Hookups Reflect the Supply and Demand for Sex

December 13, 2008


Supply and Demand in Equilibrium

Supply and Demand in Equilibrium

“Women are better off when sex is scarce and men have few outlets for sexual satisfaction, because men will offer women more under those circumstances than they will offer when sexual gratification is widely and freely available. It is rational for women to try to restrict men’s sexual opportunities, and one effective way to do this is to enforce norms and informal pressures that hold women in general back from sexual indulgence.”

Symons and Barash, Sociobiology

Now that we have a better understanding of the hookup environment, let’s turn our attention to figuring out what you want and helping you get it.

What is it that girls really want?

When I was a girl my friends and I all wanted the same thing: a big, grand, passionate love. We were ready for sex, but we dreamed of having it in the context of being in love. And I believe that most girls today want that too, to be in love. Falling for someone who feels the same way about you is a pretty amazing feeling, maybe even the best feeling in the world.

Most girls live very full and busy lives, and many question whether they have the time to devote to a relationship. They don’t want to become so submerged in a relationship that they lose their own identity. Oddly, the only apparent alternative to hooking up on campuses is the “college marriage”, also known as “joined at the hip.” These relationships are characterized by a constant togetherness. Couples eat all their meals together, study together and sleep together every night. Most girls who are hooking up in hopes of finding a relationship are not looking for that kind of all-consuming togetherness, but an equal partnership that is both emotional and physical.

Girls can’t have what they want until they reclaim the upper hand.

Having come of age in the 70s, I can assure you there were many disadvantages to the traditional dating model, and women had fewer choices then, but we definitely had more control. In the hook-up scene, guys make most of the rules, so it’s not surprising that those rules result in fewer relationships all around. Hooking up as the way for girls and guys to get together is deeply entrenched in the culture and is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Girls say they don’t object to hooking up per se, only that it rarely goes anywhere. You need a strategy to hook up smarter, so that you can reclaim the upper hand with boys. Girls today do have more freedom and control over their own lives, and exercise it in many areas. Your challenge is to find a way to use all your strength, empowerment and belief in yourself in the area of relationships.

Start by seeking a healthy relationship with a Quality Boy.

What is a Quality Boy?

  • He respects your feelings, your body and your time. 
  • He is earnest and trustworthy. That means he does what he says he is going to do. 
  • He is mature, meaning he is emotionally available and demonstrative. 


You may be saying to yourself that you don’t know any boys like that. They are out there, although they may be hard to spot in the midst of all the hooking up. Remember, we do not blame boys for hooking up whenever and with whomever they can. They are only being true to their nature! Your job is to offer an alternative to a boy who demonstrates relationship potential, and to sell him on its benefits.

You need a strategy for success.

Now that we understand what you want and what you’re up against, it’s time to get down to the business of  formulating an effective strategy. We’ll continue to use the Strategic Problem-Solving Model to understand our target market (Quality Boys) and design our product. Let’s start by understanding the relationship between supply and demand in the marketplace.

The Law of Supply and Demand

The law of supply and demand is a fundamental concept of economics. It determines the price and quantity of a good on the market. It says that equilibrium will be achieved when the amount of a good being provided is equal to the amount of that good being desired. For example, if you have ten concert tickets to sell, and you have ten friends that want to buy them, everyone is happy. That’s equilibrium.

The law of demand says that the higher the price of something, the lower the quantity demanded. If something is very costly, people will think carefully about whether they want to spend resources on that or if there is something else they want more. If your concert tickets are $150, some of your friends might bow out. If something is super expensive, you’re going to think carefully about whether to buy it, and you may decide to spend your money on something else.

The law of supply says that the higher the price of a good, the more the producer will supply. The higher a price the consumer is willing to pay, the more eager the seller will be to provide additional supply to increase revenue. So if your favorite band can get huge ticket prices, they are more likely to go on tour. They may play more cities or tour more frequently than if they can only get $35 per ticket, for example.

To review, when supply and demand are equal, the relationship is in equilibrium. This means that both sellers and consumers are happy. Everyone has what they want at a fair price. You may not think it’s fair for any band to get $150 per ticket, but if they can sell out at that price, then we say “that’s what the market will bear.”

Equilibrium does not equal satisfaction for women.

The law of supply and demand can be used to think about any transaction, including sex. Girls supply sex, and guys demand it. Of course, guys supply sex too, and girls do demand it, but girls are much more likely to want the sex to be meaningful, i.e., committed. Back in the day when girls rarely had sex before marriage, guys had to put forth enormous effort to get it. They came calling to meet the family, stated their intentions, brought gifts, paid for outings, etc. They took things at a slow pace, made a commitment, and often had to marry a girl to have sex with her. Today there is so much sex available to boys that they literally need make no effort to get it. Oh, there’s a slight risk of rejection when they target a specific girl, but they are usually drunk enough to blunt the momentary pain of that.

So, if sex is the ultimate goal for guys (and we all know it is), then if you give it away for free you can expect to get very little in return. No respect, no treats, no romance, and definitely no relationships. Today there is a huge demand for sex, and a huge supply of sex to fill that demand. We could say the market is in equilibrium. So everybody’s happy, right? Wrong!

Girls (the suppliers) are going bankrupt in the romance department because they are literally giving away a valuable product. When you have sex with a guy for nothing in return, you’re making a very unprofitable deal. In fact, it’s worse than that; when you have sex with a guy and get nothing in return, you wind up feeling crappy about it. Which means you have less than you did before. You are essentially paying him!

Guys literally have almost all of the power today. Young women need to wake up and shift the dynamic. And that, girls, can only be achieved if you limit the supply by raising the price.