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Hookups according to today’s young men

Straight Talk for Teens column
By: Lauren Forcella Straight Talk for Teens
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Dear Straight Talk: I counsel teens on college and career choices and have been learning about “hookup” culture. I’m concerned that sexual activity, starting with girls as young as 11, does not include relationship. To be sexual today, kids don’t even need to exchange names. In college, many girls avoid commitment and just have sex so they don’t derail their career goals. I feel that sex without love, respect, emotional depth and some level of commitment, is damaging for girls — and possibly boys. Today’s scene seems warped toward pornographically-inspired, emotionally-disconnected dancing and male sexual fantasies. I worry that females taking part in this male sex play will suffer long-term emotional consequences, especially when told it’s ‘no big deal.’ How do girls really feel about hooking up with strangers or friends just for sex?  ~ Concerned Counselor Dear Readers: You may recognize this question from our column last Sept. 22. At that time, I printed only female responses. Now it’s the guys’ turn. Their responses should lead people to conclude, like I do, that girls have become “alpha” enough that you can no longer stereotype anything regarding the sexes. More to come on this topic. ~ Lauren Justin, 22, Redding: Your letter is insulting. I’m a male and I don’t have sex with girls I’m not in love with, period. Historically, female sexuality has been shunned. Now it’s finally acceptable for females to enjoy sex. Every girl I’ve slept with has instigated our first sexual encounter. Scot, 23, Providence, R. I.: “Concerned Counselor” has minimal concern for boys. She stereotypes men as willing to run through girls with no connection, yet girls do the same thing to men. She is terrified for young girls “forced” to dance with guys. But it’s girls who love to dance. Just because girls aren’t acting traditionally feminine, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing what they want. Some are pressured into things, but not every girl who has sex without love is a victim of psychological damage, and not every guy just wants to run through girls.   Matt, 16, Villa Park: Principles and values are at play here. Unless one has learned them, one probably won’t make good choices. Evan, 24, Medford, Ore.: I enjoyed “Concerned Counselor’s” letter until it turned into a “poor women” treatise. Is it a male’s fault if a girl gets freaky instead of seeking commitment? The power of female sexuality is amazing and most women know it and use it for what they want. Yet boys get the blame. Random hookups aren’t healthy for either party. But nobody talks about the guys who got their hearts ripped out or were cheated on by four women in a row. I lost my virginity to a 30-year-old woman when I was 16. Was I in control? I didn’t even drive yet! I have many sensitive guy friends. We watch girls pick the bad boys. When I am intimate I feel obligated to stick around. Not most girls today. My buddies and I are astonished and talk a lot about how aggressive girls are. Gregg, 19, Sacramento: I dislike instant hookups. The few times they have happened, the next morning I felt embarrassed, dirty and rude. I’ve never hung out with that girl again. That speaks volumes.  Lennon, 24, Fair Oaks: The hookup scene feels shallow and counterintuitive. Anyone can hook up, but not everyone can build a relationship. Sure, hookups are exciting; each one is brand new. But if people don’t learn how to maintain excitement within a relationship, we’re in for a rough time. Humans may not be entirely suited to monogamy, but your best chances are with someone you desire and enjoy being around, someone you truly care for. Hookups aren’t a good way of finding that person. For more discussion, to ask a question, or inquire about being a youth panelist, visit http://www.straighttalkforteens.com or write POB 963 Fair Oaks, CA 95628.