazines are online now, we hear our loved ones have passed through Facebook before our families can even tell us to our faces, we see fake smiles on Instagram and we debate on Twitter. Everything about our lives is there on the Computer, Phone, or Tablet screen but it's our normal, it's our every day and it's just the way it is now.
I saw a post by a woman today, there were pictures and a long explanation as to why she was sharing it with the world, the pictures were of bruises on her face, scratches on her body and marks on her neck. She was telling the story of a man she loved and thought loved her back that would never hurt her. She was telling her most intimate story of a battered woman and it was genuinely inspiring, reaching out to thousands around the world that her story matters, their stories matter and I have no doubt in my mind she saved lives by doing it. She saved lives by telling the internet how she got the strength to leave and her bravery will have inspired many.
I saw a story last week, a story about a man who had committed suicide, friends and family spoke of his character, the way he made others laugh and a tagline at the bottom said 'it's okay not to be okay.' Here's the thing, the internet has made it easier to open up about things that before would be thought of as 'taboo' or that we would be too afraid to talk about.
I could go on and on listing the different stories that have resonated with me in my time on the internet, I could tell you things I have read or been inspired by, the battered women of the world, the victims, the voiceless and the powerless, the ones that made me laugh, cry, get angry and fall in love, the stories of people I've never met. I could do this but I don't think I have to because reading this I am almost positive you know what I am talking about.
When I was 15 I was extremely depressed, insecure and afraid, I logged onto the internet and spent about half an hour scrolling down thinking about how I honestly did not want to wake up the next day, and I came across a story. A story of overcoming yourself, a story of a woman who had tried to end her life and shared the way she ended up getting through it with the world, THAT story changed my life, THAT woman saved my life.
So yes we may be disconnected in a way, and we may not have many face-to-face conversations, but intimacy is changing every single day, the way that we share intimate thoughts and feelings is changing, so either jump on board, or leave us the hell alone, because from where I am sitting, it is changing the world.
I Belong to Generation Z and I am proud to say that we are intimate in so many ways, I am proud of my generation.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Keagan Price