In this lascivious “hook-up culture” dominating university life, we say we are looking for merely sex - a supposedly simple, easy act. Yet, after observing this culture for a year now, is it really just a simple act of hedonism? It seems to be more: it seems that in our search of carnal, physical pleasure, we encounter further struggles than simply not being attractive or confident enough. We are forced to learn about ourselves in a harsher way.
Scars from the past may not have healed as much as we think they may have. Do we attribute our partners’ bad treatment of us to our own faults or to theirs? Why do we choose men and women considered “inferior” or “superior” to ourselves? Are we doing this for validation or for our own pleasure? For others or for ourselves? Why do we need to objectify others? Why do we avoid certain qualities? Why do we let ourselves be mistreated in such dehumanizing ways? Why, in the search and act of something so shallow and physical, must we cause and endure so much pain?
Through our sexual choices our deep-seated, internalized sexist and racist beliefs emerge that we wouldn’t have addressed otherwise. We find our true level of self-esteem and egotism, and the further results of our disadvantages and privileges; gender, race, and socioeconomic status. We realize how little or how much we’ve escaped the identities assigned to us at birth, and the limitations they’ve placed upon us. We realize part of how our society views us, especially our place in the dominant, majority culture. We realize how much freedom and autonomy in life we truly have.
Who we are sexually attracted to describes characteristics about ourselves we are not always aware of. Who we may desire for just one night, many nights, or years reflects our needs, attitudes, and experiences we either choose to accept or deny. Hardly any of us “just want sex”, deep down inside we want so much more.