Navigating College Hookup Culture When Your a Hopeless
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An Open Letter To All 'Hopeless Romantics' Navigating College Hookup Culture, Based on Science

Doing you is the most important thing you will ever do.

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Some girls are out for a ring by spring (the opposite of me, for the record), but that norm has since become a little bit overrun by hookup culture. Dating apps have been as trans-formative to sexual culture as birth control in the 20th century, but what hasn't changed is sexual brain chemistry. Young women have mixed opinions towards hook-up culture. Some find it unhygienic, other's find it practical in an age where women are often extremely busy going after their own careers, salaries, and accomplishments, but still, want a sex life. Regardless, the most important thing a woman can do in any situation is to trust her gut. There is no right or wrong journey, but there are some scientific insights to help you along the way. Here's a letter to the girls that no matter their morals, still dream of love as the ultimate goal- not just sex.

Your needs come first.

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The ultimate rule I would tell to not only my future daughter but also any freshman girl in college, is that YOU come first. Hookup culture is based on the primal pace of testosterone- it's quick, and over as fast as it came. Friends with benefits can be long-lasting with someone who actually cares for you, but often dissolve the second a douchebag finds that feelings are involved. What does work, no matter what is honesty with your own needs. Listen to yourself, to your gut, to how you feel, not how someone else can make you feel, no matter how hot they are. At the end of the day, a healthy, loving relationship is only built with two people who can take care of themselves, and each other. But you girl? Your needs are number one. A guy, for example, can be satisfied in ten seconds and be done with you. A partner who will listen to you and be down to give you what you want is the type you would want to hook up with in the first place! And they are for sure the type that no matter the relationship, committed or not, will make you feel valued. Loved, even. No matter when you decide to sleep with someone, or not sleep with someone, you deserve it to be with someone who can put their ego down for ten seconds and realize that giving creates the ultimate satisfaction.

If you're reading this going- I don't care- they're hot! No worries, this just isn't the letter for you.

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Reckless hookup culture is said to not be for the sensitive. However, I would argue that deep down, all of us want to be actually cared for instead of just lusted after. Sex is everything, but on its own, for too long, is emptiness. And why? Either your silent killer or best friend - oxytocin.

The TED Talk that changed everything.

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A few months ago when I was obsessed with the latest OU Fiji in my DM reel, unsure of what he really wanted, I found myself struggling with what had bothered me for almost a year. I had for the first time (after an emotional, and physical glow up), experienced the hottest guys in the country, in my eyes, begging to sleep with me- but I felt standoffish to the idea of something ending up being just a one night stand. Finally, I stumbled upon a TED talk that explained that women and men differ intensely when it comes to brain chemistry and sex. Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is released when a woman orgasms, but research shows it doesn't occur in a male brain unless he has decided he is committed! Kind of weird, almost voodoo magic science to think that a man's biology can literally allow him to feel no emotional bonds with a partner unless he is already in love with her. The processor to oxytocin for men? Vasopressin. The hormone that is released when he is visually attracted. Finally, it made sense to me. What's even crazier is that I've learned a year later that those same eleven out of ten (on the hotness scale) guys who wanted to sleep with me? Actually interested in a relationship! Sometimes men's sex drives and women's willingness to give in to hookup culture without standing up for her own needs allow her to feel overwhelmed by his sex drive itself, thinking that a relationship isn't on his itinerary. Other times it goes the opposite way, with a girl thinking that just because someone wants to have sex with you, they love you. But I think most of us grow out of that thought pretty quickly. But the most important realization that I gathered from this insight is that for a man to open up, his partner needs to present herself for who they truly are- more than just a sexual object. Am I arguing that being viewed sexually is wrong? Absolutely not. But what I am arguing is that casual relationships, no matter how sexual or not, don't need to feel empty. They should feel honest, and that's what truly feels good. Your needs matter, feelings are okay, and as normal and natural as the sex someone in your DM's may pressure you with. In fact, those are the things that make you human and separate you from how a porn star can satisfy someone. If you want to be treated differently than only a sexual object? Own it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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