And the idea that the “game” has been driven by men is also a long-known element.
What’s newly emerging is the rise of young women on the prowl for casual, uncommitted sex.
The author of a compelling New York Times article, “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too,” interviewed more than 60 female college students at the University of Pennsylvania—ambitious, results-oriented, academically busy—who’re also committed to remaining relationally unattached for the foreseeable future.
Indeed, one of them notes, they see a big payback from the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.
The following are quoted declarations by some of these young women, all of whom agreed to be interviewed anonymously or by middle initial or only first name:
- “‘I’ve always heard this phrase, ‘Oh, marriage is great, or relationships are great — you get to go on this journey of change together.’ That sounds terrible. I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”
- “I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve regretted any of my one-night stands. I’m a true feminist. I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”
- “Ten years from now, no one will remember — I will not remember — who I have slept with. But I will remember, like, my transcript, because it’s still there. I will remember what I did. I will remember my accomplishments and places my name is hung on campus.”
- “I wasn’t very drunk — I was close to sober. I’m like, ‘O.K., I could [lose my virginity] now. He’s superhot, I like him, he’s nice. But I’m not going to expect anything out of it, either.’ I could take the chance that one night I get really drunk and sleep with someone that I don’t want to sleep with, which probably is what would have ended up happening.” After she had sex with him, he walked her home in the morning. “Honestly, all of my friends, they’re super envious, because I came back with the biggest smile on my face. All of my friends are jealous, because I had such a great first experience.”
- “There’s this hypothetical, ‘I would like to be in a relationship, because it’s like comforting and stable and supportive.’ But then, the conversations that I’ve had, it’s always like, ‘Well, then what do I do when we get to May, because we’re graduating, and so where do we go from there?’ That uncertainty is a huge sort of stop sign.”
- “It’s kind of like a spiral. The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.”