Hookup Culture

'Hookup Culture' Isn't The Crisis You Think It Is

What's so awful about commitment-free hookups?

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We all know what it's like to get frustrated with the college dating scene, particularly when it feels like more and more young adults are interested in casual hookups rather than settling down. If that's not your style, it's easy to feel lost, looking for someone who is willing to really connect rather than jump right into bed together. I get it.

But let's all be careful what we attribute these dating woes to. Is it really just our society, our day and age? Conversely, is the alternative, a society that discourages casual sex, really preferable?

I've seen many young adults, women especially, talk about how they wish things were like the "good old days." They've built their idea of what the "good old days" looked like based on stories from their elders and what they've seen in movies. Fair enough. Didn't we all wish our first high school date would involve a handsome, well-dressed young man bringing us flowers, taking us for milkshakes, and leaving us weak in the knees with a goodnight kiss?

Thing is, that's a highly romanticized tale. According to data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1957, there were 96 births for every 1,000 females ages 15-19 in the United States. So nearly 1 in 10 teenagers had a baby that one year! Where are all the classic Hollywood movies portraying these young women and their experiences? I can answer that pretty easily: these things were swept under the rug. Either that or a teenage mother was already married. In data collected from the 1950 census, the median age at marriage for women was 20.3 years old. Sex education was practically unheard of. Lucille Ball, who was visibly pregnant during episodes of her own TV show, was not allowed to say the word "pregnant" on air. This was before the sexual revolution, so effective methods of contraception were far less accessible, not to mention that almost nothing was done to create a culture of support for victims of sexual assault. The number of older women who used #MeToo to reflect on how they were shunned for reporting their assaults or were too discouraged to report at all is staggering. Many assaults were perpetrated, and still are, within committed relationships and marriages. Are you still sure you were born in the wrong generation?

Just to be clear: despite all this, people still looked plenty for casual sex. Before I went off to college, my Nana told me about frat parties. What she described as happening back in the late 1940s is almost exactly what I see every weekend: loud music, dancing, beer everywhere, people drinking themselves unconscious, and oh yeah, the hookups. She mentioned her experience with a drunk, very pushy guy who wanted her to come to his room. Sound familiar?

Contrary to what you may have come to believe, data from the past four decades indicates that our generation is one of the most sexually healthy ever. Sure, more people are being diagnosed with STDs, but that is due much more to a dramatic increase in the number of sexually active individuals who get tested and increased availability of judgment-free medical care for those who are diagnosed.

The truth is, there is nothing inherent about humans that says being non-monogamous is unhealthy, physically or emotionally, as long as precautions are taken. There is absolutely no reason that a culture where non-monogamous, commitment-free sexual activity is accepted should be a gateway to disrespect of women. If anything, the cultural views on sex of the past were incredibly harmful to women. There was no "hookup culture" because so many people were married by the time they reached our age, and the ones who did engage in casual sex were far less safe about it. Most of all, there was no national discussion about these things. If even acknowledging the phenomenon of pregnancy on TV was scandalous, imagine all the other things that were covered up.

None of this makes finding your special someone any easier, I know. But sex positivity isn't the belief that everybody should be having sex all the time. It's the belief that society has come to demonize healthy sexual behaviors, and by extension, allow the very unhealthy ones to slip under the radar. Sex positivity recognizes that every individual has a different relationship with sex, whether they enjoy having multiple partners, prefer to have sex only in committed relationships, wait until marriage, or aren't interested in sex at all. All personal preferences are perfectly valid.

So what is "hookup culture" then? Perhaps a transition stage. As a society, we're finally confronting the big issues of sex education, healthy relationships, and recognizing harassment, abuse, and assault. Sadly, not everyone is there yet. That boy who sends you demeaning late night texts when all he wants is a one-time hookup isn't a product of "hookup culture." He is a product of the values our society perpetuates and is now trying to phase out. The fact is that many people in their late teens and early twenties don't feel emotionally ready for long-term commitment, and that's ok. Everyone is different. Those people may have been pressured into an unhappy marriage if they were born 50 years ago. If you are a college student and looking for something long-term, be patient because you deserve someone who wants the same. Just don't make it about shaming those of us who make different choices in our personal lives. That kind of backward thinking is what created sex-negative cultural trends in the first place.

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7 Signals A Girl Will Try To Send You If She Likes You As More Than A Friend

Girls do subliminal things to show you her interest in you. Pay attention to these low key signs that she is shooting her shot.

