You would have to be living under a rock to deny that the way that we collectively view relationships, s*x and marriage is changing in many different ways. What we used to call “conventional” has slowly etched its way over to unconventional.
Here are some examples: We have now reached the point where more children are born outside of a marriage than those that are. There are new studies that are showing that women entrepreneurs are taking the lead when it comes to creating new jobs and yet other studies show that a lot of men, especially young men, are saying that they don’t want to get married. The world is changing and so are we, as women (and men).
We have to consider that the rather rigid approach that I and those around my age and above grew up with, where you finished school, got married and then had children, has to be allowed to become a little more flexible.
So now we come to the question of whether or not casual s*x is necessarily a bad thing…In my opinion, the short answer is that yes, it is not wise to engage in “one night stands”, “hook-ups” or any other cleverly renamed form of casual s-x.
I was just reading (glossing over, really) a blog post entitled “5 Reasons Why Hookup Culture Isn’t Ruining a Generation“. (I should have known better than to read anything at a blog site called “Jezebel”, but I digress…) In the blog post, the blogger aims to defend casual s*x by saying things like, “Hooking up is just as enjoyable for women as it is for men”.
While it very well may be true that “hooking up” is enjoyable, I would caution that the “joy” that one gets from it is short-lived and the risks that one must take for the “joy” by far outweigh the presumed benefits.
My desire is to see women (and men) enter healthy relationships and I question how a series of random “hook ups” can ever lead to a healthy relationship. As if that were not enough, need we be reminded that STDs are now at epidemic levels among Black women? How about the fact that the leading cause of poverty is single parenthood, which is frequently a result of many “hook ups”?
Like I said, in the beginning, the way relationships, marriage and s*x are perceived and are even experienced and conducted is much different now than it was for our mothers and grandmothers-I get that. What I can not remain silent about is when young women (and men) make decisions that give them results that they don’t want or that will unnecessarily further complicate their already complicated lives.
The risks of casual s-x don’t just stop at unplanned pregnancies and STDs; there is also an emotional element that is often ignored, as well as a spiritual element. Human beings, especially women, are wired to associate an emotional connection with intercourse and acting in a way that contradicts that can be damaging, spiritually and emotionally. It may not feel that way at the time that the “hook ups” are happening, but further down the line, maybe years later, when its time to actually settle down and have meaningful relationships, those “hook up” chickens will come to roost.
The next time you think about “hooking up”, consider that maybe the “joy” of it will be short lived and the possible damage, consequences and complications could last far longer and maybe even forever. Be wise and responsible. Don’t allow yourself to be a “hook up” to someone you may never want to see again, let alone be tied to for the rest of your life.
Nomalanga helps Black women in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter