You wake up after the night before. Dry mouth, bad head, overwhelming urge to declare your abstinence from alcohol. Lie still, you tell yourself. It might go away, you think, but for now, don’t risk moving. Better to feel nauseous from a stationary, horizontal position. You start to sift through last night. It was Bunker (mental correction, Analog) Monday. You remember the smoking area (mental note, you really should smoke less). You remember the shots (mental note again, ignore the bank account for a little bit).
You open your eyes. You remember the stranger in your bed too.
So, what next? According to Psychologist Anne Campbell from Durham University, after a one night stand, 80% of men had overall positive feelings, whilst a comparatively smaller, 54% of women had positive feelings. These women were said to feel “regret at being used”, more than this, said they “felt cheap” and “degraded”.
“Regret at being used” - hmm, interesting. Did both people not participate in the same act? In which case, did they both not ‘use’ each other? I ponder. In a consensual one night stand, how can one use another?
To me, the answer is simple - the mentality of the individuals. We have been conditioned to assume roles, if, or when, this event occurs. The man - clearly, he must feel nothing, after one thing and one thing only. The woman - seeking emotional connection. Potentially at the time it was purely about sex, and that you are willing to accept, but also, the woman is most definitely the more likely to attempt to contact the man. A bit desperate aint it?
This is not the era for the Romantic. I accept that. Very rarely in a club does someone sidle up to a person with an earnest look in their eye and a request for a stroll around the park at sunset on their lips. To make it clear, I also have no problem with this. As long as it’s consensual, congrats.
However, that is the key word, in more than one way. Consensual. Agreement. Two way thing, etc etc. Why do we find it so difficult to accept that both individuals have similar intentions when engaging in an identical act? The assumptions benefit no one. The man is dehumanised, stripped of not just his emotions but the possibility that he even would feel anything but lust. The woman, on the other hand, has an inferior role placed upon herself, resulting in a sense of degradation and feeling used. The woman loses autonomy in her decisions and her actions, displacing a robotic energy onto the guy.
I do not understand it. I may be generalising, but over time, I have also heard many complaints from female friends after hook-ups that they don’t want to text the guy, not wishing to seem needy. Why? Why cast yourself in a weak role? You would (hopefully) never assume that all your male friends are just walking talking sex robots and equally, you wouldn’t assume that every sexual encounter your female friend engages in is with the purpose of romantic connection?
Casual sex in today’s society is a fact, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to be okay with it. Some people feel great about it. Some feel a bit regretful after. Amazingly, you can be male or female and still feel both.
Oh, and one more thing, if you can sleep with that person, you can send them a text too. Know why? You actually don’t know what they’re thinking.