And when guys reciprocated my interest, my insecurities were at least temporarily dissolved. He said he didn’t want anything, but keeps asking to hang out.The winter of my junior year, I asked Ben, a quiet, smart philosophy major with bright blue eyes, to a wine and cheese party. On weekends I’d text him around 10 pm, usually somewhat drunk. When Ben fell asleep, I’d pretend to doze off as well. And with attachment came shame, anxiety, and emptiness.Desperate for a hand held in daylight, for public affirmation of desire typically expressed only after too many drinks.
The idea that sexual liberation is fundamental to female agency dominates progressive media.
Instead, almost all of them found themselves going along with hookups that induced overwhelming self-doubt, emotional instability and loneliness.
Kelsey reported trying “traditional” hookup culture after a relationship ended, sleeping with various guys as liberated experimentation.
We’d meet at one of our dorm rooms, debate philosophy and Fleet Foxes lyrics, talk about our families and aspirations, and then have sex until he came. During the night, I’d pull the covers or brush his toes, craving an arm around my waist. Sometimes I’d leave an earring on his bedside table when I left, before he woke up. My girlfriends and I were top students, scientists, artists, and leaders.
Give or take some weeknight Netflix-watching or walks in town, I cycled through this routine with at least five guys by senior year. My friends and I would analyze incessantly: Does he like me? We could advocate for anything—except for our own bodies.