*DISCLAIMER: Social drinkers who hook up with people, this article may make you feel discomfort. Those who rather not interrogate the merits of their hook-up tactics/choices, and want to just have fun, do not read. Stay blessed*
When Miguel dropped “Kaleidoscope Dream” last year, I was very excited to hear the project. Being a big fan of his music for years (back to him featuring on Blu & Exile’s “Below The Heavens“), I bought the CD as soon as it hit iTunes.
One track I immediately gravitated to was “How Many Drinks”. The beat was great, lyrics were catchy, and it didn’t take many replays for me to learn the words and sing along in my car.
Fast-forward to 2013, I revisited the album and the song a few days ago. While I still thought the track was dope, the lyrics sparked deeper thought than I expected.
“How many drinks does it take you to leave with me / Yeah, you look good, I got money but I don’t wanna waste my time / Back of my mind, I’m hopin you say two or three / You look good, we came to party but I don’t wanna waste my time”
The words stirred up recollections of all the random guys I saw walk up to women and buy them drinks at bars, the undergrad hook-up stories of “man, she was so wasted!”, all the parties where my more reserved female friends dropped it lower and bussed-it-wide-opener than I’ve ever seen.
The irony of me loving the song was the fact that in real life, I think drunken hook-up culture is awkward as hell. Ok, yes, these people are having fun. But the awkwardness comes hand in hand with the ambiguity of choice and consent when alcohol is in the mix.
A set of burning questions always arise when I see these interactions: Why do so many guys get girls drunk in order to have sex with them? And why do so many girls feel that they have to get drunk in order to sleep with guys?
The quick answer people use to relinquish the tension of this inquiry is “well, I’m sure the girl wanted it”. The even bolder woman will outright admit “Yeah I was drunk, but I wanted to hook-up”.
A part of me buys those explanations. And yet if I’m being brutally honest with myself, the impulse to believe them is probably more primal, and not necessarily as logical as I wish it to be.
To be frank, I would like to have sex with gorgeous women too. That would be pretty neat. But I feel like I’m a minority in the sense that I’d prefer to make love to (or blow the back out of) a woman who is sober. In most cases, a sober vixen from a Miguel video is not going to have sex with me, a “regular” guy they just met. But let’s say I am a guy who buys drinks for random women: above all, I hope that my attraction to her is reciprocated. But if I were “that” guy, can I possibly be certain we’d have sex whether she was drunk or not? If I’m not totally 100% sure and the answer is at least ambiguous, doesn’t giving myself the benefit of the doubt show that I’ve already made the decision that the ends (getting her end) justifies the means (getting her drunk)? Not to mention that the type of ambiguity I have socially won’t always exist legally (all states have a consent age limit, and many states have laws where an intoxicated party cannot legally give consent).
And though I don’t have the female’s perspective, I’m also not sold that a girl who gets hammered to get hammered actually wants to have sex, at least at that moment. It just seems so obvious to me that many girls get wasted to sleep with men they don’t really know because even if they do find him attractive, having sex with a basic stranger is still at the very least awkward as fuck (all pun intended), and the only way to kill that awkward fish is finding a pool full of liquor and then diving in it. Behind all the machismo and hook-up tactics us men use to get women, this transaction resembles a 21st century version of a caveman clubbing a cavewoman to drag her back to home.
Am I thinking too hard on this? Maybe she “wanted” to get clubbed, right? Why don’t I just assume she stood there in that very spot, at that very moment because she wanted to be clubbed? “Common sense” says she could’ve just not been there, or simply moved out the way. Or maybe the caveman is just nervous, and he was hoping they could be not nervous together. And who knows, maybe I will be “that” guy one day and I don’t even know it.
Hook-up culture in our society is just really odd, and latently creepish. When defending it, people combat my ambivalence by maintaining “if he does it, and she allows it, what is the problem?”. But the irony is this circular logic rejects the conclusion that maybe we are merely justifying our actions collectively to avoid any individual responsibility. Maybe we know getting a girl blasted so we can smash or being that drunk girl is wronger than we admit (in light of facts like approximately 50% of sexual abuse cases involve alcohol), but we rather not feel like scumbags and victims.
Maybe alcohol is the reason why if there are three different women in the same hook-up situation, one will rave about her mission accomplished, the other feels taken advantage of (or worse), and the last is pulled in a bittersweet tug-o-war of the two sentiments. Maybe we can’t see how the “it was her choice to drink” logic evolves into “blame the victim”.
While this article may or may not create any critical debate big enough to find some definitive stance on this issue, my conclusion is this: Barraging a girl in shots may not be considered taking advantage of her, since thousands of guys do it, and thousands of girls allow it. The majority of the burden may be unfairly placed on men to know when consent is given. And lastly, people will always want to have sex, and will go through several means of obtaining that goal.
And yet, none of those facts, nor people’s reasoning seems to be able to dissipate the dark cloud of creepy-as-shit-ness looming over my head whenever I see it in action.
So if this piece makes you feel uncomfortable, it probably should. Life constantly reminds us that humans are experts at avoiding the anguish of self-reflection if there is even the smallest chance that it changes our reality. But true self-awareness come when we are forced kicking and screaming towards a mirror………….
………But then again, if it doesn’t make you feel any type of way, that’s cool too.
Have fun yall. But please, be safe. And I’m not saying don’t drink. Just drink responsibly.
We Out Here,
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