This movie with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman was a bit of a puzzle to me. It deals with a universally accepted idea that sex without commitment is superior to sex “with strings”. Why is that? In my experience, the exact opposite is true. Being in love and exclusive totally takes sex to the next level. Love is the secret sauce that makes it all so much more fulfilling. To feel loved on multiple levels at the same time is extraordinary.
Is this a case of us buying into the idea that people “try harder” at sex when trying to get a partner into a relationship? Sort of a bait and switch type of thing? I have been in multiple long-term relationships as a serial monogamist and my experience has again, been the exact opposite. As you grow closer, you feel more comfortable, able to try more things, sample more of the buffet I talked about in the Sex article. Plus, there’s the angle of feeling secure in the relationship and you are doing these things to please your partner and yourself for the sake of just that – pleasure. No ulterior motive.
It is never explicitly explained why these 2 characters so desperately avoid commitment. For Adam, we can assume that it is related to his dad being a total fuckwit and sleeping with his ex-girlfriend. Seems possible this is not the first time his dad has acted like a dick and provided a poor example of a good relationship. With Emma though – why is she so against falling in love? Maybe she is too busy, but that seems like a cop-out. Maybe they both feel abandoned by their dads (she by death, he by his dad being such a jerk) and have become willing to risk attachment as a means to avoid getting hurt? We can only speculate.
Or maybe they both are just products of our culture. We see their friends high fiving them, congratulating and encouraging them in their sex-only relationship. Another instance of caving into peer pressure? What is so terrible about relationships that they are best avoided? I find this very puzzling. Relationships and love are great. Find the right fit and it doesn’t have to feel like constant aggravation and hard work. It can just be a joy. Inside and outside of the bedroom! That’s another thing – the opening sex scene between Adam and Emma was completely ridiculous. Like they are really going to rip their clothes off when she has 10 minutes to get to work and a houseful of roommates right outside the door? And, she’s gonna come with no foreplay and approximately 45 seconds of penetration? I don’t think so! And this is annoyingly damaging to young men and women who are going to think there is something wrong with the girl when it doesn’t happen like this for them. Maybe I need to write an anatomy lesson…