10 Highs And Lows Of Having An Open Relationship In The Hook-Up Culture

by Paul Hudson

Our generation may not have invented open relationships and the hook-up culture, but we have perfected it. We are the open, loving hippies of the modern world, minus all that lovey-dovey stuff and with a different set of drugs.

The hook-up culture isn’t all bad. It does have its benefits. Whether indulging yourself is a good or bad decision depends on you. You have to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision yourself.

Here’s what you’re getting yourself into:

More options

We all love having our options, especially if we don’t have to choose but can dabble across the board. The beauty of the hook-up culture and open relationships as a whole is that you get to taste more of life.

You have the option of sexually experiencing more people if you so choose and by doing so, figure out what it is you like and don’t like.

With the hook-up culture, you have more time to explore and experiment. However, most would argue that such a lifestyle isn’t maintainable.

Less intimacy

People crave intimacy. Even if you don’t crave it just yet, you will. Intimacy is that which you experience when someone knows you to the deepest depths of your soul and, more importantly, loves you for it.

Intimacy goes beyond the physical. If you have multiple partners at a time, or skip around from partner to partner, you’re likely lacking intimacy. It may be fine for the moment… but eventually, you’ll want something less superficial.

Less sex overall

Most of us think that people have less sex once they enter into a relationship. In reality, just the opposite is true. People in a loving, caring relationships will have more sex than those who are single or in open relationships. There are plenty of surveys that will corroborate this fact.

On top of that, the quality of sex is higher when you are in a steady, closed relationship. It seems that the more time you spend with someone and the more sex you have, the more creative you get. Plus, it takes time to understand which buttons to push.

The hook-up culture is more egocentric and less giving. If you want to pleasure yourself, then you’re better off sticking to masturbation.

Fewer responsibilities

Closed relationships come with a decent amount of responsibility. You are committing to another person, and that person is committing to you. You are embracing him or her as an extension of yourself. With that, you are expected to treat and care for this person as you would yourself.

No one willingly welcomes extra responsibility. Closed relationships do have their perks, but they are responsibilities nonetheless.

Higher risk of contracting STDs

This is just fact proven by statistics. The more partners you have, the higher the chance becomes of you contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Even if you use protection, there is always a chance of something breaking or failing. Whether the risk is worth the return is up to you to decide.

Lower risk of getting your heart broken

Some will say that open relationships are loving relationships. I’m sure they can be; however, I’d also argue that the majority of them aren’t. Most open relationships are selfish relationships.

For this reason, you are less likely to get your heart broken -- you’re not giving it to another person in the first place.

On that same note…

If you don’t risk getting your heart broken, then you aren’t allowing yourself to fall in love. While you are guaranteeing less pain, you are also accepting less pleasure and joy. Not to mention, one needs practice in loving properly.

I understand that love feels like the most natural thing in the world, and it is. However, that's not to suggest that we are born naturally good at loving. We’re born being egocentric. To devote yourself to another takes practice.

More time to do you

With fewer responsibilities, you have more time to focus on yourself and what you want out of life. This makes achieving your goals much more manageable. Many people avoid exclusive relationships for this reason.

We benefit from the sex, possibly some intimacy, and then we can pretend like none of it exists when we need to focus on other things. Definitely beneficial.

More work

Although you may have more time to do you, you also are likely to spend more time going out to find new partners. This itself takes time, money, energy and focus. Even the best of the best have to leave their apartments to go hunting.

Booty calls are booty calls, but you’re not in an open relationship to sleep with the same batch of people all the time. You’ll want something novel, and that requires effort.


You may or may not be wasting your time. Maybe by being in an open relationship you’re granted the potential to meet the love of your life, or maybe you’ll miss out on such an opportunity.

I’m sure there are some people that do prefer this lifestyle as a permanent lifestyle, but for most, it’s a passing phase. The question is whether you are hurting or increasing the chances of getting what you really want.

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