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Hook-Up Culture (Rochelle Smith)

A hundred dating profiles.
A dozen dates a month.
A couple drinks in some nameless bar.
Nights spent wasted and drunk.
A preliminary date,
A forgotten name,
A casual encounter
With somebody obsessed with a number

This is hook-up culture.

“We are empowered and free!”
So long as you use a condom, you’re okay.
We spend our years in sex-ed classrooms,
Where sex is expected and virginity is shame.

Where pregnancy is the looming shackle
And contraception sets you free,
We say “no-strings-attached”
But we’re the puppets in this game.
Are we really “free?”
Have we really gained anything?
Are we any more liberated
Than the silenced children we’ve aborted?

Because while we’re running between beds,
Are we really all that strong?
Are we free of those antiquated concepts
That held us back for so long?

Our hearts are torn in pieces,
Given to each encounter
With a stranger.
We’re missing a much

Because in each bed that we slip into,
And each fractured face that’s just another notch on our belt,
We say we’re living unrestrained,
While our hearts and our minds are tied up in knots.

So we run around commitment-free,
We are slaves to this “empowerment.”
We swipe right, we hook up,
Without a second moments thought.

We wonder if they’ll ever call,
And then the world shouts “you’re not supposed to care”
You’re supposed to forget, to enjoy the freedom.
Silence. Never dare ask for anything more

Our hearts lay fractured,
In the beds of those faces whose names we don’t even remember.
Our identities lie in a number
Scratched in blood on a ledger.

Because we were not made for this,
We were not made for meaningless encounters on supply closet floors.
You were made to be valued,
To be known and to be seen
For more that your moves between sweaty bedroom sheets.

Because you are canvas worth being painted with the brushstrokes of authenticity,
Don’t make the mistake of selling yourself short for selfishly guided passion in the dark.

Because you are a masterpiece of art.


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