I had the displeasure of stumbling upon an article that was in Marie Claire magazine titles “No Strings Attached Sex” by Colleen Oakley. Basically it’s an article saying that women shouldn’t have sex with men with whom they’re not in a relationship. Of course the starts off being heteronormative — what about in homosexual relationships? Are we members of the LGBT community “wired” differently, which makes this null in void for us? Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there.
The article starts off with
Kimberly, a 27-year-old nanny in Atlanta, has had sex with three men in the past month. “I have a job, hobbies, and friends I love. A monogamous relationship is the only component of my life that is lacking — but I love it!” she says. “I want Mr. Right eventually, but for the time being, I’ve got needs, and Mr. Right Now will do just fine.”
Welcome to the hookup culture — or as Washington Post reporter Laura Sessions Stepp puts it, “the most confusing sexual landscape any generation has faced.” Stepp spent the past year hanging out with eight young women and learning about their sexual escapades. She reveals what she discovered in her provocative new book, Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both.
You hear that, ladies? Even if you’re doing what you want to do with your own body– IT IS A MISTAKE. YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE. NOT ONLY AT SEX, BUT LOVE, TOO! I forgot, every woman out there wants to settle down with a man and have a family. Thanks for that reminder, Marie Claire.
Q: You grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, the free-sex era. How is that time period different from what we’re seeing now?
A: In my generation, we wanted to have free sex, but we actually didn’t. There was a line that you only crossed under certain circumstances. For instance, you would open your window a crack in your dorm room and let your boyfriend in, but you wouldn’t announce to the world that you were doing it. Back then, we knew what the rules were. Today, there aren’t any, so women don’t have anything to break. They’re making it up as they go along. The women’s movement argued — and I was right there — that women need to be as sexually free as men. I think it’s only now, with some age and experience on us, that we’re looking at our daughters and seeing that maybe that wasn’t such a great thing.
I like how this woman is speaking for her entire generation. Maybe her version of free sex was only opening her dorm window at night, but that doesn’t mean other people weren’t having no-strings-attached sex. What are these rules that she speaks of that don’t exist day? “Men can sleep around, but women can’t because no one likes a slut?”
Q: Are you saying that feminism is to blame?
A: I think sometimes feminism leads women to believe they can’t have both a loving relationship and a hard-driving career. A lot of the women I interviewed for my book say one of the reasons they have casual sex is the fear that if they get tied up emotionally with someone, they won’t be able to do their work or get ahead in their jobs. That’s just not true. A truly good relationship puts a spring in your step; you can work more, have more energy, and feel better. You can soften your edges without softening your drive.
Oh great! Yes! Let’s blame FEMINISM! I can’t be surprised about this. Whenever someone out there is trying to impose a double standard on women, they like to imply that feminism is at fault for leading women on that they *gasp* can be equal! I don’t understand how believing in equality between men and women leads to “I can’t be in a relationship and can’t have a career.” I think this author needs to learn what feminism is. Also the author is only speaking about “truly good” relationships. There are unhealthy relationships out there, too. Just because you’re with your “dream man,” it is not guaranteed to just make your life instantly 100x better, with a spring in your step! Did you hear that, ladies? Once you get a MAN, your energy increases! he makes you feel better! you gives you better job performance! THANKS SO MUCH FOR OPENING MY EYES. All I needed was a MAN for me to have a better life.
Q: But if women don’t want a relationship, shouldn’t they be able to have no-strings-attached sex as easily as men?
A: They can. But just because they can doesn’t mean they should. The way chemicals are released in the brain during intercourse is very different in men and women. In women, oxytocin is released. It’s a chemical that makes women want to nurture their young and stay close. Men get a huge jolt of testosterone, which suppresses oxytocin, and that’s nature’s way of saying, “Leave the nest and go sire offspring somewhere else.” So when women think they can have sex and walk away just like guys do, they’re having to suppress thousands of years of evolution that tells them to cuddle, stay in bed, and look forward to tomorrow. When they get up and walk out, they feel depressed and don’t know why.
What the mother fuck? Now we’re going to blame biology? Every woman is depressed after NSA sex? Really?
Q: Do you think it’s ever possible for women to have sex like men?
