Friends with benefits: What India’s Young Women Think Of Sex, Flings, Relationships
It’s the first day of college for an 18-year-old who has just moved to this new city. She’s dressed to impress and she is not leaving any stone unturned to miss the attention she is looking out for. The first college party of the year is organised and the night for the new student ends with moans behind shut doors with a guy whose name is the only thing she knows about.
Such an occurrence is not very surprising, most college girls are out for ‘flings’ as relationships are too ‘emotionally taxing’. Hook-ups satisfy your physical needs and you have someone to rely on, or more like some people to rely on. Each social gathering is marked with a new person and the next morning a new tally mark is added to the list. Friends support and help cover up; pop media like books, shows, songs all highlight casual sex presumably in a setting of a party with alcohol, and all such moments become cherished memories.
Hooking up with people and not being romantically involved is gradually becoming more acceptable, with more and more people opting for such hook ups rather than ‘courting’ people the traditional way. People are more willing to discuss such approaches and are giving time for the relationship to grow into something more serious. They don’t necessarily involve sex, and are anything from kissing to oral sex to orgies.
Hooking up with people and not being romantically involved is gradually becoming more acceptable, with more and more people opting for such hook ups rather than ‘courting’ people the traditional way.
Another emerging alternative to dating is being ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) where two friends decide to get sexually involved, always at the disposal of the other. “They do not maintain any exclusivity and are open to other relationships as well. If one finds a boyfriend/girlfriend, they choose to discuss their relation with the friend, may at times leading to an open relationship.” says Sneha Desai* who prefers hooking up and having FWB over serious relationships. However, FWBs involve more complexities of friendship trust and comfort and thus many opt for keeping it aside if they get romantically involved with someone else.
Giving a boost to this new culture are dating apps. These are the saving grace of many who are too shy to talk to strangers. People have the most charming pictures on their profile with extremely witty bios. Women look for the macho, bulky bearded men who can make them laugh and men desire for the pretty, trophy girl, sharp girls who can be their pride. “People have taken their ‘tinder game’ a little too seriously. Dating schools and grooming classes have come up where user go for enhancing their skills of getting laid” confesses Aneesh Jain* who has been active on Tinder since 2015 and has visited some of these classes.
By using the dating apps, I understood how men often approach women. They complement your smile, your dressing skills, your ability to keep the person intrigued and then ask for your number.
As a subject for my friend’s experiment, I created a profile on Tinder. Just like any girl, my profile had picture of me in different attires and settings- saree, dress, candid and one posed. However, to maintain my privacy I ensured that my face was not clearly visible. The moment my profile was up, I started getting likes, where people were swiping me right. As per the experiments requirements, I swiped right too and accepted message requests. Most of the men that messaged asked the usual questions and within 10 minutes of talking popped the most important question ‘WHEN DO WE MEET.’
By using the dating apps, I understood how men often approach women. They complement your smile, your dressing skills, your ability to keep the person intrigued and then ask for your number. The moment refusal approaches their door, they turn around and ‘unmatch’ you. Tinder, as my experiment concluded, has become a platform for men and women to find people to satiate their lusts and get their hormones in control. Young men and women are substituting the sanctity of love with immediate gratification to escape the ‘burden’ of marrying.
Dating apps have become a platform for men and women to find people to satiate their lusts and get their hormones in control
Today, you are judged by your profile picture, conversations are carried out only if you are witty enough and numbers are exchanged only if you are willing to be their ‘hookup buddy.’ A month was more than enough for me to get an experience of talking to sleazy men but this does not completely negate the fact that people do find interesting people who just want to talk; people have found their ‘true love’ through hook ups. But where do we draw the line to differentiate between ‘friends’ ‘buddies’ ‘partners’ and ‘bae’ or do we not draw the line at all?
Today, you are judged by your profile picture, conversations are carried out only if you are witty enough and numbers are exchanged only if you are willing to be their ‘hookup buddy.’
Jagriti Sharma Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV
* name changed