The amount of times I have seen my friends and peers fall for their emotionally unavailable hookups is astonishing. Even my For You page on TikTok is flooded with people (mostly girls) who will say something like “he kissed me on the forehead, yet he tells me he doesn’t want a relationship.” Ever since I came to Tulane, I wondered why women have a harder time being detached in their hookups than the men, or people that they decide to hookup with.
No matter how progressive we claim to be as a society, women are still shamed for their sexuality. Men can get with as many people as they want, often with little to no repercussions. They usually don’t have to worry about their reputation, being called a “hoe”, “slut”, or “easy” and being seen as less than by their peers. However, women tend to be more mindful when they decide to hookup with somebody. They are typically burdened with worrying about their reputation as well as making sure whatever activity they engage in is safe, so a hookup is something they put more thought into. Therefore, women are more likely to care about their hookups, since they often have to be careful who they choose.
Also, many of us girls grew up believing that physical connection between two people should come after an emotional connection is also established. For example, in older generations it was seen as taboo to do anything sexual before a certain amount of dates. We have somewhat outgrown that attitude, but the emphasis on getting to know somebody before hooking up with them is still there. Now, getting to know somebody has gone from dates to a conversation before hooking up and it is seen as the norm for Tulane hookup culture.
If hookups are supposed to be seen as meaningless and fun, then why does it seem like women are the ones constantly ending up hurt? Sometimes, it is the fact that you vibe with somebody in the little time that you get to know them, while combining physical affection, and you want more. If the connection is there and you enjoy the time you spend with this person and they seem to enjoy it too, why can’t we just make things official?
Women are more likely in general to feel this way about their hookups while men or non-women are constantly told to detach themselves from their emotions. They are encouraged to play the field and not get too attached to somebody who is just a hookup to them, while women are encouraged to be monogamous. This of course doesn’t hold true to everybody, but it is a pattern that is seen constantly, i.e. My Tulanian friends falling for somebody conditioned to be emotionally unavailable.
From experience and the anecdotes from those around me, falling for somebody who seemingly wants nothing to do with you is emotionally straining and can often deplete one’s confidence. You often feel worthless or not good enough. “Why can’t they just like me back? Why do they only ask me to come over at ungodly hours?” But you are not alone, and you are not the problem. It is the way that hookup culture has been conditioned, that makes our experiences of unrequited love quite common, especially at Tulane.
Cover Photo: Skylar Schumann
Taylor Spill is a staff writer for the Crescent Magazine, specifically focusing on 'Sex and the Crescent City' and College Life. She is majoring in Communications with minors in Sociology and Film Studies. Other than writing, she loves to work out, explore New Orleans with friends, and working with kids throughout the community.