You Know Who Hates the Hook-up Culture?

People who suck in bed. And not in a good way.

These are the folks who don’t want their partners to have the freedom of running away as fast as their lousy bed skills warrant. This is why they whine that nobody will buy their cow when the milk is free. To develop the ugly cow metaphor, the problem with the milk isn’t really that it’s free. The problem is that it’s of really low quality. The lousy lovers, however, want to get as many guarantees as possible that people will come back for their rancid milk and pay a good price for it before dispensing their worthless wares.

Of course, nobody wants to recognize that their hook-ups evaporate from their beds the first chance they get because sex with them is bad. It’s easier to blame the permissive society for that.

This is not a gender issue, in case anybody is confused about it. There is an equal number of men and women who complain about the fact that, nowadays, you can’t tie down a partner and obligate them to tolerate you in perpetuity just because you offered them some lousy sex at some point in time.

P.S. Note that the post title says “hates” and not “doesn’t feel like participating.” Please take a moment to consider the difference before leaving angry comments about there being nothing wrong with being in an exclusive committed relationship.

79 thoughts on “You Know Who Hates the Hook-up Culture?

  1. “These are the folks who don’t want their partners to have the freedom of running away as fast as their lousy bed skills warrant.”

    I think that is not the only reason why people want ties that bind, some of the glue holding exclusive relationships together is to do with the shared risk that becoming a couple allows.

    For instance:

    Should a heavily pregnant woman who is normally good at sex but not at the top of her game while pregnant expect to have her partner run away? or play away from home?

    Do you dump the guy who is mid chemo-therapy treatment? or do you just go elsewhere for sex while he battles death?

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    1. These questions have absolutely nothing to do with the hook-up culture. Unless you seriously think that there are people who put all those conditions on sex in hopes of finding a permanent partner just in case they get cancer and need chemo one day.

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      1. My point is simply that I think that people form exclusive partnerships for many reasons. Not just as a way of locking in a partner because of sexual inadequacy.

        It may be a plan to have children for instance. Here a long term commitment is needed. Sure you could still do this without exclusivity but I think it might be more difficult.

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  2. Meh. My views on sex and “hooking up” as kids these days call it are probably pretty old fashioned, but to me sex isn’t just an animal act to do for fun. It’s a special bond between two loving partners. I suppose everyone is free to do what works for them but I would be lying if I said a small part of me feels that it is unfortunate that people have careless sex with people they only “like”…but that’s just my opinion. I have no cow/milk issues as I never give it up unless he has at least put a down payment on this cow. And I might say that I rock in bed, just sayin. And no there is no religious influence there for my views.

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    1. “I have no cow/milk issues”

      Judging from this comment you have major cow/milk issues.

      “I suppose everyone is free to do what works for them but…”

      You just had to share your opinion that those who have casual sex are just acting as animals, have no “special bond” (intense mutual sexual attraction is a pretty strong bond wouldn’t you say?) are being careless, don’t ever love or even “like” each other…

      btw “giving it up” is such a romantic, special way of referring to your own participation, LOL.

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      1. May I inquire what constitutes a down payment on the cow? And what exactly is it what you are giving up when you are “giving it up”?

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  3. As far as I understand the term, hookup culture is about casual sex. Thus, the chances of a pregnant woman or of somebody in the middle of chemotherapy participating (and therefore being hurt) are quite slim.
    On the other hand, I do not understand why even for casual sex being bad in bed should be the main reason for rejection. It can as well be something non-sexual. Being an asshole in the morning, for example… Let’s not confuse people engaging in sex easily with sex being their only motivation.

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      1. From personal experience, I’d say one doesn’t necessarily forgive, but they very well might stay on with such people when under other circumstances they would have walked.

        I would appreciate it greatly if one of your American readers could explain what a ‘hook-up culture’ is, exactly. I’ve heard people use ‘hook up’ in completely non-sexual ways (e.g: “Let me hook you up with my designer. She’ll change how your website looks completely”), so I’m a little confused.

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      2. Well, if it truly were this way, you wouldn’t have so many stories about people entering and staying in the relationships for all the wrong (and non-sexual) reasons…

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  4. So according to you it’s ok to leave or cheat on a partner who let’s say is sexually incapacitated for a prolonged period because of some physical ailment, when the relationship is based on or at least started from a lot of mutual love and respect? and let’s also say that these partners are married and living in a society which is structured around the legal and societal bindings of marriage – i.e. a family based on marriage is what is considered the social norm and the basic unit of society. In other words, a marriage being broken is likely to have damaging practical and psychological consequences for the person who is being left in the lurch.
    Or is the phrase “hookup culture” applied exclusively to the phase of life where people just try out a “buffet” of sex partners before finally settling for someone? I am sorry if this is the case – please attribute my misplaced example to my ignorance about american culture then.

