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The term ‘Hookup Culture’ emerged sometime in the early 2000s. While it’s not known who coined it, it has become widely used to describe the trend of engaging in brief physical encounters without pursuing long-term commitments.
Defining Hookup Culture
Hookup culture refers to a societal trend characterized by a focus on casual, uncommitted sexual encounters rather than traditional local dating or committed relationships. In other words, it’s about intimacy but not necessarily about love. We used the word ‘necessarily’ because it’s normal for local matches who hook up once to hook up again, and that sometimes leads to starting a relationship.
Hookup culture doesn’t erase or negate traditional dating. It simply has a different focus.
And it’s vital to say that hookup culture is boosted by technology. Before the evolution of hookup sites, people had a tough time finding places with enough local matches and seeking casual dates. Now, all singles have to do is register for a local hookup site that suggests matches based on one’s geographic location and play a Hot or Not game.
This cultural shift is fueled by a decrease in the emphasis on traditional dating and an increase in the acceptance of casual sexual interactions as a socially acceptable form of dating.
Impact of Technology
Technology was and still is the foundation of the hookup culture. Before the growth of famous hookup sites, people dealt with thoughts such as: “Man, meeting locals in this city is impossible.” They wasted their lives in bars and on blind dates.
Now, most sites have real-time location sharing. Singles can use the geolocation filter to hide all members outside their area. Combining that with other filters makes finding potentially ideal matches even simpler.
On sites where people log in to get a nearby hookup, such filters are all about physical attributes to additionally cut the time needed to find matches. Even those who live in remote areas have decent chances of meeting many singles if they’re willing to travel. Some sites enable their members to sort ads by cities so they can start browsing from the place closest to them.
It’s safe to say that technology helped to spread the hookup culture because it made fulfilling our desires simpler and faster. And also equally important, especially for women, it enables discreet dating, so singles who like sex can enjoy it without worrying about what other people think.
On top of that, this is important for men who want to meet single women – technology makes it easier to approach attractive girls. Getting rejected online doesn’t hurt as getting rejected in person. And by the time a guy approaches one girl in a bar, he can send a dozen messages online.
It’s all about efficiency and time/energy. Technology is there to make our lives easier and better, so it’s not surprising that it has changed how we get dates or even come up with ideas for date night activities and efficient icebreakers using suggestions of AI assistants.
Local Hookups vs ‘Passport Bros’
Yet, different groups of people enjoy the hookup culture. Traveling is evolving parallel with the development of technology used in online dating, so now, seeing the world is not nearly as expensive as it used to be.
That created another trend – ‘Passport Bros.’ It describes people who use location-based features to find partners who live far away from them. Some first make connections and then travel there to meet their casual partners. Others pick the destination and then use online dating to find locals interested in meeting and dating. It’s a perfect example of symbiosis between two fast-developing industries.
But local hookups aren’t going anywhere because most people don’t travel all the time, but they still want attention and satisfaction… They contrarily use technology from Passport Bros. They want to get a nearby hookup, ideally within walking distance.
Both paths can be fun, but those who want to have both might consider traveling in an RV for dates. Nowadays, some people can work remotely, so keeping a job while creating localized connections across the country shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Still, don’t think getting a bunch of hookups near you won’t have any cons.
Pros and Cons of Non-committed Dates
Everything has pros and cons. We’ll list the most common cons people who engage in hookups face:
- Rejection – yes, it hurts less than in person, but singles approach more people online, so it’s expected that they experience more ghosting and rejection
- Emotional drainage – hookups aren’t for everyone, so some people start feeling empty after a while and start looking for a serious relationship (in most people, that’s a cyclic process that happens more than once in their lives).
- It can be addictive – realizing that finding nearby matches is so simple is too much for some people, so they neglect other aspects of their lives to get as many hookups as possible.
Of course, as long as you’re careful and honest with yourself, you’re safe. But hookup culture has some solid pros:
- Boosts confidence – meeting new people and hooking up with them raises self-esteem.
- It helps with stress – physical intimacy is one of the best cures for stress; hookup sites indirectly help people deal with stress.
- Serves gender equality – it used to be taboo for a woman to pursue casual dates; today, women are engaged in hookups, and society doesn’t judge as much as it used to.