I Used To Feel Empowered By Hook-Up Culture, But I Didn't Fully Understand It

by Jordan Lueder
William Blanton

Instead of attempting to find the one and deciding whether someone is actually right for me, I've been casually hooking up. And I've been completely careless about it.

I'll get with guys who randomly stumble into my life and find me cute enough to start up a conversation. I've been dancing with whomever latches on to me from behind at clubs and making out with strangers I deem cute enough.

I've been going on dates with guys I know I have nothing in common with and hooking up with boys I know I want nothing more than just a lay. And for a while, that's what I thought I wanted, too.

Being single has been fun; maybe that's why I couldn't care less about the men I hooked up with. I can hold my own, so why do I need to waste my time searching for the “right one” to commit to?

I'm not trying to get married. I'm not trying to settle down and watch Netflix as we cuddle every night while eating take-out.

That's just not the life I imagine myself living or the relationship I see myself in right now. I'm too young to settle down, and I really do enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about a significant other.

What I've realized now, however, is this doesn't mean I should waste my time on guys who feel the same.

Sure, being an independent woman and not giving a shit about the men you hook up with, leading to constant run-ins with fuckboys and one-night stands, isn't a bad thing. You know you won't get hurt because, just like the boy who wants to get it in, you're in it for the fun.

But the moment I found myself being in the same club with two guys I had previously hooked up with with new girls by their sides, I felt strangely concerned about who I had become. I didn't like the idea that, once I gave them my attention, I gave myself without thinking to people who didn't deserve me.

I was telling myself I was empowered by the hook-up culture, but I didn't understand what it was really about.

I don't regret the decisions I've made because that is how we all learn. We learn through the bad relationships and situations we put ourselves in so we eventually make better decisions in the future.

Through this hook-up culture, I've learned despite not caring whether I find the right one, I don't need to waste my time with guys who are completely wrong for me.

I can continue to make out with strangers I'll never see again, hook up with a guy I know doesn't want a relationship, date guys I have nothing in common with or are known players, but what do I really gain out of it?

I've done it all, and the most I've received from it was decent sex and learning what I don't want in a relationship when I am ready for one.

Now that I know this, really, what's the point of continuing these kinds of interactions?

I'm tired of hooking up. I can do more for myself than a random drunk guy ever could. Women deserve better, and it's about time we stop settling for less.

So, I'm saying goodbye to fuckboys and to the hook-up culture.

No, I'm not looking for the right one, but I'm not looking to hook up with the wrong one, either.

I'm done wasting my time with those who are only interested in me sexually. They're going to have to work a lot harder if they want me. I'm going to try and get to know them, so they need to do the same.

I enjoy being on my own. I enjoy making decisions and long-term plans without the pressure of adding another person to the picture.

I enjoy the feeling of dancing freely without a man latched on. I enjoy not stressing about how I look to please a man.

I also enjoy going home to spread out on my own bed completely alone. And that's more empowering than anything.