A young lady in her 20s recently told me about a situation she encountered with a young man who was trying to ‘talk’ to her. He had offered to take her out and as part of that offer he included a night in a hotel room. She was perplexed; a hotel room on a first date? “It’s not that kind of party,” she told him.
I wished that I had some words of wisdom for her, but the truth was that, quite a few years her senior and with a lot more dating experience, my recent dating stories were not very different from hers. In fact, most of my single friends had very similar stories, and frustrated, have all but given up on dating.
I began to wonder how this new concept of dating— where sex is often assumed to be part of the plan— came to be? Did our search for equality come at the price of good old-fashioned courting? The answer might be YES!
We may have literally screwed ourselves when it comes to dating. In trying to free ourselves of the sexual norms society (religion?) placed upon us—good girl vs. bad girl/Madonna vs. Whore— we decided to throw caution to the wind and fulfill our sexual needs without regard to emotional consequence.
In only thinking about our physical needs, we forgot that men were a part of the equation and never considered their reaction to all of this new found freedom. But as Isaac Newton said (not in regards to sex, but it’s fitting) “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Men followed suit and relished in our sexual freedom right along with us. Who could blame them? They like sex, they want sex; we like sex, we want sex. Let’s get down to business.
But women are wired differently, and as much as we may want to deny it, very few of us can separate the sexual act from our emotions. We want the freedom of choice: The ability to choose whether or not to have sex without being categorized as good or bad—the same freedom men have always seemingly enjoyed. But we also want to be courted so that eventually we can, not only enjoy the act of sex, but also the intimacy that comes when it is with someone with whom we share an emotional connection.
Oh, if only we could have a do-over where the sexual revolution is concerned. We might approach it differently so that both men and women could communicate what it means to them. But as we can’t, what is the answer? Is dating a dying art form? Can men and women reach a happy medium where sex and dating are concerned, or are we forever destined to be Mars vs. Venus?
*Originally published at Being Latino Online Magazine