Concept1: Uncertainty in Sexual Relationships (Chapter 1)
Uncertainty is the anxiety that emanates fromthe notion that a person does not know what will happen next (Wegger& Emmett, 2009). Human beings are so used to a routine lifestylethat a situation in which they cannot predict the future makes themnervous or anxious. Uncertainty tends to decrease as the relationshipbetween people progresses. For instance, during the entry stage of asexual relation, the level of uncertainty is still high because thepartners do not know each other that well. The thought of not knowingwhat one’s sexual partner is like creates uncertainty in sexualrelations.
During the early stages of a sexualrelationship, the most common type of uncertainty is cognitiveuncertainty (Berger & Gudykunst, 2000). This type of uncertaintyarises from the idea that one party to a sexual relationship may notbe aware of the attitudes or beliefs of the other party. A personmaybe worried about the partner’s most preferred sleeping position,or sexual positions. Some people may also be worried about theirinability to predict some sexual acts that may come off as offensiveto their sex partners. Behavioral uncertainty is also bound to set inonce the sexual relations advance. This type of uncertainty is morecommon in partners who do not subscribe to the societal norms ofbehavior.
Inthe movie, ‘Bridesmaids’ Karen is upset with her best friends soshe heads to the bar for a drink (Bridemaids, 2011). At the bar, shemeets a police officer with whom she had stricken a friendship in therecent past. They go to the police officer’s house where they endup having sex. In the morning, Karen is worried that she might havemade a terrible mistake. When she heads to the kitchen and finds thepolice officer preparing the ingredients for a joint baking exercisewith Karen, she panics and heads out. She later refuses to pick thepolice officer’s calls because she feels that he was trying to knowso much about her in a very short time.
Fromthe clip, it clear that there is cognitive uncertainty in Karen afterhaving her first sexual encounter with the police officer. She isunable to predict what kind of man her partner will make. When shesees that he has prepared breakfast and he wants them to baketogether, the anxiety regarding the attitude and nature of her sexualpartner goes a notch higher.
Concept2: Closeness in sexual relationships (Chapter 7)
Althoughsexual activity often implies a high level of closeness in arelationship, the modern culture of hooking up entails sexualactivity before developing high levels of closeness. In some sexualrelationships, sexual activity comes before closeness (Berscheid etal, 1999). This is especially true in some relationships that usuallybegin in a bar during a night of heavy drinking. Due to the lowlevels of closeness in such sexual relationships, they often do notlast long.
Inconventional sexual relationships, the level of closeness increaseswith the amount of intimacy that exists between couples. In thiscontext, intimacy refers to sexual activity between two people whoare close to each other. The intimate couple is at an emotional levelof closeness. Partners in such a sexual relationship can let theirguard down when it comes to matters pertaining to emotions. They cancry, air their frustrations, and be affectionate to each otherwithout feeling awkward.
Closenessin sexual relationships is important because it creates the notion oflove and care in the involved persons (Johnson, 2004). More oftenthan not, closeness in sexual relationships does not need words. Theability to share one’s inner feelings with their partner is whatdefines closeness in sexual relationships. For instance, if a couplein a sexual relationship were close, one partner would not refrainfrom sharing their happiness or sadness with the other. Closeness insexual relationships allows one partner to read and relate to theemotions of the other.
Inthe TV series, ‘Baby Daddy’ the sexual relationship between Rileyand her boyfriend Danny has a high degree of closeness (Baby Daddy,2016). When Riley finds out that Danny had lied to her about hookingup with a Sam in high school, she becomes upset. Sam was this prettycheerleader and homecoming queen in high school, while Riley wasoverweight and not exactly popular. It therefore comes as a surprisewhen she views an old clip of Sam’s homecoming in which she istaped having sex with Danny. She cries and hands back a necklace thatDanny had bought her as a gift.
Thecloseness in the relationship between Riley and Danny is high. Shedoes not shy away from expressing her emotions when she finds outthat Danny had been lying to her all along. She does not pretend notto be hurting owing to the fact that the sexual relationship betweenthe two is very close. She feels betrayed because she had connectedwith Danny at a very intimate level.
Baby Daddy, (2016). Season 5 episode 10 promo.YouTube.Retrieved from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svzz9YWBYcc>accessed May 19, 2016
Berger, C. R., &Gudykunst, W. B. (1991).Uncertainty and communication. Progressin communication sciences, 10,21-66.
Berscheid, E., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M.(1989). The Relationship Closeness Inventory: Assessing the closenessof interpersonal relationships. Journalof personality and Social Psychology,57(5),792.
Bridesmaids, 2016. Movie trailer. YouTube.Retrieved from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UW9Zks5L2A>accessed May 19, 2016.
Johnson, H. D. (2004). Gender, grade, andrelationship differences in emotional closeness within adolescentfriendships. Adolescence,39(154),243.
Werger, H., & Emmett, M., C., (2009).Romantic intent, relationship uncertainty, and relationshipmaintenance inyoung adults` cross-sex friendships.Journalof Social and Personal Relationships26(964).