Women Have The Power To End Hookup Culture If They Just Stop Having Casual Sex With Men

There are more women than ever complaining about how hookup culture has ruined their chances at finding a long-lasting relationship with a man who is interested in commitment. But few people realize that women have the power to end hookup culture forever if they just stop having casual sex with men.

By Gina Florio5 min read
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The romantic comedies of the early 2000s featured female protagonists who were trying to find their one true love. The lead characters of 27 Dresses, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Sweet Home Alabama were career-driven women who were just as interested in finding a husband (or at least a long-term boyfriend) as they were in their professional success. But the one thing they weren't interested in was casual sex with random guys.

But fast forward 10-15 years, and suddenly there are numerous TV shows and movies that feature female protagonists who seemingly find great pleasure in sleeping around and committing to nothing and no one. Movies like Trainwreck and Friends with Benefits might be entertaining stories that eventually end up with the characters finding love, but the 2010s and onwards showed a significant shift in the way we talk about hookup culture and casual sex. It started being presented as something positive for women—something that was going to empower them and improve their lives.

Single women everywhere started to believe that there was great satisfaction in sleeping around and warding off commitment. After all, avoiding romance and intimacy (a.k.a. catching feelings) means you also avoid heartache, breakups, and general unhappiness. At least, that's what we were taught from shows like Sex and the City. As a result, countless women in their 20s and 30s over the last several years have sworn off long-term relationships and instead devoted their time and efforts to dating apps.

For the most part, hookup culture begins in college. Surveys have shown that 86% of college students report hooking up with at least one person while in school. 93% of college students say their school is dominated by hookup culture. Sadly, only 57% of women who have a random hookup are pleased with their choices after it's all said and done. From then on, hooking up is just part of adulthood, and it's certainly accepted as part of dating. This is reinforced by Hollywood, the media, and just about every other mainstream machine that has an influence on the culture. But after years of accepting and even encouraging hookup culture, we are finally arriving at the point where we're realizing just how detrimental it is, not only to women, but also to our entire society.

What Have Been the Effects of Hookup Culture?

We've come a long way from the days of courtship, where a man would arrive at the woman's home, pick her up, and take her out for a nice date, which was usually chaperoned by a parent or older relative. But the sexual revolution turned everything on its head and somehow painted traditional courtship as misogynistic and offensive to women because our sexuality is not something to be bought or even earned. It belongs only to ourselves, and it's ours to give whenever we see fit. Sex soon became free and easy to achieve, and this was all wrapped up in a fake little bow of empowerment and feminism. But this comes at a price.

Random sex is unnatural and detrimental.

We don't need peer-reviewed studies or scientific data to tell us that random sex is unnatural and detrimental. As much as we try to deny our nature and demand that we can "have sex like a man," there's something that happens all the way down to our soul when we give our body away for free to any guy that we find mildly attractive. We already know that our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin when we have sex, which has been nicknamed the love hormone, that can even aid sperm in reaching their destination to an egg to fertilize it. Researchers have found that couples who have a romantic attachment to one another have higher levels of oxytocin than their unattached counterparts. Other research has found that different part of a woman's brain lights up when she is sexually aroused compared to men, including the parts that are responsible for emotion, joy, satisfaction, hunger, tiredness, and even memory.

Oxytocin is also the key hormone for bonding with our partner, and it increases the amount of empathy we feel. Women produce much more oxytocin during sex than men do, which can make us feel much more attached to the man we're having sex with. Our hormones don't know if we're just casually hooking up or if we're making love to our husband, so no matter how much we try to tell ourselves that random sex doesn't make us feel connected to men, it hormonally does—whether we like it or not. Having sex with multiple men that they don't have meaningful connections with makes it much more likely for women to have broken hearts, hurt emotions, and feelings of emptiness and loneliness, no matter how much they don't like to admit it. It's no coincidence that the popularity of hookup culture started to rise along with the increase in mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and the use of psychiatric medications.

