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growing up with sexual stereotypes

posted by sitre team
growing up with sexual stereotypes

We found it extremely important to make sitre genderless and for all sexualities. There’s many reasons for this. Firstly, we don’t think sexual taboos and stereotypes are only connected to one gender or sexuality. Secondly, we think it’s important to make conversation about intimacy between friends, partners and just human beings easier - and because of that we need to make a product and platform that appeals to everyone. There’s others reasons too.

This week we’re having a conversation with Jan & Rasmus. Two men, two friends, two heterosexuals. The reason we’re pointing this out is that it’s very rare that we talk about the taboos there’s connected to straight men. For good reasons - we (and many others) would argue. But that doesn’t mean that straight men don’t have challenges. There’s still pressure, taboos and outdated stories being kept alive by the society.

We found this conversation extremely insightful. It is important to hear different people's stories and we felt like we heard a completely new perspective on sexual stereotypes and taboos. So thank you Jan & Rasmus for sharing your stories and perspectives. You can follow Jan here og Rasmus here.

Hi Jan and Rasmus. Let’s start by going back in time a bit. How did you think of sex as young men?

Jan: Well… it was realistic. But very mechanical. More like a checklist.

Rasmus: Internet porn wasn’t a thing when we were young. I didn’t have porn magazines or films. So when my friends started having sex it was more a very basic conversations.

Jan: Yeah, you didn’t know what a reverse cowgirl was. You literally had to have a VVS tape to watch porn.

Rasmus: I remember the first time I had sex. I was 14 and it was on a holiday. But it wasn’t like OH YEAH I FUCKED HER. I was a total noob. I don’t think I had ever seen anyone have sex.

Jan: I was probably around 15. And it was more a thing that happened because it felt like it should happen. So I could tell my friends.

Rasmus: Today the young people’s sexual debut must be so tainted by the porns they’ve watched.

Do you talk your friends about sex today?

Rasmus: It’s become such an everyday thing. When you’re young, you’re excited about it as it’s something new. It’s still amazing of course, but it doesn’t fill in my thoughts the same way.

Jan: Yeah I don’t think I’ve told anyone about my sex life since I’ve met my wife. But I do love when people speak honestly about sex. Everyone has their thing and no one should ever feel wrong because of that. I wish we could all talk more about those things.

Rasmus: When I think about the conversations I have about sex with my friends today, it’s almost always in a negative light. A lot of them have kids, so it’s more about how there’s no time or energy to have sex. You never speak about the positive experiences.

Jan: I think it’s important to use your friends to talk about sex so your desires don’t become a taboo. When we speak about these things, we find out we all have desires. But our deepest desires are often the ones we feel are wrong. For example, the countries that watch most gay porn are the the countries where homosexuality is illegal. That’s a shame - we should all be able to follow our desires without feeling shame.

Can you relate to the image that’s portrayed as being a ‘sexy straight man’?

Rasmus: No not all. It’s Hollywood. It’s fake.

Jan: Agree.

So do you feel there are any taboos that affect you as a straight man?

Jan: It’s something that’s hard to change. But for example, when a woman masturbate, it’s sexy. When a man masturbate, it’s disgusting. When a woman buys sex toys, it’s about freedom. When a man buys a ‘flashlight’ it’s gross. And that’s just a shame, there should be room for all of us.

Rasmus: Yeah. The image of ‘male sexuality’ has not changed… ever. It’s a man in boxers. He looks like a rock. And has this ‘I don’t care’ facial expression. It’s interesting, because most men don’t look like the guy from the Gucci ad. It’s hard not to get affected by it. Especially for young men.

Jan: Yeah and the story is that you’re worth nothing if you don’t have a massive dick. Just think about Big Dick energy. And you can’t do anything about it. 

Rasmus: Yeah, as a young guy in the fitting room - if you’re the guy with the smallest dick, you got a problem. And it’ll affect you the rest of your life.

Jan: And it might even be a completely normal size, but you won’t know that…

Rasmus: You don’t care as much when you’re older. But imagine being a young kid and seeing that. And then if you go to Porn Hub - you just think something is completely wrong with you.

Jan: It’s like height. You’re not a man if you’re not tall. You even see it in dating ads - that people will only date men of a certain height.

Rasmus: It’s so connected to your masculinity. And sexiness.

Do you think this can change?

Rasmus: It’s hard.

Jan: Yeah, and regarding sex toys. I think there’s such taboos around it partly because men feel like a failure if they can’t find a partner, even for one night. That’s the story that’s being told.

Rasmus: I agree. It goes so deep. It’s about being able to create a family. Being single is still a taboo in many ways. And for straight men, that’s what sex toys represent.

Jan: There’s still this very basic story being told about men’s worth. It’s still down to such basic stereotypes. The man who has to provide.

Does it affect you?

Jan: In some ways. I’ve thought about things in the past… like, what do you do if you can’t get hard. Then it feels like your dick isn’t working and that’s so connected to your worth. It is stone age logic. It puts such pressure on men.

Rasmus: If you had asked me a few years ago, my answer would be different. But I do feel like it’s changed as I’ve gotten older. I have a girlfriend that I love and who makes me feel safe. But I felt a massive pressure in the beginning of my 20’s.

Jan: Reality shows even sound effects when the man comes really fast. Or if he can’t get hard. And then they interview the woman after about how disappointing it was.

Rasmus: Let’s be honest. It’s hard to paint a picture of men being the victims. But it IS hard. You do feel like you’re a failure if you can’t perform.

And finally, what would you tell your younger self today?

Rasmus: Just chill. You’re good enough. Don’t think about performing. When it’s good for you, it’ll show.

Jan: Yeah. And I would tell myself that I’m not strange or weird. It’s all okay. Sex isn’t at all what you think it is as a teenage boy. So don’t feel so much pressure.

Rasmus: Because that will also only make the sex worse.

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Thank you so much to Jan and Rasmus for sharing. We loved learning more about intimacy, taboos and pressure through this conversation.

sitre is a sex wellness company on a mission to change the perception of sexiness through stories and products. because sex happens as much in our heads as in our bodies, so it’s time we start caring for both.

Our first product is a sex gel: a luxury lube full of natural ingredients to create high quality moisture. Learn more here.

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