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It is never easy when a girl has to fully admit her feelings to a guy she likes, so instead, she sends slight signals in hopes that he picks up on her hints.

1. She can't stop smiling at you

She is happy to talk to you and to be in your presence, the smallest things that you do make her want to smile. She can't control the happiness inside and it comes out in a great big smile. In her head, she is just thinking about how much she enjoys spending time with you and how much she likes you.

2. She hugs you with both arms

Side hugs are common, easy, and very universal. She wants to give you full body hug because to show you she feels different about you than any other guy. With a full body hug she can rest her face on your chest and this just brings the two of you closer.

3. She makes direct eye contact

Direct eye contact is always a great sign. This means she is fully aware of everything you are saying and she is completely interested.

4. She scans your face and lips

Upon talking to you, she begins to scan your face. In this moment she is appreciating your attractiveness and completely zoned out. Forget you said anything to her because she probably was not listening. If she is looking at your lips then she definitely wants a kiss.

5. She says "Oh my god, stahhhp"

The 'I'm mad at you, but I'm flirting with you' slogan. She is trying to be cute and pick a fight with you so you can two can play around. She's hoping this will lead to cracking jokes

6. She adjusts her clothing

She is fidgety when your around because she has feelings for you and is nervous. She wants to look her best with you around, so she is subconsciously fixing herself so that nothing looks bad.

7. She sends you cute snap chats

Silly, crazy, and just straight up ugly snap chats are for friends. If her selfies are , done each time, then she cares a lot about how you see her and she wants you to see her at her best. She is not always looking for a compliment, but throw one her way and you will make her day.

Pay attention to the signs a girl is sending. Her body language and behavior around all come together for an important message, she likes you! A lot.

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Ladies, Stop Trying To Teach Boys How To Be Your Man If They're Not Even Men In The First Place

It is your job to love him. But it is not your job to teach him how to love you back.

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I see. this way too often, honestly it upsets me and breaks my heart. It breaks my heart when I see a girl begging her boyfriend to put her on her Snapchat story. It breaks my heart when I see a girl begging her boyfriend to get off a video game and spend time with her. It breaks my heart when I see a girl doodling on a napkin at the dinner table and her boyfriend is on his phone and hasn't even looked up at her once. These things break my heart because this girl, whoever she may be, maybe it is you? She deserves a man. What she has though, is a boy. And before you say anything, yes, there is a huge difference.

I was that girl once. I begged and begged my ex-boyfriend all the time to put me on his Snapchat story. You may be reading this and be thinking "Wow she's a little attention seeking." No, that is not it at all. A simple act of being posted about made me feel special, loved, missed at times, and served as reassurance and a word of affirmation for me. Do you want to know something silly? Maybe you've done it too. Sometimes I would do something crazy to get his attention. Something funny, and silly and random just so he would post me on his story and I wouldn't have to ask.

At the dinner table, I was that girl that while he was on his phone I was sliding him notes on a napkin saying "I love you" or "Hi" or funny jokes to get his full and undivided attention.

At home, I was the girl that used to literally throw myself at him while he was playing video games to try and get him to press pause for two minutes and pay attention to me and have a conversation with me.

You see, I was that girl. But I refuse to ever be that girl again. If you are that girl, stop what you're doing.

It is your job to love him. But it is not your job to teach him how to love you back.

There is a big difference between a boy and a man. Contrary to what society may believe most boys don't actually turn into men until they are almost 40. Scary for us girls right? But here's the kicker and to be honest it has nothing to do with age.

Any boy that is in the process of becoming a man and maturing is going to know how to treat a woman. He is not going to choose video games or his phone over you. He is going to post you everywhere all the time because he wants to show you off to the world and make you feel special. He isn't going to ever leave you wondering.

The list could really go on comparing and contrasting the differences between a boy and a man but the important ones to remember when you are in a relationship are:

1. A boy thinks "me." A man thinks "us"

2. A boy gives false promises. A man honors his commitments (one being you.)

3. A boy cares about how you look in jeans. A man cares about how you look in his future.

4. You will always wonder how a boy feels about you. You will always know how a man feels about you.

All too often I see girls in the act of this. It is almost like they are training a dog or raising a child. They order them around and become demanding when it comes to doing things that make them feel special, validated and reassured. Granted, they are doing this because their relationship is lacking something but the truth is, it shouldn't be lacking something in the first place.

You are dating a boy not a man. I hate to break that to you. I really do. It's the hardest news you'll ever receive. Why? Well because

You can't fix him, you can't teach him, and you can't change a boy into a man. They have to do it on their own

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