Acceptance of hookup culture

Photo courtesy of Social Work Helper | Photo Editor Sydney Sanders asserts that judging people for participating in hook-up culture is another form of slut-shaming.

We live in a society with a heightened hookup culture. I’m loosely defining the term “hookup culture” to mean a society that accepts or even encourages casual sex, usually commitment-free. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing. I think there is potentially a lot to learn from having different experiences. What I would consider the negative effect of a hookup culture, however, is that social constructs are setting people up for emotional baggage that isn’t supposed to come with this type of mentality.

Obviously, there are going to be people who don’t agree with participating in this cultural shift, and all I have to say to that is to each their own. If traditional values are something you believe in, that’s fine. However, what appears to be happening is the second-hand slut-shaming from those who don’t want to participate. There is simply no need to comment on someone else’s sex life if it has nothing to do with you. A lot could be done to advance society if everyone would just stop judging each other.

I do recognize the fact that we go to a Jesuit university and the idea of a hookup culture at this institution is sort of an oxymoron. However, at a school with nearly 40 percent of the population belonging to a different religious affiliation (according to a tour guide), I think it’s fair to acknowledge that not everyone abides by the same rules. Although this school has been rooted in a specific set of values for a while, it isn’t 1831 anymore.

There are a lot of positives to a hookup culture. College is a time to meet new people and try new things. You come here to learn, but that learning isn’t limited to your economics homework or your Spanish project. You can learn what you like and what you don’t in all aspects of life. Now is the time to learn what kind of person you’re attracted to and what a deal breaker is for you. Hookup culture is basically the best-case scenario for this type of learning, but this aspect is often overlooked because of the pessimistic associations that come with it.

Hookups are often seen today as a loss of self-control, which is completely false. It’s seen as if you couldn’t refrain from hooking up with someone long enough to form a relationship and then explore the sexual side of things. That misconception today is basically the definition of the word slut, and although this may come as a shock to some people, sluts aren’t real. You have the freedom to do whatever you want, and labeling someone as a slut for expressing his or her sexual desires is a made-up social construct that needs to disappear.

I’m writing this as more of an acceptance of hookup culture than a promotion of it. Although I want every person to feel empowered to explore whatever type of relationship they want, there is a difference between utilizing your freedoms and having self-respect. I encourage discovering yourself, and if you want to participate in hookup culture today, make sure you’re doing it for yourself and not because it seems to be the only option. There are plenty of people in committed relationships, and that is also perfectly OK.

The bottom line is that hookup culture is real. It’s certainly not the only option, but it’s undeniably a huge part of the modern world. It really doesn’t matter if hookup culture affects you or not, but what does matter is the way that you choose to treat the people around you who participate in it.

Sydeny Sanders is a sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public major and the Head Photo Editor for the Newswire from Cincinnati.