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    1. Hook-up culture refers to people having casual sex with people they just met. It’s neither a part of long-term relationships nor an alternative to them. This is what people do before settling down. Or don’t do, if it’s not their thing. My point is that it’s perfectly fine both to participate or not participate in the hook-up culture based on your personal preferences. Not participating and telling those who do they are all idiots, though, shows one have serious issues.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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  5. I think what confused me and llama above is the line, “These are the folks who don’t want their partners to have the freedom of running away as fast as their lousy bed skills warrant.”
    People participating in the “hookup culture” obviously can have no expectations of their partners not “running away”. And people who are uncomfortable with partners running away, would not participate in it. This is almost tautological.

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      1. But why are you assuming that in order to hate something one has to have ulterior motives? Can one hate something out of ethical convictions which may have nothing to do with ones life experiences?

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        1. When it’s something like murder or racism, then yes. But hating other people’s consensual sexual activities that nobody is asking you to participate in offers itself up to analysis. I don’t participate in group sex. It’s just not my thing. But I don’t write long rambling posts about how other people participating in it has ruined my life.

          The post was prompted by two very deluded articles in mainstream media that go on and on about how feminism is bad because it created the hook-up culture and now nobody wants to marry women because they give it up for free. Ross Douthat also has milked this subject for years. Such people don’t have ethics. They have messed up personal lives they want to blame on “society.”

          I can give links to the articles if people are interested in them later in the day. But you can also find them easily through Google.

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      2. Maybe you made the number of possible replies too short…
        I am replying to your 1:22 post.
        I think that seeing some societal trend as problematic is not the same as hating the particular activities which constitute part of the trend :).
        And by googling the “hook-up culture” one can get to some quite reasonable articles as well. Since links are not allowed – I am talking about one in the Salon, 02/26/2010.

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  6. So, the fact that I’ve dated people who hated hook-up culture and were absolutely mind-blowing in bed is a figment of my imagination?

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      1. I’m pointing out that there’s something wrong with the analysis that “If you hate hookup culture, it must be because you’re bad in bed,” because there are people who hate hookup culture but are not bad in bed.

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    1. I’m now starting to think that people are doing this on purpose. Didn’t I write just a few days ago that it’s weird to treat every post being published online as being about you personally?

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      1. When you write an overarching “If A then B” post, there’s nothing weird with people pointing out examples of situations where A is true but B is not. There’s also nothing weird about people’s examples being drawn from their own experience.

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  7. bloggerclarissa :You do realize, though, that many people might disagree with your evaluation of what constitutes amazing sex, right?

    For me it’s always a wash unless s/he’s in an Apollo-mission spacesuit, calls me Tranquility Base, and shouts “the eagle has landed” at climax.

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    1. AllSaintsDay :I’m pointing out that there’s something wrong with the analysis that “If you hate hookup culture, it must be because you’re bad in bed,” because there are people who hate hookup culture but are not bad in bed.

      I wonder if it’s not that they’re necessarily bad sex partners or that they’re not entitled to have their opinion about casual hook-ups vs. monogamy but that people who blame their inability to set up a stable committed relationship on the activities of people who aren’t interested might be looking in the wrong places for monogamy and/or be projecting some serious inadequacy issues that may translate into poor bedroom performance.

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      1. Maybe. It still doesn’t account for people who don’t have poor bedroom performance but hate hookup culture. It also doesn’t account, for that matter, for people who hate hookup culture but have never had sex.

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      2. I’m not certain. That answer is germane to the question “Why do people hate hookup culture?” But it’s not relevant to the question “Do people only hate hookup culture because they’re bad in bed and can’t keep a lover?” All that’s relevant to the second question is that these people exist.

        People do exist who hate hookup culture yet have never had sex. If your explanation doesn’t account for this, your explanation is, at the least, incomplete.

        My guess is that it’s a combination of:
        (a) People have an annoying tendency to think that “I like A and don’t like B” implies “A is right and B is wrong.”
        (b) There are people who like monogamous relationships and don’t like hookups.

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  8. I remember my mother giving me a book (Can’t remember what it was called!) as a “present” before I left for college at seventeen, which was basically a screed warning “young ladies” about how hookup culture would leave us feeling empty and disappointed. The author even offered “alternative activities” for you to do instead of participate in hookup culture, which included such creative activities as… “mastering baking”, because “no boy can resist a hot fresh-baked good” or something like that.
    I threw the book into the Goodwill bin my first day at UM.

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  9. AllSaintsDay :
    People do exist who hate hookup culture yet have never had sex. If your explanation doesn’t account for this, your explanation is, at the least, incomplete.

    Yes good point. You only need one example of a person that hates hookup sex because they are crap in bed.

    But the statement implies that these people are the overwhelming majority of the people that hate hookup sex. This is what places a different light on the matter.

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    1. What do you mean by “giving a body”? Sounds very scary. Does he get to keep it after sex? 🙂

      It’s kind of sad when young people talk about their sexuality in this language of buying, selling and investing. Also, the clinical collection of “evidence” is just as sad.

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      1. It’s a figure of speech. I know my ideas of sexuality are healthy. I have long lasting healthy relationships, no diseases and lots of love and I am happy and proud of myself for the decisions I make. I mean no disrespect for those who want to have casual sex, but it’s just not for everyone and I hope others can respect that as well.