A: Sure, but nine times out of 10 they’re going to feel something afterward. I have no data to back this up, but I am convinced that one reason we’re seeing alcohol-consumption rates go up in women is that they are taking part in these sexual encounters, believing they should do so and be strong about it. And they’re having to do it over and over again. At some point it denies their own biology and desires, so of course they drink in order to prepare for it, because it’s not what they want to do. One of the girls in my book, Alicia, says hookup sex is very scripted. You turn off everything except your body and make yourself emotionally invulnerable. Who wants that? It’s like saying I’m going to plunge down the roller coaster without anticipating the ride to the top. It’s a cheap thrill.
WAIT WAIT WAIT CAN WE REPEAT THIS? “
I have no data to back this up” “ I have no data to back this up” “I have no data to back this up”
I have no data to back this up” “
I have no data to back this up”
“I have no data to back this up”
WOW, so Stepp just threw statistics out there AND HAS NO DATA BEHIND IT. Basically this entire book is full of anecdata that I’m sure she has picked out to support her point of view and just her opinions that she’s just so SURE is true for all women. We women are drinking more because we want to sleep with men and aren’t comfortable with it. This article doesn’t show any statistics whether more women are drinking more alcohol more often, but the author believes so and one of the reasons HAS to be because women are doing this to be with men.
Q: Besides the commonly known risks of casual sex, like STDs and AIDS, what are some of the other consequences of rampant hooking up?
A: Besides alcoholism? Depression. We know from surveys that have been done over the years that — again, due to oxytocin — the shorter a relationship, the more likely it is for depression to occur afterward. Breaking up a longer relationship tends to be less painful, and hookups are nothing if not brief. So this means that girls who hook up have to work really hard to squash or deny those natural feelings of connection, which again leads to depression. Also, casual sex may make later relationships more difficult, particularly if it becomes a pattern, because cheating is common. Trust is elusive. You don’t learn how to trust someone; you don’t learn how to treat someone in a caring way. And I think if you don’t get to practice those things, it’s going to be harder down the road to have a successful relationship or marriage.
Pack some Prozac next to your condoms, ladies! “Rampant” hooking up (whatever the fuck that means) makes you DEPRESSED! Also breaking up longer relationships tend to be less painful? Really? I…can’t really believe that. In my personal experience and the experiences of my friends, we tend to be more upset about breaking up with a SO of a longer period of time. And how is a hookup equal to a short break up? When someone is hooking up theyre not in a RELATIONSHIP. Sleeping with someone for one night is not going to hurl every woman into a depression because she just “broke up” with a man.
And she goes further to say that having casual sex makes you more prone to cheat? Incapable of caring or trusting? Can I have more statistics on that? Stepp makes it seem like the only way to learn how to love or trust is to be with a man. What about friendships? Family ties? I guess we have to stay pure for our partners if we’re EVER going to have a successful relationship. Great to know.
Q: What’s your advice to women who are planning to go out tonight and get it on with a stranger?
A: Besides packing a Trojan? I would advise them not to. Go out and find some guy who turns you on and have fun with him, but leave him wanting more. Wait until you know him better, and believe me, the sex is going to be better.
You can only have good sex with men you know better! Don’t have stranger sex! Go look for some guy and DONT PUT OUT. Remember, no man wants some easy girl.
Q: Doesn’t that seem terribly old-fashioned?
A: Maybe, but I think in our rush to condone or not be seen as disapproving of young women’s independence — which I’m very much in favor of — we have gone too far in the opposite direction. We just need to put the brakes on a little bit. I wouldn’t argue that you should never have casual sex. I just think that women need to think through how they’re going to do it and with whom. Why cheat yourself out of a great relationship and great sex?
How are we preventing ourselves from a great relationship with a guy and great sex by sleeping with people we’re not committed to? Does hooking up make my ciltoris numb? Ugh. And apparently we’ve given young women TOO MUCH FREEDOM? What the fuck? Men can go around fucking anything, but women can’t? Well, the men have to sleep with someone! I don’t get how you can get too far from disapproving independence…so then on the other end of the spectrum you’re…completely approving it? and HOW is this bad?
This is just one of many articles out there where women are just self-imposing old cultural guidelines that men created to control women. Why can’t women say “I love you” first? Why can’t a woman not want a relationship? Using scare tactics like saying that you’ll become depressed or a cheater is ridiculous. Also blaming feminism for this “new movement” of hookup culture is just wrong. We have every right to do whatever we want with our bodies…whether it is only to be in relationships or to never be in one. Shouldn’t women support each other, regardless of their decisions?