When I saw this statistic I was surprised. Then I thought about it some more and realised that it indicates a sad truth – those people probably have terrible sex lives that they really wouldn’t miss, even for a year.
On reflection I shouldn’t be surprised. The reality I think is that most people aren’t having the sex that they want and many people – especially women – become resigned to that. In that case a trip to Aspen, or Venice in return for losing something you don’t get or don’t enjoy seems like a good deal.
So the real question here isn’t “Why would anyone make that trade?” it’s more like “Why do we as a society value and prioritise our sexuality and sex lives so little?”.
As a male escort for women, sex is a central aspect of my life. My sexuality is something that I have a deep relationship with and am fully aware of. This is necessary for my work, but I came to realise many years ago that a rewarding sex life was an important part of my happiness as a person – so hearing someone say that they would go without sex for a year just to go on a trip is to me, shocking.
There are many reasons why sex is at the bottom of so many peoples list of priorities for their lives.
Once, religion and it’s influence would have been high on this list, but – here in Australia at least – that is much less of a factor these days.
Our atomised communities is probably the largest problem now. Our government said just this week that single people should be prepared to move (anywhere in the country presumably) to “get a job”, ignoring entirely the impact of social dislocation – that is the loss of friendship networks, family, and other community caused by moving away. We are a social species, meaning that we need to be around other people who we know and are connected to to be happy and healthy. That also happens to be the ideal context in which to find someone to have fulfilling sex and relationships with. So people, isolated from the network that lets them find a partner just end up not having sex at all.
Social media – blight on society that it is – also bears some blame. It makes people feel inadequate, allows them to substitute virtual experiences for real ones (and therefore increase their isolation), or gives them bad experiences that discourage them from dating (Tinder et al I’m looking at you here).
Work and debt is a third problem. Most people I know here in Sydney are forced to work to live by high rent or mortgages. It means that work is the central thing in their lives and leaves precious little time and energy for any thing else. And lets face it – the relationships (whether casual or long term) required to find fulfilling sex require time and effort to build and maintain.
In conclusion, while I think that society generally disparages sex and sexuality and treats it as unimportant at best and something to be ashamed of at worst, the biggest problem is that for many people there simply isn’t room in their lives for sex. Sometimes that is our own fault and others it is societal pressure and expectations (like building a career, buying a home, or having a family).
So how do we get past those problems?
It’s not easy. The first thing to do though is work out what sex means to you and what priority you are prepared to give it in your life. That’s the starting point. Once you know the answer to that, then you can adjust the competing priorities in your life to give your sexuality the room it needs to grow.