“And what about us? Free, we say, yet the truth is they get erections when they’re with a woman they don’t give a damn about, but we don’t have an orgasm unless we love him. What’s free about that?”
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
Let’s assume you have considered and dismissed the disadvantages of hooking up outside of a relationship. You’re not worried about your rep, the health risks are real but preventable, and since you’re not committed to anyone, you might as well hook up and see what happens. OK. Sounds reasonable if you’re going in with eyes wide open. One last bummer, tho:
Hookup sex usually sucks for the girl.
Liquid Courage makes it possible to initiate the hookup, but difficult to see it through.
Everyone knows that alcohol fuels the hookup scene. Vast quantities are consumed by guys and girls, and inhibitions predictably disappear. Hooking up ensues. Consider the following scenarios:
- Boy brain is eager but penis is AWOL.
- Penis works, but boy is too drunk to know who he is with. Girl serves as dumpster.
- Girl is so drunk and dehydrated that nerve endings are comatose. Feels like inserting ginormous tampon.
- Girl has been throwing up, the stink of vomit is palpable in the room, but boy is happy to kiss her and have sex anyway.
- After sex, girl and boy spoon until girl is awakened by drunk boy peeing in his sleep onto her back.
Very few young men understand how to please a woman sexually.
In fairness to guys, it’s difficult for many girls to have an orgasm with a boy they don’t know well and care for. Most guys desperately want to be good in the sack, regardless of how they feel about the girl. Male pride depends on it, and bragging the next day to his boys is so much more fun if he can honestly say the girl got off. But because he has never really understood how to please a girl, it falls flat. He perceives correctly that the girl hasn’t had an orgasm, but he doesn’t know what to do about it. So the sex is fraught with tension and anxiety from the start, and hooking up with different girls all the time is just making boys more confused.
Here are the key trouble spots for boys:
Girls often fake orgasms.
We’ve all done it, but it is never a good idea unless you know the guy is hopeless and you never plan to see him again. It will definitely come back to haunt you when you give him credit for something he doesn’t deserve! I once had to dump a guy that I really liked because I had faked so often the sex was hopeless and I just couldn’t confess to the subterfuge. When you are in a real relationship, you feel a lot more comfortable communicating what turns you on.
Lots of guys are threatened by a woman’s need for clitoral stimulation.
They just don’t understand why their thrusting penis is not enough for her, and it makes them worry that they are not man enough to satisfy a woman. I always tell girls to be on the lookout for a guy who has already dated someone for a year or two. Even if he has had just one sexual partner, he’s much more likely to know what he’s doing than a boy who has hooked up with dozens of girls one time.
Boys know that girls often have sex to appease them, not because they desire it.
Because women have traditionally owed sexual gratification to males, girls often view sex as an altruistic act. They’ll have sex with a guy even if they don’t really want to. Today, the most common explanation for doing this is that it’s often easier to have sex than to cause a scene by saying no. Girls also find that having sex is often less awkward than not having sex; if they don’t know the guy, just doing it is a whole lot easier than talking. No guy is gonna turn away no-strings sex, even if he can tell the girl isn’t really into it. But it guarantees the sex will be disappointing for the girl.
How can you get the good sex you deserve?
Take the time to establish an emotional connection before you have sex.
Women typically feel the greatest desire for a guy after they have gotten to know him and feel affection for him. Research shows that women are much more likely to have orgasms in a stable relationship. Women having casual sex with a variety of men are the least likely to come during sex. When you have spontaneous sex during a hookup with someone you don’t know well, there’s obviously been no time for anticipation to build. You haven’t been longing to touch this person. You haven’t spent time learning what turns them on. You haven’t taken it slowly enough to delay (and therefore enhance) gratification. So the sex often feels more like a blip than a climax.
Sex with a stranger is really an elaborate form of masturbation; you’re projecting a fantasy of romance onto someone you don’t know. It is by nature a totally self-centered activity. But unlike masturbation, sex with a stranger often results in a fair amount of awkwardness and uncertainty. Boys know girls often want more from a hookup, and have developed a range of avoidance tactics, including physically avoiding the girl, not calling her back, and making excuses not to spend time with her. Boys justify this rude behavior by claiming they don’t want to “lead her on.”
Ultimately, the price being paid by both girls and guys in the hookup culture is that no one is getting any practice at relationships. Dating has always been a way of preparing for eventual marriage, teaching couples skills such as trust, sharing, generosity, disagreement and compromise. Relationships teach us how to love another person. They teach us what to seek in a mate, and what to avoid. What will be the long-term effect on the divorce rate as young people enter marriage with little relationship experience?
This finishes up the series: Understanding the Hookup Environment. Next we will turn our attention to formulating a winning strategy for getting the relationship you want.