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

'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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31 Things That Are True When You Date A Guy Who Loves His Car Just As Much As He Loves You

If you know, you know.

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When you date a guy who loves cars, your relationship is NOT a normal relationship. It is always filled with adventure, and there is never a dull moment. This is what happens when the person you love, loves cars just as much as he loves you.

1. You drive everywhere.

Robert Keck

Down the street? Drive. Day trips for the hell of it? He'll be the one driving. Even if it is your car, you're probably going to be sitting bitch.

2. Car meets are a thing.

South Philly Car Meet

Robert Keck

Did anyone know this was a thing? Because before I started dating my boyfriend, I had no idea this was a thing (and it happens often). Yes, all these people just park their cars and everyone talks. It is a sight to see.

3. He will go out of his way to look at someone else's car.

Giphy

He will take an extra turn just to see a car. Any dinner reservations you have better account for the 15-30 minutes out-of-the-way driving.

4. There are a lot of late nights.

Hannah Porter

Whether it is holding the flashlight, or just keeping company, be prepared to be outside for a while. Always bring a coat.

5. There are more pictures of his cars/trucks than you.

Robert Keck

Don't get your panties in a bunch. I honestly have no problem with it. He still has pictures of me, so who cares?

6. He has two loves in his life.

Samantha Wylesol

You, and his car(s).

7. Every other sentence has the word "engine" in it.

Hannah Porter

Do you know how many different types of engines there are? Because I did not. Be prepared to learn about every single one.

8. An absurd amount of money is spent on car parts.

Giphy

Theres nothing more I can say on this matter. Just know it is an absurd amount.

9. You'll drive hours away for a good deal from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

Hannah Porter

One day, we drove three hours for an engine at 9pm at night. It is always something.

10.  "I just need to fix this one thing" does not mean he'll be done in 10 minutes.

Robert Keck

Nothing ever takes 10 minutes. It's a trick.

11.  He'll be the first on the scene when you fuck up.

Hannah Porter

Yea, that happened. Guess who showed up first?

12. You will hear him arrive. Or, you will hear him a few roads down.

Robert Keck

Just wait until he fucks up the exhaust.

13.  There is always something to fix. Nothing is ever done.

Robert Keck

You don't even want to know what is happening here.

14. You will be doing a lot of flat towing and rescues.

Yes, we break down. It happens. You know damn well that he fixes it within the next few days. I have to give him credit, I could never do what he does. I can't wrap my head around it.

15.  Prepare to get "The look" if you drop food in the car.

Cary Porter

Don't risk it.

16.  You learn a ton of new terms.

Hannah Porter

I once did not understand something (actually about the above TransAm), and he pulled out a BLUEPRINT of the car. I still don't know what he talks about half the time.

17. You have your own personal mechanic

Hannah Porter

Guess who learned how to do their own oil and brakes? Anything after that he's going to have to handle. He constantly plugs my tires because I somehow find every nail on the road in Philadelphia.

18.  He holds more knowledge of cars than any other topic

Robert Keck

He is able to see a car and rattle off the make, model, year, engine, and all the other shit that goes along with that. He is able to do that with almost every car...how do you hold all that knowledge?

19.  If he is on his phone, it is guaranteed that he is either on Facebook Marketplace, Youtube looking at car videos, or Instagram looking at car profiles.

Giphy

Plus: he won't be liking other girl's pictures, unless theres a truck in the background.

20.  Whatever you do, DON'T SLAM THE DOOR.

Giphy

I learned this very fast.

21.  Prepare for a lecture if your feet are on the dash.

Hannah Porter

The whole outside of the truck can be muddy, but god forbid there's some dirt on the dash.

22. Cleaning out the car is not just taking the trash out of it.

Giphy

Trash out, tools organized, car washed and waxed, tire shine, carpet vacuumed and shampooed, all seats moved, etc. It is a whole ordeal.

23.  Tools are everywhere.

Giphy

Whatever you need, it will be there in large quantities. Also, let this go along with the ABSURD amount of money that is spent on car stuff. That ratchet in the middle can cost over $150!

24.  Don't open the garage.

Giphy

Just...don't.

25.  He won't go through a car wash.

Robert Keck

Hand wash only. Do not go through the tunnel. It will leave scratches in the paint (obviously).

26. There is always a "project car"...or cars. 

Hannah Porter

My boyfriend at all times has at least 2 project cars, I swear.

27.  Yes, that car has been sitting there for over a year.

Robert Keck

It will be worked on...eventually.

28.  He is a pro-negotiator

Giphy

No one knows money better than your car guy. When it comes to negotiating prices, he is the one you want to bring with you.

29.  Most of his friends are car people, too.

Robert Keck and Jake Ryan

All the car parts, car talk, car pictures, and all the shit that goes with it is doubled or tripled. Wait untill there is a car full of them.

30. He'll do some stupid shit.

Hannah Porter

He'll be fine. You learn not to ask questions anymore.

31.  No matter how much he loves his car, he will always make you a priority and love you unconditionally.

Hannah Porter

I must say, all of this stuff can be a lot to deal with. But when you have the right person in your life, you will enjoy every moment of it. I have never laughed so hard in my life than I have with my car-loving boy. Do not let this discourage you. Date a car guy. It will be one of the best decisions you will make.

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