Bodies First, Personality Second: On Hookup Culture

By Michaela Del Viscovo

Bodies first, personality second. That is the mantra young men seem to live by these days. Old-fashioned dating involving emotionally connecting with your significant other and chivalrous acts are increasingly becoming obscure. Perhaps a few years ago it was understandable to question this… but due to dating apps such as the ever-so-pervasive Tinder, the answer is quite obvious. People’s intentions on these dating apps where one could “swipe right” on 100 different girls in a matter of 5 minutes has changed the dating scene. Or lack thereof, I should say.

 

Though this has relevance to users all around the country, it seems to be especially pervasive in New York City.

 

Lucky for us old-soul NYC college students whose dying-millennial-wish is to go on a good ol’ date with someone!

 

“New York guys, from our experience, they’re not really looking for girlfriends, they’re just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder” (from Vanity Fair). The reasons for this are definitely ambiguous. It could be due to the focus New Yorkers have in sustaining successful careers, the all-around clubbing culture in general, or even the higher income of New Yorkers which yields a different lifestyle. When a young group of women are asked what percentage of straight men they think are “fuckboys,” their answer is astounding. “One hundred percent,” said Meredith, 20, a sophomore at Bellarmine University in Louisville. “No, like 90 percent,” said Ashley. “I’m hoping to find the 10 percent somewhere. But every boy I’ve ever met is a fuckboy” (both quotes from Vanity Fair).

 

Side note: a “fuckboy” is considered (in the most politically correct way possible) “a male with whom a person has sex, but there is no potential for a closer relationship” (onlineslangdictionary.com).

 

Essentially, a womanizer.

 

“It is the very abundance of options provided by online dating which may be making men less inclined to treat any particular woman as a ‘priority’” (from Vanity Fair). Online dating could easily be compared to online shopping as in both situations options are plentiful and one has the freedom to choose whichever item (or person) pleases their taste. Wow, another example of how women are diminished to objects, surprising?

 

There’s also an ease factor to dating apps, which goes hand-in-hand with how lazy our generation is. Tinder doesn’t require physically getting off your bed to meet a girl, so it’s understandably the preferred option by many. Going to bars is now even considered tedious. In the words of Alex, a twenty-something-year-old who works at a financial firm in NYC, “you could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger.”

 

A larger sample size? Are we in statistics? Am I missing something?

 

Even though we could blame Tinder and the other dating apps all we want, the most concerning issue is the amount of men who want nothing more than one night stands. The men who only care about a woman’s physical attributes and only care to use her for sex. Even if both parties concur and want no commitment in their relationship, the gain both parties receive is still minimal. After that night is over, and you have to do the walk of shame back into your apartment the next morning, truly think, did you benefit from that whatsoever?

 

Another aspect of the hookup culture that isn’t commonly addressed is the effect it has on women’s emotional well-being. Mental turmoil is bound to ensue as a result of exposing yourself and having such an intimate interaction with someone you barely know. And, even worse is if he doesn’t reach out to you thereafter.

 

In a day and age where at dinner people seldom put their phones down and fail to seek engaging in conversation with their friends, is it shocking that this is what the dating scene has evolved into?

 

As a 19-year-old NYC college student, I can undoubtedly attest to the amount of men who want nothing more than a hookup. In fact, it’s incredibly disappointing as a girl who endeavors to find someone at my age who desires for a long-term and emotionally connected relationship. Maybe an app should be created specifically designed for people seeking long-term relationships? Ever thought of that one? I bet that if more millennials decided to put an end to one night stands, and made an effort to pursue invested relationships then we’d be a more content generation.

Michaela Delviscovo