Both men and women have had a hand in the spread of hookup culture — but in very different ways.
Our current dating culture is now, more than ever, based around hookup culture. From the commonplaceness of using dating apps to search for love to a decline in couples getting married, young people today consistently find themselves thrust into a dating scene that thrives on noncommittal, temporary, or friends-with-benefits relationships, even when that’s not necessarily what they want.
Of course, both men and women are responsible for the rise of hookup culture — we all have the agency to make our own choices — but as someone who’s seen more than a few women in my life left hurt by hookup culture, I think it’s important to point out the ways that men, in particular, perpetuate hookup culture, often to the detriment of women.
Women Feel Pressure To Keep Him Interested
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from dating apps and social media, it’s that there’s a literal plethora of single ladies out there looking for a guy — so the pressure to capture and be “special” enough to keep a guy’s attention is tremendous because, these days, it’s exceptionally easy to find someone to go out with any night we want. Even more than that, we’re acutely aware of the possibility of being ghosted as a result of failing to keep his attention.
We’re acutely aware of the possibility of being ghosted as a result of failing to keep his attention.
And the way we’ve been taught since high school is the easiest way to get a guy’s attention? Be willing to hook up with him. And unfortunately, many guys don’t prove this theory wrong. Studies show that the average guy thinks about sex throughout the day twice as much as an average woman does, so it only makes sense that women might feel that sex is the only way to get and keep a man’s attention.
Women Are Labelled Prudes If They Don’t Hook Up with a Guy
I think many women, at some point in their adult life, have felt like this when it comes to hooking up with a guy: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If a woman sleeps with a guy, she’s easy. But if she doesn’t? She’s a prude — a label often thrown around rather disdainfully.
If a woman sleeps with a guy, she’s easy. But if she doesn’t? She’s a prude.
The truth is, no one wants to be called a prude — it means you’re boring, stuffy, and uptight. But even more than that, we all have a deep desire to be liked, wanted, and loved, to feel interesting and mysterious, especially in a romantic sense. Women, unfortunately, have often had this desire used against them by manipulative men, finding themselves pressured into sex, among other things.
Women Are Called Needy for Wanting Commitment
We’ve sadly reached a point in our modern dating culture where women are ashamed to want any semblance of commitment from the guy they’re seeing. I’ve had so many friends worriedly ask me if wanting to have the “What are we?” talk is being too needy in the early, still unlabeled, stages of a romantic relationship, as if admitting that we have feelings is something to repent.
Commitment isn’t just for fun — it’s something we intrinsically need.
Here’s the thing: it’s not needy in the slightest bit to desire commitment in a romantic relationship — we’re hardwired to seek security, stability, and safety in our close relationships, to feel like we belong to someone. That’s why studies show that married couples are much happier than everyone else, even singles. Commitment isn’t just for fun — it’s something we intrinsically need.
Obviously, not every guy out there is to blame for hookup culture, because many haven’t played a role in it. But it’s unfortunate that far too many have, in fact, reinforced a damaging hookup culture by treating women’s inherent desires as trivial, manipulating them into sex, or gaslighting them into compromising their beliefs about sex and intimacy.