I wish I could say the biggest lie I was told about sex came from Coach Carr in the seminal classic, "Mean Girls." Luckily, I knew that sex doesn’t always lead to chlamydia and death, so he failed to inflict too much damage.
The biggest lie I was told about sex gets at a deeper, more emotional aspect of the act. For years, society - particularly members of the gay community - have told me that unemotional sex is easy. Meaningless sex is so far from easy that I’m not even convinced it exists.
The process to meaningless sex is supposedly quite simple – get on Grindr, message a few attractive boys and hookup. The key to success is keeping the conversation to a minimum. You want to avoid any potential for actual connection.
With such a linear process, what’s the issue? The problem is we are humans, and by nature, emotions play a role in our actions.
On a college campus in 2013, random hookups are readily available. We are social beings. We seek to create bonds with the people around us. Why, then, should the people inside of us not apply? They should, and they do.
The emotion behind a random hookup is suppressed, but it exists. It’s hard to explain. Perhaps it’s the trust associated with allowing a stranger to enter your private realm of sexuality. Maybe it’s your own insecurity and belief that the affection of another person will somehow fix what you see as your flaws. I’ve felt that emotion. Thinking that the boy I slept with last week finds me attractive helps mend some of my internal emotional wounds. Regardless of the motivation, the concept of a meaningless hookup is a misperception.
Emotions between two people are enough, but when you involve a third, things get dirty. No, I’m not talking about a threesome. I’m talking about cheating.
I once had an ex confess that he had cheated on me, but he swore it meant nothing. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, many of you have probably been in my situation. I gave him another shot, but after the relationship completely ended, I realized that his cheating meant something, even if he didn’t realize it. I try not to definitively prescribe emotional problems onto others, but his was quite obvious, and he even admitted it later. He was afraid of commitment. Cheating was a way for him to handle the uncomfortable emotions he felt after entering into an exclusive relationship with me.
At the end of the day, meaningless sex simply cannot exist. I think we fabricate this notion because the emotions involved in hookups are often deeper and darker than the usual emotional connection or love that we consider.
So, how do we recognize lies? Most often through experience and by taking something from that experience. The lesson I’ve learned is to approach sex with emotional caution. Try to be aware of what motivates you and always know that something motivates him.