evaluating those locker room talks
March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
When reading “The Myth of the Sexual Athlete” by Don Sabo, I first tried to remember what guys in my high school were like. Growing up I was a bit of a tom-boy, so I tended to be a part of many “locker room talks”. Most of my guy friends considered me one of the guys, and I often got the brunt of their (usually quite disgusting) sex talks. I remember feeling pretty horrified when they would talk about their exploits. Being a freshman-sophomore in high school, these boys were new at being sexually active. They would describe smells and clothes and noises, and well… the personal stuff. I never really thought about how most guys talk like this about girls and their sexual experiences.
I decided to get a different experience from someone that I was close to, my boyfriend. He went to a different, much smaller high school than I did. I wanted to see if a smaller town had similar “locker room talks”. Sure enough, he had the same story for me. As we talked about it, it was interesting when he said “we talked about stuff usually in a disrespectful way, until we really liked the girl, then we didn’t discuss sex anymore.” It’s funny that he responded this way, without even knowing what I was reading. Sabo says in his essay, “when sexual relationships were ‘serious’, that is, tempered by love and commitment, the unspoken rule was silence.” It’s funny how shocking it was to me that this manner seemed to be pretty universal within young guys.
Next I thought about when my friends and I started becoming sexually active. I realized that girls felt the exact opposite that guys did. I’m not sure if it’s the social stigma that younger girls (sometimes all girls) having sex automatically makes them a whore, or if we just didn’t talk about it. Either way, girls were much more secretive than guys were about their sexual conquests. I also thought about myself now. Not to be too overly honest, but I do feel like now that my friends and I are older, we talk about guys and sex in a much more open manner than we ever would when we were younger. In a way, the gendered sex talks are completely reversed with age.
I found it interesting when Sabo describes the debate between wanting just eroticism or just wanting an emotional connection. He is right when he says that some guys do experience relationships that are just sexual. I think what isn’t exactly talked about it the fact that girls are/can be a part of this only sexual relationship. It is common in both homo and hetero relationships.
I think it is extremely important for people to reevaluate, redefine, and explore their sexuality. It is something that is without a doubt ever changing. From first sexual experience to adulthood, sex is changing constantly. I enjoyed this article because it allowed me to think about myself, and where I stand in these opinions and situations as a woman.