It’s early Sunday morning. Campus seems eerily quiet at nine in the morning. My hair is messy and my clothes are disheveled as I trek back to my bedroom so that I can get on with my existence here at Georgetown. Other people, who seem at least superficially content, stroll past me to also begin their day. I am completely surrounded by others, yet the silence of my own thoughts is deafening.
“Sure . . . last night was fun,” I convince myself. To tell the truth, it really was an amazing night. For a moment in the darkness, a few hours prior, I felt connected to another individual, but for some reason, in that classic walk back to my own place, I could not help feeling empty and emotionless.
It’s not that I wanted to express rage or sadness or any emotion in fact, but rather I wanted to go on existing, almost numb to my surroundings and my experiences. This is the pre-emptive reaction of the loneliness that it is sure to hit me soon.
Sure, casual sex is sometimes fun. It is healthy and uplifting, a sure sign of the truth that sex is a biological necessity. However, what is consistently lacking is the true emotional connection in these experiences. This quick, desire-filling action is empty and soulless, and it has begun to dissipate my hope.
I am sure the Georgetown community is no different than life at similar universities. We are all consumed by a culture of staying busy. We thrive on the endorphins of stress during the workweek, and we release these on the weekend in drunken hookups, drug-filled outings and of course . . . brunch at Leo’s.
All of us are consumed by our self-inflicted schedules, and we have the luxury of surrounding ourselves with activities and things that provide immediate gratification. Why would anyone want to put himself in a position of disappointment or rejection? Rather, we all want to fulfill our urges and desires in a way that does not take away from our time or even our own character.
This explains the tendency among many of us to choose casual weekend sex over meaningful, emotionally challenging relationships.
In the words of one of my closest friends, “Georgetown dating culture is almost nonexistent. People are either too busy with their own lives to make time for it or want to have a relationship that fits their exact needs and wants.”
On those early Sunday mornings, sometimes I think to myself, “Maybe if I wasn’t gay, things would be easier,” or, “It must just be me.”
Both of these thoughts are self-deprecating and are just convenient lies I tell myself. I would rather blame myself (maybe a separate issue that needs resolving) than look into the deeper problem that I and many of my friends are experiencing. Hell, maybe even some of the people I quietly walk past on those mornings are having the same internal quarrel.
This “epidemic” is not one that remains within a certain group. Too often I have heard friends define two people as “being together” by whether or not they sleep with each other during the week, not just in a drunken state over the weekend.
I know I am part of the problem, but in truth, I am exhausted. I am tired of our obsession with instant gratification. I am tired of the many late nights I spend knowing that I have no real satisfying emotional relationships. I am tired of being unable to share my life with someone.
I fear for my friends and the random faces I pass walking down the street around Georgetown. No one here seems to smile. Maybe the stress of the week is physically draining, but I think this problem runs deeper and is just the exterior of a genuine lack of emotional connection that any of us share.
Casual sex is wonderful, but it serves as a source of convenience for each and every one of us. It is a quick fix that gives us only a glimpse at what it is like to hear the deep breaths of a sleeping body close to our own.
I hope that relationships are not dead; I don’t know how many more Sunday mornings I can spend collecting my things and trekking back to an empty bed.