Something has been bothering me as of late. It is rampant, and particularly egregious on college campuses. This issue is the intensely fallacious tendency to compare libido to hunger.
To begin, those who even consider the idea are working under a false set of premises. Not only is their world-view painfully skewed towards Idiocy, but They Fail Biology Forever. You do not become emotionally attached to the food you eat at dinner. Sure, you’ll favour some over others. And if something is particularly tasty, it may release endorphins. But oxytocin is completely out of the picture when eating dinner–however, it is the reason women “go crazy” and become possessively attached to men after sex. It’s the same hormone shows up right after childbirth, allowing mothers to connect with their children. Chemical bonding is strong.
Not to mention that one’s sex drive is, unlike hunger, not necessary for the survival of the person experiencing it. People die of hunger all the time. I have yet to hear of someone (outside of truly bad fanfiction or The Onion) who died of sex deprivation. I’ve heard of it being used as a method of persuasion (Lysistrata, anyone?) but never actually heard of anyone dying from it as a direct cause. (If it has ever really happened, post it in the comments please. I’m curious.)
The problem here is that, while libido and hunger are both innate human cravings, the act of sex carries with it a LOT more implications than the act of eating food. You can taste around, try foods, etc–and your body isn’t thinking that you are bonding yourself to this food for life. That’s what it thinks when you sleep with someone, however: that’s why all the hormones and chemicals go crazy. Your body is hard-wired to be monogamous for life. That’s what it really wants. And isn’t modern society all about treating our bodies well and giving them what they want? In all serious matters, you think of both the short and long-term consequences of your actions. If you want to get in shape, you develop a regular exercise routine (that’s the short-term) and then gradually get in better and better shape (that’s the long-term). If you want to become a professor of philosophy at a university level, you must first go through undergrad, a Master’s program, and a PhD program. The short-term is picking your schools and the long-term is the end goal, something you desire. For some reason, though, college students are willfully ignoring the long-term consequences of their actions (and these actions come in many flavours) and instead choosing to live solely in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for seizing the day (carpe diem, anyone?), but somehow you need to acknowledge the fact that you will wake up in the morning and face the consequences, be they good or bad.