Spring Break from Restraint

October 14, 2009

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After watching re-runs of MTV’s Spring Break, I began to wonder if I was abnormal. I spent my break from academia in the Northeast, visiting New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. While I did hear a band one night in a restaurant, my spring break certainly didn’t involve me baring my chest for beads or hooking-up.

MTV’s “boob-tube” Spring Break reaches pornographic levels with shows titled as“The Morning After” and “Full Body Search.” One can also air out sexual desires on the MTV web page with the no-holds-back diaries of the cast of “Cancun Capers,” featuring the stereotypical twenty-something co-eds Brandi, Cheryl, and Nisha. Brandi describes a typical night at a dance club: “All the boob flashing and g-string mooning at the club made a lot of guys’ nights!” Another gentleman posted the question, “What is the best way for us guys to pick you girls up during Spring Break?” The ladies response? “BEADS!!” and “a bunch of drunk people only there to hook up and party . . . hmmm . . . shouldn’t be too difficult for you.”

Maybe it should be. Women may think flashing for beads and hooking-up is just part of having fun, but the kind of stimulation it gives men is nothing to mess around with. As those featured on MTV reasoned, sex should be easy and readily available, shouldn’t it?

Well, it depends on what you expect from sex. Scientists and medical doctors tell us sex affects guys and girls differently. Even MTV’s Dr. Drew understands that “when a woman is intimate with somebody, she has a deeper experience. Most men will be physically intimate with whatever hits their fancy. It can be emotional for them, but it doesn’t have to be.”

When women are intimate, they release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the same hormone released when women nurse their children, creating an emotional bond between them. Women, therefore, cannot physically experience “hooking-up” without emotionally hooking-up with their partners—something a man doesn’t necessarily experience. In terms of the emotional and chemical components of intimacy, the age of sexual equality is mostly myth.

We do, however, live in an age where sexuality is not repressed. Walk around my campus on a Friday night and you’ll quickly discover that nothing is left to the imagination. Dr. Drew explains that our generation is “free with their sexual vocabulary and the range of behaviors they feel comfortable exploring. The problem is, they still don’t understand the consequences.” Guys are not going to respond to women in the romantic way we want because they don’t have to. They are given all the eye candy and physical stimulation they need without the dinner or flowers.

We may be the MTV generation, but that doesn’t mean we have to be the sleaze generation. Women should make men work a little harder at romance instead of giving them the push down an addictive road of sexual desire. Otherwise, guys will want more than just their MTV.

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