It seems that our culture has many different opinions on the topic of “hooking up”. Some describe the act as sleazy and degrading, while others describe it as natural and empowering. Despite what anyone has to say about it, hooking up seems to be becoming much more common, and the world of online dating and free sex is partly responsible.
In the 70’s, the act of sleeping with someone without being in a committed relationship had already become more widely accepted. With the introduction of birth control, people were finally free to have flings without the threat of pregnancy. It was also around this time that people started to throw away the conventional idea of getting married after college, making casual sex a little more necessary than it was before.
Although there were fewer barriers which stood between people hooking up, there was still one barrier leftover which continued to threaten the possibility of it happening altogether. Before “hooking up”, one has to “pick up”. The problem with this is that in our culture, one does not simply walk up to a desirable mate, ask them to have sex, and have the odds work out in their favor. In our culture, this is how one gets a drink thrown in their face.
Needless to say, although people started having casual sex a little more frequently in the 70’s, its rise was at a standstill. That is, until the World Wide Web came around. And with the World Wide Web came dating platforms.
In the 90’s dating platforms were starting to spring up all over the place, changing the way the population thought about dating. Match was one of the first to come out, giving people the power to not only broaden their list of potential mates but also approach one another with more confidence. When you’re divided by a screen, you can be whoever you want to be. You can pick someone up with a witty one-liner without tripping over your words, and rejection is also a lot less painful. Not to mention, a screen can’t exactly throw a drink in your face.
That being said, dating platforms finally gave people the freedom to openly ask for sex without risk of harsh rejection. If the other person isn’t into it, no harm was done and a long list of potential matches still lingered at your fingertips. Dating platforms caught onto this trend and to simplify the process of hooking up they even began asking their users the kind of relationship they were looking for. This information was then displayed publically on the user’s profile, “casual sex” being one of the options to choose from.
Online dating has bestowed upon the public features which make the act of “hooking up” easier than ever before. In our fast paced world, there are an estimated 8,000 free dating websites and apps which are aiding people in their quest for casual sex, 2,500 of these websites existing in the USA alone.
And statistics go to show that there could be a strong correlation between the rise of online dating and the epidemic of casual sex. A recent survey shows that a shocking 87% of college students have had casual sex with someone before while 60% of the teenage demographic will at some point have sex with someone they’re not in a relationship with.
These statistics are shocking the nation, causing many to worry that the rise of hookup culture will destroy the idea of a loving relationship forever. While this fear is rational, other statistics show that the idea of getting hitched won’t be done away with altogether. Surprisingly, 12% of hookups do eventually lead to these loving relationships our culture is so afraid of losing. So, maybe the act of having sex with no-strings-attached really isn’t as bad as some people think.
In the end, sex is a natural human desire. It’s good not only for our physical health but our mental health as well. If the internet and technology are making sex easier to come by, we believe that we’ll see a culture of more open-minded, happy, and healthy individuals. As long as online dating doesn’t do away with the idea of love and committed relationships entirely, we believe that only good things are to come.