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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

In Defense of Hook-Up Culture

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Susqu chapter.

Now listen, before you start reading this, I know how this sounds. As someone in a long-term committed relationship, this is not an article I ever thought that I would be writing. The idea of non-committed sexual relationships seems wild and is often shamed by the general public. We live in a society that shames anything beyond a traditional monogamous relationship because that is what we have been shown through different types of media our entire lives. From fairy tales to rom-coms, they follow the same pattern of person A meets person B, and they live happily ever after despite the trials they face. This has become the ideal in our society due to the repetitive drilling, which has had negative effects on the sex lives of college students.

Going to college is full of new experiences and people. It is also one of the first times people can experiment sexually with one another in a controlled, safe environment with other consenting adults. Yet we see this lack of respect towards those who choose to embrace this newfound freedom. Disgust is often placed on people with high body counts and on those disinterested in committing to one person. There are actually benefits to hook-up culture and these relations are overlooked. Websites like the Medium name a few of these benefits, like strengthening communication skills and stress relief. 

Hook-up culture allows people to try different things, whether it be kinks or gender, that a monogamous partner may not feel comfortable participating in. It allows someone to find what works for them and what they don’t want in a partner. It has fewer stakes than relationships, and you hold fewer expectations for each other. It is just doing the devil’s tango, not dinner or discussing your deepest insecurities. It is just sex. For all you know, you will never see this person again or ever talk about it again. You can be as free as you want, which can help to boost your confidence. 

Of course, with anything, issues arise, like the transmission of STDs, but it comes down to the idea of communication. To have a successful causal sex life or any type of relationship, you have to have open and honest communication and be accepting of any risk. Going into those situations, you have to accept that there is always a chance of catching an STI. There are ways to mitigate the risk, like wearing protection and getting regular tests (which you should already be doing!). If you contract any, know it is not the end of your life, and many STIs are manageable with drug treatment. 

Lastly, sex is normal. Everyone has it (if that is something they like). Sex should be enjoyable and fun. No one should be making you feel shameful for enjoying and exploring what makes you feel good. If someone finds your expression of your sexuality shameful. F**k ‘em! That is their problem! If you don’t want to be in a relationship, that is your choice! Sometimes, we aren’t ready or in need of someone romantically but want to get laid. Go do it (pun intended)! Just make sure you know what you are getting into and both parties acknowledge what the relationship is. 

Haley Lynch is a junior at Susquehanna University and acts as the Director of social media/Marketing and Vice President for HerCampus at Susquehanna. She covers topics ranging from pop culture to more serious topics that affect everyday students. Her work uses pop culture to understand deeper-rooted issues in society. Originally from Maryland, this is her first year at Susquehanna and she previously attended a different university in South Carolina. Since being at Susquehanna, Haley has done many things in varying roles and levels besides HerCampus. From executive roles with the Sex Ed club on campus to editor at Her Campus, she has kept herself very busy and on the go. All this is on top of creating her own art on the side. In her free time, you can catch Haley either watching Dance Moms (Team Chloe!) or writing short films. You might catch her dancing around her room listening to Fleetwood Mac or Boy Genius with her cat, Atlas, or sitting outside writing poems or stories. If you want to make a fast friend, simply reference Taylor Swift or ask her how the kids she babysits are doing and you will have won her heart.