Right now, media heads are babbling again about how casual sex damages women's bodies, psyches, and their potential to achieve long-term relationships.
It's always about the women. The idea that women are sexual creatures who enjoy sex for its own sake continues to freak out American society even in 2007. As Amber Madison, the author of Hooking Up, rightly pointed out on Today on Monday, many young women are afraid to get into relationships. They've been brought up to believe that men don't want them, so why should they make themselves vulnerable?
They disconnect sex from emotion, which is what a portion of the male sex has done for eons. Society has long assumed (or wanted to assume) that only men are capable of this, but that's dead wrong.
That said, using another human being as your own personal disposable sex toy may have short-term benefits. But whether you're a man or a woman, it's not usually satisfying in the long run.
Take my old friend. We'll call him Bill.
He mastered the art of the hook-up and hardly ever went home alone. We marveled at him. One night, I asked him his secret. He told me, "Hang around, and I'll show you."
His technique involved learning the interests of the evening's potential bedmate. He'd approach her, get her talking, and before long she'd reveal her undying love for The Beatles, The Mets, flyfishing, or whatever.
A newspaper reporter, Bill knew a little about a lot of things and could discuss her passion with the right dose of enthusiasm. Within an hour, she'd found a kindred spirit, and off she went to his bed.
In one case, the woman sent Bill flowers the next day.
But, he later told me that his encounters ultimately left him feeling "empty." He said, "You'd be surprised, Terry, but the sex is never that good, either."