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Midweek Musings: Stop Complaining About Hookup Culture

I’ve often been witness to agonized complaints of the current college dating scene, or lack thereof. Any Google search of the overused phrase “hookup culture” will bombard you with countless articles analyzing the baffling reasons why the concept of dating has miraculously disappeared. Truthfully, men have been participating in a culture of casual sex for all of history. Now that women utilize that option and participate in this “hookup culture,” it’s suddenly a dramatic shift in the landscape of dating and detrimental to our future relationships. When women behave sexually the way men have always been allowed to, criticism emerges, and the conversation shifts. Believe it or not, casual sex is not new, nor is it unique to college-aged students.

With the introduction of Tinder and other “dating” apps — or sexual meetup apps, to be truthful — it’s true that committed relationships are unlikely to result, but it seems far-fetched to suggest that the entire culture of dating has been altered as a result. Casual sex is not a culture; it’s a choice. Interests clash when one person in a causal arrangement begins to want more, to desire a committed relationship from the person they agreed to remain strictly casual with. I don’t fault those who desire monogamous, committed relationships, as I’m in one myself, but I do fault those who enter into relationships they don’t want, who don’t communicate truthfully with their partners, and who then blame a “hookup culture” for their eventual upset.  

If commitment is what you look for, don’t settle for less. We’re not facing a cultural problem, but a conflict of personal choice. If you don’t want casual, don’t agree to engage in a relationship that doesn’t fit your desires. Don’t settle and then harbor expectations the other person never meant to uphold. It’s really that simple. There are plenty of people who seek commitment — trust me, they’re all complaining about “hookup culture” on Facebook — so go find one of those people. When you bemoan a “culture” of casual sex, you’re negating the choices of others because they don’t align with your own. Not everyone has the same relationship goals as you, so don’t fault them for their personal choices. Simply move along to the next person. Complaining that other people want nothing more than a “hookup” will not find you your soul mate. If you don’t want a casual relationship, don’t agree to one.

Casual sex is now normal and acceptable, which has its pros and cons. We have a sexual freedom that is liberating and has the potential to even the gender playing field (although negative stereotypes about female sexual behavior are hard to crush), but we also blur dating lines. It’s harder to define relationships in our casual sex society, which can be solved by open and honest communication, but that is often avoided and ignored. People have difficulty being direct about their feelings and desires, which only complicate relationships, cause miscommunication and create drama. Aren’t people tired of heartache, fighting and anger? If we have a problem, it’s not a “hookup culture.” It’s a “miscommunication culture.” Casual sex is a valid choice, not a cultural detriment, and those who participate are not harming your desires for a committed relationship.  

Amy Coker is a 3rd year English major with a minor in Women's Studies. This is her first year with Her Campus and she couldn't be more excited! After graduation, Amy hopes to find a hybrid career where she can write, act, read and publish books, and see plays for a living. Her job as a barista in combination with her major make her quite the stereotype. In her free time, Amy is usually watching Netflix and trying to force herself to go to the gym.
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