No one needs another hook-up culture reminder. I do not intend to stir up a culture war or to pass judgment on anyone. However, I do hope that I can give a reasonable argument, in 400 words or less, on how casual hook-ups are unhealthy for every party involved.
In asking many friends about why they engage in this behavior, I encounter pretty regular responses: It is just for fun; she wanted it, too; I’m free to do what I want, etc. But none of these responses really answer the question. Why do you hook-up with someone that, at a minimum, you aren’t even interested in having a relationship with? Here, the answer is pretty uniform, “I like it.”
Usually, because of the culture of relativism, I am branded for proselytizing. Someone will send me a nasty email, maybe comment on The Collegian’s website, and then go on with his or her day. However, the point is very simple and non-confrontational: When you separate physical relations from personal relations, you are using a person as a means to your end.
When casual hook-ups take place, the man has no interest in the woman as more than her body. Instead, he has an interest in what she does for him — namely, pleasure. When I ask my friends about this, they uniformly reply, “Yeah, but it is totally consensual, and she is doing the same thing to me.” But I cannot understand how two people mutually and consensually using each other excuses the fact that they are using each other.
You may be told that independent women empower themselves when they express their freedom this way. You may be acting without constraint, but using a man for this end is still making him into an object for your satisfaction. My argument should not even be challenging or far-reaching: Using someone for pleasure is demeaning.
I’m not saying that good ends do not come out of bad means, but that is hardly a reason to do anything. I’m not saying that sexual attraction is wrong, but the expression of it should be controlled.
It does not matter whether this concept is traditional or archaic, for this classification does nothing concerning the merit of the argument. There are few things more selfish and dishonorable than when a man sleeps with a woman not because of who the woman is, but because of the pleasure he can get out of her.
The bar has not been set very high here. Men and women: stop using each other, even in the name of fun.