One Rant at a Time

Whatever heaves into view........better keep its head down.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Sex Post....or not

I'm sure a lot of us have come across Yahoo's big British Sex Survey. One of the big, hairy conclusions it reaches is that women between 19 and 24 -- the "LiberTinas" as the survey calls them -- "show much greater self confidence in expressing their sexual needs and desires, practices and behaviours." Which is fine by me; I like to know what my partner enjoys in bed, though she won't be between the ages of 19 and 24....

This got me to thinking. This sexual assertiveness is clearly the latest manifestation of the long, drawn-out process of women empowering themselves that began Lord knows how long ago. Betty Friedan? Germaine Greer? Sometime in the last century, anyway. First it was women claiming their conceptual freedom, burning their bras and using the Pill, then it was the assault on the workplace and public life and now with sex, hopefully, they're close to the summit of Mt. Equality.

But something else occurred to me, too. If women are enjoying long and more fulfilling careers that develop, grow and become high-powered ones, perhaps they are putting of the business of settling down and helping raise a family. And statistics say that the age of marriage is indeed getting older; the UK office of national statistics says that in 1961, the biggest age category for weddings was 20-24. In 2002 it was 25-29. And the numbers of marriages... wow. In 1961 there were over 161,000 weddings of 20-24 year olds. In 2002, there were 71,500 marriages between 25-29 year olds.

Right. So far we've established that more women are working, and we're getting married later.

So what happens to those non-married years? The girls are out partying ("Ladettes") or having good quality sex ("LiberTinas"). The boys were doing this all along. Let's assume they get married at 29. They spend their early 30s building up a home, and maybe by 35 they're ready to start thinking about children.

Think about that. When the kids hit their teenage years, the parents are pushing 50. When they graduate and come back from their two years' round-the-world experience, their parents are about to retire.

I was born in 1963. My mother was not yet 22, my father not yet 23. When I was ten, we were going on camping holidays, playing football in the park, going to watch car races, generally doing a fair bit as a family. So were many other kids.

But now, if we're going to be 45-50 when our kids hit those years, are we going to have the time, space and energy to devote to them? Dad's going to be a manager somewhere, Mum will have picked up her career again to bring in extra income. We're going to be tired, drained by our careers even before we get home each day to nurture our offspring. That was what our parents did in their 30s, surely?

So our 20s are becoming nothing more than an extension of our teenage years, though there's the benefit of a paycheck and a squalid flat-share. Our thirties are where we settle down. Our forties are when we worry about our children and careers. Our fifties? Still worrying.

Everything's been put back by a decade. Except the sex. That's happening a lot sooner, it seems.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

Hey, so where can I find these 20 -24 year olds and would thy find time to play with me. Subutteo of course.


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