What No One Tells You About Hook-Up Culture

In the age of Tinder, it can be difficult to comprehend the social pressures of university. With hook-ups available at the click of a button, campuses are seemingly saturated with sex. For many, the idea of “hook-up culture” boasts an easy route to gratification with no strings attached. In a study of 22 colleges across the US, 62 percent of students reported participating in hook-up culture. While casual hook-ups can be fun and exciting, they contain a hard truth that we can no longer ignore.    

In recent years, we have seen the importance of mental health emphasized more than ever. While mental health – especially in the university environment – is often discussed within the context of school, it is seldom discussed in relation to hook-up culture. However, this is an area in which mental health is most crucial – an area that we must start a conversation around.

Casual hook-ups, like other intimate experiences, can be a breeding ground for negative mental health effects. From the confusing games to the competitiveness of “who's done what with whom,” there is no easy way to navigate hook-up culture. One study found that college students who took part in hook-up culture had lower levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness than those who did not. Interestingly, students who were not depressed previously showed depressive symptoms after having casual sex. While it might seem like it, these statistics aren’t meant to discourage hook-up culture, but rather serve as a sign of caution. No matter what, your mental health should be your top priority. Embrace the carefreeness of hook-up culture, but always look out for yourself first.