In a world where Tinder has infiltrated the dating scene on college campuses and beyond, it's no wonder that hookup culture has made its way into popular music. Hookup culture is a purposefully vague term, and can range from anything from a kiss to a one-night-stand to a friends with benefits type of relationship; in other words, it's solely focused on physical intimacy in lieu of an emotional relationship or any sort of long-term commitment. Here are 11 songs that speak of the complicated scenarios that often come with supposed emotionless physical relations.
1. "Oil On Water" Bastille
"It's a catalogue of modern mistakes/ Her words and legs wrapped around each man/ Leaving stories like digital crumbs/ As she turns these nights into literature"
This heartbreaking song is about a woman who has been sexually abused and engages in a lot of noncommittal sexual relations she isn't satisfied with, and tries to make sense of them by writing about her experiences.
2. "Often" The Weeknd
"Oooh, the sun's risin' up/ The night's almost up/ The night's almost done/ But I see your eyes/ You wanna go again/ Girl, I'll go again"
Almost anything by The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) is going to be about hookups and drugs, but this song is one of the biggest offenders. It's about an intense one night stand with a whole lot of women. Typically, The Weeknd brags about how often he engages in such encounters (hint: it's pretty often) unlike his less experienced partners. This song is the epitome of alcohol filled, male-dominated and pursued one night stands.
3. "Toothbrush" DNCE
"Stuck in a limbo/ Half hypnotized/ Each time I let you stay the night, stay the night/ Up in the morning/ Tangled in sheets/ We play the moment on repeat, on repeat"
Joe Jonas's band has a thing for intimate relations, and this song is no exception. About a series of hookups with a woman that are slowly becoming a sort of relationship, Jonas croons that his lover can "keep a toothbrush at his place" and not keep their relationship so secretive.
4. "Say Goodbye" Dave Matthews Band
"Go back to being friends/ Tonight let's be lovers, say you will/ And hear me call, soft-spoken whispering love/ A thing or two I have to say here/ Tonight let's go all the way then"
After hooking up with a close friend one night while stranded, Matthews sings that they will have to go back to reality and pretend that the night never happened, especially since they are both involved with other people.
5. "Don't" Ed Sheeran
"And I wasn't looking for a promise or commitment/ But it was never just fun, and I thought you were different"
Believed to be about Ellie Goulding, Sheeran sings about his experience in a friends with benefits situation gone wrong when she decides to hookup with someone else one night while they stay on the same floor of a hotel.
6. "Hotline Bling" Drake
"You used to call me on my cell phone/ Late night when you need my love"
Made famous by his interesting dance moves in the music video, Drake sings of how different a former lover used to be during their time of late night booty calls.
7. "Stay With Me" Sam Smith
"Guess it's true, I'm not good at a one-night stand/ But I still need love 'cause I'm just a man/ These nights never seem to go to plan/ I don't want you to leave, will you hold my hand?"
In the song that launched his career, Smith complains of the informality and lack of emotion in one night stands, even though he realized that was what he was getting himself into when it happened.
8. "One More Night" Maroon 5
"Got you stuck on my body, on my body like a tattoo/ And now I'm feeling stupid, feeling stupid crawling back to you/ So I cross my heart, and I hope to die/ That I'll only stay with you one more night"
About the end of a dysfunctional relationship, lead singer Adam Levine sings of his inability to leave his lover completely, as he still wants to spend his nights with her, if nothing else.
9. "Almost Lover" A Fine Frenzy
"So long, my luckless romance/ My back is turned on you/ I should've known you'd bring me heartache/ Almost lovers always do"
Singer Alison Sodul reviews what went wrong in her near-relationship that never completely came to fruition. It was full of everything that normally encompasses a relationship, besides a label and full commitment.
10. "Clockwatching" Jason Mraz
I've been working on getting you off, so get on board/ Well how can I guess by the subject of the best predicate that's left unsaid when the matter is too delicate/ My loneliness is evident
Eager to please his lover, Mraz sings of the excitement of his physical, label-less relationship, but acknowledges that in the end it leaves him feeling lonely and emotionally unsatisfied.
11. "Wicked Games" The Weeknd
"Listen, ma, I'll give you all of me/ Give me all of it, I need all of it to myself/ So tell me you love me/ (Only for tonight, only for tonight)"
Another of Tesfaye's works, "Wicked Games" explores in even deeper detail how emotionlessly torturous his hookups can be, despite the fact that he's afraid of love and commitment.