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.