Hollywood gave me a very false impression of what I should expect from the college-dating scene: the frat boy with the heart of gold, just waiting till the right strong-willed, funny girl comes along to show him what he has been missing? These things don’t exist where I live — not even close.
I don’t understand married couples that met in college and survived all four years, nor do I understand the expression “Mrs. Degree.” The college men I’ve encountered get scared enough when I ask “Will I see you later?” so I imagine the prospect of knowing me in 20 years would actually make them die of fright. The slim likelihood that I will ever have a meaningful relationship in college used to make me sad — now it just makes me really angry.
I started my blog, Dateless Diva, because I want the women at my university to know that their friend groups are not the only ones having issues with hookup culture. I wanted a forum in which I could discuss the troubles that take up most of my friends’ non-academic lives: forget getting paid 80 cents to every man’s dollar — at Tufts the real gender inequality is that women are overtly treated like disposable beings — and no one really talks about it.
Except to their friends, of course.
While hooking up can be a lot of fun, it can also be emotionally painful. For those of you who don’t know exactly what hooking up is, I don’t blame you. The phrase “hooking up” is ambiguous. It means getting hot n’ heavy, down and dirty, or necking, for those older generations out there. Usually it describes a make out that involves groping and grinding, fingering, oral sex, anal sex or traditional vaginal sex. When someone says they “hooked up” last night, you would be wise to ask them to clarify.
On small liberal arts campuses the “hookup” has taken the place of traditional boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. A mangy beast of epic proportions, the hookup wreaks emotional havoc on most women at some point in their college career, leaving them with anything from Plan B to a broken heart.
Why my generation has chosen this self-destructive path to STD heaven is beyond me, but I can take my best guess.
Since we were tweens, we were told that college is the time for experimentation. If students worked hard enough in high school to gain admittance into a college that accepts less than 20 percent of its applicants, chances are they weren’t out raging every weekend; more likely they were told to save that type of behavior for college.
Thus, some students enter school with four-plus years of restraint built up in their system and alcohol-laden parties, in addition to hormones, are the perfect recipe for a lethal hookup culture.
I’m certainly not saying that all hookups are bad. I think it’s great that girls can go out and have a single life — even have no strings attached sex — before they are relegated to the baby-making corner. How can a woman know what works for her if she doesn’t try a few things out?
Unfortunately, even repeated hookups between the same people can turn sour quickly — a man’s attention wanders and he isn’t trying as hard to please his partner; meanwhile, the woman wants the relationship to develop into something more along the lines of boyfriend/girlfriend… but it doesn’t.
The woman isn’t getting what she wants and she begins to feel bad. But, she rarely tells the guy about these feelings — she tells her friends instead. She feels she can’t be honest because men and women in college are expected to be cool and casual about relationships.
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