Euphoria Dysphoria – Who said this was an acceptable way to date? And why aren’t more people alarmed by this?
“Y’all need to walk into this party tonight like your pussies cost $1 million!”
“You just need to catch a dick and forget about all of your troubles.”
Two phrases of dialogue I paused to write down in the pilot episode of Euphoria starring the young star, Zendaya.
I would have never watched this show or known what all the fuss was about if a high school client of mine hadn’t mentioned it more than once in a casual way. Her mother asked me to watch it to weigh in on it. She mentioned her daughter had already watched the full first season. And she was pumped to see the second season.
This parent loves her daughter and wants what’s best for her, but there is no way to stay on top of all the things our kids are being exposed to with internet technology in their palms and pockets all the time.
That sentence alone is alarming.
How are we supposed to parent then?
Almost seems futile against this tsunami of toxic masculinity, LGBTQIA oppression and discrimination, violence, mental health, and addiction issues, sexual irreverence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, addictions, school shootings, COVID isolation, and even more reliance on social media, etc., etc., etc.
“The show creates a visceral response,” said one review. Geez, you can say that again. I felt like I had just binge-watched the whole first season of Breaking Bad (which as a full-grown adult, I ultimately enjoyed) after just watching the single pilot episode of this series.
“I know your generation relied on flowers and father’s permission. But it’s 2019, nudes are the currency of love. So stop shaming us.”
Another line from this first episode. Sad. Heartbreaking really.
Just because I hold you accountable for what you’re doing and you respond to that accountability by feeling shame, does not mean I’m shaming you.
I created the LipSync dating program to help people discover much more about themselves, thereby, increasing their chances of being able to date from a much more empowered place, and therefore, get much better results.
When did sharing nudes = empowerment?!
Um, they don’t.
Let me give you a brief description of what I think went wrong in the dating world. And how we desperately need to right this wrong. ASAP. Yesterday. Even 15 years ago. Or more. It’s bad!
Many, many years ago in Victorian times (think Bridegerton but with less beautiful people and more drab clothes) men could go around and have indiscriminate sex with anyone they wanted to. Yes, even while married, as long as they were minimally discreet about it, while women were not allowed to even have someone steal a kiss from them in a garden without feeling like their virtue had been destroyed, unless they commit the rest of their life to this person in matrimony, not only to save their virtue but the virtue and honor of their whole family.
What bullshit, right? But it was how it went for many centuries and generations. Men could have indiscriminate and non-comitted sex but women could not without being ho’s.
I still am baffled that Mary Morrissey, a teacher and spiritual thought leader who is about 73 years old today, was kicked out of high school for getting pregnant at 17 and sent to night school so she couldn’t be seen with the other students. Like it was an infection others could catch. It was around 1966. Not surprising, the boy wasn’t sent to night school. Just her.
Around this time, in other parts of the world, probably much bigger cities than where Mary was, birth control was introduced and we had the makings of the sexual revolution.
But instead of elevating the act of sex into something that helps to celebrate and sustain lasting connection, it continues to make it an activity of mere pleasure and/or power. Of desire and satiation. All physical with none of the spiritual.
Instead of women taking the act of sex higher, we denigrated it too, just like men have for centuries and somehow felt this would finally even the playing field.
Toxic masculinity, meet nothing new. Yeah, absolutely nothing new here. We women are just going to act like we have the power now. When in fact we’re just doing the exact same thing to the sexual act that men did to it for centuries and culture after culture and religion after religion has done.
And now, this generation has taken that up a notch even higher.
When a girl in the show is having a hookup sex situation in the pool at a party to get revenge on her ex, he approaches the pool and with snide derision says, “Real classy”. I think he might have called her a “ho”, too. And she responds with, “Suck my dick.” and giggles as she continues to tongue kiss the guy she’s wrapped around in her underwear in the pool.
When a young woman tells me in a session or in my research that they feel really empowered when they are wearing their fuck-me-pumps, a short skirt and their cleavage is showing, I just want to weep.
They mean this shit. You might even recognize yourself here, too. They don’t hear themselves. I remember thinking that, too, before I learned what I know now.
But that just means me and maybe you, too, have fallen victim to the exact same dynamic that we fell prey to in the ’60s with the invention of birth control.
Now instead of saying we don’t want our breasts, boobs, tits, and all of our other curves to titillate and arouse men because that would make us look less than virtuous and I’d rather die than be seen without my virtue Victorian BS attitude, we are saying we can flaunt and use all of this whenever the fuck we want to with selfies, nude pics, hookups, orgies, porn, etc. without it meaning a thing now. WE. DON’T. GIVE. A. FUCK.
But we do.
Depression, anxiety, addiction, substance abuse, mental health with suicide attempts, and actual suicide, plus violence and rape are reaching all-time highs.
Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves. The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the third leading cause of death in adolescents and the second leading cause of death among college-age youth.*1
We do give a fuck.
But we don’t know how to do it differently.
Instead of doing something better. We did exactly what men have always done to us. We used our bodies as currency, and therefore, to determine our worth and value. How desirable am I? How fuckable am I? How much pleasure does this guy need me to give him? How much attention can I get from him? Because that is the only source of true power or worth–my fuckability. All lies. But it’s what we’ve been told for centuries and we still haven’t changed the dialogue. We just decided we would take charge of it and act like we liked it. But we don’t.
I refer you again to the statistics on mental health and physical health issues around this.
The analysis of 23 studies comprising of 41,723 participants younger than 18-years old found “significant associations” between sexting and increased sexual activity, multiple partners, lack of contraceptive use, and anxiety and depression.*2
This is absolutely heartbreaking. And it applies to the LGBTQIA communities as well.
So many of us have gotten lost. We don’t know what we’re doing now.
You will often hear me saying this in sessions: “pain pushes us until a vision can pull us.”
We need a new vision, people! Especially our young people. And I know many older people need it, too. We are so much better than this. We need a wake-up call!
A relationship Evolution, if you will.
Relationships, love, and sex are meant to be so much more than this specious display of power and desire.