Hookup Culture: My Personal Take

Why I'm choosing to no longer participate in hookup culture
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Created by Jan123

Published on Jun 10, 2024
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As a young woman in her 20s, I am no stranger to the hookup culture that is the norm in modern society. I do not judge people who participate in it as everyone is entitled to their choices. As long as it is consensual between both parties and no one is getting hurt, it is fine. However, I used to tell myself that I would never participate in the hookup culture because I couldn't imagine doing something so intimate with someone that I didn't trust or care about. But as time went on and major events happened in my life, I started to wonder if I was missing out on something and felt like experimenting because life is short and I would rather have tried something rather than regret not trying something. I ended up participating in the hookup culture just for a short while and I truly wished that I hadn't. Here is a short reflection of what I realized and felt after my short stint in the culture.

As someone who came out of a breakup several months ago, I do not deny that I had needs and was craving some sort of intimacy. I did end up hooking up with a person and I came out of it feeling so ashamed and disgusted for so many reasons which I shall list below:

  1. I felt so used 
    I thought that hooking up would help to fulfill my needs but it ended up making me feel even more dissatisfied and left me feeling like I was just a body for someone else to use to fulfill their needs instead. While I knew that frankly, my hookup obviously didn't have the incentive to make me feel cared for, I did not realize the extent of how i would be treated as just an object for sexual gratification.
  2. I had allowed my own boundaries to be crossed
    While I will not go into detail, my experience left me feeling so conflicted because while I did not explicitly say no to the act, i felt like I allowed certain things to happen when I actually wasn't comfortable but I did not know how to say no. That feeling of being violated only hit me a day after the act and I was angry with myself for allowing it to happen because I always thought that I was someone who could stand up for myself.
  3. I had this internalized shame 
    Growing up, I was somewhat raised with this puritanical belief that a woman shouldn't "give" herself away so easily. Society unfortunately still tends to look down and shame women who are open about their promiscuity while men are treated the opposite. While it was something that I thought I wanted, I felt so gross and ashamed of myself after the act because it felt like I would be judged and shamed if anyone ever found out - even if that shame was unjustified.
  4. I realized that I was looking for validation from the wrong people and ways 
    I realized that I was looking for validation from men in the wrong ways. I realized that I was allowing myself to get carried away just because a man that I was interested in did and said the right things and that the only way i could somehow keep his attention was through my body. I realized that I allowed myself to be objectified just to maintain a person's interest in me. By right, I should be validating myself but I ended up trying to seek it from others. 

Overall, the experience was not a pleasant one for me but I took away several lessons with the main one being that hookup culture is not for me. I also learned that it goes against my principles and what I want in general when it comes to relationships and intimacy. I do however want to say that it's fine to participate in the hookup culture if you're very sure that it is what you want as long as you keep yourself safe. Also, make sure to always stick to your boundaries when it comes to these sorts of interactions. 


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