Google the phrase "Millennials are . . . " and see what comes up.
Geez, tell us how you really feel. Surprisingly, much of this judgment stems not from our inability to contribute to a 401, chronically binge-drink, consume reality T.V. or live in our parents' basements while we "find ourselves." Nope, much of this disdain comes from how we like our nookie time. Apparently, we millennials are all sex-crazed fuck machines who thrive on orgasms, but buck like a spooked horse at the prospect of commitment. (I mean, certain collegiate coaches have even had to explicitly curb the raging desires of their players and ixnay group sex.)
Who will defend our honor?! Thankfully, Rolling Stone has our back on this one. The main takeaway from their heavily researched piece is this—shock of shocks! "Millennials" are into a lot of different things and no sexual preference is better or worse than another, as long as no one is getting hurt. (Unless you're into that.) Author Alex Morris states:
Millennials are pioneers in their own right, navigating a wide-open sexual terrain that no previous generation has encountered – one with more opportunity, but also more ambiguity; less sex, but potentially better sex, or at least sex that has the potential to exist as much for its own sake as it does for any other. Ideas of whom one can sleep with and how, and what that means in terms of one’s sexual identity, have never been more fluid. The possibilities have never been so undefined. —Alex Morris, Tales From the Millennials' Sexual Revolution
Hurray! So no pressure on this whole archetypal, "what is normal" thing. Morris' totally awesome commentary leads us to another question however: will future generations define Millennials solely by their sexuality? Seemingly every generation has its culturally appointed stereotype.
Traditionalists (born 1924 - 1945) are known to be respectful to authority and overly practical. Why? Oh, maybe because friggin' World War II happened smack dab in the middle and military notions were projected onto the home. Skipping over a few (read: 16 years) we have Generation X (1961 - 1980). Their perceived traits are skepticism and self-reliance. Let's see . . . what was going on during their childhoods. Oh yes. The Cold War. Pretty sure the constant fear of nuclear meltdown is enough to make anyone doubtful of everyone and everything! Other than oneself.
So, what's our deal? Is it because, growing up, we had two presidents with the last name Bush? (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Was it our adolescent steeping in euphemistically sexual pop music? Maybe. But we're thinking it has to do with Baby Boomer backwash. Free Love was a little much but "forever" feels like a fabled farce. The Millenials are at the forefront of deconstructing the nature of relationships and what it means to be partnered; we grew up in the age of LGBTQ rights, polyamory, co-habiting couples as the norm, etc. As the children of The Divorced, we've witnessed too many firsthand crumbled couplings to blithely take on our own.
Will we only know our relevance in retrospect?
Image: so fluid. Courtesy of, Wikimedia