5 Bad Sexual Decisions (And Why We Make Them)

You’re a human, right? Humans, almost exclusively, arrive on Earth out of other humans, and they got in those other humans as a result of different humans being inside those humans first. It’s a rich tapestry of insides and outsides, and we call it sex. And while it seems super simple, it’s actually a whole shitstorm of awkwardness, hilarious noises, and, from time to time, absolutely terrible decisions. Because we’re so obsessed with sex as a species, it’s no wonder that sometimes we just fuck it up and go about attaining it in perplexing fashions. For example …

5

Going Back To The Ex

I’ve written about my ex before, and God willing, she’s read one or two of those articles and silently cursed me for it. I have absolutely no need to talk about her here, however, because this is about the human penchant for going back to your ex like a boomerang zooming back to the shrill, confusing, takes-a-photo-of-its-poop-and-emails-it-to-you hand that threw it. I have absolutely no desire to ever leap into that stygian quagmire ever again. But hey, it takes all kinds.

On paper, going back to an ex makes no sense. They’re an ex for a reason, whatever it may have been. You like ham sandwiches, they like licking other people’s crotches behind your back. It’s a square-peg-in-a-round-hole situation. But a whole whack of people still do it, so what’s up with that silly shit?

The easiest thing to point to is a heady brew of loneliness and familiarity. You broke up, so now you’re alone, which is easily one of the top three causes of loneliness, next to an outbreak of the pox and spontaneous moon teleportation. So to alleviate your terminal case of Eating A Whole Pizza By Yourself, you give them a ring or a text, or you throw a bird through their window like the settlers used to do.

About a third of respondents in one study admitted to having sex with their ex after splitting up. The reason? You feel like you lost something, and it helps offset that feeling of loss. And if the two of you aren’t 100 percent monster cocks, then you’ll both be feeling it and maybe think this is a good idea, ignoring whatever awfulness led you to break up in the first place — at least for as long as it takes to bump uglies.

Another study points to another seemingly obvious motivation: the hope that it’s not really over. Because once something is over, you have a bad habit of selectively remembering the good parts, kind of like the way everyone talks about “the good old days” or the movie Superman Returns.

4

One-Night Stands

The legal drinking age is 19 where I live, and I remember one of the first times I ever went to a bar with a whole bunch of student loan money in my pocket and a liver made from meringue and mouse farts that was in no way equipped to process what was about to befall it. At one point in the evening, the shooter girl was just sitting with me, and I was buying shots and tipping her for them, and also buying her shots and tipping her for them. And as a drunken 19-year-old dolt, I was entirely convinced she was hanging out with me because she liked me. I was totally gonna score. High five, no one at all!

I totally didn’t score, you guys. But I would have if she’d been down in any way, shape, or form. But why would I even want to? It sounds kind of stupid on the surface. Why would I ever dream of having sex with someone I barely knew? Or didn’t even know at all? Cuz again, high five, bro! But there is a little more to it than that.

No-strings-attached sex, anonymous sex, one-night stands, and all that jazz bear the scarlet letter of shame and degradation on a grand societal scale. What woman isn’t called a slut by some judgmental dickhead for engaging in such behavior, possibly even by the trash bag she ended up sleeping with? We frown upon it even though studies indicate more than half of us do it. If more than half of people do a thing, it’s “the norm.”

The motives behind a one-night stand tend to differ between the sexes. In general, you may be surprised to learn that dudes just want to pork. Shocking! Women, while probably also wanting to pork to a greater or lesser degree, also express a desire to feel desired, and an appreciation for the flattery and attention they receive from the person they’ve elected to rub grundles with. Is the flattery contrived and manipulative toward the goal of that aforementioned pork party? Quite possibly, but it seems like no one really cares. Most women probably aren’t convinced that the dude they just met who says they’re the most beautiful girl ever really means it. They just like hearing that they’re hot and want to get off. So they go with it. Makes sense.

Plus, it’s a little thrilling, kind of like being on a sex roller coaster without having to actually have sex on a roller coaster. Which is the most overrated carnival ride to do it on, by the way. Merry-go-round foursomes, that’s where it’s at.

3

Unprotected Sex

What’s the riskiest form of sex you can have? Hammock sex over a shark tank? That’s absurd. What is the hammock even attached to? Is this some kind of hammock tank? Who manufactures those? The answer is much more simple and less hilarious — it’s that bareback, unprotected, viral swampy sex that you never want to engage in with strangers, because do you have any idea how many terrible things can live in sinister crotches? All the syphillarrheamydia and whatnot that you can get? Blech.

