Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sex without Love?

The following is an article I wrote for Huliq News

"A growing trend among college students and other young singles is to have sexual or slightly less than sexual encounters with no commitment and no strings attached. NPR has recently studied the trend.

The Program can be found here.

The basic ideas are found on the NPR web sight:

The hookup — that meeting and mating ritual that started among high school and college students — is becoming a trend among young people who have entered the workaday world. For the many who are delaying the responsibilities of marriage and child-rearing, hooking up has virtually replaced dating.

It is a major shift in the culture over the past few decades, says Kathleen Bogle, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University.

Young people during one of the most sexually active periods of their lives aren't necessarily looking for a mate. What used to be a mate-seeking ritual has shifted to hookups: sexual encounters with no strings attached.

"The idea used to be you are going to date someone that is going to lead to something sexual happening," Bogle says. "In the hookup era, something sexual happens, even though it may be less than sexual intercourse, that may or may not ever lead to dating."

Young people from high school on are so preoccupied with friends, getting an education and establishing themselves, they don't make time for relationships.

This is an interesting trend.... I have no real interest in "moralizing" about it. I think, however, that from the standpoint of someone who thinks life is about building deep and abiding personal relationships (romantic AND otherwise) ... I'm not convinced that there is anything particularly fulfilling or rewarding here. But then again ... Perhaps others feel differently?

I find one thing most troubling about the whole matter. One young woman interviewed was extremely comfortable talking about her "sexual partners," but was embarrassed and uncomfortable talking about love. Much of the program revealed the lack of personal connection in these "hooks ups." Can such a lack and discomfort be in any way good?"

Don't get me wrong, if people wish to engage in such behavior I have no criticism of them. But I am alarmed at how the young people interviewed seemed to see love and relationships. They seemed radically afraid of, confused by, and unable to relate to love itself.

Or perhaps I am misjudging the situation? Perhaps this is just what a liberated attitude to sexuality looks like? I am sceptical of that position. I am, however, open to arguments.

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  1. Hmmm.... perhaps a young woman who speaks freely about her hook ups views love as something more profound, deep and private, and may be that is why she grew shy when questioned about love? May be things aren't as bleak as people who would moralize about the recent trends would assume? It is possible that young people are not distanced from ... Read Morebuilding lasting relationships? They just don't love and tell. Kissing and telling is clearly encouraged, however. At least we can hope that our peers and younger people are not distanced from looking for the real connection and don't substitute hooking up for the real deal; they just don't want to talk out loud about something they privately hold sacred and hope to achieve.

  2. quite possible. I find your response exceptionally thoughtfu I must say that I hope your explanation is correct.

    I have no problem with consenting adults having sex - provided of course - that they are as safe as possible. My fear was that these young people cannot love! Your explanation gives a more positive altnerative.

    On the other hand, the impression I receive from people I know engaging i this behavior, and the impression I got really made me feel that these folks could not face love.

    But then again ... I could be misperceiving their actions and words.

  3. An interesting sociological note to add. Men and women used to get married only a couple of years after puberty. Indeed, it was not always abnormal for women to wed BEFORE puberty. Now, there are 10-20+ years between pubert and marriage ... if one even chooses to get married!

    For instance ... my wedding is scheduled for Jan 1, 2011, I will be one month shy of 34! We would have to be very odd to think that someone would become sexually aware at say age 12 or 13 and in some 20 years of time not egnage in sexual behavior .. and perhaps it is just as absurd to expect them not to make use of the hook up in that time!

    But that's another story.

  4. Where hook ups are occurring at an alarming rate is in high schools and jr. highs.

    The new craze is engaging in oral sex in that as a group they do not believe it as "sex". Scary, is it?

  5. Nice blog shared with all of us i like it...!!!

    Walk in Clinic
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  6. May be you are right but in my country it is not all the time same but i like your posting...!!!

  7. Hello Zeeshan!

    Thank you for your kind words about my blog. I appreciate having you as a reader :)

    Hello Walk in Clinic! Nice to have you too. What is different about this in your country? I find that interesting?


Comments from many different points of view are welcome. But I will not publish any comments that are hateful, insulting, or filled with profanity. I welcome and encourage dialogue and disagreement but will not publish any hate speech.