It’s Friday night–thank God. It’s my time to shine. I’m going to shower and throw on my best looking clothes. Does this shirt look good? Do these shoes match this pair of pants? Maybe I can even find a girl tonight–that’d be sweet.
Was that really worth it? Why does my head hurt so much?
This is college, where going out to parties could mean potentially hitting the jackpot, as they say. So many at Williams begin their nights with the goal of finding that one person they’ve coveted and to take them back to the room for “earnest conversation”. Often enough, this will be the first and last conversation these two people will share, in both senses of the word.
Popular culture has successfully distorted our views about how hooking up is like in today’s day and age. Frequent movie-goers can dish out examples of how a character effortlessly gets laid, winning over his or her partner at a bar or a restaurant. Infamous applications such as Tinder promise their users an elevated level of efficiency with which they can find temporary mates. Yeah, there are occurrences in which people meet and rendezvous with a match on Tinder and eventually pursue a relationship with him or her, but, in reality, these situations are too far in between. After a hookup, what happens? Often, the two once-infatuated lovers go to wild lengths to avoid each other, especially in an environment as claustrophobic as Williamstown, Massachusetts. No matter what personality or interests that hookup might have brought out between the two–once the sexual activity has ceased, so go any other possible ties between them.
This completely blows away the real reason for sexual interaction–intimacy. Sex can be fun and mysterious at times, but there should exist a deeper exchange. Truly knowing that person and experiencing them in this private manner only strengthens the bond between them. Having sex shouldn’t be the “end all, be all” of a relationship, but only a part of it that allows the exchange of deeper feelings between two people. Often, hooking up glides just upon the surface of the complexity that your partner has. That’s why relationships are so emotionally fulfilling.
Is it really our fault though? Colleges like Williams give students copious amounts of work to their students. Relationships require a lot of time and effort from both parties–two things many college students already devote to their studies. Hookup culture can be a direct response to the stressful demands of daily life.
Even so, we can’t let this sort of intimacy go down this path and lose its humanity. Next time, instead of approaching a party with a utilitarian mindset, try going there with a humanistic one.