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        1. Nobody is disagreeing that it isn’t for everybody. That was the entire point of the post. Some people enjoy casual sex, some people don’t. There is no reason for either group to hate each other’s lifestyle.

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  10. There’s definitely a movement against casual sex in men’s rights movements. You can see it most clearly on that misogynist rag, Spearhead. It reflects an age old view, I think, that women can control men through their sexuality. I have strong reasons to believe that patriarchal ideologies in general are based on trying to counteract this male fear by imposing laws that would make female sexuality a feature of male self expression but nothing more.

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      1. We’re also partly mirror opposites, because we both came from colonial countries, but my reactions turned me somewhat from the cultural right to the cultural left, whereas yours seem to have taken you somewhat to the right, for instance with regard for Capitalism.

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  11. scratchy888 :

    We’re also partly mirror opposites, because we both came from colonial countries, but my reactions turned me somewhat from the cultural right to the cultural left, whereas yours seem to have taken you somewhat to the right, for instance with regard for Capitalism.

    Yes, I was born and raised in the Soviet Union and then witnessed the wild stage of capitalism going through its birth pangs. So I have been able to compare and contrast. 🙂

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    1. Well, I come from a heavy, heavy right wing culture. Really almost fascistic. Bound by war and blood. So I had to employ extreme measures to extricate myself from its mindset — which really wasn’t a good mindset for a woman to have. You internalise these ideas and you end up oppressing yourself.

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  12. My understanding of “hookup culture” is that it differs from older forms of casual sex because in the old days, this was done out of attraction whereas now it is done more as a chore (someone wants to have sex and therefore pressures their friends for it, or it is done because it is expected, and so on). Perhaps I misunderstand, or perhaps the ways it has been explained to me are somewhat eccentric.

    (I also wouldn’t call sex undertaken out of attraction “casual” but that’s topic 2 and I have to grade.)

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      1. Would you mind elaborating on that? I can imagine it being unhealthy if people delude themselves about what the sex is based on, or if people aren’t getting the desire-based sex they want in other circumstances, but I don’t exactly see how a single sex act not based on desire would affect the person’s health by itself.

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  13. “or perhaps the ways it has been explained to me are somewhat eccentric. ”

    interesting, I am curious now 🙂

    “I also wouldn’t call sex undertaken out of attraction “casual” but that’s topic 2 and I have to grade.”

    Me too (having to grade) so I totally understand, but please extrapolate on this as soon as you get a chance!

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  14. Well, you could not be “in love” / love each other / be “committed” but both be in awe of the energy you’ve created. (I don’t know that I buy the idea of sex as the expression of something.)

    Explained in eccentric ways – pressure to have sex with people one is not attracted to, on the argument that it’s now in fashion to have casual sex. I’ve had trouble explaining to people (they don’t get it) that I don’t insist sex lead to marriage, just that it be something I’m interested in.

    Them: You slept with him, a known rake, but not me, whyyyyyyy?
    Me: Well, the fact that you’re exerting this pressure doesn’t make you better than a rake, and I slept with him because I felt like it, and I don’t feel like sleeping with you.
    Them: But, not being Catholic or married, you are *allowed* to sleep with me, nobody is telling you not to, so why won’t you, what harm would it do?

    This is how the hookup people seem to be, or they seem to be my students having random sex for no particular reason; they seem not to understand about selectivity or attraction.

    It’s sort of like these people who push sweets: come on, you’re not fat, so eat it. They assume that if there’s sugar in it everyone wants it.

    I think the hookup people are these same as the sex for marriage people: they don’t know about attraction and pleasure, and they discount these. Sex for marriage, it’s for social status and money and so on; for hookup it’s also for social status, duty to friends who feel horny and want someone to get them off, etc.

    So to me casual sex connotes using people like objects / props. and is synonymous to poorly done sex, sex done by people who don’t realize what it can be like, etc. But, I don’t think you have to have “love” and “commitment” and so on to have great sex.

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    1. Thanks for that answer and I agree that it is weird to have sex with someone and not be attracted to them; that would not be what I have been talking about either. And yes, there are many levels of attraction and possible types of intense experiences to have with people besides being in love with and wanting to marry them. But do you think your students may be more attracted to each other than you imagine? Otherwise it sounds depressing.

      I have also encountered people who automatically expected something to happen (sex) and were surprised and unreasonably personally insulted when it didn’t happen. There is definitely an idea out there that if a woman or girl has multiple partners she is not being selective or something; and that therefore she will do it with anybody. I don’t know why it is not assumed that she could simply be attracted to many men but not most men.

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  15. You need to die in a fucking well. This is why it is impossible to find a fucking “good girl” anymore. Assholes like you are sending the message that hookups and random sex is totally okay. Its to the point that almost every good looking girl that leaves high school has lost their virginity, plus, they all think its totally fine. Fuck you. Please kill yourself.

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  16. Nope I’m pretty good in the sack, no real Complaints here, but I hate hookup culture because I didn’t get into it until after I finished university and everybody is way ahead of me and acts like that makes them Better than me. I just don’t like when people brag about meaningless sexlike its an accomplishment.

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