The Love Vaccine. (so you don’t catch feelings)

Revolution. This word holds such high significance. When I hear the word I think of countries breaking down their government. However, there is a different type of revolution, one that took place throughout the 1960s and ’70s on a worldwide scale. A sexual revolution. Once the 1960s arrived, there was a shift in social norms due to the ongoing protests for civil rights and the anti-war mindset instilled among young people. The protests were not the only thing that pushed along this sexual uprising. In the early ’60s, the birth control pill became available first strictly to married women and then to all women. This erased that scare of pregnancy and made sex a less scary and more carefree act. Non-marital sex became socially accepted. This was the start of the acceptance of hookup culture, however, the difference between the ’60s and now is that very thin line of love, respect, and companionship. Today's hookups seem to be strictly about sexual stimulation.

Intimacy: feared by most. In today's society, love, respect and overall affection is a missing piece of the puzzle we call young adult romance.

Let's break it down: “Hookup culture” is an experience that allows for casual sexual encounters without any shame or talk of long term commitment. As teenagers and young adults growing up in an age where people can send naked pictures on Snapchat and ignore each other in person, this is our everyday. Yet, the young adult world we live in remains centered around a basic need for companionship, but how does one find intimacy and familiarity when we are told to constantly move on and find more partners?

Human nature is a search for companionship. Since the beginning of time, it has been known that humans latch on to other humans. As humans are social creatures, it is against our psyche to be alone. Due to media and societal pressures, most people spend their entire lives trying to find “the one”. Current hookup culture picks that all up and throws it in the garbage, telling kids that while “the one” might be important the higher your “number,” the more validated you are; one should simply “up their body count”.

Through today's media, the sexual revolution is hot, careless, sneaky. Think of moviesque one night stands, girls falling out of bed in their pink lingerie, full face of makeup on only for the guy to be in the kitchen flipping pancakes and pouring coffee. This portrayal is simply false. The idea of a one night stand exists to eliminate any chance of an intimate, non-sexual connection between the two individuals. In movies and tv shows, girls stumble out without saying goodbye or men book it out the backdoor before asking what her name is. This idea of mystery and singularity pull people in.

The language used surrounding hookup culture is aimed at making sure both individuals are aware that it is key that they don't attach themselves. To attach yourself or appear at all vulnerable is you losing in the never-ending game of young 21st-century love.

“Have you caught feelings?”, “be careful, don't catch feelings.” You don't catch feelings, You catch the flu. The idea of love is portrayed as a disease in our society. The whole world is shutting themselves down to a more numb state because if you're not feeling anything that means you're doing it right. To feel something is to fail the social standard that has been ingrained in our brains. But what are we getting out of this loveless society? Because whether we admit it or not, as humans, we crave more than just physical connection. So who are we beating anyways? Ourselves?

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