Pair bonding with your future husband is also more difficult after much casual sex. Having sex with multiple people rewires the brain and affects the neurochemical production that makes it more difficult to fully connect with someone intimately. Oxytocin is especially important in sexual encounters to feel close to your partner, which can also help your relationship last longer and be more successful. But hookup culture has physical effects on many men and women to potentially destroy their chance at fully bonding with the person they end up marrying. The high divorce rate we see in the US has many factors, but we can't deny that hookup culture has had some effect on it over the last decade or so.

More Women Are Starting To Turn Away from Hookup Culture

There seems to be some change in the air. There's a countercultural movement happening in which women speak out against hookup culture and are beginning to realize that they have been sold a lie. Perhaps giving your body away to the hot guy at the bar that you just met but will never see again isn't such a great idea, and it really doesn't leave you feeling confident and secure in yourself. TikToker @nayaaford spoke about how "hookup culture is a scam" and how men are actually the only ones who benefit from random sex. She says many women are participating in hookup culture because they think that's the only way to get closer to the guy they like or to create intimacy with him. But what they're actually doing is "stressing yourself out, losing your youth" to these men that don't really care about you at the end of the day. "View your body as a prize," she advises.

Another TikToker, @theglowupsecrets, also says society has simply made you believe that there's nothing wrong with hookup culture, but she spells out all the reasons why it's actually harming women more than ever. "You are lying to yourself about hookup culture," she says. "Casually hooking up is unfortunately so toxic to you as a woman. Giving up your body adds to another layer of pain that's inevitably going to come when this man does not commit to you."

More and more content like this is appearing on social platforms like TikTok, where Gen Z is increasingly become resistant to hookup culture. The comments indicate people are over it. "I feel used," someone wrote on @probablycryingtofrank's lip sync TikTok about the dangers of hookup culture. "It's makes me loose the need to wanna actually love someone like [sic]," someone said. "Idk how ppl can feel nothing it ruined me [sic]," another person commented. "I feel used, wasted and empty," someone said.

There's also more content in which women are opening up about how hurtful hookup culture has been to them personally, and how they have either never had a boyfriend at all or have had very few meaningful relationships even though it has been easy to find guys to have sex with.

"Participating in hookup culture is one of the most misogynistic things you can do for yourself. How is it empowering to give yourself to a man who views you as an object?" influencer Shannen Michaels asks on TikTok. She also says that most women, even if they don't want to admit it, only agree to casual sex with random guys because it makes them feel validated.

More women are waking up to realize how little hookup culture benefits them and how much it benefits men. There's only one way forward if we want to restore the well-being of our society, especially when it comes to dating and romance. Stop normalizing and glorifying casual sex.

What Will It Take To End Hookup Culture?

This leaves us with the big question: How do we put a stop to hookup culture? It's really not a hard one to figure out. The decision is left up to the women at the end of the day. If you scroll through TikTok or listen to various podcasts, such as "whatever," you see that the very women who complain about the effects of hookup culture are the ones who are participating in it. They complain about not being able to find a nice guy to date because guys just want to hook up, but then they admit that they themselves are hooking up with guys that they either meet while out on the weekend or on dating apps. How do they expect hookup culture to come to an end if they're continuously sleeping around with men?

Having sex with multiple people rewires the brain.

If women were simply to stop giving their bodies away to men that they only just met, there would be much less supply for the men who are looking for an easy lay. If women were to value their own bodies and insist that men treat them right, respect them, and earn their way into a relationship that eventually involves sex, there would be far more men out there who step up their game and pursue relationships rather than hookups. It would also encourage more men and women to get to know each other in a respectful way, which would eventually lead to more long-term relationships and marriages.

In order to improve the state of our society through healthier marriages and relationships, we have to all return to something that we held true for pretty much all of human history until very recently: Sex is a special, sacred thing that should not be taken lightly, and your body shouldn't be handed over to someone who does not care for you deeply. This isn't to say that people who have random sex should have their rights taken away or treated cruelly, but we should want a culture that encourages committed love, not random sex. Not only does this benefit women in the long run, but it benefits the entirety of society. The stronger the family unit is, the stronger our society is. And we can't improve the marriage rate and decrease the divorce rate if we're allowing mainstream culture to glamorize casual sex and hookup culture.