Dating is easy, hooking up is easier.
In a world that finds sex before it looks for love, we find ourselves settling for mediocracy. I can’t tell you how many young women I have spoken to who feel broken and confused from the dating world. They have tried desperately to find “the one,” but keep getting chewed up and spit out by the vicious cycle that is the hookup culture.
Neither men nor women are solely to blame for what dating has become. We have both played an integral role in shaping this new reality. If you want to have sex, you can download an app. Maybe the first few matches won’t oblige, but there are endless possibilities of people who are looking for the same casual encounters.
Something that bothers me is the way people don’t have to work for intimacy anymore — at all. You can find someone you’re attracted to and swipe right. If you have a match who is on there for the same reasons, you have a near immediate hookup. People don’t have to court each other or even know each other to use each other to have a few minutes of pleasure. Our generation has been conditioned to want things quickly and with ease. When it comes to sex, we have both of those things. Whether it’s at the tip of our fingertips with porn or a “dating” app, this generation knows that sex is accessible for anyone at any given time.
You know what sucks about all of this? Something that is common and easy to get isn’t special.
Sex isn’t special anymore because our virginity isn’t something that’s cool to hold onto, and because we’re taught that watching men and women have an intimate moment on a computer screen is normal and okay. We are taught from movies that even the goofiest of comedians who make a living on playing “social outcasts” on the big screen can get in bed with a sultry actress. Instead of alluding to the fact that couples have slept together, we watch it all play out on screen. We watch drunken hookups, naked women prance around the bedroom playfully, and lots and lots of casual sex.
When did this kind of media become the norm? Why does something with a story line as incredible as Game of Thrones feel the need to fill it’s airtime with nudity and excessive sex scenes? Like I’ve said before — it’s because sex sells. People lust over the flawless bodies they see on screen and are desensitized to this being an intimate, special act. Instead of sex being saved for someone you really care about, it’s thought of as a purely physical act of making both parties “feel good” temporarily.
Having sex so available in the world hurts real life relationships. Instead of seeing your partner for how perfectly imperfect she is and having eyes and a heart only for her, other bodies are tossed around like confetti. They are stuck under the glow of faux candlelight, flaunted in front of a captive audience, and teach that it’s okay to look and lust, just not touch.
I strongly believe your body is your own, and you should be able to do what you want with it. I’m not buying the bullshit that casual sex isn’t hurting the greater population, though. I think it leaves us brokenhearted, confused, and hurt more than anything. Casual sex might not be something that you think hurts you until it’s already affected your life. Whether you meet someone you love more than anything and wish you hadn’t given so much of your own body to others before, or you realize that sleeping with someone didn’t fix the problems in the bond you have with someone, regret is often a symptom that comes with casual sex.
I want to encourage you to make decisions for yourself. Don’t buy in to the fact that “everyone” is hooking up, don’t listen to the man who tells you that if you were into him you would want to give him pleasure, and hold tight to your own morals — even if everyone around you appears to be doing the same things. It isn’t easy living differently in such a sex-saturated world. I promise you, though, at the end of the day you will never regret not having a casual encounter with someone, whereas the regret that can come after a hookup can be life-changing. Our hearts are built for love, they’re created to attach, and it’s normal to want to have a personal connection with the person you’re sleeping with. Don’t let society tell you that you’re weird for wanting these things. Sex is such a beautiful thing, but if it’s given away at every fleeting desire, it becomes something that, by definition, isn’t special anymore. How different would life be if we thought more about the really incredible person we are going to end up with, rather than giving in to the temporary desires of our bodies? What would the world be like if instead of saying its “just” sex, we taught the next generation that it’s actually an incredibly intimate and special action that should and does have feelings attached to it? I might be in the minority, but this is something I think we should start teaching our children and encouraging in our peers. Sex is a special thing, and you aren’t wrong in saving it for someone who means something to you.