Friday, March 02, 2007

The Hook-Up Culture

PROFANITY ALERT...YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

A client asked me,"Do you know what friends with benefits is?" Oh, yes, I know about "friends with benefits". In college, it was called Fuck Buddies. I think that's a more accurate description. The friends with benefits moniker is a euphemism for spiritually devoid, emotionally empty sex for gratification. It is a step below masturbation--sex with benefits is a negative energy exchange. That is, two people take from one another to satisfy their animal needs. Masturbation at least is expends and receives the same energy. It may be a small, enclosed circle, but at least no other person must be used for a purely selfish pursuit.

The New York Times Stephanie Rosenbloom takes exception, as do other leftists to Laura Stepp Session's book “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both” (Riverhead). It is unfeminist. It is unfair to women. It is a throw-back to the old days, when dating was en vogue. How passé.
Ms. Sessions Stepp said her goal is to retool, not reject, feminism. “Really, when you look at it, hookup culture is gravy for guys,” she said. “So how much are we winning?”
How much do women win in the hook-up culture? Who benefits in the "friends with benefits" equation? Do feminists recognize what the "benefit" usually is? It is usually a blow-job for a guy. How, exactly, does that interchange satisfy a woman?

Even if sex is mutual masturbatory, as a consequence of biology and spirit, women are bigger losers. They receive the energy, it stays with them, only a woman possesses the possibility of life within her. But she isn't the only one who loses.

I do think, though, that the loss to men is more significantly under-stated. Slutty men run around, try to plug the whole in their heart by the quick physical interaction of sex. Both men and women these days substitute casual sex for meaningful relating. A friend of mine who scoffed when I said that, "for women there is no casual sex". He insisted that he'd never paid any price for casual sex. It was all fun. "Really, what about your son?" "She told me she couldn't get pregnant!" He was exasperated. Yup, all fun, that casual sex.

Criticizing social trends that were so fought for in 1960s results in immediate rhetorical retribution. Sex isn't the only progressive taboo. A whole list of social trends should not be commented upon, lest one be branded a church lady. For example, there is a sub-culture where intelligence, especially for young black men but men in general, is scorned. Single-parent homes lead by women is just as good for kids as two parents. Ditto same-sex parents. Conventional wisdom is that children are better off with divorced parents rather than unhappy parents. Feminism has become equated with sexual freedom, i.e. sluttiness, and women are shamed if they express their sadness or regret. (A woman wouldn't have regret, if it weren't still a social taboo goes their argument.) Abortion does not have destructive side-effects. It's a good thing and should be encouraged rather than an unwanted pregnancy.

Don't believe that there is a taboo on criticizing all this liberation? In the above mentioned Salon article, Stepp critic, Kathy Dobie is quoted as saying this:
To my great relief, reviewer Kathy Dobie is spot-on with her criticism of the book: "The author resurrects the ugly, old notion of sex as something a female gives in return for a male's good behavior, and she imagines the female body as a thing that can be tarnished by too much use." Indeed, Stepp cautions that a guy "will seek to win you over only if he thinks you're a prize."

*****
As Dobie argues, for teens and 20-somethings, "sexual relationships are less about intimacy than about expanding our intimate knowledge of people -- a very different thing," she continues. "We learn less about intimacy in our youthful sex lives than we do about humanity ... Perhaps, this generation, by making sex less precious, less a commodity, will succeed in putting simple humanity back into sex."
How, exactly will rampant, casual blow-jobs put "simple humanity back into sex". And what does that mean? By acting like rutting deer, humans will put humanity back into sex?

Feminist seem absolutely determined to remove the spirit from the human. What was once viewed as a deficit in men, has been elevated to a noble trait--emotionally disconnected sex is good and healthy, even. There was a time when hound dog men were viewed negatively, too. But today's feminist isn't at all concerned with elevating the feminine. She is concerned with a woman being just like a man--thinking and behaving like the worst sort of man.

We'll know when women have really arrived societally, when typically female traits--emotional connectedness, relationship and nurturing aren't dismissed and diminished and replaced by aggressive, domination and self-gratification activities. Sex as sport was once viewed as the failing of men. Now, it's the failing of women, too. Isn't equality great?

So this book is shining a light on the negatives of being "unhooked". I'm waiting for the book on the benefits of sex imbued with spiritual meaning and integrating the masculine and feminine energies into the Oneness that comes from sex. Through sex, men and women can come to know God. The surrendering of heart and soul to another mirrors our relationship with God. It is mysterious and beautiful. Or, it can be. As long as sex is an endless string of fuck buddies, though, sex will be diminished into animalistic copulating. Not only will young people be unhooked from one another, they'll be unhooked from God.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The femmies rejected all that Pesky Christian Sexual Morality (TM).

They will get Islamic Sexual Morality, forced on them at the point of a scimitar.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the whole hookup culture is premised on the notion that women are getting what men get out of it--relaxation, ego boost, clearer skin, Health! Women have this condition equivalent to Blue Balls if they don't get enough. Wow, weren't the guys telling us that all along??

But what it really is is a pathetic search for friendship, maybe even someone crazy enough to have kids with. So if you blew the guy or even slept with him, you and he have this little secret connection, right? Only the guy doesn't care that much about it. Well, you can at least tell your girlfriends about it. Leave out the BJ part though, that doesn't sound that great. That means you were just a chump. A guy will let nearly anyone do that to them.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good points, but don't over-romanticize the older view of sex. Lots of times women were told that sex was just something they were expected to do by husbands in order to get the money, possessions, and status that came with marriage. It was a trade of sex for stuff & security. Not much deep spiritual connection in that.

Anonymous said...

So who was telling them that? Just curious.

I do sense that there was a lot of dishonesty on both sides, with many women using the common ploy of accidentally-on-purposely getting PG knowing the guy would have to marry them. That caused a helluva lot of resentment. Sure the guy played, but if he's been assured she's using an IUD or whatever it seems like nasty stuff.

Melissa Clouthier said...

don't over-romanticize the older view of sex.

Don't romanticize sex now, either. Obligatory sex isn't a thing of the past. Trading sex for stuff and security isn't a thing of the past, either. Considering that only 50% of American women experience orgasm, I'm guessing that there is a lot of obligatory sex for a lot of reasons--even now in this sexually free society.

Men have been, currently are, and will always be deceived by women if they want to be deceived. Sex without a condom? Yippee! I'll believe anything. Is a manipulative woman evil? Yes. I just have a hard time buying the victim thing. The only assured way of avoiding pregnancy is yes, abstain from sex.

Which brings to the fore, the basis of any sexual relationship. A good sex life combines many different elements: trust, a spark, a willingness to give and a willingness to surrender. While I can see how a woman being more congruent with an adventurous sex life is a good thing, I don't see how that necessarily means a leap into "sex with benefits" land.

There is a general belief that married sex is boring sex. But a lot of good data shows that married people have more sex, christian people have more sex, and that being a swinging single isn't nirvana.

Suggesting that people bring a spiritual element into the bedroom and suggesting that an energy exchange is taking place and that both parties often lose when sex is superficial is not the same as suggesting women don a burqa and men elevate them as pristine idols.

Aggressive, serial sex, is not a good thing, in my book. It is just elevating the primal over the spiritual.

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