Music blaring, lights flashing, aggressive dance floor makeouts—you are not sure if you are about to go deaf or have a seizure. No, this is not some scary Halloween attraction, it is a bar.
It’s no secret that many college students head to the bar to meet someone. But, they’re not hoping to meet the person they bring home to Mom and Dad; they’re hoping to meet the person who gets to see their bedroom later that night.
I am aware that college is a time where casual sex is just a fact of life, and most don’t think twice about it. However, have we ever stopped to think about how this mindset is ruining us?
Our hook-up culture forces us to stifle our emotions and deny ourselves how we really feel. We pretend we don’t care when they hook up with other people, we pretend we’re OK with them only texting us after midnight, we would never want to seem too interested and freak them out, and the worst part is we think that this is how we should be treated.
Hook-up culture has created a complete lack of respect within our generation. If someone says, “No, I would not like to dance with you,” or “No, I don’t want to hook up with you,” it means no. You would think that it would not be too hard for a young adult to understand the concept of no means no, but as soon as you are on a crowded, sweaty dance floor it's like all intelligence is lost.
I could complain about the hot dance craze we young kids call “grinding” for days (just ask my friends), but I will save you the speech and leave it at this: I did not go out for you to stick your junk all up in my trunk. I came here to dance and have fun with my friends, so please stop hovering like a fly around a light, and leave me alone. OK, my rant is over, apologies to anyone who has an appreciation for the art of le grind.
Hook-up culture persists because we allow it to. We perpetuate it, and we are all guilty of it. Some people truly don’t mind how our generation approaches romance, but I do. I don’t want to be someone that is only thought of after midnight, or who someone shows interest in by grinding up on. If that means I may be a bit lonelier, so be it. I would rather wait for the person who actually cares about how I feel than receive the instant, but short-lived, gratification this mindset encourages. I respect myself too much to allow someone else to treat me any less than how I deserve. And you reading this, you too, deserve the same.
The only way we can change our hook-up culture is if we do something about it. Otherwise, it just continues on. So, unless you enjoy randos grinding on you in the club and stifled feelings—do something about it. It doesn’t have to be extreme. You don’t have to save yourself for marriage, or make your significant other take you on lavish dates. Just show them that you want respect, because despite what our hook-up culture tells us, that is what you truly deserve.