Recently, I was talking with Emileigh, a female college student who’s gotten into the habit of hooking up at school. Freshman year she had a regular hookup that eventually turned into an official relationship, though it was fraught with drama and suspicion of his cheating. Looking back on it, she said, “I know he didn’t love me.”The problem is that one only ever stops by stopping. There are any number of various psychological tricks one can attempt to play upon oneself, but in the end, one has to simply resist that seductive voice of temptation that says: "this makes sense, this is the right way to do it because it feels good, this time it's different and it's going to work." It doesn't matter if one is attempting to break a habit of eating too much, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, playing Battlefield 3 instead of writing, or engaging in casual sex, unless and until the activity actually stops, it won't stop.
When that relationship burned and crashed over the summer, she returned to school figuring she’d follow the same path. This wasn’t entirely insensible – hooking up is the pathway to relationships in college, though it happens only 12% of the time. (Hayes, Allison, McManus, Brian and Paul, 2000). Two and a half years later, she’s had many hookups, none of which made it to the relationship stage this time around. She’s a senior now and feels miserable about it. I asked her why she kept doing it. Her answer had several elements.
Guys give her attention knowing she hooks up on the reg.
The girls who don’t hook up get zero attention from guys, which she fears would be even worse.
Her number has gotten so high she doesn’t see why it matters anymore. :(
It’s awkward to say no.
Regarding that last point, 12% of women say that it is sometimes easier to have sex with a guy they don’t know than to make conversation (Glenn, Norval and Marquardt, Elizabeth, 2001).
Emileigh was clearly wrestling with the fact that she’d become one of the most promiscuous girls on campus. Hooking up was a habit, and she no longer gave any thought to the decision before making it. She had forfeited her power to reflect, ponder and choose. She feels terrible about her choices – she was very upset while telling me this – and she wants to stop. She’s not sure how.
It's a tautology... but tautologies are, by definition, true.
Emileigh's example should serve as a powerful warning to young women who are just reaching the age where they are permitted - wisely or not - to make decisions concerning their sex lives. Her cautionary example will be ignored by those who insist on making their own mistakes, but it is of great potential benefit to those who are intelligent to learn from the mistakes of others. The schadenfreude being expressed by many low-rank men at her expense is misguided, because it is only through the example and testimony of women like Emileigh that a return to more reasonable societal restrictions on female sexuality will take place barring the customary societal, and in this case, possible civilizational, collapse.