Although it probably makes us look better statistically if everyone who meets at Bad Online Dates gets married in a giant production of tulle and taffeta, chiffon and champagne, we understand that hooking up happens and often people will dive into a sexual relationship before having a deep emotional one. There’s been a lot of discussion in the mainstream media about women’s sex lives, and whether the “casual sex” (although it’s almost always called “hooking up” now) that many of today’s women pursue is good for them. We called upon the real experts… you! Natch, names have been withheld to protect their privacy, because not everyone with access to Google is as open about sex as we are here at BOLD.
So, question of the day: Has hooking up been destigmatized?
– “Unfortunately it isn’t… a lot of people still get called degrading names when they’re just hooking up… Again, I’m including all types of folks from heterosexual, gay, trans, whatever… The ugly fact of the matter is that still, people are regarded as slutty if they’re free with their sexuality… It is changing, and in some circles it’s changing a lot faster… Folks, especially women, need to own their own sexuality… Once you’re a confident sexual being, you actually don’t care too much about what other people think.” Single woman, 27
– “I am absolutely in favor of hooking up, but the sad truth is, I’ve never done it. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a parallel life in another decade: all my life, I have only ever been Asked Out On Dates. I always feel so left out when I hear about ‘the hook-up culture’ that I’m apparently excluded from. Is there something about me that screams ‘Nice Girl, Treat Her With Respect’? If so, it’s totally off—I desperately want to be a huge slut with a mile-long list of conquests!” -Woman in a relationship, 22
– “As long as everyone is using protection, hooking up is okay. It’s not my thing, but I don’t judge people who do it. Hooking up is not destigmatized. It’s [considered] good for a guy to hook up with as many women as he wants, but not the same way for women.” Single woman, 23
– “My personal opinion is that casual sex is one of the most effective ways to disrespect the bodies (and minds) we have for this lifetime. I don’t agree with it unless a healthy and loving relationship is distinguished… For the record, casual sex sounds A LOT worse than hooking up. I feel like people use the term more loosely, and therefore destigmatize it. I’ve never heard a person say, ‘Guess who I had casual sex with last night?!?’ It’s always about hooking up. It sounds less irresponsible.” Single woman, 20
– “I think hooking up is somewhat destigmatized but there is a double standard for men and women and the circumstances matter in terms of how the public processes it, and who is doing it. Jaime Lynn Spears was portrayed as a delinquent for getting knocked up and Bristol Palin is being viewed as a saint. I think sexual orientation factors into how people judge promiscuity or casual sex too. I have heard bi friends being talked about for being super horny or untrustworthy because of their sexual orientation even if they have the same number of partners as their straight peers.” Woman in a relationship, 28
– “I think it’s always better to have sex with guys who you’re dating or who you’re in a relationship with. That said, I will be the first to recognize that sometimes you just have to have sex, and if you find yourself in bed with a guy friend or some guy you’ve only started to hang out with, whatever… However, hooking up is something I try to avoid now, just because I know that it’s not the best thing for me, the way I operate sexually.” Woman in a relationship, 32