Added: Domanic Froelich - Date: 15.08.2021 17:48 - Views: 15540 - Clicks: 6566
These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Our s are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. On the surface, I was successful. I was surrounded by diverse, intellectual friends. I led a popular student website and was active in the arts and athletics. I loved learning and made Phi Beta Kappa my junior year. But my internal life was characterized by paralyzing anxiety and depression. I judged myself harshly, to the point of disgust.
I drove myself to excessive exercising and near-anorexia. I felt this way because of men—or so I thought. While there was a major gulf between my public self and my private one, the one thing that remained consistent were my politics. I told myself that I was a feminist, despite subjecting myself to unfulfilling, emotionally damaging sexual experiences. And I believed it, too. I had a puppy-love relationship with my high school boyfriend, the kind you see in movies.
Losing my virginity was a respectful and patient experience. Almost immediately, I buried this dream deep within my new plastic dorm drawers. From dance floors to bedrooms, everyone was hooking up—myself included. The popular media most frequently characterizes hookup culture as a series of emotionless one-night stands.
At Middlebury, such casual hookups definitely occur. Far more frequent, however, were pseudo-relationships, the mutant children of meaningless sex and loving partnerships. Two students consistently hook up with one another—and typically, only each other—for weeks, months, even years. Yet per unspoken social code, neither party is permitted emotional involvement, commitment, or vulnerability. I soon came to believe that real relationships were impossible at Midd. The idea that sexual liberation is fundamental to female agency dominates progressive media.
True feminists, I believed, not only wanted but also thrived on emotionless, non-committal sexual engagements. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture, especially in school, cannily manipulating it to make space for their success, always keeping their own ends in mind. For college girls these days, an overly serious suitor fills the same role as an accidental pregnancy did in the 19th century: a danger to be avoided at all costs, lest it get in the way of a promising future. While various academic studies tout the damaging effects of hookup culture, I came across them much more infrequently.
Besides, the alternative seemed to me to be abstinence—an equally unfulfilling option. I decided it was time to ditch my antiquated desire for monogamy. And when guys reciprocated my interest, my insecurities were at least temporarily dissolved. The winter of my junior year, I asked Ben, a quiet, smart philosophy major with bright blue eyes, to a wine and cheese party. We saw each other for a few months. Give or take some weeknight Netflix-watching or walks in town, I cycled through this routine with at least five guys by senior year.
After I began having sex with these guys, the power balance always tipped. My friends and I would analyze incessantly: Does he like me? Do you like him? Read this text. A reason to come back. With time, inevitably, came attachment. And with attachment came shame, anxiety, and emptiness. My girlfriends and I were top students, scientists, artists, and leaders. We could advocate for anything—except for our own bodies. We were desperate to know what it felt like to be wanted; desperate for a chance at intimacy. Desperate for a hand held in daylight, for public affirmation of desire typically expressed only after too many drinks.
I wished that I could be like the guys, who seemed not to care at all. If this was sexual liberation, it was hard to understand how it was helping women. I decided to devote my senior thesis to answering the question of whether Middlebury women really were playing the game—and if anyone was actually enjoying it. My research focus was on the experiences of heterosexual women, although of course many non-heterosexual relationships happen at Midd as well. The women I interviewed were eager to build connections, intimacy and trust with their sexual partners.
Instead, almost all of them found themselves going along with hookups that induced overwhelming self-doubt, emotional instability and loneliness. Three years later, the experience still stung. My research gave me a sense of solace. I went on to publish my thesis online, and stories from students around the country came pouring in.
It was clear we were far from alone. The young women I spoke with were taking part in hookup culture because they thought that was what guys wanted, or because they hoped a casual encounter would be a stepping stone to commitment.
But engaging in hookup culture while wholeheartedly craving love and stability was perhaps the least feminist action I, and hundreds of my peers, could take. But they felt strong social pressure to have casual sex.
Needless to say, the detrimental effects of this performance pressure are countless and severe. As writers like Peggy Orenstein have noted, while college students are having a lot of sex, I believe most of us—men and women—know basically nothing about it. I lost my virginity at But I never had an orgasm until senior year of college , when my boyfriend and I became exclusive. To attempt to separate emotions from sex is not only illogical, given that emotion intensely augments pleasure, but also impossible for almost all women.
If we taught pleasure-centric sex ed, beginning in middle school and high school and all the way through college, I can only imagine the possibilities. As the academic year ends, summer offers students invaluable space for reflection. These are some of our most ambitious editorial projects. From our Series. By Leah Fessler. Published May 17, Last updated on January 23, This article is more than 2 years old. At Middlebury College, I lived a double life. Engaging in hookup culture while craving love and stability was perhaps the least feminist action we could take.
To attempt to separate emotions from sex is illogical, given that emotion intensely augments pleasure. me up. Update your browser for the best experience.College guy just wants to fuck
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