Over the summer The New York Times printed a lead story relevant to many students, “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too”.” This article makes the same argument that almost every newspaper article and psychologist has made in the past three years when tackling this subject. The article states that women as well as men are engaging in the increasingly popular type of relationships known as hookup buddies. And in an even more typical 21st-century thought, the women in the article say they don’t want relationships because they are too busy with school and extracurricular activities to put in the time. Hookup buddies give women a sexual outlet without the effort of a relationship.

I, however, see a different view of hooking up. Articles and psychologists continue to insist that these relationships benefit men more than women. The article cites the statistic that men were more likely to receive oral sex than give it to their female hookup partner. Psychologists agreed, stating that hookups were more about benefiting the male partner than the female. This, however, could be due to the fact that blow jobs for men are much more socially acceptable, and it’s possibly less stressful for a girl to give oral sex than to receive it.

I see hookup buddies as allowing women to have casual sex with the same person, instead of a continual string of one-night stands. Men may be seen as enjoying one-night stands more than women because there’s no emotional attachment. While this article states truthfully that women want a singular physical relationship as much as men, it’s harder for women to only want that and ignore the societal influences that say they can’t have a solely physical relationship.

The double standard of how many people one sleeps with means a women cannot have a string of casual one-night stands without being labeled a slut and thus not “girlfriend material.” Hookup buddies allow a women to have casual sex without increasing her number every night.

One of the Pennsylvania State University students interviewed for the magazine said of her hookup buddy, “We don’t really like each other in person, sober.” While this may be true of some relationships, I would guess there are other factors at play, like “We like each other but not enough to actually work at a relationship.” It’s possible that hookup buddy has deal-breaking features that make a relationship not worthwhile or even out of the question. Maybe he is too much of a pothead or drinks too much and studies too little. Maybe it’s all in the timing. It’s not worth getting heartbroken because a guy is leaving for study-abroad next semester or lives in a different state during the summer and wants to be single during those periods.

I also think this switch from relationships to hookups demonstrates the significance this generation puts on relationships. I know people who will hook up for months, classify their relationship as exclusive and still not call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. Many students have grown up with divorced parents. Out of my group of friends in high school, only myself and one other have parents still together after their first marriage.

Being in a relationship means more than just being exclusive. It’s a combination of assets and feelings that is harder to break off when things go wrong. Students just aren’t willing to make that commitment until they know the output is worth the input. And let’s face it, every time but once, it won’t be.

Jesse Klein is an LSA junior.

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