By Emma Buchman
I was laying out my section of the paper one night when the temptation of watching “Doctor Who” became too overwhelming for me to handle. I went to Netflix and loaded up my favorite episode, “The Lazarus Experiment.” As I was watching, the normal events occur, I waited for the inevitable discomfort that would come when I saw Mark Gatiss’ character hitting on a young woman 50 years younger than him (it didn’t look as gross as it sounds, this is “Doctor Who” remember).
Then something hit me. As I watched I realized that it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable like it had when I was younger. It went from a feeling of “Ew gross, sex stuff on TV” to “Ew gross, get your hands off of her. You can sexy it up as much as you want, just not with her.” In an instant, I realized that I wasn’t uncomfortable about the sexual element, that it exists in this world, or that I was watching the foreplay of it happen right in front of me. I realized that I was uncomfortable only because it was a type of sexual element with which I don’t agree.
This epiphany made me realize that sex had come to mean something very different to me. I had moved beyond the teenaged angst that surrounds sex and had come to observe it as an adult. I realized that sex isn’t any different than anything else we carry with us throughout our lives. Its meaning changes for everyone as they get older. As we grow and mature, our knowledge diversifies, and we observe things differently. Sex is no exception. It runs along the same vein as understanding the dirty jokes in Disney movies. We understand the world around us and are able to judge things as complicated as sex in a different way.
Perhaps the only exception that sex may take in our lives is that we can’t control its growth. It’s something new that we either want to learn everything about or want to shut out of our lives entirely. It’s too complicated to control, so we let it fluctuate until it settles on its own direction.
Sex is something that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about. It’s a topic that is vastly open to interpretation and many people feel differently about it, but that’s exactly what makes it so relatable to everyone. We all have our own interpretations of sex and how we feel when we see it on TV.
Maybe this is something that everyone already knows, or maybe it’s something that nobody wants to hear about, but sex changes for everyone in one way or another. The perception of sex and what it means is unique to every individual. Whether everything about sex comes easily to you or it makes you want to cover your eyes and bury yourself in stuffed animals, sex is part of our lives and it will continuously change or remain static as you grow older. It identifies us as much as anything else does. It is a part of what makes us all different. It’s nothing about which to be embarrassed or ashamed. Like any other part of our personality, it is everyone’s right to interpret it the way that they see fit and to express those interpretations in a way that makes you comfortable.
However, all of us will always feel awkward watching a sex scene with our parents, no matter what age we are. That will never fly.