The Wall Street Journal had a good book review on "The End of Sex" by Donna Freitas.
The book is about the casual hook-up culture, where a sexual interaction is brief--like a single night--purely physical, and "no strings" attached--"you just do it, you're done, and you can forget about it."
Essentially it is a purely hedonistic, selfish act, for one's own pleasure--where the other person (if you even know their name) doesn't count.
The review recounts studies that show that the percentage of undergraduates that have participated in hookups is as high as 65 to 75%!
People are searching a quick fix "without the constraints and sacrifices" that real committed relationships require.
According to the review, hookups are not liberating and empowering, but denigrating and dehumanizing--where the other person is just a thing to use for self-pleasure.
It can certainly be understandable that college-aged students are driven to exploration and experimentation, and those unattached can be frustrated and alone and are looking for love.
Whether hookup are the right way to find this--is an individual choice--however from my Jewish upbringing, I was raised to appreciate those who maintain modesty before marriage, because that way the bond of marriage is stronger for it.
The book review seems to imply that hooking up for sex is perhaps just steps away from "sexual assault"--taking sex through violence --one way or another. In a sense, the animal nature takes over and the spiritual element and higher connection is absent. Whether the means is consensual or forced, self-satisfaction is the end.
While sex is a genuine human need, waking up to a stranger--no matter how attractive--is not a great substitute for sharing life's joys (and sorrows) with your true other half, because meaning means more than just the self and the moment.
On one hand, if people can't find emotional love, then they can be left with the physical aspect of sex alone. On the other hand, even some in relationships may not be in the "right" relationships, and may be left searching for more. And still others may use sex to express their power over others--taking what they want, when they want, and how they want.
At the most elementary level, people are motivated to pure self-satisfaction, yet as they rise up to higher orders of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, they are driven further to self-actualization.
Seeing grandparents, parents and others grow a bond of giving and fidelity that is built up over decades is a truly beautiful thing--where love can deepen over time, rather than be forgotten the next morning.
Meeting other people, dating, and developing relationships are markers on the road for those who are fortunate enough to find their true life partners--those with whom they can grow and get old together with. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)