Sex and Love

“Tinder is the Night” is an in-depth article by Nancy Jo Sales in the September issue of Vanity Fair. It’s about the hookup culture’s use of dating apps — Tinder, Hinge, Happen, etc. It describes young men and women, expensively educated, who work on Wall Street and hang out at local bars swiping on their phones looking at potential matches on their phone screens. (One wonders if Steve Jobs or now Tim Cook ever anticipated this use of iPhones.)

For men finding sex with a woman at night is easy as long as he’s decent looking and doesn’t have a “dad bod.” No commitment, no talking necessary. Like porn.

The guys and gals are busy, they say they don’t want involvement; for that they go out with friends.

For women how safe is it to meet at her home (or his) and how satisfying is it to have the guy leave shortly after ejaculation or a nap? Even if women initiate contact, isn’t this situation dangerous?

In Amy Schumer’s movie, Trainwreck, when Bill Hader’s character calls her to ask her for a date, Amy panics and asks her friend Vanessa Bayer “What should I do!!?” Vanessa replies that she should call the police because maybe he’s a stalker. And so it is among dating app participants.

Men and women appear to have lost the ability to talk to each other, even on a college campus where others their age surround them. They know each other through their profiles on Facebook or elsewhere. Last New Year’s Eve at a bar/music/restaurant I saw that couples took up every table but none were looking at each other and having a conversation on that special night. They paid a lot for the privilege of their meal and music but spent every odd moment checking their phones, which were right next to the dessert spoon.

When this issue of VF came out, I had just read Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night. In this book a 70-year-old woman knocks on a neighbor’s door and asks if he’d like to lie in bed with each other to talk. Their telling about each other’s lives and matters large and small bound them to one another. They touch each other but what’s important is the physical closeness — the emotional intimacy of it.

I had a relationship with someone with whom there was much talk and the best sex I ever had — with someone who knew how to give me intense satisfaction. My main desire was to reciprocate in kind.

It takes time to lay the groundwork for such pleasure.

The New York Times has written in-depth articles on sexual slavery. Women are recruited just for sex. What are the connections here? One is that men like free sex and power over women. If feelings are involved, there is no power.

Men who are addicted to porn or quick hookups lose their capacity for sustained relationship, even the ability to have an erection according to some reports.

For women the loss is even greater. What does it do to a soul to objectify men and then used as his receptacle? It’s not only demeaning, it robs you of your identity. Many app users change their names.

Feminism and sexual liberation brought about freedoms for women, but the current trend could lead to a rise in greater patriarchy. As women lose self-esteem, they are easier to control.

I’d say women better start having more self-esteem or they will slide down a slippery slope to an even greater patriarchal culture than we have now.