Despite how everyone ever has been told about a million times about AIDS and HIV and unwanted pregnancy and crabs and herpes and dick-fall-off syndrome, that shit is more popular than caramel corn, which I assume is popular in a sort of mid-range way. Like, not everyone is eating it, but it’s not hard to find if you want it. And the problem is that a lot of people don’t think they’re at risk, so they don’t care.

So what makes you risk it all for a little slap-and-tickle? Turns out your brain is an idiot, and self-preservation is easily manipulated by a pretty face. In one study, women were asked to look at photos of different men and rate their willingness to have unprotected sex with them, as well as rate the likelihood that the man had an STD. Based on nothing more than their images, across the board, women assumed the better-looking men were disease-free, and more said they would be willing to have unprotected sex with them. Now, if you do any research into virology, you’ll notice there isn’t a “sexy barrier” which surrounds the good-looking and keeps them safe from miscellaneous sores.

The most harrowing part of this study was that it was conducted with women. I don’t know if there’s a parallel study done with men, and I don’t need to know. Neither do you, because you know exactly how that would turn out. While a surprising number of women would risk disease for a good-looking dude, assume a large number of men would risk the same for a female who’s still breathing.

2

Pay-For-Play

They say the world’s oldest profession is prostitution, but I bet “old-timey bike repairman” is way up there too. Because for real, someone had to repair those old bikes when pelicans got stuck in the big wheel or whatever, right? Think about it.

Prostitution, whether for money or bike repairs, still has a bad reputation, despite the fact that most of us can agree that sex feels good and we should all be free to spend our own money however we see fit. But hey, humanity thrives on hypocritical bullshit, so woo-hoo! Given society’s penchant for shitting on prostitutes and their clients, and the fact that it’s still very much illegal in many places, and the further complication of the potential for a criminal element being involved with pimps, trafficking, drugs, or zombie crime lords, then you can see why anyone visiting a prostitute is engaging in some kind of risk, even if it’s undeserved.

So why is anyone risking jail and social ball-kicking to pay for sex? A surprisingly low number of men actually have paid for sex, with one survey indicating that about 1 percent of the population has done so. And among those, there’s a definite profile for hobbyists, the kinds of dudes who regularly pay for sex and actually go to message boards to share info on the subject. These regulars are often married, white, and earning over $120,000 a year. They also don’t typically partake in street prostitution, as they find escorts on websites, like proper Millennials. And they don’t have much in the line of guilt, either. In so many words, these guys pay for sex because they like it, it’s easy, and in their minds, it’s perfectly normal.

To put this another way, why would men engage in the risky behavior of soliciting prostitution? They don’t, because they don’t view it as risky. Oooh, a twist. This column just got Shyamalan’d.

1

Infidelity

I’d like to think that about a week after the first marriage ever was the first time someone said “It’s not what it looks like!” as they frantically tried to cover multiple glistening loins from the withering stare of their new spouse. Since that time, the question of why people cheat has plagued our species. For those who demand monogamy, this pervasive tendency toward everything-with-an-orifice-ogamy is a real headscratcher.

There aren’t a whole lot of upsides to having an affair. Sure, you get to experience a fun new slot, nozzle, squirt whistle, crap flap, chowder chute, or salty churro, but you have to do it on the sly, constantly looking over your shoulder. And when the gig is up, at best you ruin a relationship, and at worst all your shit gets lit on fire on the lawn. Or someone cuts a dick off. That happens. More often than you’d think.

Knowing all the downsides to cheating, a logical person might assume the smart thing to do is break up with your significant other and then freely sprinkle your sex musk wherever you please. But that rarely happens. Some research indicates that one half of a couple will have an affair in 60 percent of all couples. That’s a pretty significant number for a potentially life-changing act that you willingly commit. Imagine if 60 percent of people in a relationship opted to shit in the Thanksgiving turkey at the in-laws. Not on. In.

Psychologically speaking, the reason someone goes all stupid and has an affair is that they’re just really selfish and up their own ass. That’s not psychology lingo poetry, but it can be broken down that way. An affair means personal validation. It’s what the person having an affair wants to make them feel good about themselves. The other person is almost inconsequential. They tell the cheater they’re special, they’re sexy, they’re smart. And that shit feels good.

Some cheaters will manage to sustain a relationship, and even fall in love with the person they have an affair with, but the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” isn’t just based on hurt feelings and a little smoke up the ass. Because even in that new relationship, over time, they’re going to want new validation and new exciting feelings, and they’ll stray once again. At its core, this behavior is the same kind of stunted shit you see with a spoiled child who gets a new toy and immediately wants the toy the kid next door has instead. Or in more internet terms, when you buy something for the cat and it sits in the box instead. Fucker.

Follow Ian on Twitter for the latest news in the worlds of ham, cats, and disappointment.

If you’re cat’s just gonna sit in the box anyway, why not just make the box furniture? Try a storage ottoman.

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