Hopeless Romantic: Unhook the Hook-up

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I had a discussion over the weekend with an old friend, and referenced my new adventure in writing columns for The Whit. Stating that he was familiar with my work, he told me that I haven’t written an article that should have been written by now — an article which addresses hook-up culture.

Initially, I wasn’t going to write it because articles like this have been written before. However, after reflecting and really thinking about it, I soon realized that I was an active part in what we know as the “hook-up” culture.

The hook-up culture is an ideal based off the desire of instant gratification. We, especially as young folk part of this particular generation, do not just want, but need instant gratification. Everything happens so fast around us, we’ve become used to having things at our fingertips. Sex is one of those things. If we want it, we can get it and have an instant win.

Frankly, that terrifies the living hell out of me. We’re in two extremes: sex is something we lecture and shame over, but then have it like it means nothing. Sure you may feel great about it at that moment and you may even feel great about it for a few days; but think about the time after that. Are you searching for the next desire to fill to add to your body count? You’ll feel empty quickly and need to fill that void as soon as possible, adding to this concept of instant gratification.

I believe that human beings in this era have a different view of what really makes us happy, and at times, that means not being alone. Almost every person I know tells me that one of their biggest fears is to end up alone. Like I said in an article before, finding love young isn’t wrong, but searching for love in places that will end up going anywhere is time wasted.

Personally, I have hooked up with people and wondered if there was a possibility if the interaction would go beyond that. It went nowhere beyond that one instance. I was left there feeling like sh—. In fact, I felt even worse because I realized we were both only using each other for our bodies.

Now, don’t get me wrong, sex is something that doesn’t have to be shamed. Having sex  shouldn’t be viewed as something dirty. Sex is a primal instinct that we all feel and need to release when the urge arises. Although these instincts may be acted on, with consent of course, hooking up is merely an interaction without the feeling that usually results from such experience. The feeling that the other means something. There is no such thing as “no-strings-attached.”

No-strings-attached relationships do have emotions in them. You might know the person, you might grow a connection with him or her and although it may only be short in some cases, a connection is made regardless. With hook-ups, sometimes the biggest connection you get is just knowing their name. And for some, that’s the perfect amount of communication.

But not for me. Through this catharsis, I have a better respect for those who decide to have sex for the sake of having it, but personally I can’t do it anymore. I feel worthless and disconnected, and that’s not a feeling I like. I want to feel wanted, like I could share such a personal moment with someone who would care and not just want to “get it over with.”

In the end, my mentality is “to each his own.” However, make sure that whatever you do make sure it isn’t hurting you physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. I applaud those who are confident enough to hook-up and not feel the way I did.

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