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Sex and respect in college don’t have to be mutually exclusive

By Carly Berndt, For The Miami Student

There are essential conversations and movements happening every day, left and right, championing specific causes. But things get lost in the cracks of specificity as we try to patch up the holes in individual moralities, when in actuality the problem is foundational.

Our problems as a society run deeper than sexism, rape culture or class divide.

Our fundamental morality and humanity is broken and the issues surrounding sexuality and our behavior and attitudes toward sex are extremely prevalent, especially on college campuses.

This is not a call to end "ghosting," or another conversation about a feminist regime, consent or other countless societal and behavioral issues the millennial generation likes to roll its eyes at. This is a conversation about humanity - more specifically, where on Earth our humanity went.

This is also not another version of the "Why We Need to Start Dating Again," or hook-up culture bashing dialogues. In fact, this is to show how absurd those conversations are because of how far away we are from having them be effective.

Even though most people, specifically people our age, don't want to admit that sex and having sex is an emotional experience, the reality of biology is that it is.

Which is why it is so dangerous to essentially throw people away once the game of "how quickly can I get into his or her pants" is over - it can deeply hurt people, a fact that a lot have chosen to forget in order to justify their actions.

Roughly one week ago a video titled, "What I Wish Someone Told Me About Having Sex," went viral, originating somewhere between my Facebook, Quia and Buzzfeed tabs in Google Chrome.

In the video, the speaker presents a spoken-word poem detailing a situation an enumerable amount of people are familiar with: you start talking to someone, you start having sex with that someone and then that someone abandons you like my dog does to used up Webkinz.

The video itself is incredibly emotional and powerful, and as a 19-year-old college degenerate, I would label it as a "must-watch."

Additionally, and more importantly, it addresses an unfortunately widespread problem in our society that has, for reasons unknown, become acceptable. In fact, instead of being viewed as unacceptable, it has become something that merely talking about is viewed as some sort of taboo or cliché - an immature schoolgirl's cry for attention.

Sex doesn't have to be something that is shared monogamously - there are pretty solid arguments against such exclusivity. But we have taken the act of having sex with another person, whether it's a drunken one-night-stand, after a first date or even after the first six months of knowing someone, and turned it into a devalued, dehumanized farce.

We, as a society, have taken the act of having sex with someone and allowed it and accepted it to become a joke, turning one or both of the partners into nothing more than a punch line.

People shouldn't have to practice celibacy in order to avoid becoming the "hook-up of the week" at a fraternity's weekly chapter.

Not to be crude, but unless someone is having sex with a blowup doll, odds are it's with another human being. For whatever reason, it's become "cool" to not act like this is the case.

It's an absolute travesty that we don't talk about how disgusting that is.

It is time to demand that wanting respect and kindness not be such a taboo - an almost laughable request. It is time the fear of demanding nothing shy of respect is extinct from our society and our culture. It is time that current accepted behavior is deemed unacceptable, and it is time we believed it to truly be unacceptable.

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