OP-ED: How hookup culture ruined dating

Photo via Creative Commons

Photo via Creative Commons

By Adrianna Ruffo | Published Feb. 9, 2017

For much of the 20th century, it wasn’t acceptable for a woman to simply jump into bed with any man she saw fit. A ritual of courtship that included going on dates, getting to know one another and developing a relationship was generally required before engaging in sex.

Those days are long gone. In the 21st century, with the rise of social media and dating apps,“hookup culture” has become rampant, especially among students on college campuses.

Hookup culture is a lifestyle of premarital, casual sex among consenting adults, particularly college students. A “hook-up” can be defined in multiple ways and has its own set of rules. Casual sex encounters are usually quick, as well as being purely physical with “no strings attached ”or any emotional attachment.

But does hookup culture short-change women?

Simply put, it seems to me that hookup culture diminishes the sanctity of relationships. While women have fought for many years for the freedom to explore their sexuality, hookup culture may hurt those women who desire a serious relationship. It ’s all so easy for men; simply text a woman to invite them over for sex. No thought, no effort, no courtship required.

One study even shows that though women are just as likely as men to engage in hookup culture, they may not be enjoying it as much as men. The study showed that women are less likely to have orgasms during hookups.

According to Association for Psychological Science, the study of 600 college students showed that women were twice as likely to reach orgasm during sex in serious relationships as they were in hookups. According to researchers, heterosexual women generally are not comfortable telling their male partners what they like and want during sex, while men are less focused on pleasing their female partner.

Researchers noted that “while women do not like to say what they want and need, neither do men really ask.”

“The notion of sexual liberation, where men and women both had equal access to casual sex assumed a comparable likelihood of that sex being pleasurable,” Kim Wallen, a professor of neuroendocrinology at Emory University was quoted as saying about the study. “But that part of the playing field isn’t level.”

Donna Freitas analyzed the downfalls of hookup culture and its effect on young men and women in her book, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy. Freitas has said she wrote the book after visiting and interviewing many college students about their opinions of sex and romance during the rise of hookup culture.

Hookup culture encourages “bad sex, boring sex, drunken sex you don’t remember, sex you couldn’t care less about, sex where the desire is absent, sex that you have just because

everyone else is too or that just happens,” wrote Freitas in her book.

Yes, modern young women–and men– have the right to forgo traditional relationships and indulge in casual sex. However, they also have the right not to, and they should not feel subjected to peer and societal pressure to engage in hookup culture.

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