There’s no hiding the fact that the institution of slavery has left an indelible mark on the sexual relationships that occur within the black community.
Having had so little control over our sexual behaviors, including the creation of breeding farms for the purposes of reproducing slaves, and the rape of black men and women (along with black boys and black girls), to even buck breaking which was a form of punishment towards black men where after being beaten, they were forcibly sodomized as a way to further humiliate them in front of their friends and family, it can be empowering to be able to make your own sexual choices today.
But with that freedom, it is important to note what risk might be at play as well.
Human beings are social creatures, meaning that we are designed to be socially connected. While urges to engage in sex is rooted within our biological make up, so is our desire for social interaction. When we think we can deceive our minds to work against what it is naturally designed for us to do, we set ourselves up for failure. This often leads to heart ache and pain.
While friends with benefits relationships may seem to include healthy social interactions, they often promote unhealthy ones. For instance if you intend to have a friends with benefits relationship with someone, but then notice an attraction and desire for greater intimacy with that same person, when the affection is not returned, it could leave you feeling depleted. This, in a sense, positions you to get used to the idea of not getting what you truly want, adversely affecting your ability to assert yourself appropriately. When we settle for less than what we want out of it life, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health concerns.
Finally, research consistently suggests that there are long term challenges associated with having many sex partners. Specifically, research indicates that the more sexual partners a person has, the least satisfying their commitment oriented/long term relationship will be. Thus, if you plan to ever enter into marriage or have a long term commitment with someone, what you do prior to that relationship can cause you future problems. Thus, the hook up culture which may initially seem empowering, can likely cause long term challenges.
There’s no doubt that most of us enjoy sex and sometimes waiting for a committed will partner can be challenging. However, it is also important to know the risks associated with engaging in hookup behaviors. There are ways to satisfy sexual urges, that do not include having sex. One of the most common options is to masturbate. Whatever you decide, be mindful that you don’t want to fall into a trap where you satisfied in immediate need, create long-term challenges.
Making the decision to engage or not engage in hookup culture can be challenging. If you would like to speak with a therapist about strategies to help,