As a young woman in today’s society, it is one of the main topics of conversation when having a discussion with your group of girlfriends, or any women for that matter. Hooking up. Sleeping together. Having sex. Making out. Getting porked. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same idea of being constantly intimate with different guys.
How many men have you slept with? When did you last sleep with someone? Who, exactly, have you had sex with? Why did you sleep with him? How did it happen? It’s such a current and popular conversation topic between women. We’re nosy. It’s easy because, excuse my generalization, the majority of women over the age of eighteen have slept with one or more people. So, why not talk about something that’s basically biting you right on the ass as a way to get to know someone? Once you know the intimate details of someone’s life, you feel like you’re already best friends.
Arriving for my first year at university, I never expected to be in a serious relationship. But there I was, surrounded by a completely new sea of boys, and only wanting the guy who was three hours away and had arranged for flowers to be delivered to my dorm room the day I moved in. I was so prepared to make friends. After all, that’s one of the main reasons people go to university these days, isn’t it? I was on the hunt for a group of girlfriends that could substitute for my insanely tight-knit group I had had in high school.
When “frosh week” began, AKA a week of getting wasted and sleeping on random dorm room floors, I realized I was apart of a seemingly small group of women at a disadvantage. I’d be sitting in a room full of girls, drinking to get drunk, while everyone was interviewing each other one by one about the people they had already been with. Interested and intrigued, this question-and-answer period would go on until sentences became slurred and friends were being made.
Except my problem was, there was nothing to ask me. I was that girl: the one that seemed almost crazy for coming to university in a serious relationship. There usually seem to only be one or two of us in each group of girlfriends. None of the answers we have to give surprise anyone, interest anyone or make anyone laugh. How many men have you slept with? Well, the number hasn’t changed since the last time you asked me. When did you last sleep with someone? Like, 2 hours ago. Who, exactly, have you had sex with? You already know the few people and the list hasn’t changed. Why did you sleep with him? Um, because he’s my boyfriend. How did it happen? We were both in the mood.
Eventually there becomes nothing to text about that interests certain girls. “Did you end up hooking up with him?!” isn’t an option for a conversation starter or a way to bond the morning after a night out.
After personally experiencing girls’ lack of interest in my life for about a month, I started to feel insanely excluded. In an attempt not to generalize, I must say this wasn’t the only thing every girl talked about or cared about. However, in my limited experience, it did appear to make up most discussions.
So, is it inevitable that a woman will be lacking in the close-girlfriends category if she, for any reason, doesn’t randomly hook up with guys? No. But what I’m trying to communicate is the unfortunate fact that a huge part of what mentally and emotionally bonds women can feel out of reach for some if they fall into this group that cannot or will not participate in non-monogamous relationships.
However I feel the moral obligation to share what I have learned so far, after being in a committed relationship for a while now, with other women who are feeling ignored for similar reasons – in order to give these women some peace of mind in that they are not the only one experiencing it: just because a woman doesn’t have a varying sex life with new-man-drama (exciting drama, I must admit) every day, doesn’t mean that you have nothing fun or enticing to talk about with other girls.
I still love hearing about my friends’ boy drama, guessing what will happen next, trying to interpret aloof texts from said boys, providing advice when they need it, or even bashing a boy with my friend because he turned her down (yes, it is immature – but often needed, so no, I won’t stop). I’ve been able to discover that there do still exist girls who don’t allow other women’s sex lives to be the basis of the bond they share with one another, after being lucky enough to find some of these mature and loyal women myself. And while we are still bound to hear about all of our girlfriends’ new and differing relationships, what will we do in the extra time we have due to not always getting with different men?
There are so many other things to focus on as a young woman, who avoids non-monogamy that is beginning a new chapter of life – whether it is pursuing your passion in school or simply staying in touch with your family as distance grows. We, as women, need to practice steering a little further away from making intimacy the main topic that unites us, despite it admittedly being so engaging. Of course, we can still do what to Salt-N-Peppa tells us to and stalk about sex! However let’s not make it the only thing we talk about. Who says women who don’t’ hook up have boring lives?
As for me, I’ll continue gossiping with the girlfriends I’ve made while at university about their sex lives because it’s fun, healthy and natural – however baring in mind that this isn’t the only topic of conversation on the table. After a decent amount of time being social and reaching out to other girls, I have become proof that you do not need to constantly hook up in order to bond with other women. I’m a woman who chooses not to constantly get with different men out of love and respect for my boyfriend, and so I’ll continue on having both great relationships with my girlfriends and a great monogamous sex life: sleeping with and kissing the man I love whenever I desire, finding an additional loyal best friend in him, and still experiencing my fair share of man-drama.
But… what if I hear about the excitement that accompanies a new man entering a girlfriend’s life so often that I start to feel as though I’m missing out? Then my boyfriend and I will role-play and meet again for the first time, and it’ll be just as, if not more, exciting.
* Authors note: I would like to clarify I am in no way trying to shame women who are intimate with more than one man, as before being a relationship I did so myself. I am simply trying to communicate the message that those who do not hook up with different men can still be as social as those who do and have strong relationships with other women.