Life Family Features

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Women can’t afford to enjoy one-night stands like the boys

The female of the species has far more to lose, writes Niamh Horan

Published 29/06/2014 | 00:00

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As we come through the other side of ‘sexual liberation’, you’d have to wonder who the real winners are

SO here we are ladies. It's 2014, we have finally got what we wanted. We can have sex like the lads now.

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Fist-bump.

We can sleep with who we want, when we want, get our bit and there's no guilt in it.

And don't let anyone make you feel any other way OK? Or we'll beat them over the head with our feminist placards.

But wait a minute, if all is fair in love and tequila-fuelled shagging, why then did four women have to go to the highest court in the land last week to try and regularise the untidy consequences.

In a largely unmarked case, the four unnamed mothers sought to have their current partners' names recorded on the birth certificates of their children.

They couldn't name the natural fathers because they all became pregnant through one-night stands with strangers.

They said that they met their sexual partners in bars or nightclubs in Ireland and - in one case - abroad.

In all cases, it was drink-fuelled. Some only managed to get the guy's first name; others hadn't even been given one.

There was even talk in court of issuing a "round robin letter" in the different locations to track down the Lotharios. But this was decided against as it might cause more harm than good.

God only knows who would turn up.

So, instead, the women decided to put their "current" partners' names on the birth certificates, allowing them to wrap up the messy night up in a nice little bow. Until the day they 
have to explain it to the child, that is.

With the flick of a pen, these women could write the father out of existence to tidy up the inconvenient circumstances in which they got pregnant.

With all our talk of an equal approach to sex, we kinda forgot to take responsibility for our actions or even acknowledge that there are consequences.

Why are we so afraid to admit that?

Yes, contraception has done wonders - mostly for women with a steady partner and to ensure a girl's sex life does not interfere with her career - but it has not armed us for drink- fuelled, carefree sex.

For a start, how many women do you know who carry condoms?

And if they do then all it takes is one drunken night.

What we need is a mindset that makes us more cautious not to get too drunk, to be 'with it', a little more, dare I say, responsible for how we conduct ourselves.

But we can't have a different ethos if we keep fooling each other into acting 'just like the boys'. Doing so is to deny our very biology.

Evolutionary psychologists now insist that all our attitudes towards casual sex are inherited from our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Male promiscuity is advantageous because it allows them to father more children whereas females are hard-wired to choose who they sleep with carefully to produce better genes for their offspring.

Why is it widely accepted that we can talk about the hunter-gatherer approach when it comes to our diet, but not apply the same to our well-being when it comes to sexual reproduction?

And even if you don't want to argue the blatant physical differences, don't try and argue there is still no widespread social stigma attached to women and casual sex.

Women in the media are willing to pen articles gushing about how they are "happy to be 30, 40, 50 and single with no children" when none is hoping to write about the great time they're having in the process enjoying casual sex? Has all this new found freedom really worked out the way they wanted it to?

Try telling a woman in her 50s that she's on an equal playing pitch when she's watching a man the same age across the bar pull a 20 year old.

As we come through the other side of our 'sexual liberation' you'd have to wonder who the real winners are.

The men didn't fare too badly at all eh?

Maybe we have a bit of revising to do.

Because we are discovering that, actually, equality in sex isn't as cut and dried as previous generations led us to believe.

And these issues are going to be a lot harder to solve than by popping a tiny white pill.

Sunday Independent

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