The public debate on sexuality in Canada

An outspoken colleague

Recently, at lunch with some work colleagues (not from the Toronto Herald), I nearly choked. Not because something was stuck in my throat, but because of what my co-worker was saying. There were eight of us at the table, including our boss. Suddenly, in between work discussions, my colleague began to recount the details of her last appointment. Her story was full of amazing details.

She pictorially described and demonstrated the size and characteristics of her partner’s manhood. She complained a lot about his poor kissing and explained in detail what was wrong with his kisses. She did it with such pleasure and enthusiasm, as if these conversations at work were nothing special. I should add that this wasn’t the first time such confessional conversations had taken place at my work. But don’t think I work in a pervert’s office. No, I’m not. I work for one of Canada’s largest companies.

The friend with benefits trend

I’ve observed that many Canadians have these kinds of conversations, often in the presence of strangers. Recently, a not-so-close acquaintance of mine suddenly decided, in the middle of a party, to recount in public and in great detail the sexual relations they had once had. The circumstances of the story date back six years, when they were dating. After breaking up, they continued to sleep together. They called it friends with benefits, which can be translated as lovers without obligations.

And they didn’t hide from anyone that they only met for sexual pleasure. Of course, who and how they have sex is their business. And, to be honest, at times like these, I often think of Samantha’s line from Sex and the City: « Unless you’re married, the whole world is a buffet. » The fact remains that actions and words are very different things.

Talking freely about sex

Outside Canada, I’ve never seen such an abundance of sex talk and so many people shouting about how much everyone else wants them and how creative they are in their sexual pleasures. Nor have I ever seen such optimistic statistics indicating the highest levels of satisfaction with their sex lives. For example, would you believe that half the people in Toronto have sex every day or every other day? These are the figures from a survey conducted last winter by Toronto Life magazine. Here, even I, a sexy, successful girl, don’t have sex that often.

Or a statistic from the same survey: 28% of those questioned said they had used the office for carnal relations at least once. That means that of those people sitting at the lunch table I mentioned at the beginning, one in two or three in eight have had sex in our office. That’s the level of implausibility I’m talking about. You can try dating on dating sites in Quebec.

Talking about your fantasies can be liberating

And the question arises: are all these stories of sexual pleasure an indicator of inner freedom, or a manifestation of a rather incomplete sex life, or something else? It seems to me that this is very similar to the behavior of men who have certain power problems. Although it hasn’t happened to me personally, I regularly hear from friends that such and such a man has turned out not to be quite complete in bed. Of course, Canadians usually only tell their own psychoanalysts, not their unknown friends.

Nor are the various descriptions of sexual preferences and fantasies intended for a limited number of listeners. They are generally addressed to potential partners on Canadian sites. In this case, an open attitude to sexuality is probably a sign of inner freedom or deep desire. Only then can you talk about your desires without shame. But what is it that drives my colleagues and people I don’t know to share such details? My colleagues don’t think that after listening to their stories, I’ll throw myself into their arms, do they?

Sexual conversations as positive thoughts

It seems that the answer to the subject of frank and public discussions about sexuality must be sought on a slightly different plane. Many of my Canadian friends follow almost religiously the theory of optimistic intentions, i.e. positive thinking as a means of realizing one’s desires. And one can often assume that all these conversations are not about the past, but about the future. In some cases, it’s a very distant future.

In general, the local peculiarities, in my opinion, lie not in the fact that Canadians have more sexual desires than Russians, Ukrainians or Israelis. But in the fact that in this society, there is less prejudice and it’s therefore easier to breathe, speak and live as you please without fear of being judged. This means that a calm attitude to such conversations is a kind of indicator of successful adaptation to the tolerant local way of life. So now I’m learning not to cough during these conversations. But only to listen to my interlocutors. So far, I’ve managed to do this with my eyes wide open.

Facebook Twitter