Hookup Culture: The High Price Women Pay For Having Casual Sex

Hookup culture hurts women. Society likes pushing it for the sake of equality, but what they don't like to talk about is the pain women can experience from it. What if you get pregnant? What if you develop feelings for the man but he couldn't care less about you? The hurt and the anger.

By Juliana Stewart3 min read
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Hookup culture has been on the rise since the early noughties. Films and TV shows such as Sex and the City, American Pie, Cruel Intentions, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and He’s Just Not That into You glamorize and encourage women to hook up without any consequences.

Today, girls as young as 15 don’t even bat an eyelid at it. One night stands, Tinder hookups, friends with benefits, late-night booty calls, and Netflix and chill are all completely normal.

Mainstream media pushes it heavily too. Teen Vogue writes numerous articles on it such as “How to be an Ethical Hookup,” and Clue (a period and ovulation tracker app) encourages it with articles such as this one: “A Guide to Safer One Night Stands.”

Society tells women to do whatever they want with whomever they want without any guilt or shame.

We also have gender equality. Women want the freedom to do whatever they want with whomever they want without any guilt or shame — just like men. While being just as promiscuous as men seems fine on the surface level, no one ever talks about the high price women pay for having casual sex.

What about the millions of women who believed shows like Sex in the City, but got burned? Are these women supposed to just stay silent for the sake of looking cool, when they’re really dying on the inside?

Actions Have Consequences

What are some of the consequences a woman might experience from engaging in casual sex? 

This is an obvious one, but what if you get pregnant? Would you abort the baby or give it up for adoption or keep it? If you decide to keep the baby, what if he doesn’t want any part of it and disappears? He didn’t have to commit to you before having sex, so why would he want to commit to you after the deed?

You’d have to raise the baby yourself. Ask any single mother, and they will tell you solo parenting is no joke. It's actually really hard. 

What if you get pregnant? Would you abort the baby or give it up for adoption or keep it? 

What if you catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?

Finally, what about the emotional pain? What if you end up “falling” for him and develop feelings, but he couldn’t care less about you? He only wants you for sex and nothing more. You’d feel used, hurt, frustrated, and angry. 

If you don’t acknowledge these feelings, you're bound to repeat the cycle until you learn the lesson. Keep avoiding your feelings for long enough and over time, you will develop emotional numbness, low self-esteem, and your confidence in men will be shattered.

Imagine letting a man sleepover, giving him the privilege to lay next to you, have access to your body, and not being able to feel a single thing. Sure it might feel physically good in the moment, but that’s it. No deep connection allowed, no feelings, and no real intimacy. You may as well be a robot.

A Woman’s Value

When a woman engages in casual sex, she inherently invests more and has more to lose. Just think about the act itself — you are literally letting a man inside your body. There needs to be a deep level of trust to let a man inside. If there’s no trust, all kinds of problems can occur as per above.

Also, it’s no secret that men and women view sex differently. Sleeping around might be fun and games when you’re young, but when it comes to finding a long term partner, people often don’t prefer partners who have had many sexual conquests. It’s annoying, but a harsh reality. 

You are literally letting a man inside your body — there needs to be a lot of trust for that.

Women know this intuitively, and it’s the reason many lie about their number. According to a survey conducted by the student publication The Tab, “A quarter of female students lie about lovers. 20% reduce the numbers so they look less promiscuous, but 12% of male students exaggerate their numbers.”

Of course, a woman’s number doesn’t make her less valuable, but it's telling that women instinctively want to hide their number from partners. Perhaps we feel (but won't admit) that we're unhappy about what we've done. Otherwise, we wouldn't feel the need to lie about it. 

Feminists would argue that this is a symptom of slut-shaming and internalized misogyny. But what if the bad feelings are trying to tell you something? Like how you feel guilty for stealing even when you know you won't get caught, the guilt or shame surrounding sex might come from a deep knowledge that you're only doing what's considered "socially acceptable", not what feels right in your heart.

If you think about it, your body is the best gift you will ever own. If you don’t learn to cherish and value it, how will you hold your partner to a standard you can't meet yourself?

Closing Thoughts

Whether you agree with hookup culture or not, there are pros and cons to everything. Some women find casual sex liberating, and a great form of sexual expression and some don't. 

But we also have to be real. We’ve all seen at least one girlfriend get hurt. Or maybe you’ve experienced this yourself.

It’s sad to watch women make bad choices with the wrong man. It’s time to speak up about the real and harmful side to hooking up so women can make more balanced choices, instead of just believing what the mainstream media tells us.