Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
B Symone Sweazie, Class of 2017 —
Sitting in class eyes glued to her phone, Olivia clicks on her Tinder app hoping to find someone appealing to her. She swipes right on a few potential candidates looking to find a match with a potential hook up for later that week.
“It’s hard nowadays to find someone that is down for you and wants to be committed to you. Majority of the people want someone to hook up with and that’s it,” said sophomore business management major, Olivia Nazzaro.
Whether it’s casual sex, friends with benefits, or actual dating, millennials have turned to a new culture of relationships. The “Hookup Culture” focuses on sex without having to actually be in a relationship. Kissing, touching, and having sex are all a part of this culture while keeping it casual. No strings allowed.
“If something is no strings then it leaves no room to get hurt,” said Nazzaro.
Trust and commitment issues seem to be the top issues of what makes casual sex so alluring to millennials. People who have been hurt from past relationships are somewhat vulnerable when going into a new relationship. They are afraid of being hurt again and putting their trust into someone who may break it is a scary thought.Today’s young adults argue that if there is no commitment and no trust then there is no one who will end up hurt.
Casual sex has become one of the ways for people to satisfy their physical need without having to add emotion into the mix.
“I think that hooking up allows for people to have the physical connection without the emotional connection and without the responsibilities that come with relationships,” said Alex Tarsitano, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker).
Tarsitano is a senior counselor who works with students at the Center for Personal Development at Saint Peter’s. According to her relationship issues are the main reason why people come to Personal Development. The other issues are anxiety and depression and stress related to academics.
But what is there about commitment and responsibility that scares this generation ? According to the American Psychological Association, 70 percent of sexually active 12-21 year olds have had uncommitted sex within the past year. Are millennials afraid of getting their hearts broken or is there another factor involved?
“Not a lot of people have the maturity level to be in a relationship and many of them, they follow what other people are following in society. Many of us young people have issues with trust and issues with being with one person,” said junior, criminal justice major, Joselyn Perez.
Relationships are overrated in the opinion of some millennials, but for others they see hooking up as a test for potential boyfriends or girlfriends.
“A lot of times relationships start off as casual sex. No one (in this generation) is going to be in a relationship before they have sex it is just not how it works these days,” said Alix Couto, sophomore physical education major.
So who still dates? According to a survey analyzed by the Council on Contemporary Families, out of 24,000 college students that were surveyed, 61 percent of them had went out on dates. While only 8 percent of the students engaged in hook ups without going on a date first. However, some Saint Peter’s students prefer to skip the dating.
“It (casual sex) happens too often, you don’t really see couples on campus. Overall most people have casual sex,” said junior business management major, Chris Williams.
Trying to not blur the lines between a casual hooking and an actual relationship can be hard. When tying in underlying emotion with casual sex, things may get difficult for both parties involved.
“I think it’s pretty much about not having feelings, like we grew up in this whole ‘If you don’t have feelings you’re good’. Act like you don’t have feelings, have sex with whoever you want and move on,” said Kelly Jamison, sophomore physical education major.
To avoid getting hurt, it’s best to be honest about one’s feelings.
“People base their decision off what the other person wants. If a guy is like, ‘I just want casual sex’ and the girl walks into the situation and thinks ‘I want a relationship’, but she sees what the guy wants then she’ll change her mind to whatever he wants,” said Perez.
Communication is such a big part of keeping things casual. When two people aren’t open with each about what they want then that is where lines can get crossed. One person might just want to hook up while the other is hoping for something more.
“I don’t want people to think that there is anything wrong with this hook up culture. If that is the thing that works for you then I think that is fine but I do think it is important to have that communication,” said Tarsitano