I’ve thought a lot about our “hookup culture.” On one hand, I can see the benefit. In the the time between finding someone you want to commit to, it’s quick, easy and no strings attached. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on a relationship you don’t want to build and work at. And, well sex is fun. Plus women’s lib and all. If the men can do it, we should be able to without shame, right?
Here’s the problem: Women and men aren’t the same. I mean there’s a lot of gray area with some women and men more in the middle. But by and far, of all of the women I know (and I know more than I should), women WANT commitment, they’re just scared to ask for it. Scared to demand it. They see hooking up as an interim phase between meeting and getting that commitment. And they continue to hookup as a short-term attempt at boosting self-esteem and self-worth. They figure if ANYONE wants to sleep with them, then they’re attractive, sexy and cool. And if they’re not getting laid, they’re undesirable and lacking sex appeal. And in some cases women can do the “no strings” thing without it affecting their self-esteem, self-worth or health. But I believe those cases are rare. And are definitely a very, very, very small fraction of girls who claim to be doing so with no repercussions. In many cases they don’t admit it until they find a “real” boyfriend. Or until the guy they were hooking up with stops hooking up and they admit their real feelings.
You know when it hurts the most? When he tells you he doesn’t want a commitment, the he wants casual and fun, and then suddenly he dumps you for a GIRLFRIEND. Yes, commitment strings and all. That’s when it sucks. That’s when you feel worthless.
I’ve never really had a no strings relationship, but I have been strung along by plenty of “I’m not looking for anything serious” guys. And you know what? EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Eventually had a real-life, committed girlfriend. No, not a girlfriend who was committed to the looney bin, although in some cases, I wonder what they have that I don’t have. It sucks. It’s not good for your psyche, and not good for your overall self-worth.
Is sex fun? Sure. I’m not taking that away from anyone. But this whole “if men have sex for fun, we should be able to, too.” But here’s the problem. We don’t usually seem to be doing it for ourselves. We don’t usually seem to be doing it because we want the sex. We’re doing it because we want the attention, to feel wanted, to feel close to someone. And sure, the sex along the way is fun. Until you’re no longer the apple of their eye (or the recipient of a late-night booty call texts).
Admit it girls, as much as our repression of our sexual selves pre-women’s lib was about image and impressing a guy, our over-expression and use of sexuality is the same thing. We want to get their attention with our sexuality. We want to keep their attention with our sexuality. And in the end, it’s about getting the guy, just from a different perspective.
What’s my solution? Stop doing it. Stop giving them what they want. Stop settling. Stop allowing your self-worth to be degraded. You’re worth more than a casual hookup. You’re worth committing to. You’re worth spending time with outside of the bedroom. You’re worth more than the rollover or the suggestion of leaving soon after the hookup. We all deserve more.
Real women’s liberation should be about expecting to be treated with respect. Because, let’s face it, feeding someone, “You’re so great, if I were ready for a commitment, you’d be the one” lines isn’t honest and isn’t respectful when you don’t mean it. At the very least demand honesty. Demand they say, “I don’t see myself in a relationship with you, but if you wanna bang on the weekends when we’re hammered, I can get on board with that.” I mean, really, that’s honest. That’s what they mean. Because, bottom line, they don’t want to be with you. And of course they’ll take the free sex. And then probably mock you to their friends. The goal should no longer be to level the playing field by acting like a guy. If he doesn’t want to be with us for real, his loss.
And if you’re saying YOU don’t want the commitment, I say you need to be honest with yourself. Sure, everyone likes sex. I’m not denying that. But that’s what they made vibrators for.