The concept of women not being able to hook up or have sex with men without feeling emotionally attached to them may sound antiquated to you, especially considering the amount of women who are now more open about expressing their sexuality. However, this idea is still prevalent in our hook up culture.
During my time in college, I’ve noticed that young men tend to avoid women or treat them badly after they hook up (which can mean kissing and/or beyond that). I’ve had guys tell me that they’re avoiding a girl or being a jerk simply because they spent the night together and they feel awkward about it, same as I’ve had guys tell me that they were being assholes to me because they thought I liked them after hooking up. Some of these men have also proclaimed themselves to be feminists, without considering how this misogynistic behavior is a symptom of the patriarchal idea that women are unable to experience sex and lust without wanting to have a relationship.
It’s very strange to see men who constantly want to re-enforce their manliness behave like schoolchildren and treat women poorly because they do not want to deal with their feelings, or lack thereof, towards them. The idea that women cannot have a one-night stand without falling for the guy and wanting a relationship is absurd. Not all women feel the same way about sex. Some are completely emotionally detached from the men they have sex with, while others simply decide to have sex with whomever they feel comfortable doing so. It is the same as it is for men. If we’re being nice to you after sleeping with you, we’re just being nice. That’s it. Unless we’ve discussed doing it again, chances are we aren’t interested in being with you.
Ignoring someone or being intentionally mean to them because you do not want to be romantically involved with them after you both had a consensual romantic experience is disrespectful and rude, no matter what your gender is. It is important to be polite and cordial. Yes, hooking up when you’re in college is awkward when you have to see them every week. However, hurtful behavior is unnecessary and it shows a lack of maturity. Instead of being an asshole, just smile, say hi, and move on with your life. It’s that simple.
Being nice to someone doesn’t mean you have to date them or be their friend. It does mean they will think highly of you and respect you. I have the utmost respect for men who are nice to me and have no issues with greeting me after an awkward hookup. It shows me they are mature and capable of understanding how to properly treat others.
Next time you want to avoid the person you once entrusted with your privates, think:
“Am I going to see them around often?”
“Do I want them to think highly of me?”
“Would I feel bad about hurting someone’s feelings?”
If the answer is yes, you already know the best way to handle things.
P.S. I’d like to clear up that this only applies to situations in which those who have engaged in sexual activities have done so consensually. It does not apply in any shape or form to sexual relationships that are abusive and nonconsensual, including street harassment and sexual assault. To clear this up, we have edited and added to the article a blurb explaining that it only applies to consensual relationships.