Some people only engage in serious and committed relationships, which are monogamous. On the other hand, others prefer non-committed relationships that may involve several partners at a time.
However, there may not always be such clear-cut boundaries in some relationships, since some people may be in serious relationships but still have casual arrangements on the side. This may be due to being away from their partners, marital problems, and so on. This article seeks to look deeply into the casual kind of relationship, also known as a hookup.
Understanding the Hookup Culture
The hookup culture is a way of life where casual sexual encounters are acceptable. Some typical forms of these casual sexual arrangements include:
- Friends with benefits, or no strings attached relationships
- Booty calls
- One-night stands
The common thread linking all these arrangements includes making no promises of serious relationships, no emotional attachment, a lack of romance and generally being short term.
The hookup culture is quite ambiguous since there are no precise definitions. It is not clear what hookups involve because they could include kissing, heavy touching, and actual sexual intercourse acts like oral, vaginal, and anal sex. It has come to be considered as any casual and meaningless type of sexual relationship. One of the fueling factors of the hookup culture is the emergence of hookup apps in every part of the globe making it a walk in the park to find casual sex. Generally, technological advancement has played a significant role because it has facilitated easy connections, meetings, and spreading information making people get to know things that were hitherto unknown to them.
The Origin of the Hookup Culture
While many assume that the hookup culture started with the proliferation of hookup apps like Tinder, these casual sexual relationships date back many years in the US, maybe as early as the 1920s. The things we see today are only an evolution of behavior, habits, and norms surrounding sex that we can trace back to almost a century ago.
Back in the 20s, among the urban populations, young people could get together freely without the supervision and monitoring of their parents. Furthermore, the wide usage of automobiles and the rise of entertainment places like cinema halls and movie theaters offered more opportunities for hooking up. They provided an excellent cover for the adventurous young people to have fun or engage in casual sex.
Additionally, college life, which had become affordable and accessible to most young Americans, played a significant role in the development of the culture. However, the Great Depression and the second world war put paid that culture for a time. It was not so acceptable to be carefree and only after some fun. The majority of the young women sought serious and committed relationships. The main reason for this shift was due to the death of many young men in the war.
The 1960s witnessed things easing up again and the American youth were once more seeking fun and casual sexual arrangements. They wanted to be carefree, non-committed, and adventurous with hookups. Moreover, the media significantly contributed to the development of the hookup culture because it documented and availed material on the culture through TV series, movies, books, and music. The culture has evolved over the years and the internet, hookup apps, and websites, and social media have taken it a notch higher in recent times.
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Key Things for the Best Hookup
Because the hookup culture is real and here to stay, you need to know some of the things you should look out for to get the best hookup arrangement. Below are some of these things.
Given that casual sexual relationships are expected to be mutually beneficial, you and your partner should agree on what is acceptable and what is not. This enables you to steer away from any unnecessary fun spoilers.
STI and STD Status
Although inquiring about your partner’s STI status may be a joy-killer in your hookup, it is utterly important to know if they have been recently tested for sexually tested infections and diseases. This is even more important when you know they have had multiple sexual partners. Learn the difference between STD and STI here.
It would help to clearly state your intentions and to know of your partner’s intentions too so you’re on the same page. As such, let them know from the onset you’re getting into the arrangement just for fun, and want no commitments. Also, inform them if you are in any other relationships. They should also inform you of their expectations and their status.
No shying away from taking the lead
If you have already agreed to get under the sheets together and have a clear understanding of what is okay between the two of you, do not shy away from initiating things in the bed since both of you know what you want.
The Pros of Hookup Arrangements
The hookup culture has evolved over the years and will go on evolving, and people get into casual sexual relationships because they have some advantages. Some of the advantages include
- No commitments – it is a touch-and-go arrangement with no need for emotional investment. As such people who are busy building their career or pursuing other interests, yet want to meet their sexual needs find it ideal.
- Allow experimenting – hookups offer the chance to try out your sexual fantasies and give you the chance to try out new approaches to pleasuring yourself and others and to discover if you have particular preferences.
The Cons of Hookup Arrangements
These casual sexual encounters have several downsides such as:
- They can turn messy- despite the consent and freedom to have other sexual partners, the definition of hookups is not clear and things may turn toxic; for example, if one develops feelings for the other but the partner just wants a casual arrangement.
- They pose health risks- since sex is involved and partners can have other multiple mates, there are risks of sexually transmitted diseases if those involved are not sufficiently cautious to stick to safe sex.
The hookup culture is synonymous with casual sexual encounters that can take different forms. It has evolved over many years and has been fueled by technological advancements such as social media, the mainstream media, and others. While it has its pros such as allowing exploring one’s sexuality, it has cons such as health problems in case of unprotected sex. Hookups may also involve gays, lesbians, and other non-conventional sexual orientations, and the common thing with all these arrangements is the lack of commitment and no promises of long-term relationships.
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