With the introduction of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Happn, etc; the ‘hook-up’ culture has been gaining quite some popularity in India.
Before we talk about it, I would like to quote Donna Freitas’ definition of hook up from one of her best-selling books namely, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy.
A hookup is intended to be purely physical and involves both parties shutting down any communication or connection that might lead to emotional attachment.
Now that we have clarity over the idea of ‘hooking-up’, it can be rightfully said that young adults are very much open to such a culture. And why not? The idea of having someone without any labels and leaving them as and when you want to, sounds tempting enough.
While a majority of millennials celebrate ‘casual sex’ and are pretty liberal about it, what we tend to overlook is the alarming mindset where it originates from.
You Heard It Right
Promiscuous sex has a lot to do with your mental state than just having some temporary pleasure.
A study from Ohio State University suggests that ‘poor mental state and casual sex do reinforce each other — in both men and women.’ The study examined the sexual behavior and mental health of 10,000 people. It was seen that those who reported serious thoughts of suicide or more depressive symptoms as teens, were more likely to engage in casual sex as young adults.
It’s A Chemical Escape
The young generation thinks it’s cool to ‘hook-up’ than invest themselves in a committed relationship, presuming it saves them from a lot of mental stress. Mind it, but it could actually be the other way round.
Justin Garcia along with her team from the State University of New York did research and concluded how DNA plays a key role in determining sexual behaviors. A gene called DDR4 spikes the flow of dopamine in our body which enhances our ‘feel good’ sensations and leave us begging for more.
The release of such chemicals tricks us into believing how hooking up is the ultimate solution to being a cooler and a liberal individual. Little realizing, how addictive and self-sabotaging it can be!
Having a bad day, ending up at the bar nearby and hooking up casually with the first girl/guy you encounter; is a story we all have heard at some point. While it’s a super cool story to be narrated at a bonfire among your close friends, the truth behind it is really ugly to know.
Young adults are afraid of commitments not because it is too much responsibility or investment, but, because they prefer to escape from their emotions by seeking validation from strangers in bed over some past trauma.
Let’s Talk About The Regret That Follows
No matter how much we glamorize the idea of casual sex, the regret after the act is an unspoken truth. Most of the time, the stated intentions, emotions and beliefs, of a young adult are unaligned.
A large web-based study of 1,468 undergraduate students who were involved in casual sex was recorded. The participants reported a variety of consequences: 27.1 percent felt embarrassed, 24.7 percent reported emotional difficulties, 20.8 percent experienced loss of respect, and 10 percent reported difficulties with a steady partner.
Women are more likely to feel more regretful than men, but the stats are still worrisome. Another study conducted on a sample of 200 undergraduate students in Canada suggests; 78 percent of women and 72 percent of men who had uncommitted sex reported a history of experiencing regret following such an encounter.
What Science Says About This
Science says, Oxytoxin or the ‘love hormone’ is released during sexual encounters which promotes bonding, trust, empathy, relaxation, etc.
The same hormone is released during pregnancy which strengthens the mother-child bond.
Now you can comprehend how powerful this hormone can be.
The biological mechanism of Oxytocin promotes monogamy which runs parallel to the idea of casual sex. This proves, that the feeling of emptiness, uneasiness and dilemma after hooking up is not about ‘getting over it’ but a biological response of the body after the act.
No matter how good it feels, the hook-up culture is one of the most emotionally unhealthy practices of modern times. While it comes easy for some short term happiness, it leaves you all hollow and incomplete in the long run.
With this being said, let’s invest some time in choosing the things that stay closer to us instead of running behind transient, empty and short-lived experiences.
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